“Mad Men” episode 7, season 7, mid-season finale: Robert Morse exited the show as Bert Cooper in such a classy way. Matt Weiner finally figured out how to showcase the Broadway legend’s real talents by letting him do a number as a farewell– “The Best Things in Life are Free.” West coasters, don’t miss this episode– you will have a tear in your eye. Just lovely.
The whole episode sings, actually. There are other exits, too. Say good bye to Megan as Jessica Pare phones in her goodbye. It’s July 20, 1969 and everyone is watching the landing on the moon. But Don’s deal at the company is in peril. Cutler wants him out. Don suggests to Megan that he might move to L.A. and that forces the question. Their marriage is over. Megan will not get a chance to become Sharon Tate.
At Betty and Henry’s there’s some domestic stuff. Sally is turning into a Betty Junior, sneaking cigarettes and smooching with a boy out back. Weiner gave a nice nod to the Francis household since we won’t be seeing the last 7 episodes until next year.
The heart of the episode is Peggy’s pitch to Burger Chef, her great moment to shine. She pitches the account and wins it with the best speech ever. I liked the fact that the moon landing was taken so reverently as a spiritual moment. It wasn’t just another headline. The whole word stopped to watch it, and worry about it.
So now Sterling Cooper, without Bert, becomes part of McCann Erickson. Everyone is set financially. Harry Hamlin may now be gone as Cutler (we’ll miss him). But Weiner has to start wrapping up characters’ story lines. My guess is Henry Francis is next.
But a beautiful, elegant ending for Bert, and a nice note to end on until next spring.