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The Dose: Mad Men ‘Time & Life’ Recap

The Dose: Mad Men ‘Time & Life’ Recap

Kevin Rahm as Ted Chaough, Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell, Jon Hamm as Don Draper, Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris and Jon Hamm as Don Draper - Mad Men _ Season 7B, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: MIchael Yarish/AMC

The Dose: Mad Men ‘Time & Life’ Recap
April 29
22:05 2015

Harrison Long / Staff Writer

In a spellbinding episode, we have begun to see the final acts of those in the “Mad Men” universe, and it is becoming all the more clear no one can accurately predict what will happen in the final few minutes of the show.

As we open, we see Ken Cosgrove and Pete Campbell sitting at dinner. These long time rivals have seen their fair share of change over the course of the show’s progression, and to see Pete attempting to woo the approval of Ken as a client, instead of friend, is a great departure from their relationship of the past, and strange to witness.

A few weeks ago, we saw what appeared to be the end for Mr. Cosgrove, before an act of fate turned the tables and allowed him to punish those at SC&P for firing him under less-than-ideal circumstances. He is trying his very hardest to make life as difficult as possible for those at the agency, and is succeeding dramatically.

As we witness the grubbing of Pete and Roger Sterling, who have at times been less than friendly to the aspiring writer of Ken Cosgrove, it is a mixed sense of gratification.

You know they deserve what he is giving them, but you can’t say you completely agree with Ken’s tactics, or his newfound attitude. He has, apart from a few moments, been one of the most morally steadfast members of the company, and his departure from this role is unsettling. Also, any fan of the show has to, at least somewhat, care about Pete and Roger’s lives too.

We also witness what we believe is going to be an answer to the “Who exactly is Diana Bower?” question, but alas we are left in the dark more than ever.

We watch Don as he attempts to make contact with her, but are left more confused than ever as he shows up at her doorstep only to find two men living there together. It is entertaining to watch the uncomfortable Don as he asks them what happened to Diana, to no avail.

The true plot of this episode comes from the revelation the business we have come to know over the course of seven seasons, which has time and time again come under attack from the outside world, only to overcome and befit itself as a stronger agency in the end, may be on its final leg.

McCann-Ericson, the behemoth, real-life advertising agency which now has controlling interest in the SC&P, is absolving them to bring those within it to their own team. Despite a short-term effort on behalf of the partners of SC&P to possibly relocate the conflict of interests that would inevitably fall into a merger of such magnitude to their west coast office, we ultimately learn from Jim Hobart, an antagonist with roots to the first season, that there is nothing that can be done. Although he has always wanted Don by his side, with attempts to sway him to the ‘dark side’ in a variety of different ways, he now has each of the partners by the throat.

He tells them that they should not despair, however: “You’ve died and gone to advertising heaven,” he says, listing the name of behemoth clients such as Coca-Cola they would now have access to.

This is strange, as we aren’t entirely sure how this is going to play out. Ultimately, McCann-Ericson will have the final say in how the merger will play out, and the result may be less blissful for some of the partners (Joan) than others (Don).

As we enter the final few weeks, it would suit audiences’ best interests to not hold any expectations going into the end. So much can change from episode to episode, and although we think we might have an idea of what is to come for these characters, it has become abundantly clear over the course of nearly 90 episodes that in order to truly embrace the universe of “Mad Men,” you must first and foremost expect the unexpected.

Featured image courtesy of AMC Television

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