Sunday night’s “Mad Men” finale scored record numbers, but it didn’t exactly tie up any loose ends. While Lane Pryce’s suicide and Don’s guilt over it was neatly wrapped up via a $175,000 insurance payment and an extracted tooth, there were plenty of storylines still left dangling.
Still, the season 5 finale, “The Phantom,” did at least mark the end of Pete Campbell’s lackluster affair with Beth Dawes. Her electroshock treatments have her forgetting who he is, although she’s sure he’s not her brother. And to top it off, Pete even got punched in the face by her husband. It was a win-win for everyone.
Peggy was back, in a spiffy red power suit. Her latest movie theater lunch break didn’t involve pot smoking or favors to unnamed men, but instead a kudos from her old boss, Don. He’s proud of her– he just didn’t know it would be without him.
Roger was in need of some enlightenment, so he called upon Megan’s mom, Marie. But the French firecracker wanted no parts of his acid trippyness. He tripped alone and mooned us in the process.
Good news: The agency had its best quarter ever. That means new digs for everyone. Because no one wants Lane’s old office.
Don’s marriage is on the rocks. His wannabe actress wife can’t land any roles, so she taps him to hand her a role in a commercial for Butler Shoes. When he says no she gets drunk and stews. So, like Betty before her, Don appeases his wife by handing her an ad spot on a silver platter. (For Betty it was a Pepsi ad.) And although for a moment he seemed like a proud papa as he watched Megan’s film reel, Don was no sooner at the bar ordering a Canadian Club, with a sparkle in his eye as a stranger asked if he was alone.
Meanwhile, the best – and most telling– part of the episode may have been the ending, as the partners stared out at the view of their spacious new digs, Nancy Sinatra’s “You Only Live Twice” as the soundtrack.
But how significant was the closing song? The James Bond theme was released in June, 1967, but the bulk of the finale episode was set around Easter time, 1967. According to The Huffington Post, the use of the song could be significant, as “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner is a stickler when it comes to only using songs for the time period he is trying to recreate. That could mean we saw a short time jump at the end of the episode. Maybe Don really is alone.
In the Philadelphia area, “Mad Men” can be seen on AMC on Sunday night at 10:00 p.m.