That family at the end — Peggy, Don and Pete — have often treated each other badly, as family members do. Each of them has been selfish, unkind or oblivious in one way or another. They know exactly what buttons to push in order to hurt each other, and Peggy and Pete have the pain of their own complex history locked away in the back of their minds.
But they broke bread together, and they found comfort in the fact that not one member of that trio wanted to settle for what was easy. “Mad Men” often depicts acts of selfishness, nastiness and calculating cruelty, and those frequent displays of cynicism, dislocation and status-seeking can start to seem a little wearing.
But what keeps me devoted to “Mad Men” is that every so often, it circles back to the ideas that people can find common ground and are capable of altruistic acts. The show’s depiction of self-flagellation and desperation can be riveting at times, don’t get me wrong, but I like that “Mad Men” occasionally implies that people can follow the better angels of their nature and find comfort in doing so.
Life can be dark and depressing, but occasionally you come across clean, well-lighted places. Sometimes friendship waits there. Or at least some hot fries.”