I’ll preface this article by telling you I was a late-comer to Mad Men. I heard about, read about it, but never took the time to become totally invested in to the show. I will also tell you that I absolutely hated the show at first; it bored the heck out of me. However, something strange started to happen a few episodes in… I fell in love with the characters, the storyline, and everything else about the show.
I kept to myself while binge watching Mad Men on Netflix; I never read in to any fan theories or forums on the show’s true meaning. That statement is totally true up until last week’s episode, “The Milk and Honey Route” which completely blew my mind. It was the first episode, leading up to the finale, that immediately had me opening up my computer to find a deeper insight. I spent a couple of hours that night in the dark, staring at my computer screen scouring through various theories of how the show will end. All of this leads me to why I’m writing this article…
The series finale of Mad Men will air hours from the time I am writing this article. I thought I’d give my opinion on how I think it’s going to end (sourced through various fan theories) and then update it with how it all went down and compare the two. Let’s get started (SPOILERS AHEAD!):
There are many fan theories on the web depicting their own versions of how the show could end. Among them the “Don is D.B. Cooper”, “Megan Draper is Sharon Tate”, the ever so popular “Wichita Plane Crash Theory”, and last but not least my personal favorite, “The Coca Cola Theory”.
This final theory makes the most sense to me and I think, while not the most eventful ending, could send the show off on the right foot. So, how will it end? Throughout the show Don has “checked-out” but always makes his way back to New York and the World of Advertising. Don is currently out and about on the most random road trip known to man. Where is he going? Well, we’re not quite sure yet. He appears to be shedding what’s left of his materialistic life (i.e. the apartment, car, etc.) and even vetting out some emotional baggage at the VA Fundraiser.
One part of the last week’s episode that stood out to me the most was Don’s seemingly fascination with the broken Coca Cola machine outside of the motel. He stood at it curiously for quite some time. It’s a look we’ve been before and seems to pop-up whenever Don is struck with a simple, yet brilliant idea.
So, here’s my pitch: Don makes his way back to New York (perhaps he has received word of Betty’s lung cancer?). Upon arriving, the Coca Cola pitch will be Don’s shot at redemption; his final chance to save his job. After all, we haven’t seen a classic Don Draper pitch all season, why not send us off with one? So there’s Don, listening to some boring pitch by what’s most likely to be Ted. Finally, he’s had enough… Don stands up, smiles and starts off with one of his simple lines such as “I’d like to talk to you about family,” the screen fades to black. Everything is quiet and we hear one of the most famous advertisements in TV history…
We’ll find out soon enough whether I’m right or wrong, but this theory has stuck with me for quite some time now and I love it. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. I’ll be updating this article tonight after the finale!
All in all, I’ll give myself a B+… While Mad Men didn’t end exactly how I anticipated, the end result was the same. Don Draper created his final masterpiece. Quite the opposite of a boardroom, the show came to it’s conclusion with Don, in a yoga class, saying “Om.” Beautiful scenery all around, and a smile comes across his face. Screen goes black and fades to “I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke.” For anybody who wants to argue that Don didn’t create the ad, just shush.
So how do I feel about this ending? I don’t hate it. While I wasn’t expecting anything grandiose, I would have definitely liked a bit more. The whole ending felt slightly abrupt and definitely had me craving more. However, isn’t that what all great shows are supposed to do? Leave us yearning for more and missing the characters as if they’re a part of our lives? Nice going Mr. Weiner.