Mad Men's ending is as perfect as we could ask, and nowhere near as cynical as it appears.
In the penultimate episode of Mad Men, it's still all about the journey, not the destination.
Mad Men has always been about individuals, but at its end it may be about a changing culture that has little room for individualism.
Every ending is a new beginning…until one comes along that isn't.
As Mad Men ponders the future, the emptiness is a problem.
Regrettably, Matthew Weiner saved one of the worst Mad Men episodes to be one of the last.
At the beginning of the end of Mad Men, the characters—and we—are already asking: is that all there is?
"The Collaborators," and "To Have and To Hold" both deal with different facets of one of Mad Men's central themes: the peculiarly American trait of never being satisfied with what we have.
The man born as Dick Whitman had to die once to escape who he was, and now—as the world has changed unrecognizably around him—the carefully constructed persona he created just feels like another stagnant, stifling identity he longs to shed and leave behind.
Our latest two episodes of Mad Men each feature a major character leaving Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. One leaves in a considerably more permanent fashion than the other, but I'd still be hard pressed to say which departure is sadder.