November 09, 2009

TV: Mad Men season 3 finale

Wow, just wow. This show constantly amazes me just by existing. When it comes to the scope of the writing, plotting, thematic depth, all done within the breakneck pace that is the TV production schedule, I can not believe it's possible to execute a show like this. This was especially true of the season 3 finale, where everything was turned around 180 degrees to set up for a completely different show for season 4.

I don't think I can do a better job of summarizing then the amazing posts by Alan Sepinwall, which I've enjoyed immensely this entire season.

One thing I do want to mention is that this episode is all about breaking free from the daily injustice of being undervalued, whether it's at the work place or at home. Peggy and Betty provide a beautiful parallel as the two women that have suffered because Don always underestimated their true worth. It's certainly not everyday that people get a chance to stand up to the people who constantly dismiss them, and earn respect in their eyes. This episode gives such a chance to so many of our beloved characters, and while it's sad to see Betty and Don finally reach a breaking point, it's also uplifting to see so many get a chance to start over.

Uplifting was not a word I was expecting to use to describe this final episode of a season that was so utterly bleak, and heading down a path where it seemed the world was truly about to end epitomized by the JFK assassination in the penultimate episode. But I guess that's the circular nature of life, that with death comes rebirth. Sterling Cooper dies, and Sterling Cooper Draper & Price is born.