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Ways I Would End Mad Men

todayApril 15, 2015 14

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Andrew Nogay

Web Content Contributor 

Mad Men's original poster.
I would lie if I said I haven’t tried recreated this poster. From the internet movie database.

Last Sunday, second episode of AMC’s acclaimed show Mad Men last season premiered. Like every great show, as it nears its final frame all people will do is wonder how it will end. This is the kind of television world we live in now. Ever since The Sopranos finale, the ending to TV series have become the main talking point of the show. I can understand that although I don’t agree. The ending to a show is just a moment in the show; if it was a great show, it should’ve made it’s point by the end anyway. I didn’t love the ending to Breaking Bad, but it didn’t ruin the show for me.

I think the discussion of Mad Men’s ending is kind of moot. I cannot remember which article it was in, but it was definitely a Grantland article written by either Andy Greenwald or Molly Lambert, but the main idea was that Mad Men’s ending is already known. What happens? They get old.They retire. They eventually die. It takes place in the ’60s, so some of the younger characters, like Peggy or Pete, would probably still be alive today, but Roger Sterling wouldn’t live another 45 years. Unlike most other great dramas of this age, Mad Men isn’t about crime, it’s more about the characters and the culture of the period. The employees of SC&P aren’t about to get murdered by a bunch of neo-nazis or Mafiosos. They’ll probably live out their lives as normally as people on TV do. Somebody might lose their job, or even commit suicide, but Mad Men isn’t about to do something crazy. Mad Men will probably end with Don Draper staring out a window existentially, like he normally does. Which is totally fine.

But why not get weird with it, hypothetically at least? If I were allowed to ruin one of the greatest shows ever, these would all be ways I would consider ending Mad Men. This might get weird, and spoiler-y, just warning.

Don Draper becomes the leaders of the C.H.U.D.s

I mean aren’t the advertising people of Mad Men cannibalistic in a non-eating people way? Don is already basically a C.H.A.B., Cannibalistic Humanoid Advertising Bulls****er.

Peter Campbell Solves the Zodiac Murders

During his time in California, Pete would become engrossed with the murders like Jake Gyllenhaal in Zodiac, the main difference being he doesn’t mess up his life with his obsession like Gyllenhaal because Pete’s already screwed his life up beyond repair. When he finds out the identity of the killer, he gets really excited. But then it went away, he is heartbroken, and then he realizes everything he already had was not right either, and that was why it had happened at all. And that his life chasing the Zodiac was some temporary bandage on a permanent wound.

Peggy Loses Her Job, Uses Army of Cats to Become Super Villain

Not much to say here other than that this is the logical end to Peggy’s character arc.

Roger’s Mustache Detaches From His Body, Commits Petty Crimes

Easily the best new character in Mad Men’s new season has dark secrets behind its wispy, white exterior.

Aliens Visit Earth, the SC&P Office Becomes the Liaison between the Otherworldly Visitors

I mean, it’d be pretty cool. Imagine Don’s pitch to the aliens on why they shouldn’t decimate the human race: “Imagine your position in the universe. You are more powerful than anything us humans can imagine. But there is a bond between us. Intelligence? No, you’re light years a head of us. Looks? You have five arms, two mouths and no nose. What is it then? Empathy. The thread that connects all of us, from here on Earth to your Galvinatckle Five…”

Ken Becomes a Pirate, Plunders the Office

After being fired, his revenge for the company that cost him his eye is obvious. Plus in this scenario he loses a hand at his new job at DOW Jones while showing off their line of diverse and charismatic products to clients, one of which accidentally blows up in his face. Then, he has to get a hook hand. To cope, he buys an animal companion…a parrot. Boom. Instant Manhattan Pirate. He’ll cause some damage too. That Ken’s got a lot of angst pint up inside him.

Betty and Sally Have a Mother-Daughter Trip to Japan, Help Godzilla Fight Chizumonsuta, the Cheese Monster

The late ’60s to early ’70s is the nadir of Godzilla movies as far as quality, but the zenith if we’re talking hilarity. In this scenario the cheesiest of all of Godzilla’s monsters, other than the Smog Monster, is wrecking shop in Tokyo and for some reason Godzilla needs human help. The human characters do jack in Godzilla movies, but become critical to the plot for absolutely no reason. I don’t see why Betty and Sally couldn’t fit that bill. Betty could just make passive-aggressive comments to Sally, who in turn starts rebelling harder, and Godzilla is just standing there like “is this all the help I have?”

Don, Joan, Stan, Peggy and Scooby Start Solving Mysteries in Their Spare Time

These characters fit almost too well. Don is Fred, Joan is Daphne, Stan is Shaggy and Peggy is Velma. Their first mystery: the case of the purse-snatching mustache. Their first clue: Roger’s facial hair is suddenly gone.

Harry Crane Invents Reality TV

He is enough of a scumbag to do it too. Like in real life he probably would’ve worked at MTV in the early-’90s when they launched The Real World.

Don Quits Boozing, Smoking and Philandering, Finds Happiness

Hah just kidding, these need to be based in some sort of reality.


The greatness of Mad Men has shown these past few seasons through it’s unique destruction of Don Draper. He is rich, handsome, accomplished and completely alone. His life is falling apart even as it seems enviable from an outside perspective. He isn’t happy, and probably never was except for brief moments like going to Disney with Megan and his kids or eating a Hershey’s Bar. Despite his success his life turned out to be a failure.

Maybe Don himself already told us the ending, with the DOW meeting he had in season five. “You’re on top and you don’t have enough. You’re happy because you’re successful – for now. But what is happiness? It’s a moment before you need more happiness.” That’s how Mad Men will probably end. With Don trying, and failing, to find happiness. Depressing, isn’t it?

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