MAD MEN SEASON 4 FINALE

After watching the season finale of Mad Men, I don’t know which Draper I pitied more: Don or Betty. Dick’s on the fly popping of the question to find what he thinks will be happiness…or Betty’s lashing out at everyone around her because of her inability to be comfortable in her own skin. Don found someone who loved him for him in Doc Miller…but didn’t get it and told her about his engagement over the phone. Once again, the series went in directions both expected (American Cancer Society, Betty blaming everyone but herself, strange little boy hitting Betty with the truth “Just because you’re sad doesn’t mean everybody has to be”!) and unexpected (Don becomes the new Roger?, Joan keeping the baby, a partner jumps ship). There’s hope for Don at the end…but as his ex told him over the phone, “make sure she knows you’re only good at beginnings.”  guess we’ll see next year. A fantastic season finale to a fantastic season.   — Stormy Curry

As we stepped up to the end of the greatest season yet, I wondered if Matthew Weiner might quit while he was ahead — and abruptly end the series on the highest of notes by shutting down the disintegrating Sterling Cooper Draper Price and sending his characters into the unknown. I needn’t have worried! With a marvelous set of twists that leaves us already drooling for the next round, MM is at once re-energized and up to its old dramatic tricks. Don’s sudden engagement is surely being argued over by fans, but it makes sense: his frayed emotional state leaves him open to impulse, and the relationship was presaged by Roger’s earlier 2nd marriage, as wisely pointed out by Joan in her bitch session with Peggy after Don reveals to the office what he and Megan are about to do. The final scene with Don and Betty (their first extended encounter since the break-up) was heartbreaking. And so pregnant with possibility. Is there the ghost of a chance they will reunite? Add that to Joan’s pregnancy and the company’s resurgence thanks to Topaz Pantyhose — and you have the potential for a just-as-magnificent Season 5. Bring it on! — Jeff Schultz

I’m not going to rehash what Jeff and Stormy have already said about “Tomorrowland”. It was another absolutely wonderful finale for the best drama on TV. There were a few scenes that struck me as examples of that excellence. The spilled milkshake scene was one. Don starts to react as Betty would have wanted him to– with unbridled rage and recrimination. But you can see how startled he was when Megan just brushed it off as an accident and began cleaning it up. The look on Don’s face was one of shock and really spoke to how he fell in love with her. Another was Don’s phone call to Faye Miller.. Her line was probably the most cutting of the episode. OUCH! Henry calling Betty on her shit. Glenn calling Betty on her shit. Carla calling Betty on her shit. She got a lot of shit called out in an hour. Looking forward to what Matthew Weiner has up his sleeve for Season 5. — Alan YUdman

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