When it comes to this category, this is Mad Men’s with a bow tied around it unless an unforeseeable upset occurs in this category. The series finale of Mad Men contained some of the best writing of the entire series and perhaps had one of the most ingenious conclusions ever offered to a show. The series finale provided much needed maturity to all its characters, finally giving them the opportunity to embark on quests they had always held back on or finally stood still to appreciate what was around them. More importantly, the series finale finally gave viewers the chance to see Don Draper finally unravel and it was poignant instead of being tragic. Matthew Weiner’s “Person to Person” script should be a no-contest against any of the other nominees.
There are only two other nominees in this category that truly have a fighting chance of pulling an upset in this category. The first would be the latter Mad Men nomination in this category (“Lost Horizon”). This particular episode contained so much content within one episode, most importantly containing a literal “end of an era,” that brings together all the show’s principle characters together one last time in the series for a final memorable drink together. “Lost Horizon” also was a Christina Hendricks centric episodic, to which the iconic Joan Holloway character endures such horrifically blatant and repulsive sexism that she finally (after long enduring it for many seasons on this show) stood up for herself not only as a woman, but as a human being. The Joan portions of this script were stunning and brilliant writing and easily could be enough to pull off a win.
The other potential upset could be Game of Thrones’ “Mother’s Mercy,” which was a stunning season finale for the show’s fifth season. The script for this episode provided a spectacular framework and sequences that still has fans of the show talking and speculating as to what could happen next. The one disadvantage to Game of Thrones in this category is that the season finale was more dependent upon its direction than its writing. The dialogue is scarce in this episode and the script provides maybe too much space for the director to take creative liberties as to what occurs on-screen.
Game of Thrones – David Benioff, D.B. Weiss (“Mother’s Mercy”)
The Americans – Joshua Brand (“Do Mail Robots Dream Of Electric Sheep”)
Better Call Saul – Gordan Smith (“Five-O”)
Mad Men – Matthew Weiner (“Person to Person”)
Mad Men – Matthew Weiner, Semi Chellas (“Lost Horizon”)
Will Win: Mad Men – Matthew Weiner (“Person to Person”)
Could Win: Mad Men – Matthew Weiner, Semi Chellas (“Lost Horizon”)
Should Win: Mad Men – Matthew Weiner (“Person to Person”)
Could Upset: Game of Thrones – David Benioff, D.B. Weiss (“Mother’s Mercy”)