The End Begins for 'Mad Men'

By Owen, Rob | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), April 3, 2015 | Go to article overview

The End Begins for 'Mad Men'


Owen, Rob, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


PASADENA, Calif. - AMC's "Mad Men" begins the seven-episode march toward its series finale Sunday at 10 p.m. with an episode that hews closely to series creator Matthew Weiner's notion that although people may change incrementally, often who they are is baked-in and largely immutable.

Sunday's season premiere, "Severance," shows multiple characters dally with the notion of making changes in their lives, only to slide back into familiar, comfortable roles. For several characters it involves potential changes in their romantic relationships; for others it's about possible career changes.

For Don Draper (Jon Hamm), there's evidence that he has made some progress since the show began. His secrecy about his earlier life as Dick Whitman is gone and he's telling stories from that earlier era while in a social situation. Roger even remarks, "He loves to tell stories about how poor he was." That's a marked shift from when "Mad Men" began and Don was full of secrets.

The show revisits a character from Don's past and gives Don reason to ponder his own mortality in a way not seen before. And while that sounds heavy - and, indeed, "Mad Men" can be deliberately paced and contemplative - the episode also makes space for some lighter moments.

Aspiring writer Ken (Carnegie Mellon University grad Aaron Staton) talks with Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) about his future and Ken says he might write a novel about the ad business.

"Nah, this world is boring," Pete says, which should amuse devoted "Mad Men" viewers. "You should write an adventure story."

The focus in Sunday's episode is squarely on the show's core cast with everyone back in New York after assorted tangents that took them to Detroit and California. Some time has passed - as usual, Mr. Weiner asked critics not to reveal what year the show is now in. The only hint I noticed was a news broadcast with President Richard Nixon.

Poor Joan (Christina Hendricks) finds herself on the receiving end of stinging sexist remarks in the workplace and winds up arguing with Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) about gender issues.

It's a dark, sometimes brooding hour, but that's pretty typical for "Mad Men," which emphasizes its characters and their development (or lack thereof) over plot. With its emphasis on mortality, Sunday's episode is a fitting start to the "Mad Men" swan song.

Ending 'Mad Men'

For series star Jon Hamm, the end brings mixed feelings.

"There's no version of this ending that is not super painful for me," he said in January, citing the cast and Mr. Weiner as aspects of the experience he'll miss most. "They've been the single constant in my creative life for the last decade. So that's kind of tough. And, yeah, I will be happy when the shows air and I won't have to fake like I don't know how it ends or make up some ridiculous story about robots or zombies or something. But I will never be able to have this again, and that's a drag."

Mr. Weiner said this season differed from the past for the writers, including Shadyside native Tom Smuts, because they were driving toward the finale.

"The shows became so much more concentrated on these [main] characters because there wasn't a lot of room for digression and I didn't want to leave anything on the floor," he said. "The writers said, 'We're going to have to really, really in a first-season way focus on our main people.' The other thing that happened, and I think it was not intentional, ... each one of [these last seven episodes] feels like the finale of the show."

Keep or cancel?

It's that time of year when the broadcast networks film pilots for fall dramas that could replace existing series. Have your say on what should be kept or canceled by voting today in the Post- Gazette's annual Keep or Cancel poll at http://old.post- gazette.com/tv/poll/default.asp. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The End Begins for 'Mad Men'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.