There are two main thrusts to the tandem mirror program at the present time. One is to gather the experimental data base to verify the axicell thermal barrier concept and the other to improve the end plugs for tandems. With such improvements one might approach the ideal fusion reactor, a simple solenoid of modular elements whose ends are but a modest perturbation on the configuration from both a cost and technological view point. Progress toward these two goals is discussed here, and the directions to be taken in the immediate future are described.