Consequences for all, freedom for some, and miniature American flags for the rest in the Mad Men finale.
Great summary. Pete’s freedom is peculiarly America — someone with no ties to society and no obligations. He’s headed to California, no less, where being rootless and not entangled is the very essence of the California dream (and, ironically, this is someone who has the deepest roots in the New York aristocracy, as a “Dyckman”.) Don is free, too, in a different way, as you mention. He’s still tied to his family, but he’s free of the burden of his lies. I think Pete in California will represent where America is headed in the 70’s. He’s been the most repressed and buttoned up of characters but maybe he’ll get into EST and other west coast trends. He did, after all, finally smoke a joint.
It’s interesting to think of how much Pete ricochets between the old US and the new — in the first seasons his strong suit for the agency was always his youth and willingness to try new things (particularly the African-American market), despite how it wasn’t reflected in his personal attitudes. Yet he was suddenly eclipsed by the truly forward-thinking attitudes of Peggy and the pot-smoking creative pool.
It will be interesting to see if Pete will now truly take advantage in his personal life of the new America he touted in his pitches.
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