We’re going to miss Bert Cooper when Mad Men returns in 2015. Let’s take a look back as his best moments from the first six and a half seasons.
Photo credit: AMC
After a lackluster first half to Mad Men‘s final season, Matthew Weiner brought it home on the midseason finale. There was a lot to love and one big plot twist to hate: The death of Bert Cooper. While Weiner produced a farewell to Cooper that seemed to come in epic proportions, it just wasn’t quite enough for us. We needed more. Here are some of our favorite moments with the shoeless leader.
Cooper was such a quirky, smiling old man that we sometimes forget he was once head of the ad game and knew how to manipulate people to fold under his ideas. Cooper knew Don’s secret and, when it came right down to it, he had no qualms exploiting it in an effort to make Draper do what he needed. And he did it so passively, too.
Sometimes Cooper bestowed great gifts on his employees, though. Including, as he put it, a look behind the curtain. In Mad Men, Don’s story line has always been the most intriguing and Roger’s touch-and-go racism the most amusing. For Cooper, Weiner wrote the most eloquent dialogue. Perhaps it was his age or just his wit, but Cooper always knew how to say things with flare.
Cooper knew more about Don than just his true identity, though. Cooper could read people and read situations and he had Don pegged from the near beginning. Perhaps because they were so much alike?
We already know Cooper knew all the best stories. He could never teach a lesson without an adage to go along with it. Most people swallowed their comebacks and took what he had to say. Roger often stood up to the old man. Even when he was defying Cooper, the old man seemed to love it. Nothing makes us smile more than this scene where we get a story from Cooper, a smarta** comeback from Roger and Cooper’s mix of pride and chagrin at his protégé’s backbone.
While Cooper was quick to forgive Don his transgressions in the past, there were a few grudges Cooper held on to. Some of them, we still can’t quite understand. For instance, his distaste for the Brits. Cooper was old… but not that old.
In the long run, though, Cooper’s finest moment on Mad Men was still his very last. From dying just after the space shuttle landed on the moon, to coming back to “haunt” Don with a song and dance, Cooper was in fine form for his last time at the office and it’s worth watching, again.