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Yep, this is it! And if I had time I’d go back and watch all 13 hours of it and see all the little pieces being put into place. The Draper marriage appears to be over, for reals this time, and I want to hug their children. And it was only a year ago that PPL swooped in and bought Sterling-Cooper, so when they learn it’s up for sale again, our guys take matters into their own hands. It’s a truly masterful episode about fighting for what you deserve, and knowing what – and who – is really important to you. It’s about the dissolution of one family and the birth of a new one. Don and Roger kiss and make up, Pete proves he’s indispensable, and Joan saves the day. All’s right with the world.3.13 Shut the Door. Have a Seat. Don wakes up in Grampa Gene’s creaky old bed. You know, the one Don so symbolically folded up and put away when he died? Well, apparently that’s where Don lives now. Suck on that symbolism, Don. And he didn’t even get to take the good alarm clock! As if Betty has ever once awoken to an alarm clock ever in her entire life. Anyway, he’s late to his meeting with Connie, but it’s okay, because Connie’s breaking up with Don too. After the first of many “have a seat”s tonight, Connie tells him that Putnam, Powell & Lowe is officially being sold to McCann-Erickson as of the first of the year. Arooo? For reasons I don’t really understand, that means Connie has to take his business elsewhere. “So we’re all gone,” Don says, mostly to himself. Connie says Bert “will definitely be put on an ice floe,” but Don will be fine, he’ll make more money, and he won’t have to live and die by every account. “Bullshit,” Don says. “It’s a sausage factory. I turned them down three years ago.” As he starts to process this, he realizes that the no-brainer contract he signed – which we all bitched at him for being so reluctant about, because sheesh, Don, get over yourself – has taken mere months to bite him in the ass as he feared it would. You told us so, Don. Our bad. And of course the reason he was even presented with a contract in the first place? Conrad Hilton. Don: “And you don’t give a crap that my future is tied up in this mess because of you?” “I got everything I have on my own,” Connie says. “It’s made me immune to those who complain and cry because they can’t.” This is sort of a sore spot for Don, of course, and Connie kind of knows it. “I didn’t take you for one of them, Don. Are you?”
***Wayne’s World deedle deedle dooo wavy dream sequence sound*** Don remembers old Archie Whitman in his dark grimy Depressiony kitchen, meeting with a handful of other dark, grimy frowny Depressiony farmers. They all want to sell their surplus now at the obscenely low rate they were offered, but Archie won’t cave. He’s got a silo, dammit, he’ll hoard it till winter when the price goes up, and they can all go cooperate somewhere else. He’s on his own now. ***deedle deedle doo***
Don goes straight to Bert. “What’s so urgent that you had to wake me?” Bert asks. There will be no morning naps on that ice floe, Bert. He tells Cooper they’re being sold, and what do we do now? Bert says there’s nothing to do. They all have contracts. It’s just business, this kind of thing happens. Don is furious that Bert is just going to sit back and let someone buy his company. Again. And Don proposes something I actually wondered last year during the PPL sale – why don’t they buy SC themselves? Bert laughs. “Young men love risks because they can’t imagine the consequences.” Ahem. Hear that, Don? Oh, that’s a lesson you just learned with the foldout bed situation? Okay then. “And old men love building golden tombs and sealing the rest of us in with you,” Don returns. “You’re done. You know that, right?” Bert wonders why he cares so much, and Don says because he’s sick of being batted around like a ping pong ball. They’re being run by accountants trying to make a dollar into a dollar ten. “I want to work!” he says, getting angrier. “I want to build something of my own, how do you not understand that?” After all, that’s exactly what Bert did 40 years ago. Bert says he’s not sure if Don has the stomach for the realities. “Try me.” “Well,” Bert starts, not realizing he’s actually considering this all of a sudden, “we’re going to need accounts.” American Tobacco is most of Sterling Cooper’s billings, but that’s Roger. Don flinches a little but grins and bears the idea that this imaginary scenario probably does need Roger on board for it to even see the light of day.
So off they go to Roger’s office. (On the phone: “Honey, he’s probably just upset because the President died on his watch. Now stop reading the paper.” Heh.) Bert gets right to it: McCann is buying PPL. “Christ!” Roger responds. “From one john’s bed to the next. What a joke.” A lot of the fun of this episode is watching how everyone reacts to the news one by one, and Roger’s tirade is predictably great. Bert explains that he and Don have been discussing buying SC. Roger: “And you’re sniffing around because I’ve got a golden pork chop dangling from my neck.” He recognizes this opportunity – he wants to see Don with his tail between his legs. He’s not putting anything on the line just because Don doesn’t want to work for McCann. “Do you?” Don asks. “You don’t value what I do any more than they do,” Roger pouts charmingly, because ha, this is not about money, it’s about him wanting affirmation. That whole “leaving him out of the flow chart” thing really stung, and also, he totally loves Don. “I was wrong,” Don says immediately. He’s not an account man, he learned that with Hilton. He can’t do what Roger does. “You’re not good at relationships because you don’t value them,” Roger says, essentially summing up Don’s entire arc in one sentence. Don is pretty awesome here already – he knows that petty bullshit isn’t worth the trouble, and telling Roger what he wants to hear is important if they’re ever going to make this happen. And I’m pretty sure he believes it. “I value my relationship with you,” he tells Roger. “We have to try.” Roger grins. “So you do want to be in advertising after all!” He enjoys being right about stuff, and Don knows when to let him.
At home, the kids are watching TV when Don gets home. “Go upstairs,” Betty tells them from the kitchen, two words that make up approximately 75% of her verbal interaction with her children. “Please sit down,” she tells him. Are you counting? Are you drinking? If I had more time to write these things I’d spend one entire viewing of this episode playing that game. Anyway. She’s got an appointment with a divorce lawyer, she says, so he should probably find one too. Don has been kicked out of the bedroom before – the house, even – but I don’t think he ever expected this. He looks absolutely gobsmacked. “Come on, Bets,” he tries. “You haven’t been yourself. Maybe you need to see a doctor. A good one this time.” Betty makes a face there is not yet a term for, but in the future “Oh no you di-ent!” will cover it. And I don’t even know if Don is being patronizing here; I think he’s just grasping at straws. “Because I’d have to be sick to want out of this?” Betty says incredulously. When the straw-grasping doesn’t work, he tries more desperate measures. “Forget it,” he snarls. “I’m not going to let you break up this family.” Betty, leaving the room: “I didn’t break up this family.” Ouch. And also: t(ouch)Ã©.
Next up: Pryce. Bert tells him to shut the door and have a seat. (Drink!) Roger and Don tell him they know PPL is being bought out, and he tells them they’re mistaken. “Lane!” Roger says. “We’ve been working together for a year. Don’t act like a stranger.” Then, as if it settles the matter: “We got tea!” Oh god, Roger is so freaking great. I grin pretty much every second he’s on screen. Pryce sighs and says fine, yes, but it’s actually just Sterling Cooper for sale. That doesn’t change their proposal: Buying back Sterling Cooper for the purchase price plus twelve percent. Lane giggles a little, because apparently McCann is putting up way more than that. He’s sorry they had to find out this way. It wasn’t his decision. “I’ve quite enjoyed it here,” he says apologetically, and leaves.
Betty’s at her meeting with the divorce attorney, and I’ll give you six creepy gross skeevy weird baffling guesses who’s sitting next to her. Seriously, Betty. Anyway, it’ll be tough for her to get a divorce in New York State, but that’s why people go to Reno. She just has to live there for six weeks to establish residency first. With Don’s consent of course. She can’t prove adultery (what the hell kind of proof could you possibly get in 1963, by the way?), but the lawyer says it doesn’t matter, “with both parties at fault.” Betty and Henry look at each other awkwardly and stammer that they’re not…he isn’t…they haven’t…etc. It’s kind of funny. But still mostly gross. Also funny and gross? The lawyer says Reno is painless. “I met my second wife there!” Classy. He says they should talk about the settlement, but Henry interrupts, saying he’ll take care of her and the kids – he doesn’t want her owing Don anything. Oh my god, Henry, what a terrible, terrible, stupid idea. Sure, she won’t owe Don anything. And if for some reason Henry “we don’t even know each other’s middle names” Francis doesn’t come through or drops dead or something (a girl can dream), sure, she doesn’t owe Don anything, but she’s also FUCKING BROKE. I’m just saying, that’s noble or whatever, but practically speaking it’s crappy advice for a divorced mother of three in 1960s New York.
Pryce calls up St John, by which I mean SnJn, to tip him off about the boys’ plan. Oh, and get this, they think PPL is being sold too! How crazy is that? Snjn: **crickets** Um. Turns out that part is actually true. “Why wasn’t I told?” Pryce freaks out.”Didn’t seem pertinent!” SnJn smirks, and can I just take this opportunity to note that I haven’t made a single joke about The Nanny all season. Anyway, he’s sure Lane and his ridiculous stuffed snake basket will enjoy themselves at McCann! Pryce slams the phone down on the hook, and it gives that satisfying “brinnng” sound. Know what’s wrong with the world today? You can’t hang up on anybody anymore. Sure, you can cut them off, but there’s no slamming anything. You can’t push a button angrily, it’s just not possible.
Sigh. Don gets home late to find Sally asleep in his crappy foldout bed, which is just the cutest saddest thing. He sits in the chair and just stares at her awhile. Salamander! What will you do without your dad to take you remotely seriously as a human being with independent thoughts and emotions? **deedle deedle doo deedle deedle do** Archie and Abigail are fighting about money. He’s still holding out on selling, but they can’t pay the mortgage. She shows him the few nickels and dimes in their change jar. “We got nothin, and we’re about to have less!” Which is a nice parallel to Don’s life as of a few months ago, when he had, in Peggy’s words, “everything, and so much of it.” Archie angrily relents to feeding his family. Little baby Dick Whitman follows his dad out to the stables, and long story short, moonshine + antsy horse + loud thunderstorm = Dead Archie. ***deedle deedle do deedle deedle do** And I guess the point is that Don is abandoning his kids in pretty much the same way his dad abandoned him: It’s not technically his decision, but everything leading up to it was, and he could have prevented it pretty easily if he’d bothered to consider the consequences of being, well, a total Dick. Don crawls in to bed with Sally. Aww.
“Close the door, have a seat” Don says as Roger, Bert and Lane file into his office. Don’s big idea is to go directly to McCann, but Pryce says it’s done, period. And actually, yes, PPL is going too. Don wants Lane to just give them a price so they can try to match it, but Lane won’t. “I should fire you for even trying to involve me in this conspiracy.” “Go ahead!” Don yells, and ding! Light bulb! Big giant 700-watt novelty light bulb! “You have absolute authority to fire anyone,” Don thinks out loud. “Fire us!” Bert smiles proudly. That’s my boy! “Why would I?” Lane wonders. Don: “Because once this sale goes through, you’ll be thrown overboard and you’ll be a corpse knocking on their hull.” Colorful imagery like that is exactly why he’s the kind of idea man you want to start a secret stealth ad agency with. Slowly it dawns on Pryce that this is in fact the awesomest idea in the history of ever. “We’ll put your name on the door,” Don says, and when Roger starts to object, Don just asks him “Do you know how to do what he does?” Bert: “I don’t!” They all Have A Seat to talk specifics. They know they have Lucky Strike, which is $24million in billings, and they’ll need another third for cash flow. Now where could they find a bunch of clients that are already primed and ready to follow their account guy to another agency, hmmm? Lane says he can send a telex at noon telling PPL he’s fired them. It’ll be after close of business in London and they won’t find out about it till after the weekend. They have till 2am Monday to get accounts, a staff, and the materials required for continuity of service, i.e., they have to steal all their stuff before they get locked out of the building. They stare at each other awhile. Don: “Do we vote or something?” Ha. Hands go up all the way around. Motion passes. “Well, gentlemen, I suppose you’re fired!”
And we’re off! They’ve only got today and the weekend to pull this off, so everybody gets to work. The score gets all jazzy and happy and capery, it’s perfect. Don tells his secretary that the office is closed this weekend, all work suspended. “Carpet cleaning.” Pete’s out sick so he tells her to call him at home and then yells for Peggy. Pete and Peggy: First on Duck’s list, first on Don’s list. Awesome. “Shut the door. Sit down.” (Are you drunk yet?) “They’re selling the company.” Peggy: “Again?” Ha. He says he’s starting a new agency and he needs her there Sunday afternoon to get her things and help them collect whatever they’ll need. Peggy thinks a moment. “You just assume I’ll do whatever you say. Just follow you like some nervous poodle.” Yeah, Peggy, as much as I want you on board, Don deserves to be on the business end of a good rant after all the shit he gave you this season. “I’m not going to beg you,” Don says. “Beg me? You didn’t even ask me!” She’s on a roll now. “Everyone thinks you do my work,” she says. “Even you. I don’t want to make a career out of being there so you can kick me when you fail.” (Studio Audience: Ooooooh!) “I guess I’ll have to talk to Kurt and Smitty,” Don bluffs as she leaves, and it’s kind of funny that he’d go to them before Paul.
Trudy is hastily preparing what I’m pretty sure is the famous Chip n’ Dip from season 1. Oh, that’s completely awesome, folks. Nice. Apparently Don has warned them that he’s coming over – Pete hurries to put on his robe and mess up his hair to make himself actually look sick in front of the guy who’s still his boss. Trudy opens the door (I love their giraffe wall art SO MUCH) to Don and Roger. Pete, wide-eyed with terror, motions for them to have a seat. (Does that count as a drink?) Roger gets right to it. “McCann bought PPL. And us.” Pete: “Again?!” Ha again. “We’re not firing you,” Don assures him. “Oh. Am I getting a few more adjectives added to my title?” Ha! “Don’t bother. I have other plans.” From the next room, Trudy hilariously yells “Peter, may I speak with you for a moment?” As in, “None of us are pretending I’m not back here listening to everything you say, and don’t you dare burn any bridges till you hear their pitch, Mr. Smartypants!” Roger says they’re starting an agency and they want him on board. They already have American Tobacco, so what does Pete have in his saddlebag? “I don’t have a saddlebag!” Pete lies. Don says he doesn’t blame him for bailing out, the way he’s been treated. This isn’t really going down like Pete thought it would. He’s running out of things to be indignant about. “So Kenny turned you down?” he says haughtily. Roger says they haven’t spoken to Ken. Yet. And yes, they want his accounts, but they also want him. Pete, like Roger earlier, isn’t saying anything until he hears those words from Don. That’s so great. Don sighs and tells him it’s not hard to say – they need him. He’s always ahead of the curve. “We need you to keep us looking forward.” Pete thinks. “I want to be a partner, and I want my name in the lobby.” Don and Roger both snicker a little. “There’s not going to be a lobby.” Pete grabs the saddlebag that didn’t exist a couple minutes ago and starts rattling off client names. He’s got $8million right there. Don says he’ll be a partner if he can deliver by Sunday. “We’ll leave the name and the title as a goal,” Don smirks. Don is having so much fun right now. Pete stands up and offers his hand. Don stares at it. “I’m not really sick,” Pete confesses, and they shake on it. “Goodbye, Trudy,” Roger says without raising his voice at all.
Don and Roger are sitting together at a bar, which is kind of a sight for sore eyes. “I can’t believe he was going to leave,” Don grumbles. “Little shit,” Roger agrees. “I need an attorney,” Don says quietly. “Divorce.” “So it’s true, huh?” Roger responds. Wait, what? “Henry Francis,” Roger says, realizing too late that he’s telling Don something he didn’t already know. Margaret is friends with Henry’s daughter, as we all know from the wedding, and apparently he talks about Betty. With his daughter. Who then talks to Margaret. Who then talks to Roger. Seriously? FUCKING CLASSY, HENRY. Who gossips with their 20-year-old daughter about their weird chaste affairs with married women? By name? As Thally would thay, “Jeeth Louithe!” Roger is really embarrassed. “I was going to tell you…No I wasn’t.” Ha. “I’m sorry I told you.” Don is speechless.
Don is also really drunk. He stumbles angrily into the bedroom and violently shakes Betty awake. “Who the hell is Henry Francis?” he demands. She barely reacts. “No one.” He jerks her up out of bed. “Who is he?” Betty: “Why do you care?” “Because you’re good,” Don snarls, “and everyone else in the world is bad.” This is a really nasty scene. “You’re so hurt!” Don continues bitterly. “So brave, with your little white nose in the air, all the while you’ve been building a life raft.” The gentleman has a point, I’m afraid, but it’s not like they’re even or anything. She tells him to get out. “You never forgave me,” he says. “Forgave what?” She hisses. And a point for the lady! She’s never gotten an official admission of guilt, just a bunch of vague apologies for “behaving disrespectfully.” “You got everything you ever wanted!” Don yells. “Everything! And now I’m not good enough for some spoiled main line brat?” “That’s right!” she confirms. Nice one, Betty. He’s furious. She won’t get a nickel, and he’ll take the kids. They’ll be better off. Which is actually probably kind of true, but still. She says she’s going to Reno and that’s the end of this. “Don’t threaten me,” she threatens. “I know all about you.” Button successfully pushed! He grabs her by the collar, and for a second I’m not sure if he’s going to kiss her or hit her. But he just calls her a whore, which, hello, kettle, meet pot. The baby starts crying, and it seems to sort of snap him out of it. “I want you out of the house,” she says. Don backs away like he can’t really blame her.
Pete enters the office with Harry, and loudly announces “Hey everybody! Harry Crane is here!” Pryce says it’s cool, they’re expecting him. Harry’s like “um…” “PPL has been sold. We’re starting a new agency. We’d like you to join us as our new head of media,” Bert grins impishly. Harry: “Are you kidding?” Roger: “Yes. Yes we are. Happy birthday.” HA. Oh, show. Thank you for making the finale so chock full of Rogeriffic awesomeness. Harry wants to call his wife to talk it over, but Bert’s like “here’s the problem with that: this is a secret, so if you turn us down to be a mid-level cog at McCann we’re going to have to lock you in the building for the rest of the night.” Harry’s just standing there slack-jawed as they ask Pete to help them decipher these job sheets, but he has no idea what they mean either. “Can’t we just take everything?” Harry says, apparently sold, and Bert smiles approvingly. That’s not a bad idea, but they don’t know where anything is. “No one knows how this works,” Pryce says, practically begging the audience to say JOAN DOES! CALL JOAN! Roger hears us. He goes off to make a call.
Meanwhile, Don is at home, stone-faced, standing in their newly redecorated living room as Betty herds Sally and Bobby in. Dammit, they couldn’t let this happen offscreen? Between seasons? Sigh. “What did we do?” Bobby whimpers. “Nothing,” Betty says. “Then why are we in the living room?” Ha! The kid’s a little brighter than I gave him credit for. “Your father’s going to be moving out,” she tells them. The both turn to look at Don with big scared sad eyeballs and it KILLS me. “Like when you lived in the hotel?” Bobby asks. “Yes,” says Don, but Betty hurries to clarify that it will be different. Silence. Bobby: “Is it because I lost your cufflinks?” Aiigh, they’re trying to kill us! Sally hasn’t said a word yet, but her scared sad pretty little face is breaking my heart. “No,” Don says, “This has nothing to do with you.” Staring. “That’s not what I meant.” Betty, a little help? No? Okay then. Silence. Yeah, you guys are doing a great job with this little talk. It’s going swimmingly. The therapists of the 1980s thank you. “I love you both, you know that,” Don says. “Then why are you going?” Sally demands. Don says he’s not going, he’s just living…elsewhere. “That’s going!” Sally cries. “You say things and you don’t mean them! You can’t just do that!” She’s starting to cry. I’ve been crying for like five minutes so it’s good to know the fictional ten-year-old isn’t too far behind. Also, yeah, she pretty much nailed it. Out of the mouths of babes and all that. He goes to sit beside her. “You said you’d always come home,” she says quietly. Aiigh, stop it, show! Quick, we need Roger in here with a hilarious one-liner! “I will,” he tells her. “It’s just a different home.” Betty is showing some emotion for the first time this entire episode. And here we go with the “you’ll get to have two Christmases!” line. That one’s standard. “I only want one,” Sally says quietly. She stares daggers at Betty. “Did you make him leave?” Betty stammers for a moment before saying “we both decided.” But Sally is getting too smart for all this. She knows Betty made him sleep in Gene’s room, “and it’s scary in there,” she says accusingly. “I will be here,” Don assures her. “You call me and I’ll be here…” But Sally runs off without a word. Bobby leaps into Don’s arms and cries, begging him not to leave. Betty covers her eyes with her left hand, the one with the wedding ring on it, and I can’t tell if she can’t bear to watch or she just doesn’t want Don to see her. Or if, like Baby Gene, she thinks that things cease to exist if she doesn’t look at them. “Nobody wants to do this,” Don tells Bobby, with a quick look at Betty. “But I need you to be a big boy.” So you know. Don could have said “yes, Sally, you’re right, your mother is kicking me out, hope you like your creepy new daddy” and Betty could have said “your father is a man-whore who stole a dead man’s identity,” so all things considered, it could have been worse.
After that delightful family afternoon, Don shows up on Peggy’s doorstep, hat literally in hand, to try again. “You were right,” Don says, and he says that or a variation thereof more times in this episode than he has the entire series. “I’ve taken you for granted.” And he’s been hard on her, because he’s been thinking of her as an extension of himself. Peggy pretends to be unmoved. “Please,” Don says. “Sit down.” Ding! And he gives her another little speech I don’t quite understand, but I think the point is to underscore how their respective lives have given them a kind of perspective other people don’t have, and nobody else really gets, and that’s valuable. They’re both pretty shiny-eyed by the end of it. “I don’t know if I can do it alone,” he tells her. Peggy: “And if I say no, you’ll never speak to me again.” “No,” Don says. “I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to hire you.” Aww. You had me at “sit down!” Don persuades people for a living and everything, but I’m pretty sure he hasn’t uttered a word of actual bullshit since this whole thing started.
The boys at the office are rifling through manila folders of god knows what, when Roger’s face lights up. “Mrs. Harris, what a pleasure to see you.” JOAN! She looks incredibly happy. “I made a list and I called some movers,” she announces right away. Harry hands a folder over to her and asks if she knows what it means. “Yes. Of course we’ll also need the job bags and logo files and all the film we can find,” and oh my god, how did they ever do anything without Joan? Don walks in with Peggy. “Hi,” she waves. “Joan.” Don says fondly. “What a good idea.” Yay! It’s the superfriends! It’s Ocean’s 8: Operation Manila Folder! Squeee! Pete hands over the accounts he managed to land, including Clearasil, which you’ll recall is Trudy’s dad, who seems to have had a change of heart after pulling his account from Pete in season 1.
Joan wants to start in the Art Department, but the door is locked. ZOMG is this where we call Sal??? No, it isn’t, but our consolation prize is that Don kicks the door in. Roger, Joan and Peggy are at a table behind mountains of paperwork. Roger: “Peggy, can you get me some coffee?” “No,” she replies without looking up. Heh. Bert watches nervously as the movers take down his precious wonderful paintings, and everyone watches as they roll out boxes and file cabinets. Pete has his famous gun over his shoulder. (The one he got in exchange for the extra chip n’dip. So the gun from the first season officially didn’t go off in the third! Suck it, Chekhov!) Don tells Joan he’ll need an apartment. “Furnished?” she asks without missing a beat. “For the time being.” Don and Roger are the last to leave. They take a long look at this beautiful wonderful set that I will miss as much as I miss Sal and Grampa Gene. Don goes to lock the door. “Don’t bother,” Roger says. Don shrugs and follows him out.
The next morning, Don’s secretary looks up from the mail to notice that Don’s office is cleaned out. “We’ve been robbed!” she yells. Meanwhile, Pryce cheerfully takes the phone from Moneypenny and listens to SnJn freak out. “What in God’s name is going on over there?” “Oh, I think at this point it should be very clear!” Pryce grins. SnJn goes on a huge rant detailing all the reasons he’s fired, and Pryce just cuts him off and says “Very good then! Happy Christmas!” CLACK. BRINNNG! Awesome. “Mr. Hooker, I’ve been sacked, please have my things put in storage at this address.” He hasn’t even taken off his coat. “What’s happened?” poor Moneypenny. “You’re a sharp boy, you’ll figure it out.”
The superfriends are gathered in a room at the Pierre. Wonder if that was Peggy’s suggestion? Joan is already office managering her little heart out, mapping out the space: Peggy and Pete share the desk, Don gets the table, media will be in the bedroom with the television. “Accounts gets the bed!” Roger calls through a mouthful of donut. Everyone gets all excited when the phone rings for the first time. Joan grins and cheerfully answers “Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, how can I help you?” Everyone smiles proudly. “Yes, Harry, it’s room 435,” she finishes. Heh.
Back at the soon-to-be McCann office, everyone’s huddled around Don’s secretary. “He didn’t even leave a note!” She sobs. Ken says Pete tried to poach John Deere yesterday – he must have gone with Draper. Paul frowns and rushes to Peggy’s office, which of course is empty. “Dammit!” he mutters. Yep. You lost to a girl, Kinsey. Again. Poor Paul.
At the new SCDP headquarters, Trudy and one of her delightful hats have brought lunch. It’s adorable and everyone’s busy and typing and happy. “Isn’t this exciting?” Trudy asks the woman who slept with her husband the night before their wedding and bore him a secret love child, and who her husband confessed his love to last year only to get shot down. “Yes, it is!” Peggy replies. Pete and Peggy, Roger and Joan, this is going to be home to the greatest workplace awkwardness EVER! Don sneaks off to the bedroom to call Betty. “Bets, I want you to know I’m not going to fight you.” Betty’s brow furrows just the teeniest bit, but she recovers. “Thank you.” “I hope you get what you always wanted,” he says. “You’ll always be their father,” she responds for some reason. Don hangs up after effectively officially breaking up his family, then opens the door and smiles proudly at the new one he just built from scratch.
Betty sits on a plane with Henry and Baby Gene, staring blankly at nothing. Carla brings Bobby and Sally each a glass of chocolate milk and settles in between them on the couch in front of the TV. So wait – Carla’s just going to live there for six weeks? Including Christmas? Jesus! The only thing that would make this tableau any sadder would be if they were watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, but thankfully that won’t exist for another couple of years, since I’m pretty sure that would have killed me. The last thing we see is Don climbing the front steps of his new apartment building, suitcase in each hand, as Roy Orbison tells us “the future is much better than the past.”
Pardon me while I collapse into an awesomeness coma.
That was FANTASTIC. That was the best season finale so far, I think, and it’s probably one of my favorite season finales of any show ever. Just perfect – last week they bookended the horrible family stuff with the goddamn JFK assassination; this week they paired it with this incredibly joyous caper, the excitement of a new adventure, so it went down a little easier. I’m at peace with the divorce now, although I’m not entirely sure Betty won’t want Don back once he’s a dapper Manhattan bachelor again. I was really sad we didn’t see Sal – I don’t want that last depressing scene of him in the park to be the last we ever see of the character, because what? We’re just left to extrapolate that he led a miserable closeted life cruising parks until he died of AIDS in 1982? I don’t like that! And Don can’t really be Mr. Mom or anything, but man, just when I was starting to like Bobby. And Sally! Sally was my favorite person this season. And Carla! I hope they find a way to fit the kids in every now and then. And how about Duck as a red herring? (Mmm, duck and herring.) I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him, or Ken and Paul – they are SCDP’s biggest competition after all.
So yeah, wow. Great job, show. Thanks for being awesome, and we’ll see you a zillion years from now, or next summer, whichever comes first.
Thanks for reading, everybody! It’s been great talking with you guys, and you’ve been so freaking nice – I don’t know what I’m going to do without your weekly affirmations, but I’ll see you right here, same bat time, same bat channel, for season 4!