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'Mad Men' Mid-Season 7 Finale: Telescope vs. Television

Paul Levinson Paul Levinson
May 27th, 2014 8:28am EDT

Mad Men

A thoroughly excellent, even inspiring, mid-season 7 finale of Mad Men, in which my favorite scene was the boy showing Sally the heavens through the telescope, which he correctly says is much better than watching the Moon landing on television. The reason, unstated but profound, is that what we see through the telescope is real and unedited, in contrast to what we usually see on television, which when not out rightly fiction is heavily edited and lacerated with commercials.

This serves as a good metaphor for everything that Mad Men is about, the difference between reality and edited reality, and the role of edited reality in selling.   Peggy does a masterful job at this as she comes through brilliantly at Burger Chef. And Don does the same when he talks Ted into staying with the company - crucial in Roger's deal to save the company and Don's job.

I'd expected Joan to support Don, especially after Bert's death, but she didn't quite, and I don't quite get why she didn't.   But it was a pleasure indeed to see Roger put it all together and run with it to success when he was given the opportunity.

Bert will be missed.  Even tonight, he thinks Don is "a pain in the ass," but is more angry that his name was put to Jim's decree without Bert's permission, so he voted to keep Don in the firm.  That kind of quirky but incisive reasoning was a quality in short supply with these characters.

And Bert's curtain call, as a figment of Don's imagination, was just the thing, and a great way to end this demi-season. Robert Morse was a song and dance man, and he sang and danced just great tonight. This episode was fittingly the best of this season, and I can't wait to see the final seven in 2015.

Photo Credits: photo by AMC


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