Mad Men Season 7, Episode 11 “Lost Horizon” Review
The third to last episode (90th episode), is all about the transition and the dilemmas everyone has feared of being forced to McCann Erikson. Joan, Don, Peggy, and Roger's first days are rather uninviting. It seems that selling out to a bigger company is more than they can swallow.
We see Peggy Olsen drunk, riding around on roller skates. Then, Roger Sterling is seen playing the organ in a vacant office, as Peggy hasn’t had her office set up yet. The viewers watch as Sterling attempts to stay at the office as long as he can to reside over the house he helped build.
Joan Harris becomes Rosie The Riveter as she sees her position not only being compromised, but disgraced. New characters at McCann such as Ferg, who basically says Joan will only get what she wants if he can make it into her clothes, and Dennis, the CEO, will not put up with Harris’s demands to be removed from working with Ferg. Threatening Dennis with Equal Opportunity Commission uprisings, ACLU involvement, and her new lover Richard to handle the law side (though he is not mentioned in the discussion with Dennis), Joan ends up being the strong women she is and loses half her stake in the company while keeping her dignity.
Don Draper is introduced to technically the “new,” younger Don, Bill Phillips from Connolly Research, who is pushing a low calorie Miller Lite to feminize the brand. After being asked to introduce himself like a trained animal before entering the meeting, Phillips responds, “I’m Don Draper from McCann Erikson.” During the meeting, and seeing essentially a replica of himself pushing this Miller Lite campaign, Don leaves the meeting not only to pick up his daughter, but also due to his disgust and distain.
When he gets to his former first wife Betty’s house to pick Sally Draper, she has already left, but an emotional bond forms between Betty and Don while talking about Betty going back to college. Then Don goes on a vision quest to find Diane Bauer, taking a turn on the interstate to the house of her ex-husband. While his tired eyes stare into the abyss he looks over to see Bert Cooper’s ghost in the passenger seat telling him, "Don you like to play the stranger and talk about Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road”," fittingly.
Driving home, Don Draper finds a hitchhiker/vagabond which he gladly assists and again drives into the abyss. With only two episodes left, we can only hope it ends with a bigger bang.