Talked About Scene: Episode 712: Mad Men: Lost Horizon AMC


Big changes for Joan, Don, and Peggy in Season 7’s “Lost Horizons”

Season 7 is wrapping up the show quite nicely so far – and “Lost Horizon” helped bring the show that much closer to final resolution. Featuring our beloved Sterling Cooper characters in their new McCann-Erickson building was jarring to say the least. It really underscores how much things have changed now that they were bought out. Don’s checked out and really not getting into the whole cog-in-a-machine gig they have lined up for him. Roger is Roger, Joan is facing some uphill battles at openly sexist McCann and Peggy is taking those challenges head on, with cigarette dangling from her lips and Bert Copper’s erotic Japanese erotic tucked under her arm.

Really, though, Peggy symbolizes how I feel about the show at this point – to hell with it all! The whole McCann plot is overwhelmingly strange and negative for the characters we have grown to love.

Her embracing her new role at McCann could either result in the same flame out Joan experienced or she could be one of those pioneering ladies of the workforce. Who knows. Speaking of which, Joan’s story with Sterling Cooper comes to an end in this episode.

After having a disagreement with the account man assigned to handle Avon with her, Joan is then faced with the prospect of being yet another powerful man’s play thing.

After a series of reminders that this isn’t a progressive organization, Joan is then told by Roger, who takes the blame for her “being involved this far” – another insult – that she should take the money she was offered and go.

Back to Don, who is still wandering and lost, we find him dipping out of an important series of meetings to go to Racine, Wisconsin (of all places) to find this mysterious Diana waitress woman (we still don’t know really who she is) and, lo, he runs into her peach of an ex-husband and his new wife. After telling Don that Diana is basically a mess of a person and to piss off, Don is still in la-la land, pitying some idea of a person rather than the actual substance of someone.

Here is Diana’s ex-husband, who is quite neurotic but we have little reason to doubt him when he says he has “rebuilt” his life after Diana abandoned him and his daughter. Don meets Diana’s living daughter, who she abandoned.

And yet, Don still pities Diana…person he knows nothing about even though he has living evidence of her somewhat questionable decisions right in front of him.

Oh well! Welcome to the new Don Draper – kinda weird and sorta lame. Oh well. Interestingly – Don’s erratic behavior does not go unnoticed by the McCann-Erickson brass who, interestingly enough, are not too keen on this kind of behavior.

Lastly, of relevance, we have Peggy’s story. Peggy spends a lot of the episode haunting the old office, only to come to McCann in style (mentioned above) to her own office. Prior to this she was confused for a secretary, further underscoring how much McCann sucks. Vox.com had an interesting article comparing McCann-Erickson to Breaking Bad’s last season villains par excellence. You can check that article out by clicking on the link below.

We’ll have a more detailed write up of season 7’s episodes soon. Until then, hope you’re enjoying the end of Mad Men!

[Vox.com: McCann Erickson is to Mad Men’s final season as the neo-Nazis were to Breaking Bad’s]