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Tube Talk: Mad Men: Waterloo

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Mad Men wraps up its first half of the end in spectacular fashion as mankind takes one giant leap in “Waterloo”.

That’s one small plot detail, and big SPOILERS for everyone!

Mad Men: Season 7: Episode 7: Waterloo: GRADE A

If there’s one more thing I can praise Mad Men on, its how well they blend in the major historical moments of the 1960s into its show from JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King, and countless others, they each have a huge impact on our characters here and Apollo 11 is no different. This is the start of what’s to come.

In the last three weeks now, Mad Men has produced episodes that continuously out do the one before and Waterloo is certainly a new high point in Mad Man for several reasons. Days away from the Burger Chef presentation in Indiana, Don gets a letter that he’s being outed for breach of contract and of course with no care in the word, Cutler explains it is him behind it but a emergency partner’s meeting keeps him in. Lucky Don for now. But this helps further how much Cutler is getting bigger than he should at the agency trying to fully take it over it seems, which now puts him on the level of Pete and Lou Avery, people. Though interesting characters with plenty of development brought by their actors, you kinda wanna throw them in front of a bus.

Speaking of the presentation, Don decides to give Peggy the lead for when they present to Burger Chef. Don Draper, always cool as a cucumber when under the sun. They kinda need it too since depressed Ted scared the fuck out of the Sunkist representative during a plane ride over California and yeah, that happened and it was interesting to see a very different side and look to Ted. Where’s that smile, man?!

Well its not all great as the inevitable has come, Don and Megan are no more and I love how this scene and moment is handled. Its been shown over the course of the season but now its transparent the marriage is over. Neither of them wanted to admit it before but what’s gone on now, there’s not denying and they each handle it well and the acting off Jon Hamm and Jessica Paré really helps the heartbreak that they know its not just gonna work and that the spark is lost.

Obviously way better handled than how he left Betty and Dr. Faye Miller, but that’s because those have helped Don now better realize the ending of a partnership with women. Don ever being so helpful says he’ll take care of Megan, again another thing to help prove how he’s matured in break ups, but she declines.

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July 20, 1969: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin board upon Apollo 11 and step foot on the moon. Everyone watches in awe as this historical moment happens. Roger and family, Betty and some other family I kinda have forgotten which leads Sally to an impulsive kiss with one their sons, Don and crew in Indiana, and Bert Cooper who simply says, “Bravo.”

Those would be Bert Cooper’s last words it appears as he died shortly after that and right away, Roger and Cutler are butting heads as he still wants to continue with ridding Don, Joan too when all three arrive at the office after they get the news. This of course is gonna have heavy effects with the Burger Chef presentation, but yet, they pull it off with what would’ve been the best scene of the episode if not for the ending, we’ll get to it, with Peggy commanding the room and giving a presentation that secures the account right then and there. The torch from Don to Peggy is passed and it still burns ever so brightly in new hands.

Again, Jon Hamm keeps command of the screen and show as Don, but Elisabeth Moss’ Peggy is the second star and I think she’s truly started to nearly out perform Hamm on a regular basis this first half of the season.

Don Draper has always appeared to be the one giant rock in the middle of a stream of water with everyone trying to navigate without him. The solid fountain of a house if you will, but it seems the water has found a new way to travel, the fountain weakening. Don’s trying to hold on to what he can now and what he’ll do to make sure, will be most interesting come next year, seriously goddamn it AMC, I want more Mad Men now!

I digress, and well with Bert’s death, of course a power play will be instigated and math is done to see figures of a potential to McCann Erickson, which Cutler is all but ready for because its a lot of money and no more Don hopefully, fuck where is that Greyhound?! But this all helps in a way for Roger to bring up how this secures Don’s job at the agency with McCann buying. Hey Don’s got one thing going for him.

Don starts to leave when he hears Bert calling for him.

I’m serious when I say at first I thought I was drunk or high, but nope, this happened. Robert Morse is no stranger to musicals, but man this was a strange moment that quickly turned into a great one for the show. Morse gets a fantastic send off from the show. It helps comes back to that happiness he got seeing the moon landing. The sky really is the only limit everyone has and the best things in life truly are free. Watching it again, I did get a little teared up but with joy and hopefulness of what’s the come now, well also Bert’s demise cause man Morse is a damn good actor and really sold his character on the show.

Things truly won’t be the same.

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Mad Men’s beginning of the end has been a wonderful ride and hopefully leads to an end the show deserves and that leaves remember what’s great about the show. See you all here again in 2015 for the continuing adventures in advertising.

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