The seventh and final season of the AMC TV series Mad Men begins tonight. Fans are stoked, but it’s been a long time since season six ended. Here’s a refresher course so that you don’t have to spend too much time remembering the salient points that will be continued in the story. It starts off:
1. California here someone comes! Having survived 1968 — the year when Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, and the Vietnam War became a nightmare — somebody from Sterling Cooper & Partners will be moving to Los Angeles to work on the Sunkist account.
Stan (Jay R. Ferguson) would like it to be him. Don (Jon Hamm) explains that it would be a demotion, and that L.A. is like “Detroit with palm trees.” (HEY!) “If you fail there, you’ll be out of advertising, because no one takes it seriously,” he says. Stan is insistent — he says it would be like building his own agency, and he would be a frontiersman. Don and everyone on Mad Men have been through a lot this season, and there’s been an atmosphere of dread and menace surrounding pretty much everything. As this finale episode, called “In Care Of,” unfolds, several characters will be looking to escape and start over, but as Jimi Hendrix wailed in “All Along the Watchtower” in 1968, they can’t get no relief.
By the time you finish reading the list, everything will be clear and refreshed, and you’ll be ready for what comes next in the series tonight.