Blowhard, Esq. writes:
Someone once said that TV recaps are the lowest form of writing — which is probably true — but why should that stop me? Therefore, I’ll be spouting random opinions and observations about the last half season of MAD MEN. A true superfan would’ve gone back and watched the previous 6.5 seasons in preparation for the endgame, but screw that, there are only so many hours in a day. So I’ll leave it up to y’all out there in BlogLand to fill in any gaps, allusions, and callbacks that I’ve missed.
1. OK, there’s at least one callback I picked up. The opening scene, with various models trying on furs while Don and the team evaluate them, is a reference to Don’s first job writing ad copy for a furrier. The hot model pictured above was played by Andie McDowell’s daughter Rainey Qualley, who belongs in the Movie Star Offspring Hall of Fame alongside Eva Amurri.
2. Roger’s 70s style icon is apparently Colonel Sanders.
3. Literary references include shout-outs to James M. Cain’s Mildred Pierce and John Dos Passos’s U.S.A. Trilogy. Dos Passos is one of those literary greats who largely goes unread now, no? Paleo Retiree wrote about Cain’s Mildred Pierce here.
4. “Apparently hemlines are going up.”
6. The theme of the episode was death and the life not lived. On his way to Divorce #2, Don is living it up with a bevy of young beauties, but Rachel’s death and Ken’s near firing both give him pause. The big question among fans seems to be: will Don end up dying and how? Suicide? Liver failure? Will he realize what a dissolute life he’s lived? What has Weiner learned from the aftermath of David Chase’s controversial SOPRANOS ending? My prediction is the series will go out not with a bang, but a whimper.