““He was thirsty. He died of thirst. His company sent him to a hospital. I was supposed to be part of the cure somehow, and all I did was observe. I thought he was really getting better and a doctor told me he would be dead in a year. They all would be. I’m going to close my eyes now.” -Lee
Dateline: January 1969 (And there’s Nixon getting inaugurated.) We open our final season of Mad Men (first half) with Freddy Rumsen doing an ad pitch. Yes, Freddy. I know, weird. Where is Draper? Oh wait, he’s been fired. Fine. Where is Sterling, or even Cutler or Chaough? More importantly, why is Freddie doing a total Don imitation?….and why is he pitching it to Peggy?
Welcome to the final season of Mad Men, where nothing has changed, and yet everything had changed. Everyone seems to have swapped places–Freddy is playing Don (even if he’s pitching to Peggy.) Ken seems to be Pete now as head of accounts. Joan seems to be Ken now, rescuing accounts from drunken irresponsible imbeciles like Cutler. Where is Pete? Gone native in California, the only one who is enjoying the transition. After Don pretty much blew his chance to go to Cali so Ted could, Ted’s miserable there as can be.
The only person who is still doing their usual role is Peggy. She’s been passed over for Don’s job, which was given to one “Lou Avery” (you may remember seeing him at the tail end of last season, post Don firing.) Everyone loves Lou…except Peggy. Poor Peggy. This was the worst. This Lou guy is is an old accounts guy, who sees Peggy as barely fit to be getting his coffee. Women in the workplace? Bah! One boss like this, and it’s like she’s gone back five steps. Peggy’s technically got the position, but the glass ceiling just dropped all the way own so far she can’t even squat properly, let alone stand on her own two feet. Watching her be squashed like this, when to me, at this stage she is the heart of the show, is horrifying.