The final seven episodes of Mad Men are humming along, doing Mad Men-y things as we zero in on our end date. Don is making googly eyes at his daughter’s friends and humping ghost waitresses in dirty New York alleys, Stan has a beard and is humping 60-year-old sexual carnivore photographers, Joan is handling accounts on both coasts and humping grumpy retired millionaires, Roger has a mustache and is humping demanding French furniture thieves, etc. etc. etc. The usual. But as we wind down toward the finale and all it holds for the employees and associates of Sterling Cooper & Partners, I would like to take a moment to remind everyone of one important thing.
It is not too late for Pete Campbell to get eaten by a bear.
Not even close. There are four episodes left. That’s like 170 minutes of actual screen time, and maybe more if AMC lets Matthew Weiner supersize an episode or two. That’s PLENTY of time for a bear to maul and consume Pete Campbell. I mean, how long does a bear attack even take? Sixty seconds? They could do it coming out of a commercial, flash forward to the funeral, flash forward again maybe a week to have Meredith say, “I can’t believe that bear ate Pete. Anyway, Mr. Draper, your 2:30 is here. Shall I tell them you’re indisposed?” as Don grunts out a yes and a thick vapor of lunch scotch, and then roll right into another break. Bingo bango. Eight minutes and done. Everybody wins. Except Pete.
Actually, that brings up another point, and it’s one I touched on in my season preview. Do… do we even still want Pete to get eaten by a bear? I mean, do we, really? Sure he’s still kind of a walking turd weasel, but in the two years since I wrote my original bear-mauling plea, his edges have softened a bit. Maybe mine have, too. It was probably the thing where his overbearing mom got hucked over the edge of a cruise ship by a duplicitous male nurse. Mix that in with a few seasons of everyone from coworkers to train commuters socking him in the face for various crimes of douchebaggery, and part of me feels like the universe might have corrected things enough that bear violence isn’t necessary. Heck, he even stuck up for Don back when Jim Cutler tried to force him out. Pete’s, like, kinda okay now.
But he did just stumble into millions of dollars that he promptly started whining about… and he is still a snide little wiener around the office… and he did basically rape that German au pair back in Season 3…
Yup, disregard that entire paragraph. Bear mauling is back on.
But how? How can we get Pete Campbell eaten by a bear? My original plan involved a bear in a trench coat strolling straight into the office and getting all the way to Pete without raising suspicion because people would just think it’s Stan. That’s not gonna work anymore. I mean, have you seen Stan’s outfits this year? No way a bear pulls them off.