Mad Men Review: Season Three Finale

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Hello to Sterling, Cooper, Draper and Pryce. Goodbye to Mad Men as we know it.

A new company, a new family arrangement and a new direction for Don Draper were all the focus of the show's season three finale. We've recapped "Shut the Door. Have a Seat" in full and share our opinion on it below...

How do those that criticized the show's early-season pace fell now? Creator Matthew Weiner always said he was laying the seeds for more dramatic action all along - and it all paid off this week. There wasn't a single dull moment, as it almost felt like a different series entirely, with a couple laugh-out loud lines and a quick pace that found Don and Roger making like Rusty and Danny Ocean.

Photo of Don Draper

The season was clearly building to these little conversations/recruitment pitches.

Don's previous outbursts at Peggy, for example, set the stage for both their conversations in the finale: the initial, terse exchange in which she stood up for herself; and the subsequent apology, in which Don channeled Dick and was as vulnerable as we've ever seen him in a professional setting.

Pete, meanwhile, just wanted to be praised by Don, his father figure. After being disappointed so greatly in the opening scene by the man that referred to him as a son, Don didn't hesitate to come through for Campbell when needed.

Let's tackle the rest of this recap/review via a series of pressing questions:

  • Will the remnants of Sterling Cooper find their way back into the new agency? Like Bobby and Sally's reaction to their parents separating, the show depicted both sides of this professional "divorce," making us wonder if we'll ever see Ken and his haircut again.
  • No way it works out between Betty and Henry, right? Right?!?
  • Will Sal join Sterling, Cooper, Draper and Pryce? How many others were hoping he'd be called in to open the art department's door last night?
  • How far into the future will season four jump? Here's to hoping we see a lot of the new company developing, as well as Betty realizing that Henry is just another self-created ideal of the man with whom she wants to be.

More than any episode of memory, the Mad Men quotes were incredibly funny this week. We've listed a few below and invite discussion on your favorites...

Roger: Peggy, can you get me some coffee?
Peggy: No. | permalink
Roger: How long do you think it'll take us to be in a place like this again?
Don: I never saw myself working in a place like this. | permalink
Roger: You're not good as relationships because you don't value them. | permalink
Don [to Betty]: You're a whore. You know that? | permalink
Don: I want to build something of my own. How do you not understand that? | permalink

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Mad Men Quotes

It's been a pleasure working with you all. I wish you the best of luck.


Nostalgia - it's delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, "nostalgia" literally means "the pain from an old wound." It's a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn't a spaceship, it's a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards... it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It's not called the wheel, it's called the carousel. It let's us travel the way a child travels - around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved.

Don Draper