I've been DVRing these shows live but careful to not skip ahead or pause because my cable provider (Bell in Canada in case you're wondering) has the bad habit of clipping off the last few minutes of each and every Mad Men to date. You would think that this oversight would have been corrected by now. So for repeat viewings I have to keep my eye on when the red light does dim and hit 'record' a second time to catch the ending. In this case the ending scene was somewhat important; sometimes it's just vague and unhelpful. I remember hearing the same... my guess (and this is in response to the many posts about this) is that it'll end up with the final season in the wee hours of the 1970s but then flash forward to present day only for a few short scenes. There's no guarantee that Don will be there; maybe he ends up tossing himself out the window as the opening playfully depicts? I love the idea of someone plummeting from a window as the very last scene but it seems the people who make this show love to intentionally do the unexpected as it makes things interesting. I don't know... someone should jump out of a window but I'm not sure who. Maybe joke-a-day Wiener will take the plunge. Metaphors, metaphors, metaphors. I thought of Six Feet Under as well... but maybe we'll see the fate of these characters as the last two seasons progress. I just hope there isn't much fast forwarding past the 60s because they are nailing the 60s in an incredible way. I feel like I've seen enough of the 70s and 80s and 90s elsewhere but this show is dreaming in the 1960s and there's nothing else quite like it.... a decade I never cared for much until this show aired. I'm actually loving the friendship between Stan and Peggy. Didn't see it coming, either. When Peggy left it was so under the radar (Joan knew!) so excepting Don I didn't see Peggy having a relationship with anyone at SCDP was possible. As for Abe... he's her little working tool. He is her lifeline to the young and hip, at least that is how I chose to interpret that final glance he gives her. Here is Abe helping out her lady on a tight deadline, bringing sandwiches and an insight into the youthful (drunk) market for the headphones. I reckon Peggy will have her way with Ted (or vice versa) and dump Abe when practicality is observed. By the way, I think Peggy's overall arc for the next two years will somehow involve a collision course between her and Don. Thematically it fits because she is Don's protégé, but ultimately I think it will be fascinating if they are both scrambling over signing a lucrative account - we know what lengths SCDP are willing to go to as evidenced by Jaguar/Joan. But until all that we're going to see half a season of Peggy working her way to the top at Ted's firm. He certainly noticed her. "You're good in a crisis", etc. I'm kind of glad there's no Kurt and Smitty. I found them kind of flat, but that's just me. Don's cheating means he's finally back to his old, comfortable ways. Was it Faye Miller in season 4 who told Don he 'only enjoys the beginning of things?' Well, that's more true than ever after his obsession with death after the Hawaiian vacation. When things are great he seems out of place. There's really no reason for him to cheat, Megan is essentially his perfect wife, so all the more intense that he would choose to cheat with her. In the opening scenes I remember the word that came to mind was 'paradise'. Here is Don in a tropical paradise of his own with his sexy wife, great food, scored a couple of joints and 'blue drinks in the white sand' and all he can think about is the end! A couple of the characters even mentioned 'paradise' by name. "What is happiness? Just another moment before you need more happiness." - Miserable Don Draper nailing the entire world of advertising on the head. After realizing that he was indirectly responsible for Lane's death last year and his brother's a few years' previous, Don is starting to carry around some serious baggage. No wonder he's obsessed with the end of it all. "Of course! That's what's so great about it." - Stan, on if he noticed suicide being a theme of the Hotel Campaign. Back to Peggy a bit more... I loved the comparison between Peggy and Don's account trouble. Both dealt with unimaginative clients that made the process burdensome; both cited the need to make a great ad and not one that 'anyone else' could do. Like the image of the hotel in the background of the ad for "the Jumping Off Point" or the cute "Lend Me Your Ears" idea that likely would have gone completely unnoticed (pre-internet, how would the masses become aware of a one-off joke from late night TV?) the episode was a case in point on how Peggy and Don deal with the same kind of situation. And Peggy did way better than Don. I like that idea... the Dick Whitman thing. When Mad Men ends, will Don end up starting another life? Is there a reference to "A Star is Born" in this episode? I missed it entirely, though I wasn't familiar with it until you brought it up. But the eclipsing part... I hope to see more of that this season! Especially after Peggy's "sound so good you can see it" commercial airs. Any takers on this bet: Peggy gets an advertising award this year and Don doesn't! It seems Betty's activities this episode were the most mysterious... when she made the uncomfortable rape joke my interpretation was that she was doing whatever she could to keep herself entertained! I think she is a very bored woman. In the end, she was able to both satisfy her own lack of anything to do by coloring her hair and turning on Henry (he loved the new hairstyle!) despite her teasing of him leering at the violin girl. Was anyone else confused as hell as to her origins? I watched the episode twice and had to go to the internet to find out why she was there. Anyway, I hope they have some sort of plan in place for Betty this year because she's been nothing but a background distraction for the past two. I'd love to see her try and ruin Don's life to get back into it but it seems clear that Don is going to do that himself. I think the majority of your annoyances stem from 'setups' that the season will pay off for (although I'm certain that a minor cosmetic change like the stairs will factor into any stories!). Abe is certainly getting dumped and Roger's insanities at the moment provide the show with some much needed comic relief, although you need to be a Roger fan for that to work. This was in many ways a very heavy episode and I thought it was interesting that it was set between Xmas and NYE - again highlighting the intensity of the theme of eventual death. We didn't see a convivial holiday party but people working - and hard to meet new deadlines. Not sure where they are going with the guy in accounts though. Anything could happen. So far the only thing it did (besides confuse) was highlight Ken's ability to be a hard ass, although he was correct when he stripped the guy down in front of the receptionist. Personally I loved the premiere but I couldn't help but notice there was no "Zou Bisou Bisou" moment like last year's - which was amazing! I doubt they will get back together but some alcohol-fueled hanky-panky might be interesting.... leading me to recall: In the final scene when Don crawls back into bed with Megan (from the bed of the doctor's wife) once again I thought of Big Love and how that family used religious interpretation to rationalize from society's view that having multiple wives is perfectly fine... it's unacceptable for Don to have multiple wives but he could if he wanted to. He's got the cash flow to make it work and seems to have the energy to spend on the women in his life. That's what I always thought would be the worst part of having multiple partners is all the running around involved. Is there any chance that Megan would allow Don to sleep around? Probably not - but I guess she'll end up finding out and may cook up her own revenge by banging one of his enemies - Ted from Peggy's new firm? I doubt highly that bigamy will become a theme in Mad Men but I can't help but find the minor comparisons. Sleeping around =/= bigamy but my only point here is that Don has the means if he were so inclined. Sorry for the super-long post. Fingers crossed for some substantial Joan / Pete plots tonight!