AMC’s Mad Men‘s seventh and final season premiered in 2014. The sixties were wrapping up and nothing stayed as it was when the main characters were first introduced. Counterculture was in full swing, Don’s marriage to Megan was falling apart, and Peggy reached new heights in her career.
Season 7 was nostalgic, emotional, tragic, and exciting all at the same time. While Mad Men is generally considered a masterpiece from the beginning until the end, season 7 had its shortcomings. Certain character arcs were dragged on for way too long, while others didn’t get the time they deserved. The writers managed to meet the fans’ expectations, though, and most characters got a believable ending.
Joan always radiated self-confidence and competence, but there was a lot of sadness to her, too. Up until season 6, her character arc was consistent, but in season 7, it all suddenly changed. She rejected Roger because he was essentially a manchild, only to start dating some trashy (but rich) man who left her after having some fun.
Joan’s story felt like a waste of screen time as well as her entire character.
In season 7, Roger finally let his adventurous side take the lead. This time around, he wasn’t hurting anybody as he cut ties with Jane and his family.
He experimented with psychedelics and ended up with Marie. The two made a great pair. None of them took life too seriously at that point in their lives.
Considering it was the show’s last season, the writers could’ve focused on the characters at hand rather than attempt to explore relatively unimportant side characters. Glen’s arc was a bit controversial but completely unimportant in the grand scheme of things.
A big part of the series was also Don and Megan’s divorce. This wasn’t Don’s first divorce and he struggled with commitment to begin with, so focusing so much on his side of things felt redundant. Meanwhile, Megan’s reaction to the divorce lacked depth, even though it probably shook her up more than it did Don. Roger’s life was similarly turned upside down, but he remained the same, even though big changes were hinted at in season 6 when he visited the psychiatrist.