TV Club: Mad Men: “The Forecast”

Does Don Draper have a trajectory? Can you extrapolate from his past and see where he ought to end up? That’s a central question that Mad Men faces in its closing episodes, and “The Forecast” pursues it rather directly. Roger gives Don an assignment for: Draft a statement about the future of the company. Predictably, Don treats the assignment as a rumination on his own future. It’s not a subtle setup, but it is efficient, and when only a few episodes remain, efficiency helps.

The limited ambition of the exercise frustrates Don. “Just reasonable hopes and dreams” is how Roger frames the project. “Doesn’t have to be science fiction.” Roger’s grounded complacency is echoed later when Meredith reads back bullet points from Don’s initial notes. The list includes bigger accounts, more awards, and, Meredith adds uncertainly, “a space station?” No, Don corrects her, it’s …

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