Certainly, on a superficial level, we can say that all of the major Mad Men characters journeyed forth through significant life changes. But as much as these characters gained scars and wisdom through their journeys, none of them actually changed over the course of a decade.
Don Draper has been shedding quite a few things this season. So it makes sense that he ends the penultimate episode in the epic novel for television that is Mad Men sitting alone on a bus stop in Oklahoma, heading west.
I tip my cap to "Mad Men" for fooling me again, and I mean that in the best possible way. When everything aligns just so, it's capable of pulling off a sucker punch that still feels earned and tonally united with what came before the shift or shocking moment.
It's so sad (and Moss is so great) as you can see Peggy's hopes dashed across her face while she sits there smiling. She keeps herself together and says yes anyone to this second-rate proposal -- ironically getting to say 'I do,' only when asked if she'd like to eat.
This week's episode, "Tea Leaves," deals with the passing of time. The constant fear of death and change are both about the fear of being replaced, of the younger honchos taking over as time moves forward.