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    Last thoughts on ‘Mad Men,’ for now

    Jon Hamm as Don Draper and Kiernan Shipka as daughter Sally Draper in “Mad Men.”
    Ron Jaffe/AMC
    Jon Hamm as Don Draper and Kiernan Shipka as daughter Sally Draper in “Mad Men.”

    Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert chatted with readers Thursday on Here are excerpts.

    Q. If the season finale was the last episode of “Mad Men,” I’d be satisfied. Now I’m wondering where the show goes from here for the last season.

    A. It was a very, very satisfying finale. I agree. That look between Don and Sally: Priceless. I felt as though Don was coming out of the closet, in a way. He was finally revealing the truth about himself to his kids. It was lovely. Will he continue next season? That is the cliffhanger, I think.

    Q. I can really see Don’s story both ending and restarting in that last scene. It was once annoying, but in that scene “Clouds” was devastating.


    A. I agree. That song is a bit cliched at this point — and I’m a huge Joni fan (Judy? Whatever). But the song is about illusions and reality – and that IS Don Draper-Dick Whitman.

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    Q. I have to wonder if Don will end up in LA after all, and with Pete.

    A. I love the way the West Coast has become the cure-all on “Mad Men.” That’s a very 1960s idea.

    Q. I love “Mad Men” as much as I hate it. It goes nowhere forever and just before I give up, everything changes.

    A. A lot of the nowhere stuff is very busy in its own way. The viewer has to work at bringing interpretations to what is happening; otherwise it seems empty and static.


    Q. All hail Mr. Jon Hamm this season. What a great job. Emmy please.

    A. YES. The guy deserved a few statues for season 4. The “Mad Men” actors have been nominated out the wazoo, but no wins yet. It’s weird.

    Q. How’s this for a “Mad Men” ending? After years of struggle Don finally pulls his life together and is happy. The camera pans back from his office on a beautiful Tuesday morning in September 2001. Did I mention his office is on one of the top floors of the World Trade Tower?

    A. Talk about intersecting with history.

    Q. There is brilliantly subversive stuff on “Archer,” “Futurama,” and “Bob’s Burgers,” but no one takes animation seriously.


    A. I hear you. I think I understand why people don’t take it seriously. It’s hard to attach emotionally to animation. I love “South Park” for the jokes, but I could care less about the characters. And yet I agree, the writing can be very clever and subversive.

    Q. Is “Hell on Wheels” coming back? I always thought it came on once “Mad Men” finished for the year.

    A. Poor “Hell on Wheels.” It doesn’t get the respect it deserves, in my opinion. It’s returning on Aug. 10 — a Saturday. But right now AMC is putting its promo energy and money primarily toward the final stretch of “Breaking Bad” and the new series “Low Winter Sun,” whose title always makes me think of “Black Hole Sun.”

    Q. I wonder how a show like “Homicide: Life on the Street” might have benefited from maybe being on a cable channel like AMC.

    A. “Homicide” was one of those shows that, in retrospect, led up to the “cable drama revolution.” It went as far as it could go, given the standards of prime-time network TV. The writers always managed to make you think you saw more than you actually did see, in terms of explicitness. That’s a great skill.

    Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.