Death Hit The 'Mad Men' Mid-Season Finale But It's Not Who You Thought It Would Be
"Bravo." Those were not only Bert Cooper's (Robert Morse) last words on Mad Men, but exactly our sentiment for how we felt about Matthew Weiner's send-off for the character. After weeks upon weeks of Internet speculation and red herrings that Megan Draper would be the one to die (at the hands of Charles Manson, no less), it was actually Sterling Cooper co-founder Bertram Cooper who bid us adieu during Mad Men's mid-season finale "Waterloo." After watching the moon landing (the segment was a particularly moving one, cutting to all of the show's characters watching the historic moment in various settings), Roger gets a phone call that his friend and mentor had passed away quietly and peacefully in his home.
Now, Bert wasn't always the perfect guy (he had, as we saw a few weeks ago, something of a racist side), but he was definitely a good boss. Case in point: He took Don's proposed dismissal from Jim Cutler to a vote, and voted to keep Don on board for the Burger Chef meeting. Because, as Bert put it to Roger, "I'm a leader. And a leader is loyal to his team."
Unfortunately, Bert wouldn't get to see the wildly lucrative McCann-Erickson deal unfold, but he did get, what was, quite possibly the best send-off for any character ever. And not just on Mad Men. While Cutler (ugh, what a jerk) didn't give Bert a proper or sensitive or even remotely timely eulogy, Weiner most certainly did. As Don — who is getting a second chance at his job (in addition to the McCann-Erickson merger, Peggy also announces they landed Burger Chef) and maybe even his own life (he and Megan have called it quits, a healthy decision for the both of them) — gets "back to work," he sees a vision of Bert Cooper. A singing, dancing Bert Cooper, that is.
Bert may have given the all-time best eulogy on this show ("She was born in 1898 in a barn, she died on the 37th floor of a skyscraper; she's an astronaut," he wonderfully said of the departed Ida Blankenship) but it was his lovely, toe-tapping rendition of "The Best Things in Life Are Free" that was truly out of this world. Bravo, indeed, Bert and Robert Morse. Mad Men wouldn't have been Mad Men without you.