'Mad Men' Season Finale Recap: Don Draper Finally Stops Hiding From His Demons

mad men don draper season 6 episode 13Over the course of Mad Men season 6, we've made our best stabs at what the MAJOR bombshell -- likely saved for the end of the season -- would be. And as it turns out, Weiner didn't really wait for the finale to deliver that. I'd argue, and I'm sure most viewers would agree, that the biggest OMG moment of the entire season was Sally catching Don with Sylvia. Tonight's season finale, entitled "In Care Of," was like a summation of the downstream effects of that ill-fated incident. It was the answer to the question: What immediately happens when Don (or should we say Dick?) realizes he can't run or hide from his truth anymore?

He, and everyone around him, was forced to make some seriously tough moves (both literal and figurative), which -- even though Matthew Weiner argues every season finale ending has to double as a potential series finale ending, pffft -- left us on the edge of our seats for season 7. Here, the top 7 developments and cliffhangers of the night ...


7. Pete's mom married her (gay?) nurse, fell off a cruise ship, and died, and now he's off to California ...?! This is not how I saw the season wrapping up for Pete, but I guess the whole year has pretty much followed his struggle caring for his mom. Like Trudy said, he finally gets to figure out who he is without his parents -- for the first time in his whole life. I'm not understanding how he's suddenly taking off to L.A. He must be going with Ted. Why? Because he shot himself in the foot in Detroit? No matter, because either way, it looks like Pete's on his way to a major identity breakthrough.

6. Joan lets Roger into Kevin's life. After learning he has nowhere to celebrate Thanksgiving, Joan finally breaks down and lets Roger come over and be with his son. She says, "I'm inviting you into Kevin's life, not mine." But could a rekindling of their romance not be far off? (I hope so!)

5. Ted and Peggy finally hook up. After teasing Ted by leaving the office for a date in possibly the sexiest outfit she's ever worn in the history of the show, he shows up at her apartment in a fit of jealousy, and after months of holding back, he's ready to give in. Seemed like an ironic example of how even though Ted's Don's foil, he's still just as fallible as Don -- at least when it comes to sex. Though I really do believe he's in love with Peggy, and that's why he had to ask Don if he could be the one to go to California and run a SC&P satellite office to work on Sunkist. To save himself -- and his family -- from himself ...

4. Don's big move to L.A. turns into an eviction from Madison Ave. After spending a night in jail -- because he drunkenly punched an Evangelical minister for claiming that RFK and Martin Luther King, Jr. and Vietnam soldiers all died as a result of not being believers -- Don realizes he "can't do this anymore." And by this, he means NYC apparently. He tells Megan he wants to move to L.A. to head up Sunkist, and with stars -- and possible Hollywood work -- in her eyes, she agrees and even gives her notice at the soap. But when he takes a meeting with Hershey's and ends up telling them the truth about how he was an orphan who grew up in a whorehouse, it's like a light bulb has gone off. He can't deny who he is anymore. Moving to California's not going to change that. He has to face his demons once and for all. So he tells Ted to go. And he'll stay in the NYC office ... right?

Not so fast. The partners are none too pleased that he sunk their shot at Hershey's, not to mention that he's been acting tweaked out and erratic and an all-around mess for months. They ask him to peace out (okay, not quite like that, but it's almost 1969, so it works) and take some time off to "regroup." No return date. Just ... see ya. Who is Don without his job? Without advertising? Without spin and creative storytelling-bordering-on-lies?

3. Peggy's more than ready to fill Don's shoes. On Thanksgiving, with Don and Ted long gone, Peggy's working in Don's office, which she describes to Stan as "where everything is." Does everything include her future at SC&P?

2. Don and Megan may be headed for a split. Even though California's not in the cards for Don, it sounds like it still may be for Megan .... He suggests to her that they might be a "bi-coastal" couple. She's none too happy with this and scoffs that she used to pity the "screwed up" Draper kids, but now realizes they're "all in the same boat." While she didn't say it and instead stalked out of the apartment saying she couldn't be there right now, you have to wonder -- especially after she asked what they're holding on for, being that they don't have kids -- if she's thinking more along the lines of the D-word ...?!

1. Sally's on her way to learning who her father really is. Last year, we parted ways with Don as he was being asked if he was "alone." This time, he's with his kids, taking them to the run-down former whorehouse to show them where Daddy grew up. Sally looks over at him and a look of recognition appears. Maybe reparation and forgiveness is in their future? As long as Don stays on this new-found honesty track, he might just deserve it.

What did you think of the season finale? Did it meet your expectations? What do you think is in store for us in season 7?


Image via AMC

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