It’s time to bid adieu to the end of an era. After seven wonderful seasons, ‘Mad Men’ is coming to a close. Before we say goodbye, HollywoodLife.com is remembering the 10 most magnificent scenes of the series.
It really is tough to say goodbye. Mad Men has captured the attentions of millions ever since the show premiered in 2007. The series finale airs on May 17, and it’s sure to go down in television history. From Don (Jon Hamm) and Peggy’s (Elisabeth Moss) dance to Betty’s (January Jones) letter to Sally (Kiernan Shipka), HollywoodLife.com has narrowed down the 10 best scenes of the series.
‘Mad Men’ Best Moments: Don & Peggy Dance & More
There are so, so many scenes that qualify as great, but I have to draw the line somewhere. These scenes are in no particular order.
Don and Peggy’s relationship has been one of the best parts of Mad Men. Their relationship isn’t built off of lust or sex, just a genuine love and respect for one another. Don has had his fair share of women, but Peggy is the only one he can be himself with. When they both got up to dance to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” they both realized they’re better people when they work together. Any time Jon and Elisabeth shared a scene, it was like the world stopped. The show could have ended right here, and I wouldn’t have had any problem with it.
Peggy and Don didn’t always have such a tender relationship. After months of Don pushing her aside amidst turmoil in the office, Peggy decided to break away on her own. Watching Peggy tell Don she was leaving SCDP was gut-wrenching. At first, Don couldn’t even believe it. When Peggy reached out her hand to shake Don’s and he kissed it instead, you could tell this was Don’s way of begging her to stay.
Jesus, Roger Sterling. Jane and Roger taking LSD was the last thing I expected to see on Mad Men. However, it became one of my favorite scenes from the show. Roger’s reaction to the music playing when he takes off the vodka bottle cap was priceless. This moment in the series also steered Roger and Jane toward divorce — thank goodness.
Betty’s letter to Sally
If Betty Draper-Francis was going to go out, she was going to go out her way. In the penultimate episode of Mad Men’s final season, Betty was diagnosed with lung cancer. She wrote a letter to daughter Sally to open after she was gone. Sally opened the letter, and she finally got the closure and love she’s wanted from her mother all along. “I always worried about you because you marched to the beat of your own drum,” Betty wrote. “But now I know that’s good. I know your life will be an adventure.”
I mean, there’s not a single scene in this episode that’s not genius. Peggy and Don finally saw each other on an equal playing field after this. This was also the first time a true sense of intimacy was established between Don and Peggy. This intimacy wasn’t born out of something sexual, this was something much deeper, more profound. This moment transformed Don and Peggy’s relationship, as they both realized they understand each other.
Don always kept his secrets very close to his chest, but he decided to change that with his Hershey’s pitch. This moment was seasons in the making as Don finally came clean about his past.
Peggy tells Pete about their baby
Pete and Peggy have always had one of the strongest connections on the show, even though they weren’t necessarily interacting with each other. It was the simple glances and stares that have summed up a lot of Pete and Peggy’s feelings. However, in season two, Pete and Peggy opened up. He pledged his love for her, and she dropped a bombshell on him.
“I could have had you in my life forever if I wanted to,” she said. “I could have had you. I could have shamed you into being with me. But I didn’t want to. I had your baby, and I gave it away. I wanted other things.”
The fact that Elisabeth and Vincent Kartheiser didn’t win Emmys for this scene alone still baffles me.
Don visits Peggy after she has her baby
I know, I know. I have a lot of Don and Peggy scenes. Hate me for it. One of the greatest flashbacks on the show was when we discovered that Don had visited Peggy in the hospital after she’d had her secret baby. This scene was so hauntingly beautiful. Don could read the fear on Peggy’s face about how this scandal could ruin her career. Her looked at her and said, “This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened.”
Lane punching the daylights out of Pete was simply karma. It was punishment for being a total tool. However, this was also a crushing defeat for Pete’s ego. Pete thrives off doing well in the workplace, and for him to be made a mockery of like that brutally hurt Pete’s soul. This was evident when Pete told Don, “I have nothing.” This was also quite possibly the last time Lane was fully in charge until his tragic suicide at the end of season five.
This scene may have not been the best decision on the behalf of Mad Men’s finest, but the way the scene was juxtaposed was brilliant. Pete had basically told Joan that SCDP wouldn’t get the Jaguar account if she didn’t sleep with one of their guys. Don was shocked by Pete’s proposal and went to Joan to tell her not to take the bait. Initially, it looked like Don had gotten to her in the knick of time, but no. Poor Joan. But, hey, at least she became a partner. She knew how to drive a hard bargain.
HollywoodLifers, what was your favorite Mad Men moment? Let me know!
— Avery Thompson