For seven seasons, Mad Men took us on a tour of the 1960s, undercutting the eras supposed tranquility by presenting characters with inherent urges and failings, before showing the vague discomfort felt by those same characters as they started becoming culturally obsolete whilst trying to guide the conversation about what is and was cool.
Will we miss the characters — the con man who built a god for himself (and his baggage) to inhabit, the glutton who grew a soul, and the ceaseless dreamer — more than we miss the clever dialogue and the bold storytelling? The style more than the substance? We’ll need a little time away from Mad Men before we can properly answer that. But for now, the Uproxx staff has gathered up our favorite moments from the show’s iconic run. We’ll start with mine.
Though I was tempted to go with Don’s recent realization in the McCann boardroom that he was not nearly as special as he thought, or the time that he reminded Ginsberg of his insignificance (“I don’t think about you at all”), or… I ultimately wanted to go with a more personal moment, and there’s none more personal than Don and Peggy’s first last goodbye in Season 5.
Frustrated and finally eager to spread her wings, Peggy tells Don that it’s time for her to move on. There are so many words in this exchange, as Don smirks and assumes this is some kind of game while Peggy visibly braces herself and continues to rebuff his half-hearted apologies and his offers of more money. After a few moments, when Peggy once again stands firm and goes to shake Don’s hand, we see him realize that this is real, and we see his desperation and hear him say, “Don’t go,” as he holds her hand and kisses it gently. She holds back tears and amazingly evades the emotional pull of an obvious plea from a man who’s been like another father to her. It’s an amazing moment, and it’s one of so many from the history of this show. Here are our picks, make sure you tell us what yours are in the comment section.