21 Moments From The Season 3 Finale Of 'Mad Men' That Prove "Shut The Door. Have A Seat." Was A Super Significant Episode
The dreaded absorption of Sterling Cooper & Partners to McCann Erickson is finally happening on Mad Men — and while the partners may have come to terms with it, the rest of the office hasn't. The April 26 episode of Mad Men , "Time & Life," echoed back to the Season 3 finale "Shut The Door. Have A Seat." where the partners successfully avoided being bought by McCann. It seems fitting that the small outfit that started as Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce after breaking off from Sterling Cooper would be absorbed before the series ends. "Shut The Door. Have A Seat." which outlined the company split, shook up what fans knew — and expected — of Mad Men to wrap up Season 3.
In an episode with over 10 different business meetings, the pace of the Season 3 finale showed Don — at his best — making a giant business move over the course of weekend. It also featured the dissolution of the Draper marriage, where Don — at his worst — battled with Betty over the divorce. Watching Don come up with this genius scheme not to be held down by the big corporation of McCann, it's sad to see him resigned to the fact now. As Don said to Roger in Season 7's midseason finale "Waterloo," "Did you forget that we started this agency to get away from them?"
Throughout the Season 3 finale (that was ranked by Entertainment Weekly as the fifth best episode of the entire series), the characters say different variations of the episode's title, "Close the door. Have a seat." five times:
- "Have a seat." — Conrad Hilton to Don
- "Lane, please shut the door and have a seat." — Cooper to Lane
- "Close the door. Have a seat." — Don to Sterling, Cooper, and Lane
- "Shut the door. Sit down." — Don to Peggy
- "Please. Sit down." — Don to Peggy
As the end of Sterling Cooper & Partners looms, let's go back to a simpler time, when the men had less hair on their faces — but Pete had more hair on this head — with a look back to what else happened in "Close the Door. Have a Seat."
Don & Betty Draper Were Still Married
...but the episode marked the end of their marriage. "Shut the Door. Have a Seat." starts with Don sleeping in baby Gene's room and later, Betty tells him to lawyer-up for their impending divorce.
It Was The Last Appearance Of Conrad Hilton
Hotelier Conrad Hilton was the one who notified Don that McCann Erickson was buying Puttnam, Powell, and Lowe, and thus, Sterling Cooper would be owned by McCann Erickson. It led to Conrad firing Don from his hotel accounts, who did not take it well because he signed a three-year contract with Sterling Cooper to get Hilton's business.
There Was A Dick Whitman Flashback
Mad Men showed fans what we had only heard about. In Don's former life, Dick's dad died from getting kicked in the head by a horse while he was drunk. Dick witnessed the whole thing right after his dad made him drink some liquor. I'm sure none of this attributed to Don's alcoholism.
Don Went To Bert Cooper With The McCann News
Don gave his first passionate sell of the episode (and there were many) when he tried to convince Cooper to buy his company back. When Cooper asked why Don cared so much, he said, "Because I'm sick of being batted around like a ping-pong ball. Who the hell is in charge? A bunch of accountants trying to make a dollar into a dollar ten? I want to work. I want to build something of my own. How do you not understand that?" Cooper was swayed and set the wheels in motion for a coup.
Don & Roger Sterling Were On The Outs
The reason Don went to Bert was because Roger and Don weren't buddies. They were still dealing with their fallout from Don disapproving of Roger marriage to Don's secretary Jane — whom Cooper called a "trollop." (And Roger's divorce from Mona to marry Jane had greatly influenced Roger's decision to sell his company in the first place.) After Roger told Don he didn't value relationships, Don said, "I value my relationship with you." And just like that, these 1960s marketing execs were bros again.
Lane Was Integral To The Plot
Aww, Lane Pryce, how I miss thee. Sterling, Cooper, and Draper told Lane their plan to buy back the company and at first, he resisted since he thought that PPL wasn't being sold — only Sterling Cooper. When he learned the truth, he joined forces with the other men. RIP Lane.
The Ridiculous Divorce Laws Of The Time Were Highlighted
Betty's beau, Henry Francis, went to the divorce lawyer with Betty, where Mad Men fans learned that the only grounds for divorce in New York state at the time were the "absence of a spouse, incurable insanity, life imprisonment, or adultery." (?!?) Betty and Henry admitted that the two of them had not consummated their relationship yet and the divorce lawyer recommended that Betty go to Reno for the divorce. Henry was supportive — and still smitten — with his soon-to-be wife.
Maxwell Sheffield Returned
Well, actor Charles Shaughnessy (from Fran Drescher's The Nanny) came back to Mad Men as PPL exec Saint John Powell to screw Lane over one last time.
Don Was Drinking At 9:30 AM On Friday, Dec. 13, 1963
Don's morning drinking was no surprise. His booze-fueled mind came up with the plan that Lane should fire them all to get out of their contracts. Lane agreed when he was guaranteed a partnership at the new agency. Sterling's response? "Well, it's official. Friday, Dec. 13, 1963. Four guys shot their own legs off."
Don's Secretary Allison Was Pre-Don Heartbreak
Hey! It's Allison! I want to tell Allison to stay strong and not sleep with Don, but — uh, I know what happens in Season 4. Thanks to their one-night stand, Allison left Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and the future Mrs. Draper — Megan Calvet — became Don's secretary.
Trudy Got Some Screen Time
The couple of Peter and Trudy Campbell still lived in their apartment in New York before Tammy was born. Alison Brie's Trudy highlighted what a supportive wife she was when Don and Roger stopped by their apartment to get Peter to come to their agency. Pete demanded that Don list his talents, which appeased the sulking man-child — and that's how he got to be an unnamed partner.
Don & Roger Bonded Over Drinks
...annnnddd all was right in the world again with the men sitting at a dingy bar — except when Roger accidentally spilled the beans to Don about Henry Francis.
Don Got Physically & Verbally Abusive To Betty
Although he didn't strike her, Don came home drunk and confronted Betty about Henry. He pulled her out of bed, then grabbed her by her clothes and called her a "whore" (uhh, screw you, Don). She kicked him out of the house and told him she was going to Reno to get the divorce. By the end of the episode, he calls her and consents to end their marriage.
The Partners Decided To Take Harry Crane With Them
Back in the world of business, Cooper appointed Crane as the head of media at their new agency. Why, god, why? (Although Crane wasn't the incredible asshole he is now back then.)
Henry From Once Upon A Time Was Don's Kid
While Sally Draper has always been played by Kiernan Shipka, Jared Gilmore was Bobby in only Seasons 3 and 4 and is currently known as being Henry on Once Upon a Time . Sally and Don told their two oldest children about their divorce and Sally was already displaying signs of an upcoming rebellion when she yelled at Betty and stormed out of the room.
Don Went To Peggy's Apartment To Woo Her
Don came to Peggy's apartment to convince her to come to the new agency. He said to her, "Because there are people out there who buy things — people like you. And something happened. Something terrible. And the way that they saw themselves is gone. And nobody understands that. But you do." His selling point that finally won her over? She asked if he would never speak to her if she rejected his job offer and he said, "I will spend the rest of my life trying to hire you."
It Was The Triumphant Return Of Joan
Joan — as Mrs. Harris (boo) — came back to the office at the behest of (who else?) Roger Sterling. After she got married, she had left the office, but Peter had seen her working at a department store. Her return to save the day as the office manager of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce saved her too.
Don Kicked Down The Door To The Art Department
Like the badass he is.
Roger Could Not Sway The Women In The Office
Joan denied Roger's flirtation and Peggy denied him coffee. These women might not always be friends, but when they're united, it's oh-so good.
Sterling Cooper Draper Price Opened... In A Hotel?
The gang of Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce, Pete, Peggy, Harry, and Joan bid farewell to the offices of Sterling Cooper, while Ken Cosgrove and Paul Kinsey were left behind. (Although Ken has remained a series regular, Paul only had one more blip of a story line with the Hare Krishna thing). The defectors gathered into a cramped hotel room to begin the new agency. Shockingly, Roger claimed the bed for accounts.
The Closing Credits Song Was "Shahdaroba" By Roy Orbinson
As Betty flew to Reno with Gene and Harry, Sally and Bobby stayed home with Carla. Don moved into his new, furnished apartment (thanks to Joan) as the season wrapped up. And fans knew we were in for some big changes in Season 4 and the rest of Mad Men to come.
Images: Carin Baer/AMC (2); AMC (18), distractionsoflola/Tumblr