Mad Men (season 6)
The sixth season of the American television drama series Mad Men premiered on April 7, 2013, with a two-hour episode and concluded on June 23, 2013. It consisted of thirteen episodes, each running for approximately 48 minutes. AMC broadcast the sixth season on Sundays at 10:00 pm (ET) in the United States. The season premiered in the UK on Sky Atlantic on April 10, 2013. The sixth season was released on DVD and Blu-ray in region 1 on November 5, 2013. Season six takes place between December 1967 and November 1968, with characters struggling to adjust to the changing office dynamics based on the counterculture movement.
Season 6 promotional poster
by Brian Sanders
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Original release||April 7 –|
June 23, 2013
- Jon Hamm as Don Draper (13 episodes)
- Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson (13 episodes)
- Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell (13 episodes)
- January Jones as Betty Francis (8 episodes)
- Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris (11 episodes)
- Aaron Staton as Ken Cosgrove (8 episodes)
- Rich Sommer as Harry Crane (11 episodes)
- Kiernan Shipka as Sally Draper (7 episodes)
- Jessica Paré as Megan Draper (13 episodes)
- Kevin Rahm as Ted Chaough (12 episodes)
- Christopher Stanley as Henry Francis (6 episodes)
- Jay R. Ferguson as Stan Rizzo (11 episodes)
- Ben Feldman as Michael Ginsberg (8 episodes)
- Mason Vale Cotton as Bobby Draper (5 episodes)
- Robert Morse as Bert Cooper (8 episodes)
- John Slattery as Roger Sterling (13 episodes)
- James Wolk as Bob Benson (11 episodes)
- Linda Cardellini as Sylvia Rosen (8 episodes)
- Harry Hamlin as Jim Cutler (8 episodes)
- Teyonah Parris as Dawn Chambers (8 episodes)
- Christine Garver as Moira (6 episodes)
- Brian Markinson as Dr. Arnold Rosen (6 episodes)
- Stephanie Drake as Meredith (5 episodes)
- Trevor Einhorn as John Mathis (5 episodes)
- Charlie Hofheimer as Abe Drexler (5 episodes)
- Alison Brie as Trudy Campbell (4 episodes)
- Beth Hall as Caroline (4 episodes)
- Kit Williamson as Ed (4 episodes)
- Ray Abruzzo as Jonesy (3 episodes)
- Channing Chase as Dorothy "Dot" Campbell (3 episodes)
- Brandon Killham as Young Dick Whitman (3 episodes)
- Mark Moses as Herman "Duck" Phillips (3 episodes)
- Timi Prulhiere as Nan Chaough (3 episodes)
- Elizabeth Rice as Margaret Hargrove (3 episodes)
- Morgan Rusler as Mack Johnson (3 episodes)
- Craig Anton as Frank Gleason (2 episodes)
- Gary Basaraba as Herb Rennet (2 episodes)
- Christine Estabrook as Gail Holloway (2 episodes)
- Megan Ferguson as Aimee Swenson (2 episodes)
- Michael Gaston as Burt Peterson (2 episodes)
- Joanna Going as Arlene (2 episodes)
- Allan Havey as Lou Avery (2 episodes)
- Brynn Horrocks as Abigail Whitman (2 episodes)
- Rich Hutchman as Bud Campbell (2 episodes)
- Patrick Mapel as Dinkins (2 episodes)
- Derek Ray as Brooks Hargrove (2 episodes)
- Talia Balsam as Mona Sterling (1 episode)
- Pamela Dunlap as Pauline Francis (1 episode)
- Peyton List as Jane Sterling (1 episode)
- Joe O'Connor as Tom Vogel (1 episode)
- Julia Ormond as Marie Calvet (1 episode)
- Danny Strong as Danny Siegel (1 episode)
- Marten Holden Weiner as Glen Bishop (1 episode)
- Ray Wise as Ed Baxter (1 episode)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||US viewers|
|"The Doorway"||Scott Hornbacher||Matthew Weiner||April 7, 2013||3.37|
|Don and Megan take a vacation to Hawaii for a new client, Sheraton Hotels. Roger receives news of his mother's death and at the funeral, his estranged daughter Margaret attempts to cajole Roger into investing in her husband's refrigeration business idea. Peggy is thriving at her new job at Cutler, Gleason and Chaough, and saves a Super Bowl ad from being pulled. Ken Cosgrove becomes suspicious of the intentions of Bob Benson, an eager to please junior accounts man. Betty goes to Greenwich Village to try to rescue a friend of Sally's and decides to change her look after a confrontation with Village squatters. Later, Don is revealed to be having an affair with his neighbor Sylvia Rosen (Linda Cardellini).|
|68||3||"Collaborators"||Jon Hamm||Jonathan Igla and Matthew Weiner||April 14, 2013||2.66|
|Pete and Trudy host a dinner party for their neighbors in Cos Cob. Pete flirts with his neighbor's wife, Brenda, and they meet for a tryst in his Manhattan apartment. When Trudy discover the affair, she kicks Pete out of their home. Megan confides to Sylvia about her miscarriage and admits it to Don, prompting an awkward conversation over whether they want children. At SCDP, the Heinz Baked Beans representative brings the Heinz Ketchup representative in for a meeting, but makes it clear that he does not want SCDP to work with Heinz Ketchup. Nevertheless, SCDP decides to prepare a pitch for Heinz Ketchup. Stan lets the Heinz Ketchup news slip to Peggy, who shares it with Ted Chaough. Ted decides CGC should try to poach Heinz Ketchup, making Peggy feel guilty. Client Herb Rennet of Jaguar returns to the SCDP office, making Don and Joan uncomfortable. Don has flashbacks to his adolescence growing up in a brothel with his step-mother.|
|69||4||"To Have and to Hold"||Michael Uppendahl||Erin Levy||April 21, 2013||2.40|
|SCDP prepares a pitch for Heinz Ketchup, but is later found out by Heinz Baked Beans and is promptly fired as its advertising firm. Joan tries to fire Scarlett, Harry Crane's secretary, as punishment for Scarlett convincing Dawn to commit time card fraud. Furious, Harry bursts into a partners' meeting and questions why Joan has a partnership stake at SCDP when he has more legitimate accomplishments. Joan is embarrassed and decides to promote Dawn take over her office management duties. The head writer of Megan's soap opera, To Have And To Hold, Mel (Ted McGinley) and his wife Arlene, have dinner with Don and Megan and unsuccessfully encourage the couple to join them in group sex.|
|70||5||"The Flood"||Christopher Manley||Tom Smuts and Matthew Weiner||April 28, 2013||2.38|
|On April 4, 1968, Peggy and Megan are up for an advertising award for Heinz Beans when the announcement that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been assassinated comes in. Work shuts down at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce as regularly scheduled television programming has been temporarily replaced by news reports about the assassination and resulting riots. Peggy looks at buying an apartment on the Upper East Side, with financially lacking Abe dismayed at its location. He convinces Peggy to buy a building on the Upper West Side that they can renovate together. Don takes Bobby to see Planet of the Apes (1968).|
|71||6||"For Immediate Release"||Jennifer Getzinger||Matthew Weiner||May 5, 2013||2.45|
|Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce prepares an IPO, unbeknownst to Don. Megan's mother, Marie, visits and Roger convinces her to join their dinner with Jaguar. At the dinner, Don becomes annoyed with Herb and announces that SCDP no longer wants his business, to the fury of the partners, especially Joan. Meanwhile, SCDP loses the Vicks Chemical Company account after Pete Campbell runs into his father-in-law at a brothel. Roger secures SCDP a spot with General Motors for the new Chevy project XP-887. On arriving in Detroit, Don finds Ted Chaough, from Cutler Gleason and Chaough at the same bar, where the two quickly realize that General Motors intend to give the account to McCann-Erickson, and are only meeting with SCDP and CGC to create the appearance of a fair bidding process and take any worthwhile ideas the two smaller agencies may have. Don proposes merging the agencies to win the accounts, to which the partners agree. After their success, Don and Ted declare a visibly distraught Peggy the copy chief of the new firm and task her with writing the press release announcing the merger of the two companies.|
|72||7||"Man with a Plan"||John Slattery||Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner||May 12, 2013||2.36|
|The newly merged creative team of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and Cutler Gleason Chaough brainstorm how they will market margarine for Fleischmann's. Don feels threatened by Ted's leadership and accepts Sylvia's offer for a midday tryst, which causes Don to be late for the creative meeting. Ted chastises Don so as a peace offering, Don shares drinks with Ted, but the latter ends up visibly drunk, earning Peggy's ire. Don goes to Buffalo for a meeting and still playing a dominant sex role, sequesters Sylvia in a hotel room and keeps her in the dark about when he'll return. When he returns, Sylvia breaks off the affair, telling him she had a dream that he died and she had to comfort Megan at the funeral. As the CGC staff moves in, Joan falls ill, and Bob Benson discreetly escorts her to the hospital and secures expedited treatment. Roger fires Bob's supervisor Burt Peterson, but a grateful Joan saves Bob's job. It is announced that Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated and while a distraught Megan watches the news, Don reels in the aftermath of his break up with Sylvia.|
|73||8||"The Crash"||Michael Uppendahl||Jason Grote and Matthew Weiner||May 19, 2013||2.16|
|Don is still upset that his affair with Sylvia has ended and lingers outside her apartment, much to Sylvia's annoyance. At the agency, the creative team works through the weekend on the Chevy campaign. While Ted and the CGC creatives attend Frank Gleason's funeral, Jim Cutler hires a physician to inject the creative staff with a stimulant meant to give them inspiration and enhanced energy for 72 hours. Don stays at the office, looking for an old advertisement whose images and message were inspired by the prostitute, and honing a pitch to renew his affair with Sylvia, instead of working on the Chevy proposal. Megan must leave Don's children alone in the apartment to go to a meeting, with Sally as babysitter. Sally interrupts a disheveled burglar (Davenia McFadden), who pretends to be their "Grandma Ida". When he finally comes down from his high, Don returns home and finds his wife, his children, the police, and Henry and Betty Francis waiting for him at home after the robbery. He then collapses and the next morning, he promises to make new resolutions.|
|74||9||"The Better Half"||Phil Abraham||Erin Levy and Matthew Weiner||May 26, 2013||1.88|
|Megan's performance as twins on the set of To Have and To Hold gets criticized by the director. Arlene later visits Megan at the apartment, at Megan's invitation, to console her. When Megan says she feels lonely, Arlene tries to kiss her but is rebuffed. Peggy is fearful after Abe gets stabbed in the hand in their neighborhood. She later gets startled at home and accidentally stabs him in the abdomen. During the ambulance ride to the hospital, Abe breaks up with her. Pete and Duck Phillips (Mark Moses) have a discreet lunch, where Duck questions Pete's role at the merged agency. Betty gets lost on the way to Bobby's summer camp, and after seeing Don at a gas station, follows him the rest of the way. The three bond again, and later that night Betty and Don have sex in Betty's room at the lodge. The next morning the encounter is repressed, as Betty and Henry sit together while Don sits by himself. Roger gives Joan a gift for Kevin, saying that he wants to be part of his son's life. Joan counters that Greg, who is absent and perceived as a war hero, is the better father figure and Roger is not dependable.|
|75||10||"A Tale of Two Cities"||John Slattery||Janet Leahy and Matthew Weiner||June 2, 2013||2.45|
|Set against the backdrop of the 1968 Democratic National Convention and ensuing confrontation between police and protestors in Chicago, Don, Roger, and Harry travel to Los Angeles to meet with clients, including Carnation. The three attend a Hollywood party, where Don smokes hashish and hallucinates about a pregnant, hippie Megan. Don winds up face down in the pool and Roger saves him. In New York, Joan meets a client for cosmetics giant Avon. Seeing this as her opportunity to bring some legitimacy to her status as a partner, Joan deliberately cuts Pete out of a meeting. After a scolding from Ted and Pete, Peggy saves Joan with a fake phone call from Avon. Ted informs the other partners that he has broken through the management layers at Chevy, and Jim Cutler later adds Bob Benson to the account, without input from Roger or Don, who are still in California. "Sterling Cooper & Partners" is decided as the name of the recently merged firm.|
|76||11||"Favors"||Jennifer Getzinger||Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner||June 9, 2013||2.17|
|Roger tells Don of a potential new client, Sunkist. They inform Ted prior to their partners' meeting and Ted loses his temper because he and Jim have been preparing a proposal to land Ocean Spray, which would present a conflict. Sally and her friend, Julie, are staying with Don and Megan in order to attend a Model United Nations meeting in Midtown. In the lobby they meet the Rosens' son, Mitchell. Megan learns that Mitchell has dropped out of college and has been classified as 1-A, making him eligible for the military draft. Don then discusses Mitchell's situation at a client dinner that evening with Chevy, and the next morning Ted informs Don of a connection he has in the Air National Guard that can help with Mitchell's situation, but only agrees to help if Don drops Sunkist. Don tries to contact Dr. Rosen and gets Sylvia instead, who is overjoyed that Don has intervened. Julie informs Sally that she wrote a love letter to Mitchell, signed Sally's name, then slipped it under door of the Rosens' apartment. Sally goes back to the building and receives keys for the apartment building from the doorman. Sally goes to the Rosens' apartment to retrieve the letter and sees Don and Sylvia having sex, and Sally runs out of the room. Later that night Don returns to his apartment, and Dr. Rosen and Mitchell drop in to thank Don. Sally storms off to her room. Sally locks the door and Don tries to explain that Sylvia was upset and he was only trying to comfort her, adding that the situation is "complicated." Don asks Sally if she understands and goes off to bed. Meanwhile, Pete's mother is confused about the nature of her relationship with her male nurse Manolo. While discussing the matter with Bob Benson (who recommended Manolo), Benson makes a subtle advance at Pete, which Pete rejects.|
|77||12||"The Quality of Mercy"||Phil Abraham||Andre Jacquemetton & Maria Jacquemetton||June 16, 2013||2.06|
|While upland hunting in Michigan with two Chevy executives, Ken Cosgrove is accidentally shot in the side of his face with birdshot. Back in New York, Ken confides to Pete Campbell that he can no longer deal with the personal stress that Chevy is causing him. Pete sees this as his opportunity to finally handle Chevy and suggests to Ken that he manage the account. The firm's partners agree to the arrangement, and have Bob Benson on the account, too. Pete learns from Duck Phillips that Bob lied about his background. Pete tells Bob of his discovery, but reveals nothing to the firm so that he can maintain control over Bob. Don takes a day off from work, and Harry Crane calls to tell Don that Sunkist wants to expand their print ad campaign to television. Don initially cites the conflict with Ocean Spray, but changes his mind after seeing Ted and Peggy at a movie together. Don tries to make it up to Ted by backing him up during a pitch to St. Joseph Aspirin, but warns Ted that his affection toward Peggy has been clouding his judgment. Betty informs Don that she and Henry are considering sending Sally to boarding school for girls. Betty and Sally take an overnight trip to visit a school. The next day, while driving home, Betty informs Sally that the school's feedback about her was positive.|
|78||13||"In Care Of"||Matthew Weiner||Carly Wray and Matthew Weiner||June 23, 2013||2.69|
Stan tells Don he is offering to relocate to California to support Sunkist and build a west coast presence for the agency "one desk at a time." The agency receives an RFP from Hershey's Chocolate and Jim assigns Don to make a pitch. After spending a night in jail, Don tells Megan he wants to move to California and suggests she could pursue her acting career there. Pete receives a telegram saying that his mother has fallen from a cruise ship and is lost at sea, and later finds out she married nanny Manolo; Pete thinks Manolo killed her and angrily lets Bob know he holds him responsible for what happened. Bob endures Pete's nasty barbs when they head to Detroit, but then comes up with a cunning way to get revenge on Pete: knowing Pete is barely able to drive, Bob tells the Chevy execs that Pete should demonstrate said (lack of) skills on a new floor model vehicle, where Pete ruins the car as well as any future he had on the Chevy account, which is then assigned to Bob. Ted comes to Peggy's apartment and says that he wants to leave his wife and be with her; they sleep together. Ted later reconsiders and decides he wants to move to California with his family, ostensibly to manage Sunkist but also to distance himself from his feelings for Peggy.Ted asks Don to approve the arrangement but is rejected. Don then makes a brilliant pitch to Hershey executives, but as they prepare to leave, Don reveals his real childhood (as an orphan raised in a brothel whose sole pleasure of normalcy was the occasional Hershey bar for collecting johns' coins for one of the girls) and tells Hershey's they don't need an ad campaign. He then decides to give Ted the Sunkist account. Ted informs Peggy and Don informs Megan of the Sunkist news, which infuriates both women. The partners have a meeting on the morning of Thanksgiving and tell Don that his unpredictable behavior has forced them to insist that he take a mandatory leave of absence of at least a few months, with Peggy filling in for Don due to Ted's impending move to run the agency's new satellite branch in Los Angeles. Pete visits Trudy on Thanksgiving and they have a peaceful goodbye before he heads off to his new life as the junior member of the L.A. office. Joan invites Roger over for Thanksgiving dinner, but to be in Kevin's life and not hers. Following the partners' meeting, Don picks up his children and shows them the dilapidated brothel he grew up in.
Production and writingEdit
Matthew Weiner and the rest of the writers began work on the sixth season in July 2012. Principal photography for the sixth season began in October 2012. Cast members John Slattery and Jon Hamm each again directed episodes this season; Slattery directed two, while Hamm directed one episode. Slattery had previously directed three episodes for the series, while Hamm made his directorial debut in season five with the episode "Tea Leaves". The two-hour premiere had portions shot on-location in Hawaii. Weiner commented on the structure of the premiere, saying, "it's really constructed like a film. It is its own story and hopefully it foreshadows the rest of the season." Weiner said regarding the final 26 episodes of the series, "I can feel the end coming. I also felt like I'm not going to do 13 episodes of set-up; it should set itself up as it goes, as it always does." Executive producers and writing team Andre Jacquemetton and Maria Jacquemetton, the only writers besides Weiner to be on the writing staff for every season, departed the series after the conclusion of the sixth season to develop new projects.
Series creator Matthew Weiner also served as showrunner and executive producer, and is credited as a writer on 11 of the 13 episodes of the season, often co-writing the episodes with another writer. Erin Levy was promoted to producer and wrote two episodes. Semi Chellas was promoted to supervising producer and wrote two episodes. Janet Leahy was promoted to executive producer and wrote one episode. Writing team Andre Jacquemetton and Maria Jacquemetton continued as executive producers and co-wrote one episode together. Jonathan Igla was promoted to story editor and wrote one episode. New additions to the writing staff included co-producer Tom Smuts; staff writer Jason Grote and Carly Wray, who served as an assistant to the writers.
Scott Hornbacher, Michael Uppendahl, Jennifer Getzinger, John Slattery, and Phil Abraham each directed two episodes for the season. The remaining episodes were directed by cast member Jon Hamm, cinematographer Christopher Manley, and series creator Matthew Weiner, who directs each season finale.
The sixth season of Mad Men received widespread critical acclaim. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 97% of 38 critics have given the season a positive review. The site's consensus is: "The passage of time has done little to dull Mad Men's rich cast of characters, who continue to confound." On Metacritic, the sixth season scored an 88 out of 100 based on 28 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".
David Hinckley of New York Daily News had high praise for the show's longevity, claiming that "While many shows that have reached this point in the road have left their creative peak behind, Mad Men shows no such erosion. It still has things it wants to say and it still has the poetry to say them well. With regard to the season's first episode, Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter stated "What’s intriguing and partly amazing about the two hour "movie" called "The Doorway" that opens the season April 7 is that Weiner has not lost his touch at writing a beautifully crafted script—jammed with the sadness and humor and personal revelations we’ve all come to appreciate. But in addition to that, he's decided to really hit home Mad Men's key theme in the first two hours with a kind of ferocity of intent we’ve rarely seen from him." Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly had a decidedly more mixed reaction, stating "Like Betty's frumpy frocks, Mad Men supersize episodes aren't flattering. Weiner should stick with tighter, denser storytelling packages. I hope he also delivers the season of change that the premiere seems to promise." Matt Zoller Seitz of Vulture says that "It's a clever, at times tricky season opener. In "Lost"-like style, it strategically withholds key information that would help us make immediate sense of Don's behavior, which by turns suggests a prisoner, a sleepwalker, and a ghost."
Jace Lacob of the Daily Beast stated that "Weiner is both archeologist and astronaut, and Season 6 of Mad Men is no exception, a beautifully realized and dazzling re-creation of our collective past and a glimpse of the infinite and unknowable." Alan Sepinwall of HitFix said "It continues to be one of the most satisfying dramas in the history of the medium." David Wiegland of the San Francisco Chronicle said that "Don Draper's journey has been and remains maddening, in a very good way as far as what makes a great TV show" and that "Like a great novel, Mad Men has character depths yet to plumb." In a rave review, Maureen Ryan of The Huffington Post stated that "The AMC drama is full of sharp writing, ambiguous segues, effective surprises and the usual array of pitch-perfect performances."
For the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, the sixth season received 12 nominations, including for Outstanding Drama Series, Jon Hamm for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Elisabeth Moss for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Christina Hendricks for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Robert Morse and Harry Hamlin for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, and Linda Cardellini for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.
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