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Traveling Mad Men's "Time Zones"

A look back at the episode's most intriguing and amusing moments.


Best use of a sweater: Pete's new breezy Cali-casual look.
  • Best use of a sweater: Pete's new breezy Cali-casual look.

Season seven of Mad Men opens in January 1969, just a few months after the events of season six, a very short time between seasons for this series. The culture around the country, SC&P, and especially Don Draper (Jon Hamm), is changing rapidly. How Don and the company react to these changes will be the crux of this final season.

We're going to be taking a different approach on the recaps. Instead of a boring, full explanation of each episode we're going to bring you the highlights and check in on the major storylines as they unfold.


Don’s emotional status

Introspective. Don Draper would seem to be living the American Dream, or at least a version of it. He has a beautiful wife, houses in New York and Los Angeles, and is getting paid his full salary while not having to actually work.

But we all know Don Draper, the miserable, alcoholic, bastard son of a whore will never be happy, no matter if he surrounds himself with shiny toys or shiny women. He’s as broken as the sliding glass door in his apartment. The marriage he thought would make him happy doesn’t. The job he loves is paying him to stay far, far away. The only thing in the world he knows how to do is write a damn fine ad, but he has to use Freddy Rumsen (Joel Murray) as a puppet just to get those pitches out.

This whole series has been about seeing a once powerful man crumble slowly from the inside. It’s been heartbreaking, yet mesmerizing to watch.


Best comedic moment

Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton) throwing Joan’s earring to her, only to miss her by five feet thanks to a lack of depth perception. The white Nick Fury needn't throw things at the moment. And the fact that there isn’t yet a GIF of this makes me lose faith in the internet.

The most disdain for commercial breaks

Matthew (don’t call him Matt) Weiner, the perpetual winner. Unlike every other show on network TV, he never writes commercial breaks into the scripts, which causes awkward and abrupt scene breaks at times.

Best use of a sweater

Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) from here to eternity. That white sweater tied around his shoulders and draped over his back is everything. Couple that with the sideburns, plaid pants and blonde Realtor girlfriend, he’s the sole SC&P exec who seems to be fully embracing the L.A. lifestyle. Aside from their terrible bagels.


Guest Star de Jour

It would be easy to dismiss Don’s first class seatmate as a useful, but expendable, one episode plot device if she weren’t played by Neve Campbell. She was great as the newly widowed woman on her way back to New York from spreading her husband’s ashes. She’ll most definitely be back.

Don’s Truth-O-Meter

High, though not directed at the right people. He can’t tell Megan (Jessica Paré) his true feelings, but a beautiful stranger on a five-hour flight? Sure. He explains to Neve Campbell that his wife “knows I’m a terrible husband” and adds “I really thought I could do it this time.” He can see the writing on the wall.

Peggy Update

Is there a level below zero Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) can sink to? Her stint as de facto creative director of SC&P didn’t last long as Lou has taken over, yet lacks the passion for the work that old bosses Don and Teddy (Kevin Rahm) possess. Lou’s stuck in a generation older than Don where women in the workplace are tolerated and not accepted as equals. Peg's personal life is no better. Teddy fled to California to get away from her so he could protect his marriage but clearly still has feelings for her. To make matters worse, she’s stuck being the superintendent of her shitty apartment building on the Upper West Side (though, if she holds onto it for a few decades it’ll be worth a fortune.) That nice hardwood floor of hers may very well be soaked in more tears in the coming weeks.

Roger’s Orgy Status

Neverending. John Slattery's eternal bachelor knows how to go through a midlife crisis in style.

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