Mad Men (2007–2015)
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Don and Peggy prepare to pitch to Burger Chef, one day after the Apollo Moon Landing. Meanwhile, a power struggle in the firm between Sterling and Cutler leaves Don's future hanging in the balance.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Ginsberg (credit only)


The Apollo 11 space mission is in progress, which looms over the lives of those associated with Sterling Cooper. The success or failure of the mission will effect the existing feeling of brotherhood and camaraderie among the American populace, which in turn will have an effect on Sterling Cooper's business, especially how receptive the Burger Chef reps will be. But there is also much turmoil within the company. Jim has a vision for the company as being primarily Harry and the computer, as witnessed by Jim's approved motion to make Harry a partner. What has been bubbling under the surface but which has now risen above with a recent incident with the Sunkist reps is Ted's dissatisfaction with his life and his job. A unilateral move by one of the partners on behalf of all the partners leads to some divided loyalties among them, those loyalties between the people involved and what each may see as the good of the company. Regardless of the Apollo 11 mission, real life continues, an ... Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

25 May 2014 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The musical number at the end of this episode, in which Don has an apparition of Bert Cooper (Robert Morse) singing "The Best Things in Life Are Free" and dancing with a bevvy of chorus girls, was the only time the series ever took advantage of the fact that Morse is best-known as a theatrical performer in Broadway plays and musicals. Morse is a five-time Tony Award nominee, and won one of his two Tonys for creating the role of J. Pierrepont Finch in the original Broadway production of the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying--a show that was a major influence on Mad Men. Morse made his Broadway debut in 1955 and was still an active theatrical performer as of 2016 (when he was cast as Mr. Pincus in a Broadway revival of the play The Front Page, also starring John Slattery [who plays Roger Sterling in Mad Men.]) See more »


[last lines]
Bertram Cooper: Don, my boy.
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References The Wild Bunch (1969) See more »


The Best Things in Life Are Free
Music by Ray Henderson
Lyrics by Lew Brown & Buddy G. DeSylva
Performed by Robert Morse
Bert Cooper's afterlife song and dance
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User Reviews

One big step for Sterling Cooper
26 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The midseason finale took place on the day of Neil Armstrong's historic landing on the moon. Of course that's a metaphor on Mad Man: a metaphor for togetherness. Here's how I see it. Everyone got some face time in tonight's episode. Also, we wave good-bye to some. I won't reveal who. Ted, who's been in limbo this season, finally has a purpose. He's depressed, teetering on the edge, and is questioning his future in advertising. He wants something new in his life, and he makes it clear (or tries to) that money isn't everything to him. This is the big picture in the episode. For everyone else, money is the motivation. It's what brings smiles to the character's faces. It makes the blood sucking Jim Cutler (who's consistent yapping about Donald Draper's removal like a pull-string doll is hilarious) back off. It makes a new-faced Joan ease up. But money isn't worth celebrating for Don. "I'll have plenty money if I sell out" Ted says. Is multiple lifetimes worth of money necessary? Don sees an image. It leaves him wondering, holding himself up on a desk. His reactions saved for next year. Then there's the Burger Chef pitch, which is sold on family and togetherness, ironically for capital means. The use of the moon landing in the pitch is genius and genuine. As we get a look at the different groups united around the television to witness the moon landing, I noted that the characters who played villain this episode weren't included in this sequence. Is that a sign of their exclusion from who really matters in Mad Men? (Sorry, Harry, you really can't sit with us; at the partner's table). Roger Sterling matters a whole lot in the episode. I noted earlier in the season that Roger looking out for Don solidifies one of the show's greatest relationships (the bromance is real). If anything, this episode shows it's Don's truly most important and long-lasting relationship. He'll look out for Don again because ever since the merger with CGC the agency has been running further away from the original Sterling Cooper. Therein lies the metaphor of the moon landing. (This is what I believe to the be the "waterloo"). The agency has endured so much and has evolved in so many ways throughout the course of the series. The new step taken in tonight's episode marks "one big step" for SCP. A step in unfamiliar territory, but really a step to preserve the main fabric of the agency. And for the second half of the season we'll see, like Neil and Apollo's trip back, if the gang can make it back in one piece. History proves they will. Tonight's quote of, "Giving everyone that they want, when they want it"; I think that's when Mad Men will achieve its apex and its resolution. A cute B-story; Sally Draper's hormones, her (familiar) hairstyle, and her (familiar) smoking posture. The Francis's are having guests over for the moon landing, one of the kids is a hunk, the other is a star-gazer. Sally takes notice. If you enjoy a nice narrative break into song and dance. This is truly your episode. TIll 2015! 10/10

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