“You think you’re gonna have fun like this over there?”
Mad Men: Season 7: Episode 12: Lost Horizon: GRADE: A
In what would usually be the penultimate chapter of a Mad Men season, it still feels quite like that in ways.
SC&P makes the big move to McCann but its not completely smooth. Peggy doesn’t have an office, Joan is treated like a second rate citizen, and Don is still hazy over Diana’s sudden departure.
Don gets a huge offering with his first job at McCann by getting to handle Miller Beer and well as soon as he hears that they are mainly relevant in the Midwest, Don just gets up and leaves, like out of nowhere and goes to Wisconsin. Well not right away, he does have to drive Sally off to school but learns from Betty that she got a ride there from a friend. Betty herself deep in her psych studying and right after is when Don goes right off to Wisconsin to try and find Diana or at least some answers. Don still wants some stability in this time where he doesn’t seem to have any or he doesn’t at least want to be who he is now, which is evident when a vision of Cooper appears to Don, welcome back Robert Morse, even if only for a few seconds. Bert even lays on some truth about Don. “You love to play the stranger.” that line encapsulates how Don best changes his stories by becoming someone else and he sees this with Diana.
Well he gets there has to lie a bit to get anywhere but gets nowhere. Diana’s ex-husband is pissed and even lays on some truth that Don isn’t the first person to go and do this. Its certainly something I wasn’t expecting to hear. Her ex doesn’t doesn’t wanna deal with Don’s shit at all and puts him out quick.
Don is of course taken back a bit and now must take the journey back to McCann and hopefully save face after walking out on the meeting. Yet when he picks up a hitchhiker who is on his way to St. Paul, Don takes him knowing its another five hours out of the way home. He wants to be taken out of what’s happening right now since he wouldn’t be the same man he will be at McCann, he wants to be the stranger now and that’s Don’s best open. I also really love that scene because David Bowie’s Space Oddity played at the end of the episode, so fuck yeah for Bowie!
Another sign of how different things are is that Joan and Peggy aren’t given the same respect they got at SC&P simply because they are women. Joan deals with a guy who didn’t bother to know needed knowledge on a client of Joan’s and it costs them a bit and while Joan seems to have her complaints heard of, she’s just being played with. Christina Hendricks’ handling of Joan’s righteous hate in this situation plays perfectly. She’s proved everyone wrong, made partner, landed some of the most lucrative, and yet, this is still the thanks she gets when she has to move on to something new. Roger goes to bat but this can only end with Joan resigning, which she sadly does, unsure of what’s next now, but she does leave with $250,000 so silver lining I should say.
On the opposite spectrum is Peggy who demands to be taken seriously. Joan does and did as well, but Joan I think isn’t taken as seriously because of her appearance. Joan is always one to not give a fuck about her look, but it seems to have slightly undermined her work in the eyes of men at McCann, Peggy on the other hand continuously not to give a fuck, and get did her work and flipped off those that doubted her.
Look at Peggy? She is the giver of no fucks at all. She’s having office issues and will work out of her old office until settled but while there has some reflections with Roger about SC&P and how things are completely different now. Elisabeth Moss as both herself and Peggy continues to be the MVP of this final season. Peggy has evolved and I’m not even sure this is her final form. She just has the brass confidence of Don but with her on sense of defiant confidence. It just works for her since where we seen her at the beginning of the show.
Her and Roger’s time in the old building was the highlight of the show. Peggy rollerskates right through the office as Roger plays Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo on an organ. Change is coming. Even evident by the back and fourth Roger had with Harry, who is just a pure dick now, at the opening of the episode about changes. Roger might now like this new development but its Roger. He’s just gonna take it on the chin, sip a drink, then ask for another. Roger is still captain of this ship and he’s gonna steer it in the direction it needs to go in.
Mad Men ever so closer to the end doesn’t let up. Its still getting better and more boldly confident in itself than it ever has been before. Also full of bitter as fuck people which is always entertaining.