Why are there going to be rave reviews of the season finale of Mad Men festooning the internet today? Because MM creator Matthew Weiner gave his fans what they’ve been dying for all season, even if they strenuously denied wanting it — that is, liveliness, jokes, action, and even the suggestion of a few plot-line resolutions. SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN LAST NIGHT’S MAD MEN SEASON FINALE.
Yes, the marriage of Don and Betty took a turn toward dissolution. Yes, the children clung to the parent who occasionally shows them some semblance of affection. (That would be Don; I know it’s sometimes hard to tell with the Drapers.)
But after all the agonizingly calibrated anguish that began this season with Sal’s love-that-dares-not-speak-its-name-in-1963 hotel scene, and continued on through Betty’s zombie-like attraction to a man who’s more like a safe father-figure than the safe father-figure she started being snippy with when her real father died, Mad Men finally had to get a little madcap in its season finale to keep us primed for its next batch of new episodes.
The season-ender was directed by Weiner, and it turned out to be an extremely well-choreographed, wacky 1960s sitcom about starting an ad agency, with scenes of slamming-door farce set in the hotel room where the firm of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is taking shape. Instead of going the screw-the-viewers route his old boss David Sopranos Chase regularly travelled, Weiner brought back fan-faves, foremost among them Joan. (You know Sal cannot be far behind.
For the rest of Ken Tucker's EW piece, click here.