Tonight we say goodbye to Mad Men. For me, despite the title, the show has ALWAYS been about the women. It’s been about their struggles to find love, respect, acceptance, and their places in a male dominated society. They all represent archetypes. Betty the icy housewife, Trudy the perfect one. Peggy the career girl. Joan the bombshell. But what has been so BRILLIANT about Mad Men is that it peeled back the layers of all these stereotypes and created REAL women with layers and complexity. None of them are as they seem. They all yearn for something more than what they have. And they all had awesome moments throughout the series. Let’s celebrate some of them, shall we?
1) Joan shows off for the two-way mirror.
My favorite thing is the “fuck you” expression on her face to all the men she KNOWS are ogling her. As En Vogue would say “Never gonna get it…my lovin’, no you’re never gonna get it”.
2) Peggy Olson, Boss Bitch
I feel like, despite its title and protagonist, Mad Men has ALWAYS been Peggy’s journey. She’s definitely had the most SATISFYING character arc. We’ve watched her blossom from a naive girl with zero confidence to a powerful woman who knows what she wants and goes after it. Peggy makes a lot of mistakes but she never lets them break her. She never takes her eye off the prize. She IS the person you need to impress right now.
3) Megan sings Zou Bisou Bisou
4) Betty and the Gun
Sage and I were talking about this scene last night and she astutely pointed out that it was all about Betty taking back her power. She KNEW Don was cheating and Don sent her to a shrink to try to convince her she was making it all up. She did this to remind herself she was anything BUT.
5) Trudy Campbell kicks Pete to the curb.
6) Sally demands truth.
Sally may just be the most together person on the whole show and she has been since she was a little girl.
7) Bobbi Barrett, feminist queen.
All of the women of Mad Men faced various forms of sexism. Joan often took the brunt of it because of her body, her confidence, and the fact that she OWNED her sexuality and power as a woman. She didn’t just own it, she demanded that she be respected BECAUSE of it.
9) Betty speaks Italian.
10) Peggy changes the conversation.
My favorite thing about Peggy is that she absorbed all the best things about Don Draper and his brilliance in the workplace and then made it her own.
11) Trudy steals the show at Roger’s Wedding.
Pete does too, I guess. But really, it’s all about Trudy’s dress, giant smile, bad ass hat, and smoking dance moves. Look at the way Pete GAZES at her.
12) Joan has no patience for idiots.
Quite possibly my favorite outburst of all time.
13) Sally has had it with her parents.
It’s amazing that Sally has turned out the way she has considering her parents. We all go through those moments where we swear we won’t end up like our parents. Sally’s look of disgust as Betty drooled over Glen and Don slobbered over her friend at dinner and her subsequent declaration to her father at the bus station left me applauding on my couch. She’s already more like Betty than she thinks. It’s why Betty entrusts her daughter with the instructions for carrying out her funeral. It’s the biggest compliment Betty could have given her really. But despite everything, Sally still marches to her own drum and carries the fierce determination that she’ll be better than her parents. I believe her.
14) Peggy knows her limitations.
I tell myself this most days.
15) Joan ends an argument.
The fact that Joan married Greg Harris, a man who raped her in Don’s office, was one of the hardest pills for me to swallow over the course of the series. It was a sign of the times that she would do that but it was devastating to see him crush her spirit. You can’t keep Joanie down for long though and he slow build of rage towards him not being the man she thought he was ended up being one of the most satisfying arcs of the series. She NEVER forgot what he did to her.
Plus there is this.
16) Joan kicks Greg out.
For all her rage, Joan’s marriage finally ended quietly. No yelling or vase smashing. Just Joan quietly telling him to get out because he was never a good man and he never will be. As he leaves, you see all that has been weighing her down leave as she subtly tilts up her chin. HOW DOES THIS WOMAN NOT HAVE AN EMMY?
17) Don doesn’t owe Megan anything.
This moment was negated JUST A BIT in Megan’s final episode where Don ended up writing her a check for a million dollars. But in this moment, I loved Megan’s quiet acceptance of the fact that her marriage was over. She knew it before Don did and she was the one who gently let him off the hook. It was an incredibly strong thing to do.
18) Joan turns down Bob’s proposal.
After her marriage ended, Joanie knew what she wanted. It’s what she’s always wanted, really. Love. Love from a man who is her equal, who doesn’t make her feel small or unimportant. Love from a man she respects. Bob offered her the security that she thought she had wanted but it wasn’t enough for her with out all-consuming LOVE.
19) Peggy officially gives no fucks.
I’ll be devastated if Peggy is not in the finale because like I said, I have always felt like Mad Men was really HER story. But man…what a final shot this would be if this WAS the last time we saw her. Strutting down the halls of the new office wearing shades to mask her hangover. Cigarette dangling from her smirking lips as she totes a painting of an octopus pleasuring a woman. Bad. Ass. Bitch.
20) Bonnie shuts Pete down.
Life philosophy, ladies.
What are YOUR favorite moments for the Mad Men ladies? Let us know in the comments!