Poor Mad Men.
Lost amidst all the Game of Thrones’ hullabaloo is the fact the Don Draper and company are coming back this Sunday night. It’s the beginning of the show’s final season- the first run of episodes and then a year off before next year, when they show the last run of episodes.
All about that paper, yo.
When we last left Mad Men, Don Draper had been kindly asked to leave the agency with the changing names because he’d become a widely known liability as opposed to the closeted liability he was in the past. No one is going to be cool with Don interrupting a pitch to talk about his formative years spent in a brothel. There is literally no situation where it’s ok to bring that up unless it’s while lying on a therapist’s couch or while on a third date, also known as the I’m Going to Tell You Something About My Life I’ve Never Told Anyone Date. Even then it’s questionable at best.
Don is now free to be Don…or Dick…or maybe a new name, like Hank. He could totally be a Hank. His second wife split, his kids don’t really need him and he doesn’t have a job. It’s the late sixties and the world is Don’s oyster. The man who feigned all attachments now has none. Well, technically he still has his kids. But Don Draper has never been one for technicalities.
Now I don’t think we’ll see any kind of radical change with Don. He’s not going to dive into the Flower Power boom days just because. That’s not his thing. He might visit, take a few tokes, dispense some priceless nuggets of wisdom, but that’ll be it. Don Draper is not growing sideburns or appreciating Crosby, Stills & Nash. Don Draper would not take kindly to Jimi Hendrix or be cool with gallivanting in the mud of Woodstock. Let’s be honest, if he’s going to take a quick trip into the counter culture, there’s a good chance it’s going to be more Manson than merry. I’m not saying he’s going to kill anyone, only that it could get weird. And uncomfortable. And uncomfortably weird. And might involve someone else killing someone. Don? Maybe.
As for everyone else?
Pete is headed to California, but we all forgot about that and Bob Benson is not someone futuristic time traveler, but a Spanish-speaking Don Draper 2.0. I can’t remember but I’m pretty sure Harry Crane is still a booger eater, Stan Rizzo is my spirit animal and Roger Sterling continues to havr the kind of graceful glide into middle age that we all strive for. Peggy is the secret star of the show still, Kenny Cosgrove is in make or break territory- meaning he’ll either play a big part this season or continue to fade into the background and does Ted even exist on the show anymore now that he is also headed out ol’ California way?
Some Not So Bold Predictions for This Season…
Pete gets into a car accident and loses a limb.
Peggy hooks up with Stan.
Don punches a guy.
Ginsburg finds himself a lady.
Harry Crane gets arrested. Twice. Both times in California.
Acid party at the office!
Meagan becomes a TV star, spurns advance from Harry when they run into each other at a party at a producer’s house. This leads to one of the times Harry gets arrested.
Betty ceremoniously burns any remaining remnants of the national nightmare known as Fat Betty.
Henry Francis dies. Nothing fishy. He just dies.
No I’m kidding. Don doesn’t die. At least not yet. I still think there is a decent chance he dies at the end. But you know, maybe he doesn’t. I’d have to think that Matthew Weiner wouldn’t want to dip into Breaking Bad territory and have his main character die at the end. And no, that’s not a spoiler. Breaking Bad started with Walter being diagnosed with cancer in an advanced stage. It would have been more surprising if he hadn’t died. But either way- Don Draper is not going to die.
If I had to make a call now, I’d say Don ends up happy and alone- free of the liars and lies.
That’s what I think. For now at least.