In the sprawling world of AMC's Mad Men, ain't easy being Sally Draper. Living through the political upheaval of the civil rights era, a presidential assassination, and dealing with petty, divorced parents all smack dab in the middle of your blossoming womanhood is no short order. Kiernan Shipka has been doing a stellar job of bringing Sally's character to life. While we're totally crushing on Shipka, we can't help but speculate what will be in store for her character this season.
With last season's shocker of catching Don in the act with Sylvia Rosen, this season is sure to draw more complexity out from the strained father daughter relationship, as well as from Sally's understanding of human pairing dynamics. Her relationship to her mother, already as toxic as Betty herself, will surely come to a boiling point as Sally grows from '60s baby to '70s teen. Here, we list our top five predictions for Sally this season.
1. She Starts Holding Don Accountable
While the other women in Don's life are helpless to hold him truly accountable — either from being in love with him (Megan and Sylvia) or in loathe with him (Betty) — Sally has the unique position of being able to challenge Don. In the early stages of their divorce, Sally was certainly prone to idealizing her father and detesting her mother. Catching him cheating red-handed, however, leaves Sally starting Season 7 completely disillusioned. As a child with an absent father, she both desires Don's affection and has learned to go a long time without it. It's highly possible that the image of himself reflected in Sally's eyes may just be the thing to elicit real change from our protagonist.
2. Sally Becomes a Punk
We already see Sally going down the path of rebellion. How cool would it be for the native New Yorker to discover The Ramones and go full tilt with counter-culture rebellion? While the American punk rock movement didn't begin to take major hold until 1974, I can see Sally mesmerized by a garageband punker right at the start of the emerging scene.
3. Sally Finds A Calling
The eldest Draper child is at the toughest age for finding yourself in general, not to mention in the midst of all the show's drama. It would be great to have Season 7 Sally find something she is good at — a passion or talent — that allows for a certain escape from her grim family reality. Plus, give everything she's been through, wouldn't you want to see the result of Sally Draper putting all of her angsty energy into something?
4. She Avoids Becoming Betty 2.0
Now this is where the wish part comes in on this wishlist. There's no way brooding, sassy Sally won't become her mother in some small way, but it would be nice to think she'd be able to avoid Betty's personality flaws. Betty is like an overgrown child in many ways, especially at her petty best. She thinks nothing of using her kids as emotional props in her relationship with Don and in competition with Megan, so there's no doubt Sally is picking up some pretty vicious lessons. But it would be nice to think she avoids most of them, especially as she begins to live by herself in boarding school.
5. She Avoids Becoming Don 2.0
While she shows signs of Betty's snark, Sally also exhibits Don's telltale detachment. I could totally see a future where, unsatisfied with her actual parentage, she invents a brand new story for herself, adopting a new persona. Furthermore, homegirl is in prime danger to be unable to make new attachments with people or trust potential partners. All of this compounds for a future lady Don. Here's hoping she avoids both parents' flaws and becomes an amazing person of her own.