Mad Men Recap: Everything You Need to Know About the Series Finale
Last night we said goodbye to AMC's Mad Men after 7 great seasons that were filled with twists, turns, and tough topics, like sexism and women in the workforce. Nearly every single episode of the series, which spanned across the course of a decade, was up for interpretation and left us analyzing every move each character made. The series finale, titled "Person to Person," had us asking one big question: What will happen to Don, Peggy, Joan, Betty, and the rest of the gang? Luckily, Matthew Weiner, the show's creator, pretty much gave us all the answers, which may come as a surprise—but a pleasant one.
After Don learns about Betty's terminal lung cancer and that she doesn't want him to take in their children, he reunites with his niece Stephanie. (Were we the only ones surprised that she made an appearance in the series finale?) But perhaps their union was put in place to show that Stephanie is all that Don has. Stephanie's other call of duty? To open Don's eyes more than anyone else ever has. After the two spend time at a spiritual retreat, Stephanie leaves Don stranded, which forces him to, once and for all, find himself.
Following years of scandal, cheating, identity issues, and more, Don lets go of all material things. He gives away his car, money, ex-wife Megan's ring, everything. During an emotional therapy session scene at the retreat in which a man breaks down about feeling alone and unwanted (which was particularly tough to watch), Don feels his pain. In turn, Don gets up, walks across the room, and holds onto the man as the two sob. (May we never carelessly open and close the refrigerator door again.)
Don then gives Peggy a call to tell her, "I'm not the man you think I am." We see a broken Don. A man who looks like he's in such distress that a retreat leader asks if he was under the influence. Peggy advises Don to come back to work and pick up where he left off—she even suggests he could work on the coveted Coca-Cola account.
In the last scene of the final episode, we see a happier, clear-minded Don meditating with a smile on his face at the retreat. He chants "ommm...," and then a Coca-Cola commercial takes over and closes out the series. And that's it.
So did Don rise from rock bottom, get his act together, head back to New York, and create the Coca-Cola ad? Was he finally at peace with himself and his work? The ending was powerful yet enigmatic. On an even brighter note, Don wasn't the only one who got a happy ending.
Roger and Marie look as happy as ever and a reunited Pete and Trudy fly off in his Learjet. And finally ... Peggy and Stan confess their love for each other. The scene, which took place in the office (of course), was a tad awkward but had us on the tips of our toes. Stan went first: He tells Peggy he loves her over the phone. Peggy is in a state of shock—and perhaps in awe when she realized that she loves Stan, too. Stan enters her office and the two kiss and begin their long-awaited, highly-anticipated relationship. For Peggy's last time on screen, we see her typing away—what exactly was she typing? Queue Joan.
As Joan is getting ready to travel the world with her new lover Richard, the two (while snorting cocaine, no less) discuss marriage and plans for the future. Luckily, Joan choses to make the right plans—starting her own company—and Richard hits the road solo. Joan's film company is, of course, the same one that she had invited Peggy partner in. Peggy, the die-hard workaholic stays in advertising, but perhaps contributes to Joan's business on the side, which would explain Peggy typing away at home with Stan (talk about workaholic). We are left to believe that Peggy is working on a script for Joan's company, called Horowitz and Harris, "because a good company needs two names." Horowitz is Joan's maiden name and Harris is her current last name. We love that the show closed with a true feminist, girl-power moment. Atta girl, Joan.