‘Mad Men’: ‘The Strategy’ (Recap)

'The Strategy' builds on everything we’ve known about these characters since the beginning, and brings them to a head in new and surprising ways.


If that was the last episode MAD MEN had ever aired, it would have been the perfect finale. 

But it’s not! We get one more episode next week, before the show takes a break and comes back next year with its seven final episodes. But man, where do we go from here?

“The Strategy” builds on everything we’ve known about these characters since the beginning, and brings them to a head in new and surprising ways. The Burger Chef campaign takes a lot of precedence, but there’s much more to dissect in tonight’s episode, such as…

The Magnificent Return of Bob Benson

Bob Benson quickly became a fan-favorite character last season, partly because we couldn’t quite figure him out, and partly because he was so damn charming. I was afraid we’d seen the last of him when he left for Detroit, so it was great to see him at least one more time in this episode. His proposal to Joan was shocking, but practical. Joan turned him down, of course – as we learned last year, things don’t go as well for Bob Benson as he’d usually like them to. 


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Pete and Megan Come To Visit

Pete returns from California (with a horrible tan) to spend some time with his daughter. We also see him interact with Trudy for the first time since last season, who once again reminds him that he is no longer a part of their family. Meanwhile, Megan is back this week as well, and I think we’re getting subtle hints that the Draper marriage is ending soon. Megan is taking back more of her clothes to California, Don’s secretary didn’t even know he was married – Don may have to start hunting for Wife Number 3 pretty soon.

Breaking Bread With The Family

The episode’s focus lies on family – Pete wants his back, Don fears losing his, and Peggy doesn’t really have any. While working on the Burger Chef campaign, Don and Peggy begin to wonder: does the happy, perfect family that smiles while eating together even exist anymore? It’s the kind of image the series has been poking holes in from the beginning – there was a time when Don had all that and more, after all. But the final shot, with Pete, Peggy, and Don sitting and eating together at Burger Chef, was perfect. For all the difficulties this trio has had together, they’ve weirdly become closer than most families ever actually do. Heck, that would have been a perfect shot for the show’s final episode.

Quote of the Episode:

“Did you park your white horse outside? Spare me the suspense and tell me what your save-the-day plan is.” – Peggy Olsen to Don Draper

The relationship between Don and Peggy is, in many ways, the most important one in the show. We’ve seen these two through it all, and this quote shows how much each of their roles has changed over the course of seven seasons. Can you imagine Peggy from season one getting away with saying that to Don?

Michael Smith

Michael Smith

Michael Smith is a student living in New York who loves television. Coincidentally, he also loves to write about television -- so this works out great for him. He can’t wait to talk your ear off about the latest low-rated cult hit that he couldn’t bear to see cancelled.
Michael Smith

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