'Mad Men' Series Finale Recap: Find Out What Happened to Your Favorites In the End!
By Leanne Aguilera
WARNING: If you have not watched the series finale of Mad Men or do not wish to know where Don, Peggy, Joan and the rest of your AMC favorites ended up, leave now. For everyone else, pour yourself a drink, loosen up you tie, and listen up!
It truly is the end of an era.
After seven seasons of tagline pitches, sultry affairs, and an infinite number of drinks, AMC aired the series finale of its Emmy award-winning drama, Mad Men.
The final episode featured one hour and 17 minutes of twists, turns and highly anticipated answers as to where each of our favorite Sterling Cooper & Partners employees (and family members!) ended up.
Here's what you need to know about each of our main characters….
Don: When the finale began, we found our protagonist channeling his inner-speed racer while shacking up with a blonde prostitute in the desert. After Sally spilled the truth about Betty's lung cancer, and discovering that he would not be getting custody of his boys, Don quickly spiraled into a dark, alcohol-fueled mess. Heartbroken for "Birdie" and drunk with regret, Don ended up on Stephanie's doorstep in California.
Stephanie took "Dick" to a place up the coast that seemed to be part yoga retreat and part rehab facility. After a ridiculously heavy sharing circle, Stephanie becomes an emotional wreck and leaves -- thus stranding Don at the center. An emotionally distraught Don called Peggy to confess that he's "not the man" she thought he was, but his former co-worker dismissed his concerns and told him to come home. After being coaxed to attend another sharing session, Don resonated with another man's sad testimony and gave him a tearful hug.
We ended Don's journey by seeing him in a group meditation on a cliff overlooking the beach, He said "Ohhhuhhmmmm," and then smiled. And although it wasn't explicitly stated, we think that Don eventually went back to McCann Erickson and helped create the now-iconic “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” commercial. Why do we jump to that assumption? As the brilliant David Clinch pointed out on twitter, one of the girls in the commercial sports the same beribboned braids as the front-desk clerk at the retreat. Boom! Minds blown…
Peggy: Remember that badass Peggy we saw waking through the halls of McCann Erickson? Well, she most definitely kept that attitude with her because she did not let any of her new condescending superiors bully her when it came to her accounts. And after agreeing to help Joan and Ken write a script for an upcoming Dow commercial, Peggy was shocked when Joan offered her the chance to start their own production company. After some rather blunt advice from Stan -- "There's more to life than work" – Peggy eventually turned down Joan's offer and chose stay at McCann Erickson.
Who was the most elated to hear of her decision? That would be Stan. In a shocking and completely swoon-worthy twist, Stan confessed that he was head over heels for Peggy. "“All I want to do is be with you,” he said. “I’m in love with you.” After hyperventilating for a minute or two, the wheels in Peggy's head began to turn and she realized that she loved Stan as well. " “You make everything OK. You always do. No matter what,” she confessed. “I think I’m in love with you, too. I really do.” They sealed their newfound relationship with a kiss and (in our minds) lived happily ever after!
Joan: Since leaving her partnership with the McCann Erickson -- due to their extremely chauvinistic behavior -- we caught up with Joan this week while she enjoying a sunny vacay with her newbeau Richard and embracing all of the things she's never done before – like cocaine. After her drug-fueled rendezvous, she met up with Ken for a business lunch and he enlisted her help to find a commercial producer for a Dow movie.
Joan then reached out to Peggy's help to write the script for the project and eventually pitched a truly amazing idea: Harris Olsen Production Company -- a new career adventure that would be free of misogynist bosses. While Peggy pondered whether or not she wanted to commit to the new venture, Richard was adamant about his opinions and promptly broke up with Joan when she revealed her new business plans. (Good riddance!) Peggy eventually passed on the opportunity, but that didn’t stop Joan from starting the Holloway Harris Production Company all by her badass self!
Roger: For a third time, wedding bells were ringing for Roger Sterling! The salt-haired playboy finally settled down with none other than Marie Calvet -- Megan's mother. To make matters even sweeter, Roger met up with Joan to reveal that he added their son Kevin as a major benefactor in his will. The two old friends seemed truly happy for each other and for their "little rich b*stard" to be financially secure for the rest of his life.
Betty: After last week's tragic twist of discovering that Betty has an advanced case of lunge cancer, things were not much different in the Francis household. Betty was still adamant in no one in the family knowing her "private" affairs, and Sally was still acting like the most mature one in that family. Sally even called up Don to break to bad news to him and then advise her father to let Bobby and Gene continue living with Henry so that their lives could retain a sense of normalcy.
When Don called up Betty to say that he would absolutely take the boys after her eventual death, she was very firm in her decision: “I want to keep things as normal as possible. And you not being here is part of that,” she said. He called her "Birdie" and they shared tears through the phone. By the end of the episode, Betty was still alive and smoking in the kitchen as if nothing had changed.
What did you think of Mad Men's series finale? Share your thoughts with @LeanneAguilera on Twitter!