Monday, November 9, 2009

Mad? No, I am Delighted! [updated]

I have been a day behind in my watching of Mad Men, thanks to my residence in Canada (we get most American TV but with a few annoying anomalies).  So,  I finished watching the season finale, and was most pleased.

For more, see below the break (thankfully blogger now makes that easier for me) since I will spoil like mad:

Where to start?  For the usual great wrap-up discussion, do see Slate.

Well, Don was a salesman again, pitching his idea--this time to his co-workers.  And mostly, he had to sell them on the idea that he valued them.

Each character got more than one moment to shine:
  • Don showed the many sides of his personality, taking so many body blows in a short period of time (not that he hasn't deserved much of it)--from Hilton, from the company, from Betty, from Sally.  
  • January Jones has received mixed reviews, but I don't understand them.  Her character is complex--we liked her more when she was cheated on than any other time.  Her performance in the attorney's office, her awakening to battle Don, the disappointed look on her face when Don said that he was not going to fight, etc.
  • Roger was great--criticizing the pitch, buying in, breaking news to Don that he didn't think was news.
  • Peggy showed that she was willing to break with Don and the cabal if she was taken for granted, but was moved sufficiently by Don's second effort.  
  • Henry was wonderfully awkward
  • Pete and Trudy were a great team, as always, dancing in business like they danced at the beginning of the season.  
  • Joan was indispensable as always and relishing in it.
  • Pryce was wonderful as well, paying his employers back for their treatment of him.  No India for him this time.  I wonder how his wife reacted to a life sentence of New York.
The divorce was brutally painful since we actually do care about the kids and their parents.  Nice to that they didn't make it easy on anyone.  Sorry to learn that NY divorce law sucked then (and now apparently still).

"Joan," Don says simply when he walks in to find her taking control of the files. "What a good idea."

One last note--some folks rumored that last week's episode was originally going to be the last of the season and that this episode was going to be an afterthought.  Well, I think they were just a bit off !

What a season finale!  Some folks complained about the season, but I really enjoyed it--all the way through.  Just great acting, character development, dialogue and all.  I had a hard time waiting an extra night for each episode and now I have to wait nearly a year for the next season.   Oy!

[Update]: For an interesting interview with Matthew Weiner, the show's creator, go here.

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