The Mad Men Season 4 finale has a high bar to climb. Not only does the Mad Men Season 4 finale have to end this year right, it has to match up to past finales as well. That is a tough task, considering how past years have come to an end. Last year’s ending cast the biggest shadow, as everyone was stunned and thrilled to see Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce born. But a year later, the new agency is on the verge of collapse, with no clear way out. Yet no one expects the season 4 finale to end with a conventional solution.
Warning: Spoilers follow.
The bleak penultimate episode had Don taking his biggest risk yet to get SCDP some new business after Lucky Strike pulled out. Yet his full-page ad in the New York Times did not go over well in the office, as downsizing began anew. What’s more, problems are brewing at the old Draper house, as Betty is finally set to move – which may be the point of no return for the fragile Sally.
Clearly, the Season 4 finale has a lot to settle tonight. And of course, there are scarce clues on how they’ve going to do it. The only clues in the preview summary is that a “surprising opportunity” lies ahead for Don and Peggy, which will bring about “life altering decisions.”
Since Don and Peggy have been the dominant figures of Season 4, it is fitting they take the lead roles in the finale. But what exactly will they do – can they save SCDP, or will they have to break out on their own? Separating the main group of characters seems unlikely – but so did completely abandoning Sterling Cooper and starting all over.
Tonight’s ending could suffer from the high bar of the last three finales, especially last year’s. After changing everything in “Shut The Door, Have A Seat,” almost any surprises in the Season 4 finale might seem tame by comparison. But since the show does the unexpected so frequently, often with no warning, fans have given up making predictions.
In addition to the Season 3 ending, the shadows of the last two finales are also prevalent. Season 1 closed with Peggy’s shocking pregnancy, and Don’s famous “Carousel” speech. Season 2 had Betty’s pregnancy and one-night stand, Peggy’s confession, the sale of Sterling Cooper, and Don’s triumph over Duck Phillips.
What iconic scenes and images will the Mad Men Season 4 finale bring – or has the well of surprises been tapped out? At this point, the only twist they haven’t employed yet is killing an important character – and fans have been concerned about both Roger and Sally’s state of mind.
The answers will come tonight – and leave everyone hanging for months on end – when Season 4 wraps up in “Tomorrowland” at 10 p.m. est on AMC.
Entertainment Weekly- “Mad Men season finale: Predictions, theories, and Matthew Weiner on Don Draper’s dark year”