Good news, “Mad Men” fans—you can finally climb out of the rabbit hole. Season 6’s endless conspiracy theories, Internet debates, and ambiguous storylines will come to an end with Sunday night’s finale, entitled “In Care Of.”
Most of us have spent the last two months sifting through theory after theory, attempting to figure out the implications behind Megan Draper’s wardrobe choices or the show’s constant references to “Rosemary’s Baby.” We’d tell you how much time we spent trying to figure out Bob Benson’s true identity, but it would only be embarrassing.
Luckily, last week’s episode of “Mad Men” put a few of these theories to rest. No, Bob is not a government agent, nor is he some sort of sociopathic serial killer—he's simply a handsome, charismatic schmoozer with a falsified resume. Megan Draper fans can also rest easy—she isn’t an avatar for Sharon Tate. Showrunner Matthew Weiner has already revealed that the Season 6 finale of “Mad Men” won’t include the deaths of any major characters.
Meanwhile, Don continues to blur the line between protagonist and antagonist with his increasingly indefensible antics. During last week’s episode, he nearly revealed Ted’s love for Peggy in the middle of a major meeting, and finally succeeded in ensuring that SC&P backed his Sunkist account over Ted’s deal with Ocean Spray. Still, Don didn’t seem to take too much satisfaction in his “victory”—he spent a good portion of the episode in the fetal position.
Will Episode 13, entitled “In Care Of,” provide a tidy explanation for Season 6’s unanswered questions? Or will it set off an entirely new series of mind-numbing conspiracy theories? Sound off with your thoughts, comments, questions, or reactions in the comment section.
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You can also catch up on our past coverage of Season 6 here. All updates to the “Mad Men” finale live blog will be posted below.
(8:00 p.m. EDT): Welcome to the Season 6 finale live blog, fellow Mad Men enthusiasts. If tonight’s episode produces a moment half as life-changing as last week’s “Infant Don Draper”, we’re in for a wild night.
(8:01 p.m. EDT): For what it's worth, here's the episode description for "In Care Of": "With all the troubles that Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce has had to overcome, Don begins to feel overwhelmed while dealing with a very serious problem of his own, which leads to the agency partner desperately searching for a solution."
Don Draper has to deal with a serious personal problem? Congratulations, you just described every episode of Mad Men EVER.
(8:08 p.m. EDT): Everyone should check this article on season finale predictions, written by IBTimes' Media & Culture editor, Ellen Killoran. The whole thing is worth a read, but one item is particularly worth considering: Could Megan Draper be having an affair?
Megan's budding film career has been a source of friction between her and Don, who hasn't exactly been "Husband of the Year" material this season. As Don grows increasingly distant, preoccupied with his own demons and not-so-subtle affairs, Megan could easily be seeking comfort in someone else's arms. For instance, we keep seeing Megan sneak away to talk to her agent, Jeffrey Hunter, on the phone. Check out Ellen’s article here, and an in-depth look into Megan’s possible dalliances here, courtesy of TV Asylum.
(8:20 p.m. EDT): It seems unlikely that Don will be able to skate through the Season 6 finale without SOMEONE finding out about his affair with Sylvia--even if Sally doesn't tell anyone. From a narrative standpoint, it wouldn't make sense for Draper to spend the better part of the season sneaking around behind Megan's back, only to avoid any sort of consequence for his actions. Megan knows Don better than anyone, and essentially dragged him out of the abyss during his last downward spiral in Season 4. She knows what Don is capable of when he gets restless.
(8:25 p.m. EDT): I'm curious to see what part Roger Sterling, Mad Men's resident "silver fox," will play in the finale. In Season 6, he's mostly served as comic relief--crushing cocktails and dispensing absolutely classic one-liners. During last week's episode, he tried to convince Ken Cosgrave to put up with the Chevy executives' antics by saying, "Lee Garner Jr. once made me hold his balls." You can't teach that kind of comedy, kids.
(8:40 p.m. EDT): Full disclosure: I am a Don Draper apologist. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that I'm not the biggest Ted Chaough fan. Peggy LOVES the guy, in part because he is a "stand-up guy." He's optimistic, manages the editorial team through genuine encouragement rather than fear, and is capable of fostering the sort of compassionate relationships that Draper simply isn't capable of maintaining.
On the other hand, Ted is just as invested in the ongoing SC&P power struggle as Don has been. Why has Chaough been so emphatic in his defense of the Ocean Spray account? Because dropping the account in favor of Don's connection with Sunkist would amount to a victory for Draper, regardless of the fact that Sunkist a far more lucrative option. It's the sort of petty, self-serving behavior that Don is constantly getting bashed for.
And let's be honest: if Ted follows through on his love for Peggy and they sleep together on the season finale, he will have ripped a page directly from the Don Draper Playbook.
(8:52 p.m. EDT): What's your favorite moment of Mad Men Season 6? I know what you're thinking, and I totally agree: the season peaked when Grandma Ida finagled her way into the Draper residence. Sally may have seen through the act, but you can sweet-talk us any day, Grandma Ida.
Sound off in the comment section with your favorite moment from this season!
(9:00 p.m. EDT): One hour until showtime! Start mixing your cocktails...You'll have to start drinking now to have any hope of keeping pace with Draper.
(9:23 p.m. EDT): Call me crazy, but I'm not entirely convinced that the Bob Benson mystery is entirely wrapped up. Pete did manage to track down a good deal of incriminating information about Bob's past, causing the normally composed Benson to momentarily lose his cool. And yet, Benson rocketed up the SC&P ladder by being a great actor; prior to Pete's discovery, every move that Bob had made was calculated, and he's managed to trick Pete more than once during Season 6. Is it possible that Bob is only pretending to ally himself with Pete? It wouldn't surprise me if he still has a trick or two up his sleeve. Either that, or I've read one too many Mad Men conspiracy theories (certainly possible).
(9:33 p.m. EDT): Esquire's Jen Cheney has a very interesting theory about tonight's season finale. Given Mad Men's recent preoccupation with babies, she raises the possibility that Don Draper may be about to become a father again--not with Megan (who had a miscarriage earlier this season), but with Sylvia. Don and Sylvia spent the first half of Season 6 engaged in a pretty steamy affair, not to mention the ill-fated bedroom romp that Sally so rudely interrupted. And remember, Sylvia is religious, and haughtily told Megan that she would never consider having an abortion because of her Catholic values. Don has wriggled out of some tense situations before, but a unexpected pregnancy by another woman would cause the complete ruin of his marriage (or what's left of it).
(9:50 p.m. EDT): The Season 6 finale of Mad Men is just 10 minutes away. If you're feeling the need to break out into a Ken Cosgrove-inspired dance number, go ahead--we're not going to judge you for it.
(9:58 p.m. EDT): Showtime. See you all on the other side.
(10:00 p.m. EDT): They should build monuments to Stan Rizzo's beard.
(10:05 p.m. EDT): Nice to see Ken Cosgrove, scourge of the seven seas, back in action. Here's hoping that eyepatch sticks around for Season 7.
(10:06 p.m. EDT): Sterling may have already dropped the line of the night: "You know what they say about Detroit...it’s all fun and games until someone shoots you in the face.”
(10:07 p.m. EDT): Was anyone else waiting to see if Benson would try his patented knee-nudge out on Sterling?
(10:09 p.m. EDT): Don Draper just got super drunk, blacked out, punched out a minister, and ended up in prison. We're 10 minutes into the finale. Buckle up, guys.
(10:12 p.m. EDT): Wow! Pete Campbell just got a telegram saying that his mother had fallen overboard during her cruise and been lost at sea. Manolo will be devastated.
How do you think Pete will react? His mother has been a huge burden on him this season, but she's also one of the few family members that he has left. Will this tragedy bring Pete and Trudy back together?
(10:17 p.m. EDT): "It's gotten out of control. I've gotten out of control." -Don Draper, on his drinking, after knocking out a priest.
(10:18 p.m. EDT): First bombshell of the night! Draper wants to move to Los Angeles.
(10:18 p.m. EDT): Megan loves the idea, breaks down crying, and embraces Don. Still, something tells me that New York (and Don's personal baggage) won't allow the Drapers to escape so easily.
(10:20 p.m. EDT): Campbell vs. Benson, Round 1. Campbell is convinced that Manolo married his mother, then MURDERED her in order to gain access to her money. I guess good ol' Manny isn't so devastated after all.
(10:22 p.m. EDT): It's crazy how quickly Pete can compose himself when he has "business" to attend to. One minute he's screaming at Bob Benson after the apparent murder of his mother, the next he's schmoozing Chevy execs.
(10:24 p.m. EDT): Pete just drove Chevy's latest car directly into a hotel sign. Not a good look, Campbell. But hey, it could have been worse; this could have happened:
(10:27 p.m. EDT): By the way, can we talk about Peggy's outfit in her last scene? Ted's marriage doesn't stand a chance.
(10:29 p.m. EDT): THERE IT IS! Ted just told Peggy that he's going to leave his wife for her. The only surprise is that it took this long.
(10:30 p.m. EDT): Sally has ALREADY gotten suspended from school, apparently because she got drunk. There's those Draper genes at work.
(10:32 p.m. EDT): Marcus Baram, IBTimes' Managing Editor, just summed up this episode perfectly. Take a look:
Whoa, everything is happening tonight #madmaxmen
— marcus baram (@mbaram) June 24, 2013
(10:35 p.m. EDT): Isn't that sweet?! Pillow talk between Peggy and Ted. Careful guys, your Don Draper is showing.
(10:39 p.m. EDT): This episode is just flying by. Nonstop action. Mad Men at its finest.
(10:41 p.m. EDT): "I've got kids. I can't throw this away."--Ted, on his marriage. "I need you to help me put 3,000 miles between me and her or my life is over."
I guess Peggy shouldn't pick out that dream house just yet.
(10:43 p.m. EDT): Ted wants to go to LA. Don wants to go to LA. I have a feeling this is not going to end well.
(10:44 p.m. EDT): "Hershey's is the currency of affection." Don's Hershey pitch. The man's still got the golden touch.
(10:45 p.m. EDT): Don is currently baring his soul to these Hershey execs, talking about his unhappy childhood spent in the whorehouse. "[Hershey] was the only sweet thing in my life." He's rarely been this open with anyone, including either of his wives.
(10:47 p.m. EDT): What the hell was that? Don just caved in and told Ted to go to California. Between that and his shockingly candid discussion of his childhood, it looks like something big is about to happen. And why the big rush to get home?
(10:54 p.m. EDT): Pete and his brother on making moves to track down their mother. Run like the wind, Manolo.
(10:55 p.m. EDT): Looks like Pete is content to leave his mother out in the cold. #FreeManolo
(10:55 p.m. EDT): Poor Peggy. She finally finds the right guy, and he happens to have a conscience.
(10:57 p.m. EDT): Megan is understandably furious that Don changed his mind about LA. And Don's "We'll be bicoastal" line? Real smooth, Draper.
(10:59 p.m. EDT): Pete Campbell, family man. Come on, Trudy! Just let him come home!
(11:00 p.m. EDT): Wow, Is Draper getting canned right now? Freddy Rumsen took a "leave of absence" once, and he never came back.
(11:02 p.m. EDT): It's official, the board has ruled: Don Draper is out at SC&P, at least for the time being. Major bombshell.
(11:04 p.m. EDT): "This is where I grew up." --Don Draper, standing outside of the infamous "whorehouse" with his kids. It looks like Don is about to let his children in on his secret past.
(11:06 p.m. EDT): Needless to say, Mad Men's season finale did not disappoint. SC&P is expanding to the west coast. Ted finally acted on his feelings for Peggy, only to break her heart by deciding to stay with his family. Don's erratic behavior finally caught up with him, as the SC&P board decided to force him to take a leave of absence, with no return date in sight. And then, there was that final image--Don, flanked by his children, outside of the whorehouse in which he was raised. Is Don Draper done with Madison Avenue? Is he about to forsake his current life and return to his roots, as Dick Whitman? We'll have to wait until Season 7 to find out.
What'd you think of the "Mad Men's" Season 6 finale? Sound off in the comment section below!