Matt Zoller Seitz on season six (warning, full article and my notes below contain spoilers for the season finale):
I’ll revisit this whole season again later this week and write an overview piece. For now this strikes me as Mad Men’s weakest season overall, often lacking the thematic, visual and rhythmic unity of seasons one through five – though there’s a chance that it’ll feel more complete and organized once I’ve had a chance to re-watch the entire thing. It might even seem to have a certain “drunk’s logic” to it, with the show flailing and lurching and stopping and starting like Don groping toward his epiphany.
I’m no critic, and nowhere near the TV intelligence of a master like Seitz, but I’d agree with his assessment. Thematic unity was something that when I think back to the earlier seasons was really prevalent: Don’s struggles in season one, the women characters being brought to the forefront in season two. Naturally when you get to know these characters after this much time, some jumping around in season six was expected. But not quite this much. And frankly, while the great acting helped a lot (reason number one this show remains clearly one of the best on televison) I didn’t buy Don’s ‘coming clean’ moment at all.
I still can’t wait to revisit those Peggy and Don scenes at a later date. Just phenomenal work. I have no idea where Matt Weiner will be taking us for the last season but I’m excited.