Last week we had a host of fantastic season finales that had us feeling all of the feels. Modern Family, Hannibal, and The Americans did us good. This week it was really all about the Mad Men finale. We laughed, we cried, we dropped our jaws in awe as Bert serenaded us with the most epic rendition of The Best Things In Life Are Free. Here are our picks for the best scenes from the week of May 25, 2014.
5. Mad Men: Bert Cooper’s Goodbye
Bert’s a relic from a bygone era, and his death was inevitable; there’s no way for him to exist in this brave, new world. He knows it, we know it, and Matt Weiner knows it. It was no accident that he died on the night he did. The moon landing ushered in a new era of human achievement, one to which he no longer belonged. And while he once famously described Miss Blankenship as “an astronaut” after she died at her desk several seasons ago, his own passing had a fascinating ripple effect on the office…
There are a lot of loose ends to tie up over the course of these final seven episodes, particularly after Ghost Bert’s fantastic musical goodbye reminds Don—who has just agreed to a deal that will net him millions of dollars—that “the best things in life are free.”
—Bonnie Stiernberg (Read the full review here.)
4. Fargo: Welcome to the Dark Side, Lester
Buoyed by this triumph, he goes to visit the widow Hess. Lester knows that there’s no insurance money. Sam Hess stopped paying his premiums, but Lester lets Gina Hess believe that he’s the man to get her the money fast. By the next scene, they’re having sex, and Lester is sleeping with his enemy’s wife – the ultimate revenge. Even when Gina cries out, “You’re hurting me!” he keeps going. Now, he feels invincible, and I’m betting that will be his downfall. He’s way too confident. There’s a delightful maliciousness that Martin Freeman is bringing to his performance, clearly fully embracing Lester’s dark side has been creatively freeing.—Amy Amatangelo (Read the full review here.)
3. Maron: That Awkward Moment When You Have To Bring Mom To An STD Clinic
This week’s Greek chorus, as it were, is perhaps the most unexpected vessel for Marc’s weekly (a)morality play—a disinterested worker at a Hollywood STD clinic, who delivers unsurprising news: “You have a very disturbing relationship.”
While that could apply to every non-cat relationship in Marc’s life, this week the focus shifts to Marc’s mother, Toni (played by Sally Kellerman), who we briefly met early last season, and who has power-walked back into Marc’s life just in time to fill the void left by Jen. Marc needs someone else to give him a hard time, right? —John Vilanova (Read the full review here.)
2. Comedy Bang! Bang!: Legalize It?
...The episode’s real highlight is the arrival of the character Robert DeBiro, an anti-drug spokesperson played by the always-amazing Adam Pally. He first maintains that kids should say no to drugs, but then makes an exception for weed, as long as kids aren’t using heavy machinery. This leads to all sorts of questions from Scott and Fred in a bit that feels hilariously improvised. By the end of it, they’re all attempting one long rhyme and DeBiro is trying to snort coke off of Scott’s phone. Considering that Pally’s most popular character on the podcast is Andy Samberg’s pot dealer named Bro, it’s not all that surprising DeBiro takes a turn down this road, but it’s still perfect. —Ross Bonaime (Read the full review here.)
1. A Moon Landing For Us All
I’ve never been to the moon, but I have to imagine the scariest part of the trip isn’t liftoff, or leaving the Earth’s atmosphere, or opening your space-hatch and taking that one giant leap for mankind—it’s coming home. How do you follow something like walking on the moon? How do you get back to everyday life after you’ve touched the heavens, ascended to heights you’d only dreamed of?
...Mad Men took us to the moon with one of its strongest episodes in quite some time this week, and now we have to wait until 2015 for resolution. So…what do we do now?—Bonnie Stiernberg (Read the full review here.)
The new week starts with tonight’s shows! Tweet us if something epic happens!
Shannon M. Houston is Assistant TV Editor at Paste, and a New York-based freelance writer with probably more babies than you. You can follow her on Twitter.
Hilary Hughes is a professional Music/TV/Pop Culture word nerd. In addition to geeking out over any given sitcom and rock star at Paste, she’s also a music critic at The Village Voice, the music correspondent for Esquire.com and a recovering Real Housewives addict at Bravotv.com. Follow her at your own risk at @hilmonstah.