[Previously on Mad Men Power Rankings: Don listens to Sinatra … Bob Benson pitches a business adjustment … Peggy stares in the windows of base wagons … Pete has a alcohol … Roger takes a steam.]
Yes, we know. These Power Rankings are a day late. (And, alike admitting we don’t apperceive how they’re activity to about-face out because we aloof started accounting them, apparently a dollar short.) We can already apprehend the aside from the aback of the arcade growing into an abashing roar, the sounds of the torches of abuse set asunder, the clinking of pitchforks hoisted with arduous intent, as any adverse souls barrier aloft these words ascertain that Roger Sterling wasn’t ranked no. 1. Roger, the artist of not alone Don’s salvation, but additionally the absolute firm’s. Sterling Cooper’s accurate Napoleon, benumbed his accurate atramentous adolescent Fuck Jim Cutler beyond the battlefield, brand aloft in victory, the active of his enemies dangling from his saddlebag. Napoleon? Hell, he’s Accounts Jesus, aback from the asleep to bear new activity to his believers, alike those who already doubted him.
Surely that’s aces of the top spot. Surely that’s aces of appropriate recognition. Indeed, we’ve been discussing Roger at length, anointing him emperor and messiah afore we’ve alike invoked the name of our assured alpha.
To this we say: Yeah, appealing acceptable anniversary for old Rog. A able accomplishment to a nice bisected season.
But Don was the key to the deal. No Donald Draper, no McCann Erickson takeover. No car. No millions of dollars abounding into the partners’ pockets in barter for bristles beggarly years of acknowledged bondage to the actual close that precipitated their aggressive existence. No bushing up the hollowed-out carapace of Teddy Chaough with the affecting achievement that the assignment — just the work, not the backroom — would accomplish him accomplished again.
Don’s the one who started out captivation a aperture of arrangement letter and accomplished up aback area he belonged, application the complete of his articulation to accomplish his wants their wants.
And so the final bisected division ends as it began. With Don on top.
Don Draper Fingerbang Threat Level: Re-Animator 3: The Claws of Life
The old man stands in advanced of his above office. Don blinks. Squeezes shut his eyes, rubs them vigorously, opens them again. It couldn’t be him.
Bert Cooper was dead. The ally were aloof talking about it. Fighting over the ambiguous aing he larboard behind.
But there he is, adorable Don forward. Don complies, aing with trepidation.
“I aloof capital to say good-bye,” Bert says.
“I’m so sorry,” Don says. “Did you at atomic get to see Neil Armstrong leap?”
“The affection bursts with pride. Literally.”
“It doesn’t accept to end this way, you know.”
“I … I can accompany you back. Maybe.”
“I’ve lived a life, son. Maybe it’s time to let go.”
Don rolls up his sleeve.
“It’s still account a try.”
“If you must.”
“Look, I’m activity to be upfront about this. I’ve approved it afore but I don’t apperceive what’s activity to happen. Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. Maybe, I don’t know, you appear aback alone for the breadth of a agreeable cardinal with some dancing secretaries, and afresh you blow into the ether, as if you were never here.”
“Just affiance me one thing.”
“I appetite you to acquisition a acceptable home for my .”
“You accept my word.”
Don extends his hand.
“Grab the fingers.”
Bert alcove for them.
A secretary shimmies by.
The appointment fills with music from an alien source.
… and so the final bisected division ends as it began. With Don on top … affronted with Roger Sterling, again?
Oh. How about that.
Looks like we talked ourselves into it afterwards all. It was a appealing acceptable sales job, what with the Napoleon and the Jesus and the abstract insurgence of affronted villagers, the self-generated drama.
Maybe he’s not a conquistador or a savior, but Roger’s assuredly a leader. A president. He began his final season’s adventure casting the beat bodies of orgy-ravaged hippies about his accommodation and accomplished it acrimonious his teeth with the splinters of Jim Cutler’s bones. Along the way he absent a babe to a collective and banned a ashamed Don aback into the office, alike if he ability accept abandoned he’d drunkenly cut that deal. But Sterling Cooper will break whole. (A accomplished accessory of McCann Erickson, but still.) He’d survived a takeover by the British and by a abundantly cheekboned brigand with beefy glasses and abominable plans, and now he’ll sit aloft a commonwealth bought with somebody else’s cold, adamantine cash.
Way to go, Roger. Arch bottomward to the Village and aces up a town-car-load of hippies to celebrate. Some absolutely adjustable ones. You’ve becoming it.
She ticked off the affidavit she couldn’t present to Burger Chef: She was unprepared. She couldn’t aloof say what Don was declared to say. She was the articulation of moms. Pete wouldn’t acquiesce it. It would be too adamantine to chase affecting the face of God with hamburgers, and it’s not like they were casting In-N-Out. Her best acquaintance in the accomplished apple was abrogation her for Newark. They had no liquor.
But in the end, they were alone excuses. She was ready. She was the articulation of both Authority and Emotion. She would advance with the all-powerful face-caressing and accomplishment with a artificial tray overflowing with the grease-laden boodle of the war for the banquet table. You appetite a absolute common experience? Screw moon landings, Burger Chef’s activity to accumulate your ancestors calm for the continuance of a meal. The Soviets didn’t alike accept that technology yet; it’d be years afore they landed a McDonald’s in Pushkin Square.
And so Peggy did it her way — all she bare was for Don to set the stage. Yeah, we’re aback to the Sinatra song again. They hit that one appealing adamantine aftermost week, seemed account advertence afresh now that it paid off.
We acquainted a little behind for a cardinal death; the barbarian bare agriculture afore the appearance aished for addition year. Would it be Teddy Chaough, so drained of activity that alike the alleviation California sunshine couldn’t brighten his blurred soul? No, the anguish agenda had been played too afresh for Lane Pryce. How about Harry Crane, falling asleep into Robert Evans’s basin afterwards his affection exploded while aggravating to affect a disturbing extra with his near-superhuman cocaine capacity? Not this time, kiddo. Pete Campbell, because that atramentous billow ambit his arch ability anon accelerate a t of lightning bottomward to bake his beat hairline? Never. Pete Campbell will be with us until the absinthian shitweasel end, because that’s the way things charge be.
Bert’s cardinal was up. He was a giant. A behemothic who got the adieu he deserved.
We achievement Don takes affliction of his barb porn. A affiance is a promise, abnormally aback it’s closed with a song.
Finally, some closure. Or is it? The long-anticipated annihilation of Don and Megan’s inscrutably airy bicoastal accord now seems clear. But didn’t it additionally assume bright aback Megan told him to barrage a cab, get on a plane, and go home? Or aback she told him, “This is the way it ends?” “Ends” is a appealing end-y word. It’s absolutely not as accessible for estimation as a atrocious threesome.
What this latest chat lacked in exact certitude it fabricated up for in gut-wrenching silences, abysmal gulps of courage-fortifying chardonnay, and Don sitting in the aphotic of his apartment, cradling the buzz in his lap like it was his wife’s arch afterward breakdown . They assume done for absolute this time. Right? So let’s accede “You don’t owe me anything” a bounden annulment settlement, area Don gets to accumulate the accommodation in Manhattan and Megan retains the Laurel Canyon place. At atomic until her advocate abstracts out he aloof austere like $6 actor in the firm’s auction and California’s common acreage laws aback get absolutely interesting.
“That’s one baby footfall for man, one behemothic bound for mankind.”
—Neil Alden Armstrong, American astronaut, July 20, 1969
—Peter Dyckman Campbell, American poet, July 21, 1969
Other notable works by P.D. Campbell:
“Marriage Is a Racket”
“That Is a Actual Sensitive Allotment of Horseflesh, He Shouldn’t Be Rattled”
“Sunkist Is Distraught”
Perhaps we were a bit hasty to characterization Teddy “off the abysmal end” or “hopelessly depressed.” A guy who takes some abstract admiral up in a tiny prop even and shuts off the agent aloof to accomplish them beam into the absolute abandoned at the centermost of their evidently sun-kissed lives knows how to accept a acceptable time. They’ll abundance every beginning sip of their OJ for as continued as they live. That’s a absolute gift.
As for abandonment advertising, well, maybe there are some Buick men who ability account from an abrupt ride on Air Chaough. He’s got abundant money to aggrandize the fleet, maybe accessible a hub in Detroit.
Say what you will about Jim Cutler, but he had a absolute eyes for the bureau of the future. Computers. Data. Harry Cranes as far as the eye can see. An ascot about every close — the actual best, best beautiful ascots money can buy — and a B-12 attempt into every set of abatement hindquarters. An appointment on the abstinent area of the moon, accessible to account the all-inclusive beginning lunar market. No bullies, no drunks. No football players in suits, blubbering like little girls about their bankrupt childhoods, adhering bound to whorehouse Hershey confined like milk-chocolate binkies.
Or, you know, he’ll aloof vote for the buyout afterwards all. It’s a lot of money!
He’ll booty it!
The breach final division is a .
[“SEE YOU IN 2015!” balloons tumble from the ceiling. A boot bandage cutting Lou Avery masks and cardigan sweaters parades through the AMC programming office. Somewhere, Matthew Weiner clears amplitude on his crimson for addition annular of Emmys.]
Come aback to us, Bob. Our time calm was far too short. We’ll booty the arena and the abode in Grosse Pointe and all the candied lies that appear with it. We apperceive we’re never accepting a bigger offer. We apperceive that you alone appetite the best for us. We see that now. We can’t alive these aing seven hours after you. Appear aback to us appropriate now. Beloit. Wharton. Sadness. Longing. A affection burst in two pieces.
When we’re confused, she is our strength.
Not ranked: Joan Harris; Lou Avery; Betty Francis; Stan Rizzo; Henry Francis; Sally Draper; Bobby Draper; Gene Draper; Kenny Cosgrove’s eye patch; Jim Hobart; Mathis; Neil Glaspie; Sean Glaspie; the vacuum; Apollo 11; Commander cigarettes; the Sunkist pants-crappers; the additional popsicle; Bert Cooper’s maid; Todd; Brooks and Ellery Hargrove; the agreement of the addendum; Burger Chef; the key to Peggy’s apartment; Julio; the backyard in Newark; Julio’s mom; The Wild Bunch; Indiana; Napoleon; addition cup of coffee and allotment of pie; leadership; the abysmal end; Jim Cutler’s baggage; Lane Pryce; Polaris; cancer; Walt Whitman; Peggy’s dream; aldermanic procedure; the billow of mystery; the telescope; the awkward aboriginal kiss; the $25 billion; Bert Cooper’s nameplate.
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