Mad Men has a long history of surprising viewers, but the closing scene of Sunday's midseason finale might have been the most unexpected twist yet: a bizarre but joyous scene in which the recently deceased Bert Cooper (Robert Morse) returns from the dead to perform a luminous rendition of "The Best Things in Life Are Free." If you need a refresher (or a reason to smile), check out the scene here:
How to explain Mad Men's sudden shift into surrealism? In a recent interview with The New York Times, Robert Morse weighed in on the odd, touching ending. "All I can say is, what a send-off! Exit left, and don't stop at the door," said Morse. "The opportunity to shine in the spotlight that Matt Weiner gave me — it was an absolute love letter. Christmas and New Year's, all rolled into one."
Morse also explained how he managed to keep the surprise ending under wraps:
I had a wonderful choreographer, Mary Ann Kellogg, and we worked on it for three or four days, five days, in secrecy. No one was to know, not even my wife or family, no one knew what was going to happen. Nobody knew beforehand. We sang the song three or four times with a 30-piece orchestra, Matt was there. I rehearsed with the dancers and a few days later, Matt came in to see what we had done and said, "It’s going to work." Then we filmed it in about six or seven hours. I breathed easily and took it easily, as Matt wanted. No great histrionics. [The New York Times]