Remember when Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse hinted way far in advance that they had some ideas about how “Lost” would end?
Well, Matthew Weiner — the showrunner behind AMC’s “Mad Men” — has gone a step further: he recently implied that he knows how the Don Draper story will conclude and shared some semi-specific information about that in a recent discussion with Jeff Garlin at L.A.’s Largo at the Coronet. That conversation was captured in part by Grantland’s Lane Brown, and naturally is sparking some conversation online. As chroniclers of Betty Draper’s parenting skills as well as the propensity of certain secretaries to throw cigarette holders at Don Draper’s head, Celebritology feels compelled to join that conversation.
As noted by the TV Column, here’s what Weiner said, again, according to Grantland. (Proceed with knowledge of potential, vague spoiler ahead.)
“I do know how the whole show ends,” Weiner reportedly revealed. “It came to me in the middle of last season. I always felt like it would be the experience of human life. And human life has a destination. It doesn't mean Don's gonna die. What I'm looking for, and how I hope to end the show, is like … It's 2011. Don Draper would be 84 right now. I want to leave the show in a place where you have an idea of what it meant and how it's related to you.”
Now the obvious assumption to take away from those words is that “Mad Men’s” seventh season — expected air date: sometime in the year 2037 — will end with a flashforward to (roughly) present-day. But Darren Franich at Entertainment Weekly suspects that Weiner is “being a bit more abstract.”
“I’m betting that ‘Mad Men’ will end at some pivotal turning point in American history which symbolically connects the show forward,” he writes. “Maybe it’ll be the election of Richard Nixon — that would bring the show full circle, since for much of the first season, the ad agency was brainstorming ideas for Nixon’s failed 1960 campaign.”
I’m with Franich on this. I am not sure that Weiner necessarily meant that “Mad Men” will end in 2011 specifically, although it’s entirely possible that’s exactly what he’s planning. Either way, it seems a little nuts to start guessing the final “Mad Men” moment when we haven’t even begun season five yet. (That being said, I’m going to go ahead and predict that the final moment of “Mad Men” will consist of a close-up of Peggy Olson’s eye closing. You know, because that worked for me once before.)
So let me ask this question: what’s your interpretation of Weiner’s comments? Do you think he means a literal flashforward to 2011? Also, since Weiner normally drives fans crazy by being too secretive, does it now drive you crazy that he’s dropped a spoiler so far in advance? Please weigh in by posting a comment on this vital “Mad Men” matter.