"Retreat Don Draper" Is Our New Life Concept Forever


On Wednesday we watched the Mad Men season finale on the phone together and talked for three hours about how we're going to be exactly like Don Draper at the retreat from now on. Here's a partial transcript of RetreatDonCon.

LJ: You really called it on Don Draper not falling off a building.

LIZ: Well, I had a feeling.

LJ: Yeah - some gut feeling that the people who make the show aren't complete loser-idiots.

LJ: Don's basically the hottest he's ever looked here. I like how he's really '50s. 

LIZ: I like how there's finally some Doors on Mad Men.

LJ: Yeah, I don't really care about The Doors, but I thought it was a cool "We're in the '70s now" move.

LJ: Stan's jacket here is in the running for Outfit of the Week. I wish I could understand the exact 2015 equivalent of what it would mean to wear that. Would he be hip-hop, kind of? I don't even understand how people dress anymore.

LIZ: I don't care about this woman in bed with Don.

LJ: Yeah, we've sat through seven seasons of this. I need a little more than Don Draper having promiscuous sex with a hot blonde woman. I guess I'm happy that there's no Diana in this episode. It makes a bit more sense now that he was really just fixating on her unhealthily because he felt lost and he was putting it all on her. That checks out.

LIZ: Joan is the cutest person on coke ever in the world. I like how she's impressed by the efficiency of it. "Oh, it's so fast!" 

LJ: "Just like Harry Crane's computer! Just like a great secretary!" I also like that cocaine weaseled its way into Mad Men, like The Doors.

LIZ: Her boyfriend is so gross. That's such a gross positioning of his body.

LJ: He makes chillness so disgusting.

LJ: Peggy looks so cute this entire episode. She's so frumpy the entire series and then she finally just busts it out.

LIZ: I love all the cats on Bert's painting. And this is really cute too, her and Pete.

LJ: Harry Crane looks the best he's ever looked. He looks bad-ass.

LIZ: He eats that nice cookie. He's winning.

LIZ: I'm glad we got to see Pete again, I thought he was gone for good.

LJ: Yeah, I needed that. They just let us see them all again. 

LIZ: They really indulged us. After I watched it I was like, "Oh, Matthew Weiner's so nice! He was so nice to us." 

LJ: He really gets what lame losers we all are. We need it so bad.

LJ: Why doesn't Betty want Gene and Bobby to live with Henry Francis?

LIZ: Because she wants them to have a woman around.

LJ: Betty's so vengeful. "I'm dying, I'm gonna create drama with my husband." That's so unnecessary. But then it's like, Henry Francis probably doesn't have time.

LIZ: He's busy with Rocky. 

LJ: He's out there Rockafeller-ing it up.

LJ: I like how Don's kind of bullshitting right now. She's like, "Don't come home" and he's like "Okay! Cool, I'm over it!"

LIZ: Yeah, I relate to that in some ways.

LJ: I really started super-relating to Don once he's at the retreat. I feel like my whole vibe for life is just "Don at the Retreat" from now on. That's what I'm going to give the world in every situation. 

LJ: I'm so sad about how I'm not going to get to see his hot face and Don Draper-y personal style anymore. 

LIZ: Yeah, now all we have is just Jon Hamm. Stupid.

LJ: Stupid. Stupid Jon Hamm.

LIZ: I love this moment when he just says her name. So perfect.

LJ: Oh, they love each other. She nods and he can't see it. That's such good acting on January Jones's behalf.

LJ: Poor Don. Imagine you just abandoned your whole life and family, and then on top of everything you find out that your ex-wife who you have a fucked-up relationship with is dying? This is the last thing he needs.

LJ: We even get to see Kenny again. That's how nice our friend Matt is.

LIZ: I love Ken's last line, about something being wrong with his kid.

LJ: He's so happy-go-lucky. 

LIZ: He's like, "Whatever! There's just something wrong with my kid!"

LJ: "I have no eye, my child has a disability. It's fine. I'll just keep living." He's so cute. He's definitely the one I'd be most likely to date in real life.

LIZ: He's redeemed himself since "snort"?

LJ: My nerdy boyfriend says stuff like "snort" all the time. It's just my life. I texted him something the other day and he texted back "Whoopee!" So yeah, I'll take "snort." 

LJ: I hate Kevin. He's my least favorite Mad Men child.

LIZ: Mine was Bobby Draper, but I guess I like him now, because of when he tried to make the grilled-cheese sandwiches. I don't like Gene that much, though.

LJ: I love Gene! He talked in this episode; that was a big deal for me.

LIZ: It's so funny that at some point Don was like, "I'm gonna go buy a denim jacket lined with flannel."

LJ: Like, "This is my new life. This is my new fashion concept." But he probably looks lame to them. He's so old-fashioned. It's like some 40-year-old man in 2015 dressing all grunge while having his mid-life crisis.

LIZ: I didn't get that he was dressing '50s 'til you pointed it out. But he never got to live it up in the '50s so now he's like, "Here I am, I'm a greaser."

LIZ: Ugh, Stephanie's gonna make him a can of stew. She really goes all out.

LJ: Yeah, aren't you a hippie, Stephanie? Get better food. Make some brown rice.

LIZ: Do you like that they're in Canada? Do you feel like you're home again?

LJ: Yeah, I do. And Du Mauriers are a majorly Canadian cigarette brand that are disgusting. Every Canadian watching this was like, "Shout out to Du Maurier cigarettes." They really do taste like le shit; I can back Roger up on that. I love Roger. There was this one time in a cab when Matt King told me I was Roger, but I don't think it's true of me anymore. 

LIZ: Because now you're Don at Esalen. 

LJ: No, I think I'm just too dark to be Roger, on the whole. I would never tie the bedspread around my waist like that. Also I don't relate to some rich guy born into privilege. I see myself as being too much of an underdog. I'm probably just Bobby Draper.

LIZ: Imagine how much better this scene would be with the old Bobby Draper? Imagine that world?

LJ: I like how you're still not over the old Bobby Draper.

LIZ: He was so good! He was such a good actor. I'll never get over him.

LIZ: I didn't get at first that Roger took Kevin out on his own.

LJ: I didn't get that either. Joan's really loosening up.

LIZ: Roger looks so cute with his turtleneck and his blazer.

LJ: Roger looks like 80 million years old. They're really underscoring the point of, "Roger's old. He's so old now. Don't forget, guys – Roger's an old man."

LIZ: He's looked old forever, though.

LJ: Yeah. From ages like 30 to 80, he just looked exactly the same.

LIZ: I also like that we never saw Megan again. That's another case of Matthew Weiner being nice to us.

LJ: I love how Joan is so genuinely into Roger being with Megan's mom. Like, "You're the best, Roger. You're such a weird, cool person! Respect."

LIZ: It's weird that Roger's gonna have Christmas with Megan now.

LJ: I feel like he won't. He'll just swing it so that never happens.

LIZ: I hope so.

LJ: Same.

LIZ: This guy seems like he's actually a really good therapist.

LJ: I like how it has such a pro-therapy bent, because I think I want to go back to school and become a therapist. I feel like this is validating that decision; it's like "Mad Men wants you to become a therapist."

LIZ: Yeah, and then you can be Retreat Don all the time.

LJ: Peggy's wearing so many outfits in this episode. She definitely went on a little "I'm at McCann!" shopping spree with herself. Maybe Stan went with her. That's the cutest thing that could ever happen. If I was in charge of Mad Men, that's all it would be – like, a montage of Stan and Peggy going shopping to a John Lennon song.

LIZ: I love Joan saying "I've been to the beach."

LJ: Peggy would never go to the beach.

LIZ: She went to the beach that one time with Zosia Mamet.

LJ: Oh that's true. That was a good day for her. But she kind of gave up on that lifestyle. The night before I watched the finale I was watching a bunch of season 6 episodes and I realized that Peggy kind of likes out-there guys. There's definitely a link between Abe and Stan as the guys that Peggy seriously goes for and Ted being the guy that she didn't really end up with. 'Cause Ted's too square and too much like her, and she wants a weirdo. I relate to Peggy in reverse - I kind of like square guys 'cause I'm a weirdo.

LIZ: Were you sad she didn't end up going with Joan?

LJ: It would've been a cool end for Joan and Peggy to go do their own thing. But Joan was kind of being desperate. She's really fucked it up with Peggy a lot of times and been really mean to her. If I were Peggy I couldn't be like, "Yeah, I'm gonna go long with you." Because Joan's cut Peggy apart so many times and really made her feel shitty a lot. I'd be like, "Now you come knocking, after you've criticized me 8 million times in the past ten years."

LIZ: But Peggy's weird with Joan too, she's pulled some pretty uncool shit.

LJ: Yeah, it wouldn't work. Like Harris-Olson would just be a bust because they wouldn't actually work that well together. Peggy's cool and she's gonna be a creative director by 1980, but she likes being part of a team. She likes having that sort of structure. I don't really think Peggy's the type to build something from the ground up.

LJ: I like how Don has squared his look up for being at the retreat. He's like, "I really want to position myself as being against these people. I've been wearing my hair a little looser and more unkempt lately, but it's time to bust out the gel."

LJ: He's so obsessed with telling women to repress their tragic shit. He's like, "Ah, have I got a solution for you!"

LIZ: Yeah, you never really hear him telling men to repress their tragic shit. He doesn't care.

LIZ: I was thinking about when Joan says, "I got the job I always wanted" when she's in bed with Richard in that other episode. And now it's like, "No, this is the job you always wanted, Joan. You didn't even know how good it could be."

LJ: Oh, that's sweet. Richard is the worst. I just want to kill him. I would literally kill him with my bare hands. If I could kill one person in the world, it would be Richard.

LJ: This is such a good outfit.

LIZ: I was bummed when he tucked in his shirt, but then I liked it tucked in too. That's how I feel about this outfit.

LJ: I liked it even better tucked in. And then he has that cute rising-up thing with the shirt when he hugs that guy.

LJ: Now he's getting more into the retreat spirit. He looks kinds of country & western and his hair's a little flippier.

LIZ: Oh god, Don and Peggy.

LJ: She's really trying to talk some sense into him. She's like, "You can do this, Peggy."

LIZ: I wish she would be a little more gentle with him.

LJ: Yeah, a little less of a normie about it. Try to see where he's coming from a little, Peggy.

LIZ: I like that line – "What did you ever do that was so bad?"

LJ: I know, I've been thinking a lot about that line. It's true that Don didn't really even do anything that bad. And that we're all just so caught up in ourselves. And everything we did that was bad - from another person's perspective, you didn't fuck anything up that badly. Like, he made so much of Don Draper's name. He made more of it than the real Don Draper would have.

LIZ: I like that he included "I scandalized my child." I like to know that it's been weighing on him all this time.

LJ: It's such a little plot point in the overall show, but it's big for him.

LJ: God, he's so dramatic: "I just wanted to say goodbye." And then he just thinks of the Coca-Cola ad and goes back to New York in like two weeks.

LIZ: I like this busybody in the background.

LJ: Classic Mad Men extra.

LIZ: Classic McCann. The culture at McCann is really just the pits.

LJ: So many sheep. They're just obsessed with the lives of the Sterling-Cooper fam like we are. Like, "Ooh, the most fascinating people ever have joined our agency!"

LJ: Awww! Stan's like, "I'm gonna wear my suede vest for confessing-my-love-to-Peggy day. And my rust-colored liberty print button-up, and my double-turquoise as per yoozsh."

LIZ: His hair must be so nice and soft.

LJ: Yeah, and smell like patchouli and sage.

LJ: Don's just really adorably boyish in this part of the episode. He's just a little tiny baby five-year-old boy. I just wanna cuddle him. That would be the best thing that could ever happen.

LIZ: Matthew Weiner must still think of Don Draper so much. That must be really hard to let go of.

LJ: Yeah, he knows so much about what happens to Don Draper. That’s the annoying part: he knows what happens to all of them. If you were like, "Hey, Matt, what happens to Peggy in '93?", he'd like, "Oh, in '93 her kid just blah blah blah and her dog just whatever." Like, just tell us then, smarty pants.

LIZ: What do you think of this guy?

LJ: I've actually never paid attention to him.

LIZ: Do you think he's self-pitying?

LJ: Yeah, I do think he's self-pitying. But that's fine. Who isn't? Don is.

LIZ: I'm glad for him that at least went to the retreat and is trying to work his shit out.

LJ: I like him. He's a nice man. He's self-aware, he's articulating himself very well.

LIZ: Some recap I read was like, "This scene is Don realizing that he's saved from being like this man because he's handsome."

LJ: I kind of feel that. I mean, how can Don possibly relate to what this man is saying?

LIZ: At first I thought it was that he's thinking this guy's what he might have become if he hadn't become Don Draper. LIke, he would've been invisible too.

LJ: Maybe it's Don's realizing that he doesn't feel like that. But then it's also about him having empathy. Maybe it's that it's not that much about Don.

LIZ: It looks like such a good hug. I like the weird wobbly rattly sounds. And I like that the guy hugs him back.

LJ: At first I was scared that he wasn't that into Don's hug. But he is. He's into it.

LJ: My genius point about this whole scene is that "Otis" by Jay-Z and Kanye West should be playing. Pete gets the line where Jay-Z's like "I guess I got my swagger back."

LJ: And this is the part that says "I write my curses in cursive." Peggy gets that lyric.

LIZ: Oh my god, Joan's pants. She's like, "I'm November 1970 and I'm wearing pants." Perfect.

LJ: That nostril flare is really hot.

LIZ: Do you think George Harrison would like this episode?

LJ: George Harrison wouldn't care. He wouldn't be able to follow the program.

LJ: It really ended on such a characteristically boring note. The through line of all of our Mad Men commentary is it's weird that we're fascinated by this shit that bores us in real life. So it's a fitting conclusion that Don thought of this ad campaign that I barely even know and couldn't care less about.

LIZ: I was really relieved that they didn't make something crazy happen with him. He just goes back to work.

LJ: It never occurred to me that it would end on a positive note for him. But what's really beautiful about it is you are who you are. That's what the series finale is all about. They've taken these characters on really intense journeys, but at the end of if they're all just the same people they always were. Don Draper just works in advertising. That's what he does. Roger's a fuck-up, and Joan cares more about her job than anything else, and Pete's really materialistic, and so on and so forth.

LIZ: The idea of Don ending up just adrift forever would've really bothered me. I like that it's just him continually fucking up and being a weirdo, and then going back to work, and then fucking up again and going back to work again, over and over. I love that. It's so comforting.

LJ: Yeah, he's just gonna keep doing that forever.

LJ: Wait, this guy actually wins Outfit of the Week. The Indian guy.

LIZ: I wish they would make a movie that's a making of the Coke commercial. It could be like the Entourage movie, but about the Coke commercial.

LJ: I still wish there was a channel that starts the moment Bert Cooper is born and keeps going forever, until the moment Gene dies or whoever dies. There's no wish I wish more than that wish. I really love Mad Men as much as I love The Beatles.

LIZ: Now I feel like because Matthew Weiner was so nice to us with the finale, maybe he's gonna be like, "I'll just do more! I'll just do something else with these guys."

LJ: Yeah, right. Let's talk about what we think is going to happen to all the characters on Mad Men. I think Don goes back to New York and is greeted with great fanfare.

LIZ: I want him to be bicoastal. I don't want him to live just in New York, I want him to live in California too.

LJ: I feel like he's not gonna get married again. Which I'm supportive of. He'll just sleep around until he's older and then give up and be a bach.

LIZ: He should go out with Joan.

LJ: I feel like they'd just fight. Joan's too combative-slash-not weird enough. Don's too tired for Joan.

LIZ: Yeah, Joan does want more than that.

LJ: He just wants to be on his own and be a better father. But maybe only to Sally.

LIZ: He's written the other two off.

LJ: Especially Gene.

LIZ: He's like, "I hardly even know this kid."

LJ: He's like, "Wait, who are you? How old are you, even? Like, two? Seven? What season of Mad Men were you born in?"

LJ: Do you think Don talked at Betty's funeral?

LIZ: Henry Francis wouldn't be into that. He probably got Rocky to talk.

LJ: He probably really JFK-ed it up. Don probably didn't even go and just mourned her in his own way - like went to her grave and had some big emotional moment. That would've been a really great scene on Mad Men. So thanks for fucking it up and ending it, Matt Weiner.

LJ: When do you think Don dies?

LIZ: Probably in his mid-60s.

LJ: Late-60s. Mid-to-late-60s. 66.

LIZ: 66 and a half, definitely.

LJ: So he'd die in the early '90s. Weird. But fine, I accept it.

LIZ: The thing that Jon Hamm said about how Sally's going to grow up and ride a motorcycle and date Kurt Cobain - that's kind of dumb.

LJ: Yeah, we get it, Jon Hamm: you're not culturally aware. Who did you suggest for her to date? Someone from The Jam or The Cars?

LIZ: Yeah.

LJ: But as much as I like that idea, I think Sally's more trad than that. I don't see her as being this huge rebel.

LIZ: But my point is if she was gonna date a musician, it would be someone who'd wear a suit and write intelligent lyrics.

LJ: Maybe someone from Wire. She'd date the drummer from Wire. Can Sally be the one who moves to London?

LIZ: Sure. Stan and Peggy aren't going anywhere.

LJ: My vision for Stan and Peggy is they're still alive today and this cute old couple hobbling around the Upper West Side and going to the diner and ordering the same thing they've ordered for the past 40 years.

LJ: What about Pete?

LIZ: I don't wanna think too deeply about Pete 'cause I'm like, "How's he not gonna fuck it up?" Is he really gonna be happy in Wichita? He loves New York City so much.

LJ: But it's a toilet now. And Pete actually has changed. I think maybe he's just like, "Fuck, dude, just be grateful for Trudy and Tammy." He won't be perfect, but he's just gonna for it. He's had so much shit happen to him. He's an orphan. Bob Benson killed his mother.

LIZ: That's true, he does deserve Wichita. He's like, "Bob Benson killed my mom. I give up."

LJ: He's just gonna be, like, ballin' around on his LearJet. He'll get into Elton John, get into The Bee Gees.

LIZ: Oh, he'll love The Bee Gees! I'm so sad we'll never see Disco Pete.

LJ: In one of the later Rabbit books there's a part where Rabbit hears The Bee Gees and he's like, "What a novel thing: three white men who sound like black women!" Pete would probably have that same thought. "A thing like that!"

LJ: I feel like Joan's not gonna be happy. I feel like she's gonna fail, to be honest.

LIZ: The odds are stacked against her, it's true.

LJ: I feel like she'll succeed in the long run, but I don't see Holloway-Harris being a world-changing production company.

LIZ: It's not a very exciting concept. But it's a stepping stone. I like that she took Don's idea of running a business out of some room. What about Roger? I feel like we know Roger's general deal.

LJ: Roger is gonna die in like five years. He should thank his lucky stars if he makes it to 1980. Let's get more into depth with Peggy.

LIZ: Do you think they'll have kids?

LJ: Yeah.

LIZ: Stan wants kids. Stan wants to be a dad.

LJ: He'll really want to help rectify Peggy's negative feelings toward her own child.

LIZ: He'll be a stay-at-home dad and take them to the park.

LJ: That's so cute. I can see them having two boys. Or I can see them having an only child and overindulging it.

LIZ: It's so cute to think of Don and Ted being like, "Oh, there's Peggy with her baby."

LJ: Don will probably hang out with Peggy and Stan a lot in the future of him being single. They'll be like, "We gotta get Don over for dinner!"

LIZ: Oh my god, I just wanna watch Don eat dinner with Stan and Peggy and their child.

LJ: Don will love Peggy's baby so much.

LIZ: Yeah, he's good with kids. When they go to dinner at Pete's house and Don fixes the sink and Tammy wakes up and there's that moment of Don gazing at her like, "What a beautiful child!" That's so wonderful.

LIZ: Who else do we need to talk about?

LJ: Ed.

LIZ: I feel like Ed's gonna get out of the advertising game.

LJ: He's more of an artist. He'd be a huge Kinks fan. Maybe he can go to London.

LIZ: With Sally, yeah.

LJ: What about Kenny Cosgrove?

LIZ: I don't know. I don't care about his literary career.

LJ: I've given up. He didn't give it enough.

LIZ: He had his chance with "Tapping Maple on a Cold Winter's Morn" and he blew it.

LJ: Do you think he's a Gemini?

LIZ: Yes. A Gemini if I ever saw one.

LJ: Zero percent chance he's not a Gemini.

LJ: There's something about pictures of the actor who plays Ken Cosgrove that really repulses me.

LIZ: There's something a little Spencer Pratt about him.

LJ: He's so Spencer Pratt. At least Brody Jenner's chill about his transgender dad.

LIZ: Unlike you, Aaron Staton.

LJ: You would hate your transgender dad, Aaron Staton. You would not accept him. Eww, Aaron Staton has a kid named Beckett.

LIZ: Whoa, someone took the "Tapping Maple on a Cold Winter's Morn" thing a little too far. He's like, "I'm so literary! I'm Ben Hargrove!"

LJ: God, it's all over. I haven't accepted it. I was listening to the Beastie Boys a few days ago and I was like, "I finally accept that MCA is dead." He died three years ago. Maybe in three years I'll accept that I'll never see an episode of Mad Men again.

LIZ: I'm just denying it. I'm just gonna start watching it again. And then by the time I finish watching the whole series, so much time will have passed that I can just start watching it again after that.

LJ: We'll just watch it again and again for the rest of our lives. That's normal. That's a normal way to live your life.

LJ: Let's end by deciding who the definitive Mad Men Beatles are. Don is John and Pete is Paul.

LIZ: Who's Roger?

LJ: Ringo. Maybe Peggy should just be George. That's perfect. Don is John, Pete is Paul, Peggy is George, Roger is Ringo. Ed is The Kinks.

LJ: I kind of want Stan to be Yoko. He's got long hair and he's the weirdest in the crew. He's not Pattie Boyd. Meredith is Pattie Boyd. And by the way, Pattie Boyd, you're fucking welcome, 'cause that's the nicest thing I'll ever say about you. And Joan is still George Martin.

LIZ: Who's Ted? Linda McCartney?

LJ: Oh, that's so cute.

LIZ: Ginsberg is Magic Alex. I'm kind of annoyed we didn't get any Ginsberg updates. Just someone being like, "Oh, Ginsberg's fine now."

LJ: He'll probably be fine. The future is coming, he'll go on meds and stuff. Or maybe he's Mark David Chapman. Someone has to be. Actually, no - Mark David Chapman is Bobby Draper.

LIZ: No, it's Ken Cosgrove's kid. That's what they were trying to tell us: "He's a little weird, he's probably gonna kill John Lennon."

LJ: Perfect. We got it, Matt Weiner, don't worry. We gotcha.

LIZ: Sally is not any Beatle child.

LJ: Maybe Stella. Ken Cosgrove is the drummer of The Byrds or something. And someone has to be Mick Jagger. Bob Benson! No, Bob Benson is Bill Wyman.

LIZ: Lane Pryce is Brian Epstein.

LJ: Megan Draper is also Pattie Boyd. Marie Calvet is that journalist who "Norwegian Wood" is maybe about. Pima is Mick Jagger.

LIZ: Oh, that's so good. That's it. That's everyone.

1 comment:

  1. I thought you guys would enjoy this if you haven't already seen it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsJSRP7cZVo
    Don Draper says what.