Mad Men Power Rankings, Week Thirteen: 'Well, Gentlemen, I Suppose You're Fired.'

It's over. Just like that. Thirteen weeks, gone, in the blink of a bourbon-reddened, smoke-teary eye. For the last time this season, please join us for our appraisal of where our favorite Sterling Cooper players stand in the post-JFK world in which they suddenly find themselves. After the jump, the Power Rankings for Mad Men's surprising, utterly satisfying finale:


1. Don Draper (up) Last week: 2

Don's weathered his fair share of blows -- from sex-crazed hippies who want to screw in his motel bed, from fed-up trophy brides looking to move on, from exasperated bosses desperate to get him to sign on the dotted line -- over the past few weeks, and yet here he is, his Brylcreemed dome dented but not cracked, showing that he's still got a little fight in him. Putnam Powell and Lowe is being sold to McCann Erickson? Fine, let's buy this motherf*cker back from those penny-pinching Brits. Betty's hiring a divorce lawyer? Great, she will get nothing, he'll take the kids, then skullf*ck this Henry Francis monster until he begs Don to withdraw his rage-engorged member from his ruptured eye-socket so the coward can explain why he's stealing his wife out from under him. (Until he cools off and decides not to go to war with his already irreparably damaged family.) He's a fighter, at least when there's no conveniently slain compatriot offering up his dog-tags when he feels the need for a fresh start. Sure, he could probably lure Pete Campbell into a supply closet, garrote him with some packing string, and abscond with his identity to Chicago for yet another life-reset, but Don now sees the possibilities of his once-disastrous-seeming situation: Let's reset everything. Put a foot so far up those Limey asses that they can taste high-quality American leather, rob them blind in the middle of the night, and set up shop down the street. See the kids when he can. And wait for the moment when he can bury himself deep in a girlishly weeping Henry's cranium, because that grudge isn't one he's going to give up. Come on, that dude just stole his family.

Season four really can't arrive fast enough. Really, what the f*ck are we supposed to do until then?

Don Draper Fingerbang Threat Level: Mouthy Underling in Grave Danger!

As Peggy sat across from an all-business, no-time-for-niceties Don, who just wanted to offer her a chance to escape professional imprisonment within the McCann Erickson Sausage-Fabricating Concern, defiant and demanding of the respect she felt her mentor/tormentor far too grudgingly offered, Draper's fingers stirred atop the desk he'd soon be abandoning. Does she not realize we don't have time for this whiny sh*t? whispered Index Draper. Seriously, doesn't she know this has to happen this second, and we can save the fatherly hugs and pats on the head for after we ransack this place? answered Thumb Draper, while Middle Draper hissed impatiently, We've gotta get inside her, right now, before she starts running at the mouth about her other job offers and lack of respect and career goals, oh Christ, here she goes. Get in her! Get in her! Now now now! But no. Don merely drummed his agitated minions atop his blotter, letting them march in place while Peggy let him know she's tired of the boss taking credit for all her work, that she's not willing to be the poodle he kicks each time he fails. And later, he would appear, hat in hand, vowing to pursue his talented protege to the farthest ends of Manhattan, prying her out from the camisole-shredding death-grip of Duck Phillips' teeth if necessary. Sometimes, the best fingerbanging is the one you never give.

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  • MikeyLikesTV says:

    I have to say that the Don Draper Fingerbang Threat Level has been my favorite part of the entire internet for the past few months, and I might even miss it more than the show.

  • jimmy james monkey death car says:

    When the show gets to the 70s I hope they give Joan, Sal and Peggy a variety hour. With cut-ins before commercial breaks from Roger Sterling.

  • el smrtmnky says:

    not gonna lie, i clapped when roger's eyes lit up. also, i think sally is gonna end up a cutter. of betty.

  • Blackcapricorn says:

    This was a top notch episode (perhaps my fav of the series so far). I WAS cheering for Joan when she stepped in the office and was laughing my ass off at the way she answered the phone in the hotel/office of SCDP.
    Also, I for one was on the edge of my seating during the Draper Push-Around '09. I realize domestic abuse is not funny but I thought how he got her awake was dangerous but also hilarious (re-reading that, apparently I have issues).
    @Mikeylikestv- I couldn't agree more. That and the PatricideWatch (which I will lobby till by dying day should be changed to the MatricideWatch) made me make sure I was around the tv 10pmEST every Sunday. What the hell are we going to do now with the Rankings and the Fingerbang Threat Level on hiatus?
    @Lisanti- thank you so much for this, it really made the show that much more awesome this year. However, no Cobra In a Basket "Not Ranked" (although mentioned previously)?

  • Josh says:

    1) I did actually cheer when Joan strutted in
    2) I immediately thought of the FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS connection as well.

  • ah the week 13 power rankings. a lovely bow atop an excellent season for all. i did laugh out loud when joanie said the new name. bravo mark.

  • DarkKnightShyamalan says:

    This is the only season so far where the finale has been far and away the best episode.... and may I say, THANK GOD because we needed it.
    Yes, anyone who wasn't cheering when Joan walked in is obviously dead inside and probably kicks puppies.
    Also: Index Draper would have been a brilliant Halloween costume. There's always next year, I suppose.

  • OldTowneTavern says:

    I enjoyed the Power Rankings as always.
    I didn't get the "Joan Austin" reference in Betty's letter though. Was it a major typo, a comment on Betty's spelling skills, a sign that she's never really read Jane Austen, or a real life 1960's romance novelist so obscure that my Google search couldn't find her?

  • rebecca says:

    I'm going to miss these! I look forward to them every week.
    Henry comes across as really smarmy and possessive. Betty is going from one crappy marriage to another.

  • Andy III says:

    I most certainly let out a whoop when Joanie sauntered into the room like a cleaner ready to fix everything. What an amazing episode. All of the pieces just fell into place, and I didn't even see them falling.
    I'll miss the power rankings greatly. And I chuckled every time I even thought of the 'Don Draper Fingerbang Threat Level'. That is brilliant.

  • bess marvin, girl detective says:

    "Sometimes, the best fingerbanging is the one you never give."
    you ain't never lied lisanti, you ain't never lied

  • Not Mad Man says:

    Great Roger line when they're leaving and Don's about to lock the door. Great finale.

  • TimGunn says:

    Betty is just a dumb blonde so to speak.
    Great series of columns!

  • J says:

    So good.
    So where does the next season start? A year later? Where can they go from here? I'm hoping far enough into the 60s where Vietnam, the start of hippies, and race riots explode. 65?
    My predictions:
    Don will be shacked up with someone completely new.
    He and Betty will have hot-extra-ex-marital sex at some point, no? Fingerbetty'd.
    The wardrobes will change.
    Cooper will have expired.
    Joan's hubby deployed to Vietnam.
    Sally will run away.

  • lajuanap says:

    Great episode, great Power Ranking.....woe is me...what am I gonna do without you Lisanti?

  • busterbluth says:

    Is Joan not "up" because it's been such a down year for her in general? I know it would've been completely ridiculous, but I was hoping she would *also* be made a partner. Who didn't cheer when she showed up? I want names because a new agency needs a new fingerbang to-do list.
    And yes, Don needs a few months to rest those fingers, because the single (and loving it) Don Draper will push them to their very breaking points in the months to come.
    Mark, thank you for a season of my favorite Internet column ever.

  • HollywoodTarheel says:

    I knew it was coming, but still: when mildly exasperated Lane Pryce said "We don't know how any of this works", I jumped up and shouted at the TV, "I know someone who knows how it works!"
    Cheers, Mr. Lisanti, for excellently enhancing the enjoyment - cheers.

  • So obvious it was going to be Joan the moment Roger went to make a phonecall. Great episode though, annoyed at having to wait [x] time until the next season 🙁

  • I found that getting on any type of cable machine, seated or standing, and doing one arm fly's across your body. This allows you a greater range of motion since instead of stopping and meeting hands in the middle, you can continue across your whole body. Alternate right, left, right, left, etc.

  • Toms Artist says:

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