In the last two episodes, Don pursued Diana, a waitress who was as emotionally damaged as himself.
Those effects carry over to this episode, but not in the self-pity we saw when he was fired from the firm.
Now, he’s asking what’s next.
His love life is a failure, but through various moves, he’s sitting pretty at the law firm as an executive.
But where does he go from there?
It’s a question that’s asked, but not answered in this episode. Since there’s only five episodes left in the series, we won’t have to wait long to find out.
The other plots in this episode were on the tame side. Glen, Sally Draper’s childhood friend, shows up to cause some trouble.
We also met a new love interest for Joan. Things start well when they meet, then there’s some turbulence, and things seem to look up at the end.
Had Mad Men aired an episode like this earlier, say season 3 for example, I wouldn’t have hesitated abandoning the show.
Of the TV shows I’ve watched to completion, the last season felt like they were building up to some great opus.
Not with Mad Men.
This season struggled through some very boring episodes at the start to build momentum.
The momentum lasted through the mid-season break only to deflate with the previous episode.
This march toward the ending isn’t an amplification of anything. Instead, it feels like the air is slowly being let out.