Vox now milk and honey

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Betty (January Jones) has kommen sie deal with some bad news on the next-to-last episode von Mad Men. AMC
"The Milk und Honey Route" seems choose a downright strange episode of Mad Men until sie realize what it"s about. That employs a triptych structure, informing three fully separate geschichten that share a comparable theme. This zu sein a structure Mad Men has turned kommen sie often, most memorably in season five"s lovely "Far away Places" (the one v Roger"s mountain trip).

Du schaust: Vox now milk and honey

Most often, the nur turns to this structure since it wants you kommen sie notice a specific idea or theme, miscellaneous that möchte be crucial to die series walking forward. And an the case of "The Milk und Honey Route," the theme is reconciliation — with the past, with a loved one, through yourself.

This is bei episode where my comparison of Mad Men zu Breaking Bad tonnage week starts to feel downright eerie. Choose "Granite State," die penultimate episode des that show, "The Milk and Honey Route" ist one where ns protagonist spends die entire episode several states and thousands of miles away from everyone else.

But wherein "Granite State" ended with Walter White specific he had zu get his revenge, "The Milk and Honey Route" concludes v Don bidding farewell kommen sie both his old self (in the form of a dick Whitman–esque young conman) and his neu self (in the form of his Cadillac). He zu sein finally just himself. Und he seems glücklich about it.

But I"m getting ahead von myself.

Reconciliation 1: Pete und Trudy

Pete und Trudy are an love again? Sure.


Of the three reconciliations in the episode, this was the one ich least to buy — even if it made me the happiest. Given everything we know around Trudy Campbell, it nur doesn"t make sense that she would take Pete zurück with offen arms, deshalb they could go live the perfect household life an Wichita, Kansas.

Of all characters on mad Men, Trudy zu sein the one who appears to lakers the welt with ns clearest eyes. She also tells Pete this. She"s able to remember the past together it in reality was, notfall as she"d like it to be. Whereby Pete romanticizes his life through her, telling his brothers that freundin think something will be fun until it"s not, Trudy can remember the way the made produziert feel, ns horrible feelings that accompanied the end of their marriage.

And yet if there"s a core zu Mad Men, it"s ns idea that even if the characters space unable kommen sie change, hope springs eternal zum them that someone around them could change. We recognize Pete fine enough zu know that he möchte eventually drift into an endless, bored malaise und end nach oben screwing hoch everything anywhere again. We recognize Trudy fine enough to know she can forgive him und might not. Und we know die trajectory des Sally Draper fine enough kommen sie know the Tammy ist going to schutz to piece together a childhood from die shambles von this pair"s marriage.

But zum now, they"re happy. Zum now, that knows exactly what zu say. Wie man Pete leaves his ex-wife — soon, again, to be his wife — to return to the city, it"s with ns words "Good morning." A neu day ist here, choose it or not, and it"s carried some sort of hope through it.

"Good morning," Pete says.


(Worth noting: Don is frequently told in his storyline zu eat or drink up, and then ns episode cuts to Pete doing nur that. Mad males has always ruminated on how Pete zu sein becoming Don bei some ways, und here"s one more connection — and also perhaps a ethereal hint the Pete ist unlikely to change an extremely much.)

Reconciliation 2: Betty und Sally

Betty is portrayed with nearly angelic bildern throughout the episode. Here, she"s in unlikely night visitor to herstellung daughter.


The relationship bolzen Betty Francis und her firstborn child has always been one von the hardest sachen to clock on Mad Men. Sally"s been cast adrift, stuck with a mommy who doesn"t quite know how to love her and a father who loves produziert only sporadically. Both of herstellung parents, stung by relationships v their very own parents the were less than ideal, oase far too much to arbeit out to notice the young frau growing up right before their very eyes. That"s often how it is.

Except jetzt Betty Francis zu sein dying, and that has actually a tendency zu bring these sorts of relationships to a head.

I"ve seen fans of Mad Men grousing around how Betty"s death zu sein a cheap trick, designed zu elicit emotion punkt this late day or, worse, kommen sie heap yet an additional awful point atop a character who has suffered deswegen much throughout die run des the show. But i think this ist a lovely move zum the series. Somebody was going to get lung cancer, nur because des where us are in history und because von how much everybody smokes. Und Betty obtaining lung cancer weird crystallizes everything there zu sein to understand about her character.

There are two images that nicely to mark how viel Betty has readjusted over the prozess of this collection right in this an extremely episode. Bei the first, Betty sits and listens as herstellung doctor und her husband talk around how they"re going zu prolong her life. It"s yet one more important conversation the Betty zu sein cut out of, even though it"s ostensibly around her. But this time, die focus zu sein on Betty, ~ above the teil where she"s do up herstellung mind.

Betty renders a decision, as wanne news unfolds behind her.


Yes, she"s going kommen sie die. She"s not going to try to prolong her life. She"s walking to direkt as well as she can, as lang as she can, yet she"s going zu die. There"s nothing kommen sie be done. And hopefully, she won"t unnecessarily worry herstellung children.

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Except Sally.

It"s tempting kommen sie read the scene where Betty gives produziert daughter ns envelope containing end-of-life instructions as yet another cold momente between ns two. Betty doesn"t market Sally any type of sort von comfort. She doesn"t hug her. She doesn"t also tell Sally that she loves her. This zu sein another instance wie Betty needs to be a great mom und is not up to the task.

But i don"t check out it the way at all. I think Betty entrusting Sally with these instructions is the ultimate compliment she might pay to herstellung daughter, and the can be fried act of love Sally has been waiting zum all this time. Von handing Sally that envelope, Betty ist saying, "I know you tun können do this. Ich trust you zu do this. I believe in you zu do this. Sie are strong, maybe even stronger than me." Betty dropped apart when her mother died; she to know Sally will not do the same. Sally wollen be ns one who holds steady when Henry and the guys crumble. Sally Draper zu sein Betty"s best legacy.

Which bring me kommen sie that second image.

Betty climbs ns stairs, since it"s what she has to do.


Betty climbs the stairs at her college, ascending slowly but surely, not an angel however as close as she can ever get. Why go she go kommen sie school wie man she to know how little time she has left? Why go she ever go in the zuerst place? She want to. She required to. She has become, an her own way, strong. And that"s die greatest example she might set zum her daughter.

Reconciliation 3: donald Draper und Dick Whitman

Don confronts one more ghost des his previous life.


If there"s a key kommen sie this episode, it"s top top Don"s face hinweisen the ende of die hour. The man who always seems to fret now appears zu be virtually carefree. He"s sitting at a bus stop, basically everything he own packed away an a bag native Sears. He nur gave a young grifter his Cadillac, due to the fact that why not? he descended into the hell of his past und emerged unscathed. He zu sein finally a whole man, one who kann return to neu York und put to rights what wenig he has actually left zu put kommen sie rights.

What he doesn"t know, of course, ist that his ex-wife ist dying and that the will oase to step up and be a father to his three kids like never ever before. What the doesn"t know is that some of his many cherished coworkers and friends (who mainly sit the end this episode, which only featured five collection regulars) space stuck bei a fear show. Und what he doesn"t know zu sein that Duck Phillips ist back in town, and that"s hardly ever a an excellent sign.

Now, obviously, Don can never go zurück to neu York. Following episode — ns series letzte — might end with Don sit on die beach in Santa Monica, watching ns tide kommen sie in. The might end with ihm joining a mission to die moon. Hell, that might end (as some suspect) with er becoming D. B. Cooper.

But ich think it ends with him returning to new York, ns closest thing he"s ever before had zu a home. Don"s arc has always been toward resurrection. He"s a living man bearing a tot man"s name, and, as such, he"s always been contempt stuck between life and death, maybe to see the spirits of those who"ve come before. Yet he"s deshalb mired in his own past the he can"t escape it to truly it is in reborn.

To it is in resurrected, though, one has to descend right into hell. And that"s expected going kommen sie McCann and embracing the sort of soulless work he always professed kommen sie hate. It"s expected throwing all von that far on a whim und running indigenous his problems. And it"s expected metaphorically stepping right into his past.

Don slips into die past.


The moment when Don enters the VFW benefit und sees the room decked out favor something out des a World zu sein II–era fundraiser (complete v burlesque dancer) ist when i started kommen sie feel nice confident about where this episode was going. Background repeats itself endlessly here, horrible stories told over and over.

Don it s okay drunk with die men, speak his darkest stories, und is eventually "caught" über them. Don"s nightmare that opens ns episode — within a police officer finally catches up with ihm after chasing him for a good long while — much more or much less comes true. He zu sein found out, also if die crime he"s accused von isn"t one he perpetrated.

So the confronts ns young drifter who did take the money. And he offers it zurück to the hotel owner and exits this small town, a place that isn"t so far gotten rid of from the one where he was raised, und he heads back out into the world, having burned all of himself.

The look at on his challenge as buddy Holly"s immortal "Everyday" plays isn"t dick Whitman, and it"s not Don Draper. This ist somebody new. Finally.

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zu sein that a laugh on Don"s face?


And if the "one month von episode" calendar is roughly accurate, that places die next episode right approximately Thanksgiving time. Through all von Mad Men"s resonances — both within ns show and without — is there a an ext perfect season in which to end this show?

I can"t wait.

Let"s lakers smilin" dick Whitman one last time


Look hinweisen that smile!


No direkte chat this week, but comments room open

As I"m travel on unternehmen this week, i won"t schutz time zum the direkt chat. Yet I"ve left comment open, and I expect you"ll chat amongst yourselves. I"ll drop an as i can!