Mad Men (season 7)

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Mad Men
Season 7
Mad Men Season 7, Promotional Poster.jpgMad Men Season 7b Promo Poster.jpg
Promotional posters for both parts[1]
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes14
Original networkAMC
Original releasePart 1: April 13 (2014-04-13) –
May 25, 2014 (2014-05-25)
Part 2: April 5 (5-04) – May 17, 2015 (2015-05-17)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 6
List of episodes

The seventh and final season of the American television drama series Mad Men premiered on April 13, 2014, and concluded on May 17, 2015, on AMC. The season consists of 14 episodes split into two, seven-episode parts: the first half, titled "The Beginning", aired from April 13 to May 25, 2014; and the second half, titled "The End of an Era", aired from April 5 to May 17, 2015.[2] The first part of the seventh season was released on Blu-ray/DVD on October 21, 2014,[3] and the second half was released on October 13, 2015.[4] Each episode in the season has a running time of approximately 48 minutes, with the exception of the final two episodes which are 54 and 57 minutes, respectively.[5]

The first part of season 7 begins in January 1969, several weeks after the Thanksgiving 1968 ending of season 6, with characters dealing with the dynamics of lives and offices being split between New York and Los Angeles, and ends in July 1969. The second part of season 7 takes place between April and November 1970.[6][7]


Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

Guest stars[edit]


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
Part 1: The Beginning
791"Time Zones"Scott HornbacherMatthew WeinerApril 13, 2014 (2014-04-13)2.27[9]
It is January 1969.[8] On suspension after the loss of the Hershey account, Don visits the West Coast to salvage his marriage to Megan, while secretly feeding Freddy copy. Peggy is at odds with her new boss, Lou Avery, who treats the creative team like children and displays an ugly racist side. After a tense first meeting arranged by Ken, Joan convinces Butler Footwear's new head of marketing not to drop SC&P. While Roger is exploring the counterculture, his daughter Margaret tells him she has forgiven him for any past wrongdoing as part of her newfound enlightenment. Pete has embraced the Los Angeles lifestyle, while Ted devotes all his attention to his work. Don and Megan have a pleasant dinner with her Hollywood agent, and their reconciliation seems to be beginning well even if Don will be bicoastal for a while. On his flight back to New York, Don's seatmate is an attractive widow who comforts him when he admits to having been a bad husband.
802"A Day's Work"Michael UppendahlJonathan Igla and Matthew WeinerApril 20, 2014 (2014-04-20)1.89[10]
It is February 1969. Conflict erupts at SC&P on Valentine's Day. Pete wins the Southern California Chevrolet dealers' association as clients, but the other partners, led by Jim, insist that they get approval from the Chevy corporate office. Peggy wrongly assumes that her secretary Shirley's flowers are for her, from Ted. Lou demands a replacement secretary for Dawn, who is still helping Don outside the office and covertly passing him information. Jim recognizes that Joan is working two jobs and suggests she relinquish the post of personnel head and move upstairs to her own office in Accounts. Joan appoints Dawn as her replacement after Bert objects to having a black woman at reception. Meanwhile, Don and Sally bond when he admits to having been put on leave, and she admits to using a roommate's family funeral partly as an excuse to go shopping in Manhattan.
813"Field Trip"Christopher ManleyHeather Jeng Bladt and Matthew WeinerApril 27, 2014 (2014-04-27)2.02[12]
It is April 1969.[11] Don flies to Los Angeles, at the request of Megan's agent, and inadvertently reveals to Megan that he has been on leave from SC&P since the previous year. Megan, upset at Don's deception, reacts badly and throws him out, and he returns to New York. He secures a job offer from a rival firm, which he then takes to Roger, telling him that he wants to return to work. Roger relents, telling him to report to the office on Monday. Don arrives at the office only to be met by confusion; Roger has not yet come in and has neglected to tell anyone about Don's return. Roger, Joan, Jim, and Bert meet to discuss the matter, and the latter three are initially in favor of firing Don outright, but Roger points out that this would require buying back Don's shares in the agency, which they are not in a position to do. Don is ultimately allowed to return, albeit under rigid and draconian conditions which he must agree to in writing, with the threat of dismissal and forfeiture of all his shares in the company for even the slightest transgression. After lunch with Francine, Betty begins feeling like she's neglecting her children, and she agrees to accompany Bobby on a school field trip to a farm. The outing begins well but ultimately proves disappointing to both mother and son.
824"The Monolith"Scott HornbacherErin LevyMay 4, 2014 (2014-05-04)2.14[13]
On a date with Bonnie, Pete runs into George Payton, who tells him Burger Chef is putting McCann in review. Don arrives at the SC&P office to find Jim explaining to everyone that a new office computer will be installed in the creative lounge. Roger tells Don the decision to get a computer preceded Don's return. Roger, Lou, Jim, and Pete discuss business with Burger Chef on a conference call. Ted recommends putting Peggy in charge to appeal to homemakers, and the group decides to put Don on the account, even though Lou feels threatened and says he thinks Don will "implode". Mona and Brooks visit Roger and advise that Margaret has run away to a hippie commune. Mona wants Roger to bring Margaret back, but Roger says Brooks should get her himself. Brooks tries, but ends up in jail. Lou gives Peggy a $100 weekly raise, putting her in charge of Burger Chef. She can pick her own team, which must include Don. She asks Don and Mathis for 25 taglines, each, by Monday. She later vents to Joan that Burger Chef was given to her in the hopes that she or Don would fail. After Bert tells Don that SC&P has done fine without him, Don grabs a bottle of liquor from Roger's office, pours some into a soda can in his own office, and gets drunk. He invites Freddie to a baseball game who later, at Don's apartment, tells Don to sober up and do the work, or he won't get his old job back. Roger and Mona arrive at a rundown farmhouse. Margaret, now calling herself Marigold, welcomes them, saying she's happy now and Ellery cannot be happy if she's not. Roger tries to force her off the farm, saying her son needs her. She refuses: Roger did it to her, so she can do it to Ellery. Back at SC&P, Don arrives and begins typing the Burger Chef tags for Peggy.
835"The Runaways"Christopher ManleyDavid Iserson and Matthew WeinerMay 11, 2014 (2014-05-11)1.86[14]
Stan finds a folder of cartoons Lou is drawing, and the creative team jokes about them. After Sally and some classmates "sword-fight with golf clubs", she is sent home from boarding school with an apparent broken nose. Stephanie, Anna Draper's niece, who is pregnant out of wedlock and running out of money in L.A., calls Don for help. Don asks Megan if Stephanie can temporarily stay with her. Megan accepts, but feeling insecure when she sees how beautiful Stephanie is and by Stephanie's claims to know all of Don's secrets, Megan writes her a check for $1,000 and encourages her to leave. When Betty voices her opinion on the Vietnam War at a dinner party, Henry tells her to limit conversations to "how much you hate getting toast crumbs in the butter". Don visits Megan in L.A. but is disappointed that Stephanie has left. Megan hosts a party for her acting friends that Harry Crane unexpectedly attends. Sensing the awkwardness, Harry and Don go out to a bar, where Harry suggests Don should be working in L.A., because Ted Chaough is "useless" and Lou and Cutler are pursuing Commander cigarettes, a Philip Morris brand. Harry also warns that Don's job is at stake. After the party, Megan involves Don in a threesome with her and her friend Amy. The new office computer triggers Ginsberg's paranoia, which culminates in a psychotic break, leading him to cut off his own nipple and give it to Peggy in a box, before he is hauled away from the office on a stretcher. Back in New York, Don interrupts Lou and Cutler's meeting with Philip Morris executives, who are wary about the agency after Don's anti-smoking letter. Don states he wrote that letter to save his business and is now the only experienced cigarette man with knowledge of the competition. He suggests they "force" him into service. After the meeting, when alone in the street, Cutler glares at Don, accusing him of attempting to save his own position at the firm.
846"The Strategy"Phil AbrahamSemi ChellasMay 18, 2014 (2014-05-18)1.93[16]
It is June 1969.[15] Bob Benson visits SC&P with two executives from Chevy, ostensibly to meet about the still-secretive XP project. He later receives a call in the middle of the night from one of the executives, who was arrested for soliciting an undercover male officer. After Bob posts bail for him, the executive confides to Bob that Chevy only signed SC&P for evaluation purposes, and they will be moving the XP project "in house", but Bob will soon be offered a job at Buick as a show of appreciation. Bob arranges a Sunday date with Joan, tells her about Chevy and Buick, and proposes marriage so he can be viewed as a family man, she can have companionship and stability, and her son can have a father figure, but Joan rejects him. Pete takes Bonnie to New York for a vacation but leaves her in the city, when he goes to visit his daughter in Connecticut. He becomes annoyed when Trudy is not present to greet him and fights with her when she returns. Pete and Bonnie have an argument, and she returns to California without him. Peggy visits several Burger Chef locations and prepares a media campaign that impresses Lou, Pete, and Don. Pete later insists that Don give the pitch to "close" the deal with Burger Chef, although Lou and Don disagree with him. Peggy later asks Don his opinion of her pitch, and Don offers his support, but after being pressed by Peggy admits that a different perspective might be explored. This causes Peggy to doubt the whole strategy and revisit it at the office over the weekend. Don stops by and assures her that her pitch is solid. Peggy then admits that part of her doubt is about having recently turned 30. Don says he also has had his share of doubts over the years and gives her a comforting embrace as they dance to the song "My Way". On Monday, the partners meet and learn the news about Chevy, causing Roger and Jim to argue. Jim suggests that the agency respond by publicizing their IBM computer and announcing that Harry Crane has been named a partner. Roger and Joan object, but the others endorse Harry.
857"Waterloo"Matthew WeinerCarly Wray and Matthew WeinerMay 25, 2014 (2014-05-25)1.94[17]
Jim Cutler attempts to have Don fired for breach of contract, but Don quashes the effort with Roger, Pete and Bert's support. Don phones Megan to tell her of the plot to oust him from the company; she is encouraging that he could find success elsewhere, but rejects his offer to join her in California. Later, the characters gather in various locations to watch the first moon landing. Sally seems smitten with the older son of one of the Francis' house guests, but after a phone call with Don she instead kisses the boy's younger, bookish, and more motivated brother. Meanwhile, Bert passes away on his couch shortly after witnessing the landing. Consequently, Don's status in the company is uncertain, and he decides Peggy should lead the presentation to Burger Chef. Peggy nails the pitch, winning the account. As a counter to Cutler's plans to out-vote Don from the company, Roger holds a secret meeting with McCann Erickson, negotiating a deal to sell 51% of SC&P and make it an independent subsidiary of McCann, with Roger as its president. The remaining partners, all offered five-year contracts by McCann, agree to the deal, with Don persuading Ted that he will be happier under the new arrangement and Jim eventually relenting. Harry, meanwhile, misses out on his partnership. After learning from Peggy that they have won the Burger Chef account, Don has a vision of Bert performing "The Best Things in Life Are Free" with a chorus of secretaries. Don, disoriented, leans on a desk.
Part 2: The End of an Era
868"Severance"Scott HornbacherMatthew WeinerApril 5, 2015 (2015-04-05)2.27[18]
Picking up in April 1970, Don has resumed his womanizing ways as a bachelor. He has a cryptic dream about Rachel Menken and attempts to reconnect with her, only to learn she recently died of leukemia. He also encounters a waitress named Diana at a diner, convinced they have met before, but she insists they are strangers—before both having sex with him. Peggy and Joan attend a business meeting at McCann Erickson, during which Joan is sexually harassed; this results in an argument between Peggy and Joan after the meeting. Roger and Ferg Donnelly fire Ken Cosgrove, who subsequently takes over his father-in-law's position at Dow Chemical and informs Roger and Pete that he will actively make Dow a difficult client to them, out of spite. Peggy goes on a date with Johnny Mathis' brother-in-law. The date goes well, and the two make impromptu plans to travel to Paris, but these plans are put on hold as Peggy cannot find her passport. The next morning she dismisses the experience as drunken foolishness. Don and Diana finally seem to pursue a relationship.
879"New Business"Michael UppendahlTom Smuts and Matthew WeinerApril 12, 2015 (2015-04-12)1.97[19]
Betty reveals to Don that she is pursuing a degree in psychology. Pima Ryan, a famous commercial artist collaborating with SC&P, seduces Stan and unsuccessfully attempts to seduce Peggy. Megan, who is struggling to find work, rejects a sexual proposition from Harry, then accepts a million dollar check from Don, as a divorce settlement. Marie helps Megan move her belongings out of Don's apartment and, ignoring Megan's instructions about the few items to take, removes all of Don's furniture, summons Roger to pay the movers, and then has sex with Roger in the apartment. Don continues pursuing a relationship with Diana and learns more about her: she abandoned one daughter after the other died. Diana ultimately rejects Don because he makes her forget about them. After leaving Diana's apartment, he comes home to find his own apartment emptied.
8810"The Forecast"Jennifer GetzingerJonathan Igla and Matthew WeinerApril 19, 2015 (2015-04-19)1.87[20]
It is May 1970. Don sells his apartment. At work, Johnny Mathis fumbles a pitch and seeks Don's advice. When Don advises him to make a joke, Mathis' attempt goes over horribly, and he blames Don for it, lashing out at him. Don fires Mathis. Joan goes on a trip to California and begins an affair with a retiree named Richard (Bruce Greenwood). Richard initially rejects her when he learns Joan has a child, but later makes amends. As Sally prepares to go on a 12-day school trip, she is unexpectedly visited by Glen Bishop, who reveals that he is shipping out to Vietnam. At first he claims he is doing so for ideological reasons, but later he reveals to Betty that he flunked out of college. Though he and Betty embrace and kiss each other platonically, after Betty admits she's alarmed for his safety, Sally mistakes it for inappropriate flirtation. When Sally later sees what she thinks is Don flirting with one of her friends, she is further disillusioned with both parents.
8911"Time & Life"Jared HarrisErin Levy and Matthew WeinerApril 26, 2015 (2015-04-26)1.77[21]
It is June 1970. What at first appears to be a failure to pay the lease on time leads to SC&P's discovering that McCann's plan is to close down their office and move everyone into the parent company's headquarters. Don devises a plan to move to California as "Sterling Cooper West" and manage the lucrative contracts that conflict with McCann's portfolio. However, Ken enjoys toying with his former co-workers before telling them he won't sign on. Eventually, McCann's CEO lets Don, Roger, Joan, Pete, and Ted know the absorption into McCann is going to happen and they should appreciate their "victory". Elsewhere, Peggy's emotions surge when a group of children are at the office for a focus group. Pete and his estranged wife Trudy (Alison Brie) reunite after a crisis arises involving Tammy's preschool application. After a scuffle upon which Pete socks a pedantic headmaster, he and Trudy find some friendly common ground while pondering their past and future. She reveals regret about forcing him to leave the city for suburbia. Now as a single mother, she's hit on by the men she encounters but notes, ironically, as she ages no one will notice her. Pete tells her she's ageless. Don tries to find Diana again. Joan has praise from her co-workers and a new love interest, but a very uncertain professional future. As rumors fly, Don's secretary pressures him to make an announcement. The partners call the rest of the staff into the lounge and announce the coming move. Though Roger and Don try to spin the news positively, the partners quickly lose the crowd's attention as employees wander away in disappointment.
9012"Lost Horizon"Phil AbrahamSemi Chellas and Matthew WeinerMay 3, 2015 (2015-05-03)1.79[22]

At McCann Erickson, Joan is mistreated by McCann's chauvinist executives and finds that her accounts are being jeopardized by the careless incompetence of a McCann colleague. She ultimately takes her complaint to Jim Hobart, who offers to buy out her $500,000 stake in the company for 50 cents on the dollar. Joan threatens legal action and bad publicity, but eventually capitulates. Peggy also experiences mistreatment; while all her male colleagues and subordinates have been moved to McCann's premises, she alone is left without a new office. On principle, she refuses to leave the SC&P offices until this is remedied, and during the interim she bonds with Roger, who also lingers at the remains of his agency. She makes her eventual triumphant entrance to the McCann offices acting like a brash male: hung over, sporting dark sunglasses, smoking, and carrying Bert Cooper's 19th Century Japanese print of The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife that Roger gave her. Don is invited to a kickoff meeting with Miller Beer focused on how to market the company's forthcoming "diet beer" product (not yet known as Miller Lite).

As a younger employee captures the attention of the legions of redundant admen, with a vivid description of the product's core target consumer (the kind of presentation that Don used to star in), Don quietly leaves the meeting and starts driving west. In the middle of the night, he becomes so tired behind the wheel that he hallucinates holding a conversation with Bert Cooper. After arriving in Racine, Wisconsin, he goes to Diana Bauer's former home, hoping to find her but instead finding Diana's ex-husband's new wife. Don spins a tale about needing to deliver a contest prize to Diana, and is shocked to meet the daughter Diana left behind. His ruse is found out when Mr. Bauer arrives. Bauer tells Don he is not the only broken heart Diana has left behind and forces Don to leave. Don continues driving west and picks up a hitchhiker on his way to St. Paul, Minnesota.
9113"The Milk and Honey Route"Matthew WeinerCarly Wray and Matthew WeinerMay 10, 2015 (2015-05-10)1.87[23]

Don continues his journey West and has a nightmare where he's pulled over by police, who say they've been looking for him. He stops for several days in Alva, Oklahoma when his car breaks down. Don is mildly hustled by a young man who gets an extra $10 for finding him some alcohol, and later Don reluctantly attends a veterans' fundraiser to repair one of their homes. Don becomes nervous when introduced to fellow Korean War veteran, Jerry, but is relieved when Jerry says his tour took place after Don had gone home. Don recalls for them how he killed his C.O. after dropping his lighter, causing a fatal explosion. Another vet shares his horror story of World War II. The vets later discover that the $500 they raised has been stolen. They assume Don stole it and beat him up, demanding that he return the money and taking his car as collateral. Don demands the cash back from the young hustler who set him up, and gives the boy advice about the difficulty of having to be someone you are not. Don returns the cash for his car, and grants the young man's request for a ride to the bus stop. Don then surprises him by giving him his car, disposing of yet another material possession, after which Don waits for the bus.

Betty feels sick while at college and suffers a broken rib when she collapses; X-rays reveal she has advanced lung cancer and may live up to a year, but only if she accepts debilitating treatments. Henry wants her to do that and asks Sally to try to convince her, but Betty stands firm: she gives Sally instructions for dressing and grooming her corpse, and heads back to class. At McCann, Pete gets an unwelcome visit from Duck Phillips that turns into a genuine opportunity for both a career with Learjet and a fresh start with Trudy and Tammy, if they will move with him to Wichita. Trudy agrees.
9214"Person to Person"Matthew WeinerMatthew WeinerMay 17, 2015 (2015-05-17)3.29[24]

In the fall of 1970, Don calls Sally from Utah, where he's witnessed Gary Gabelich's Blue Flame break the land speed record at the Bonneville Speedway. Sally gives Don the news about Betty's diagnosis and states her desire to have the family stay with Henry. Phoning Betty next, Don implores to have his children live with him. However, Betty insists upon leaving them with her brother and his wife, stating they need stability and "a woman in their lives," things that Don cannot provide. Making his way further west to California, Don reunites with Stephanie, who takes him with her to an Esalen-like, oceanside spiritual retreat further up the state's coastline. Meanwhile, Joan and Richard discuss relocating and starting a new life together when she receives a business proposition from her old colleague Kenny. She then offers Peggy a partnership in a film production company she is starting. Richard is displeased with Joan's professional ambition and leaves. Roger tells Joan he is marrying Marie, and he wants to will a large part of his estate to his and Joan's son, Kevin.

Stephanie abandons Don at the retreat after receiving troubling feedback about leaving her child with his paternal grandparents. Stuck in the coastal region with no means of leaving for several days, a distraught Don calls Peggy in her office. Peggy pleads for him to return home and to his job, insisting McCann Erickson would gladly take him back and there is work to be done with the Coca-Cola account. Don then confesses many of his wrongdoings to Peggy and confides that the main reason he called was he never bade her goodbye. After Don hangs up, Peggy discusses her disturbing call with Stan. When the discussion turns into another argument, Stan reveals his true feelings for Peggy, who realizes she loves him, too. She then reveals she turned down Joan's partnership offer. That evening, Don attends the retreat's confessional seminar and breaks down in commiseration with a fellow attendee who feels unloved and unimportant, at home and at work.

The episode (and the series as a whole) ends with a montage of the fates of the major characters: Pete, Trudy, and Tammy board a Learjet that will take them to their new lives in Wichita. Joan operates her new business, Holloway Harris, from her dining room while her mother looks after her son. Roger and Marie sit in a cafe in Paris during their honeymoon and muse about an elderly couple seated nearby. Sally is doing the dishes in the kitchen of the Francis residence while Betty, visibly ill, smokes a cigarette at the kitchen table behind her. Peggy, hard at work on an assignment, receives a loving embrace from Stan. Finally, Don, seated in the lotus position, meditates and chants at the oceanside retreat when a half-smile comes to his face. The show then smash cuts to the groundbreaking 1971 "Hilltop" television advertisement for Coca-Cola, created by McCann Erickson.


Critical reception[edit]

The seventh season of Mad Men received general acclaim. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 87% of 52 critics reviewed the season favorably. The site's consensus is: "Just in time to rekindle viewers' interest, Mad Men gets back on track for one last season, revisiting its steady, deliberate pace and style on its way to a sure-to-be-compelling climax."[25] On Metacritic, the first part of the seventh season scored 85 out of 100 based on 26 reviews; the second part scored 83 out of 100, based on 19 reviews, both indicating "universal acclaim".[26][27]


For the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, the first half of the season was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, Jon Hamm was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Christina Hendricks was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, and Robert Morse was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.[28] For the 67th Writers Guild of America Awards, the series was nominated for Best Drama Series and Jonathan Igla and Matthew Weiner were nominated for Best Episodic Drama for "A Day's Work".[29]

For the 31st TCA Awards, the series was nominated for Program of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Drama, and Hamm won for Individual Achievement in Drama.[30] For the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, Jon Hamm won for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series after eight consecutive nominations.[31] The series received nominations for Outstanding Drama Series, Elisabeth Moss for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Christina Hendricks for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for "Lost Horizon", and Weiner in the same category for "Person to Person".[32][33] For the 68th Writers Guild of America Awards, the series won for Best Drama and Matthew Weiner was nominated for Best Episodic Drama for "Person to Person".[34] For the 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards, the cast was nominated for Best Drama Ensemble and Jon Hamm was nominated for Best Drama Actor.[35] For the 73rd Golden Globe Awards, Jon Hamm won for Best Drama Actor.[36] For the 68th Directors Guild of America Awards, Matthew Weiner was nominated for Outstanding Directing – Drama Series for "Person to Person".[37]


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