Before the last season premiere of AMC’s prestigious, whiskey-swilling series airs on April 13 at 10 pm ET, find out where we left Don Draper and the rest of his tailored suit-wearing peers.
It’s been nearly ten months since Don Draper (Jon Hamm) revealed where he really grew up (in a whorehouse) to his kids while Joni Mitchell‘s “Both Sides Now” played out the Season 6 finale. That’s right — ten months. So we’ll forgive you if you’re a little fuzzy on where Mad Men left all those lovable, dysfunctional ad execs and their wives, girlfriends and boyfriends. Lucky for you, we’ve got this trusty cheat sheet so that you’re all ready to go when Mad Men‘s seventh and final season premieres on Sunday, April 13, at 10 pm ET.
‘Mad Men’ Season 7 Premiere: Things To Remember
1. The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same?
Season 6 ended with one of the biggest gamechangers yet — amidst shoddy work and serious warning flags of alcoholism, Don was asked by the other partners of SC&P to take a leave of absence. And when he bumped into Lou Avery (Allan Havey), a rival creative director, it was clear that the partners intended that leave be more indefinite than Don hoped. Exiling Don from his natural habitat — the ad agency — is one of the boldest moves Mad Men has ever made, and based on Don’s reaction — the aforementioned unveiling of his childhood — it really seemed to shake him back to life. However, Don takes to change like Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) takes to marriage, so it’ll be interesting to see if the once-great creative genius has actually reversed his downward trend.
2. Go West, Young Men
Mad Men has always featured some incredible episodes from the West Coast, but last season was when the shift from NYC to LA gained real steam. With SC&P opening an outpost in sunny California, Don initially leapt at the opportunity (*cough* stole the idea from Stan *cough*) until Ted Chaough (Kevin Rahm) begged Don for the job, so as to save himself from his Peggy (Elizabeth Moss) obsession. Don’s wife Megan (Jessica Pare) also fled for Hollywood, though she didn’t really have a choice after she prematurely quit her soap opera gig and was killed off. It’s unclear whether Don, who suddenly found himself with a ton of free time by season’s end, will follow her, or if he’ll “be alone. With [his] liquor and [his] ex-wife and [his] screwed up kids” (Megan’s words, not ours).
3. Someone Embraced The Sixties More Than Others
That someone is Roger Sterling (John Slattery). One of the eldest partners at SC&P, Roger famously experienced the eye-opening pleasures of LSD for the first time in “Far Away Places” in Season 5. He then brought a completely new personal outlook to Season 6. And with the most psychedelic part of the Sixties approaching, don’t forget about how quickly Roger took to being a flower child.
4. “Aren’t You Lucky — To Have Decisions”
Poor Peggy. As we mentioned before, Ted flew 3,000 miles across the country at the end of Season 6 so that he wouldn’t be tempted to leave his family for her. And then he had the nerve to act like he was a hero for ending their affair, as if he was making a life-saving decision for the both of them. To which Peggy delivered a scalding line that succinctly wrapped up gender relations in the Sixties: “Well aren’t you lucky — to have decisions.” It was as triumphant a moment as Peggy could have had, considering the circumstances, but sadly the end result is that she’s now completely back to square one and completely alone.
5. What’s Up With Pete Campbell?
Pete was basically laughed out of Detroit when Bob Benson (James Wolk) tricked him into publicly shaming himself in front of a bunch of GM executives… because old Petey couldn’t drive a stick, a big no-no for car guys. Utterly defeated, Pete went back to New York and dropped in on his ex-wife Trudy (Alison Brie) and their daughter. While there, Trudy opened Pete’s eyes to the incredible openness of his future (even though the way he got there was less than reputable) — newly divorced, and free of the clutches of his mother, who died in a horrible cruise accident, Pete was tied down to absolutely nothing. He could go anywhere and do anything, and only have to think about himself. Refreshed, Pete packed up and headed to Los Angeles. I know we’ll see a further receding hairline in Season 7, but will we see a new man underneath it?
What do YOU think is in store for Season 7 of Mad Men, HollywoodLifers? Let us know!
— Andrew Gruttadaro