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Mad Men: All Business Is Personal

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There's no truth to the phrase...it's just business, nothing personal. And the mid-season seven finale episode of Mad Men that aired Sunday, May 25, 2014 titled, "Waterloo," made that clear. Although sure there's always some in the marketplace who like that phrase from The Godfather, who believe otherwise.

"Cutler won't stop until it's only him, Harry Crane and the computer (IBM). And you know he'll do it," says Roger Sterling, acted by John Slattery, to Don Draper, acted by Jon Hamm. For it was immediately after the death of Bert Cooper, acted by Robert Morse, a beloved surrogate father to Roger. And despite his love for one of the founding fathers of the ad agency who passed away, shortly after Bert Cooper watched Neil Armstrong's historic moon walk on TV, Roger knew he had to act fast. And fast he did, thus convincing Don to be on board the merger deal.

The break-up of the final season of Mad Men can be a mixed blessing. Whereas some fans may have wanted season seven to be complete to get it over with, these same fans may also be thinking on the other hand, why the rush? And I agree. Therefore the series will close in 2015.

To those who've missed out on all or most of the AMC drama series, Mad Men premiered in 2007. It's a story that begins in March 1960 in season one, about a prominent advertising agency on Madison Avenue in New York City. Roger Sterling's father who had long since passed away, Roger Sterling Sr., had founded the firm with partner Bertram "Bert" Cooper, thus the initial name of the advertising firm, Sterling Cooper. Furthermore it's also more about the lead character, the creative director and former partner of the firm named Don Draper.

"Mad Men's always been about change, and the evolution of all these characters," says actor John Slattery in the remarkable web article by Marlow Stern of The Daily Beast on May 26, 2014 titled, "John Slattery on the 'Mad Men' Midseason Finale, Roger Sterling's Power Move, and 'God's Pocket." And Slattery is right. For in the beginning in season one we learn that the lead character Don Draper, is not his real name, but was born Richard "Dick" Whitman. And to escape a troubled upbringing while an Army corporal in the Korean War, he assumes the identity of the recently killed Lt. Don Draper by stealing the Army officer's dog tags. Therefore although illegally, he re-invents himself and he moves to New York City to seek a better life after the war.

Also from season one of the last episode titled, "The Wheel," we see that Don promotes his former secretary Peggy Olson, acted by Elisabeth Moss, to junior copy writer. This happened, shortly after she was asked to team with then junior ad exec Ken Cosgrove, acted by Aaron Staton, to audition three women for a woman's product, the Relax-a-Cizor account.

From the May 25, 2014 "Waterloo" episode, which the story begins on July 20, 1969, the date of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing, partner Jim Cutler, acted by Harry Hamlin, still tries to oust former partner Don Draper. But he's stopped. All by the quick foresightedness of Roger Sterling who engineers a prompt merger deal, with an exec of a rival powerhouse ad firm McCann Erickson, shortly after he learns of SC&P founder Bert Cooper's death. For this is another example of Roger having Don's back, seeing Don as not only in fact a creative genius, but also as a friend.

Roger Sterling will definitely be one of the favorites of the Mad Men characters missed when the show concludes next year. But also I believe one of the other secondary characters will also be missed, and that is Harry Crane, acted by Rick Sommer. One of the best episodes he's featured in is the May 20, 2012 season five, episode ten, titled, "Christmas Waltz." For in that episode he meets former colleague Paul Kinsey, acted by Michael Gladis, who had joined the Hare Krishnas. One scene takes place in 1966 as the two are having lunch in a restaurant. After having read Kinsey's proposed Star Trek script, Harry Crane acts like a Santa Claus, by giving Paul Kinsey more than enough money to fly to Los Angeles and to start afresh.

The mid-season seven finale was indeed fantastic. Peggy Olson, with former boss Don Draper's encouragement, wins over second guessing herself over the Burger Chef account, and wins over the Burger Chef clients. This despite before Don Draper knew that Roger Sterling was already also acting on Don's behalf, as well as others at SC&P, quickly after Bert Cooper's death. Then lastly we also get to witness an emotionally stirred Don, as he imagines Bert Cooper surrounded by five gorgeous women, as he sings a farewell song to Don within the glamorous spacious offices of SC&P. To those who have missed out so far on the Emmy Award-winning AMC drama Mad Men, created by Matthew Weiner, there is a lot of time to catch up until 2015. So in the meantime check it out.