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September 1, 2015

'Mad Men's' 10 Most Meaningful Lines of the Season

by Jane Murphy, posted Oct 19th 2010 12:20PM
As we look back and dissect 'Mad Men's' finale, delaying hibernation from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce for one more day, let's take a look at season 4's most meaningful lines.

Not necessarily the most memorable lines, mind you. Our winner in that category: "I would have my secretary do it, but she's dead."

This list is dedicated to the dialogue – evocative, ironic, or more than a little strange -- through which creator Matthew Weiner and company gave small (very, very small) clues to his epic story.

Beware: Spoilers for all of season 4 ahead.

"What have you got to lose?" ('Tomorrowland')
Don (Jon Hamm) convinces secretary Megan (Jessica Pare) to be the Draper nanny on a Disneyland trip. Faye and Betty, back in New York, "lose" big when a spin through the Magic Kingdom results in Don and Megan's impulsive engagement. Are the writers suggesting the happy couple is also headed for a fall?

"We avoided a tragedy ..." ('Hands and Knees')
Joan (Christina Hendricks) reports to Roger (John Slattery) than she's returned from the abortion clinic. But she does not reveal what happened (or didn't happen) there. We later learned in the finale that she kept the baby and is passing it off as husband Greg's.

"You still think you're better than me?" ('The Suitcase')
From this season's most lauded episode. Drunk and running amok, down-on-his-luck former colleague Duck (Mark Moses) gives Don a timely object lesson in what addicted and alone looks like. After this encounter, Don starts out on a path to better himself. Or at least, not be such a drunk.

"She's amazing..." ('The Rejected')

Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) observes an exchange between beautiful Megan and self-possessed Faye during a market research session. Fascinatingly, which woman Peggy thought was amazing was never made clear in this moment, but both women would soon take center stage. In the clip below, Peggy expressed her admiration for fellow mover and shaker Faye.

"It's a business of sadists and masochists, and you know which one you are." ('The Beautiful Girls')
Post-cataract operation, ("I was blind, but now I see") the begoggled one-time hellcat Miss Blankenship lets Peggy know that her 'Thank You Sir May I Have Another?' devotion to her job is all-too obvious. Peggy seems to take the message to heart. Unfortunately, philosophizing took years off Blankenship's life (watch below).

"When I think about forever, I get upset." ('Blowing Smoke')
Sally (Kiernan Shipka) makes this very telling comment to quirky neighbor Glenn (Marten Holden Weiner) as the tweens talk about life and death. The line certainly brings to mind an excruciating moment in the season finale: Faye's scathing assessment of Don when he dumps her ("... you only like beginnings"). Perhaps Sally really is her father's daughter.

"I know everything about you, and I still love you." ('The Good News')
Anna, old friend and the real Mrs. Don Draper, gives Dick the gift of her devotion during their last meeting. Who truly fills the void after Anna's passing? When Megan says nearly the same thing to Don in the season finale ("You have a good heart ... I know who you are now"), he is hooked.

"I feel like I'm getting sucked into that thing." ('Christmas Comes But Once a Year')
The quip of recovering alcoholic Freddy Rumsen, looking fearfully at Roger's mod vortex object d'art. Moments later, Freddy agrees to return to the Sterling Cooper fold. Some ugly scenes follow. For starters, Freddy must perform damage control as Roger unwittingly entices Freddy's Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor off the wagon.

"It feels like there was a test and I failed it." ('The Beautiful Girls')
Faye (played by Cara Buono) laments to Don, having just witnessed Megan soothe a tantrum-throwing Sally -- in a way she could not. And it is indeed Faye who ends up jabbed in Don's love triangle. Later, in the finale, after Faye encourages Don to own up to being Dick Whitman, he ends up with Megan -- who, as mentioned earlier, doesn't care about the past.

"I hate sevens." ('Blowing Smoke')
In a game of Go Fish with her therapist, Sally casually remarks on her distain for the number seven. Of course, this foreshadows the events of next season, when inevitably -- OK, what's with Sally hating sevens? We have no idea.

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Such a heart warming episode: I'm still glowing myself. THank you for giving me an opportunity to bask in it before closing this chapter.
On second thoughts: I'm not going to close it at all, I'm going to re-watch the whole season all over.
I'll never get to thank Matt Weiner enough for this show!!!

October 20 2010 at 2:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Adami

"That's Bull $#!%!" Episode "Tomorrowland" When Peggy goes into Joan's office to lament. Joan tells her how she learned long ago, that in her life everything doesn't revolve around the office.

October 19 2010 at 9:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

By far the best line of the season is Bert Cooper eulogizing Mrs. Blankenship:

"She was born in 1898 in a barn. She died on the 37th floor of a skyscraper. She's an astronaut."

October 19 2010 at 6:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What about the line in the second episode of the season when Dr. Faye predicted that Don would marry within the next year, which he did? I thought that was a big hint given by Weiner as to what would happen in the season finale!

October 19 2010 at 2:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jane, I'm lucky that I can remember the details of the last show let alone lines from previous shows. I love you for posting this and dragging the love out for another day. I hate that the season is over too!

October 19 2010 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"I hate sevens" - Matthew Weiner's hiding an end date in plain sight!

October 19 2010 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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