Ted remains unfired — but Ophelia is not so lucky, and neither are some pistols.
Fug File: Fug The Show
First of all, apologies for the minor delay in getting this to you; I know every other publication in the world had their Mad Men pieces up on Sunday night, or yesterday. But Sunday was my birthday and I took a few days off, and I very much appreciate everyone’s patience and hope you all still want to talk about Sunday’s series finale. As we discussed last week, I personally came into this with no expectations. But I loved it; I thought it was beautifully acted, and, for me, wholly engaging and totally satisfying. Never have I cried in two consecutive Mad Mens. And so our final methodology is that I am going to discuss each character in the order that I feel like talking about them. Well, almost. I of course want to talk about Peggy the very most, but it seemed wrong not to end on Draper, god bless him, and the Peggy and Don plot was — as it was meant to be — extremely intertwined there at the end. Will this be the year Jon Hamm finally gets his Emmy? I’ve never seen anyone do such good work against nothing more than the handle of a landline phone.
This show was originally developed around a YA retelling of Hamlet, so I guess the visions of King Simon are finally an attempt to play into the source material (other than naming a girl Ophelia). It makes sense: Mark Schwahn LOVES an informative coma; just not normally one that’s informative to anyone other than the person who’s knocked out in the hospital.
Well, this escalated quickly. Additionally: although this final episode was, I thought, VERY strong and easily the most compelling of the series, I also felt like we were missing some connective tissue in the story. I know that Masterpiece has a way of trimming scenes between the original and the US airings — which drives me bonkers — but I rather felt like this particular episode was counting on the viewer’s knowledge of basic history to fill in the blanks. Obviously, everyone who wasn’t in a coma throughout history class knows that Anne Boleyn loses her head — there is no historical tale used more often to wake up high school students after lunch than Henry VIII and his many wives, and for extremely good reason — but it seemed weird to me from a narrative perspective that we never got a scene where Anne was specifically told it was OVER, for example. That doesn’t take away from how great this episode was, but: LET’S DISCUSS.