A good season finale opens the chest of things you didn’t know you’d been thinking all season.
Tonight’s Season 6 finale of Mad Men did just that. While this season seemed as glacial as Matthew Weiner’s storytelling can get, and the finale wasn’t particularly revelatory (though it wasn’t uneventful), it really clued us in to what this season - and in fact, the whole show - is driving at.
It’s about past vs. future.
The future is volatile. It’s as uncertain as anything can get. Don is so scared of it that fact, he sabotages everything just to maintain some control over it.
And the past, that pesky horrible flicker in the distant background, well it’s equally as disastrous, but in the end it’s just about the only thing we know for certain. Ignoring it only leads to more pain.
In Care Of finds Don finally reaching the realization that if he doesn’t learn to restrain his self-destruction, his life will spiral.