Mad Men Finale


It’s not that I was completely surprised when the towers of the sunken city of R’lyeh began to surface from the sea, unbeknownst to the oblivious Don Draper. Mad Men has been replete with references to the Great Old Ones and the eldritch powers beyond time and space from the very first episode. But I must confess that I was a little surprised to see Cthulhu himself rising in his unimaginable horror from that tangled mess of non-Euclidean geometry. And when Don leapt upon Cthulhu’s bulbous head in an attempt to stave off this assault upon all that is sane and ordered, I was shocked but impressed at his last-ditch attempt to redeem a wasted life.

But it was not to be. And as the rest of the Ancient Ones arrived from their hiding places – “not {in} the spaces we know, but between them” – to visit their horrible wrath upon the denizens of Earth, it all became clear: none of it mattered. The ads, the affairs; the marriages, the divorces. The petty betrayals, the everyday heroism. The secrets, the lies, the struggles. Not Don’s epiphanies, not Peggy’s growing self-awareness. Not Roger’s sardonic amusement, not Pete’s manipulative power-plays. Not the hip-hugging skirts, not the shiny suits.

None of it mattered. Not in the face of the annihilating powers, older than time itself, that now arrived to obliterate every last trace of sanity and order from the earth. Now that Great Cthulhu and his brethren had returned, none of it mattered – and indeed, none of it ever had. All that mattered now was the writhing blasphemy of Azathoth, at the center of the cosmos, and the horrible cries of Yog-Sothoth, the Key and the Guardian of the Gate, as the reign of humanity drew to an end.

Well done, Matthew Weiner. What can I say but to repeat the final line of dialogue in the series, spoken by Sally Draper as she gazed upon the Cyclopean immensity of Cthulhu, eclipsing the sun:

“Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!”

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