With only one episode left in the first half of Mad Men's final season, more questions than ever are being raised. Is Don Draper going to be able to keep his job in the long run? Is Pete really going to stay in California? How is Peggy going to move up in her career? How are they wasting time on Ginsberg's nipple if there are so few episodes left?! While watching Mad Men's most recent episode, "The Strategy," on Sunday a surprising idea popped into my head that would answer all of these questions (well, except the last one): Don and Peggy start a new agency and bring Pete aboard.
Okay, it may seem like a long shot that the show would have the company restart again, but seeing these three original characters back together, sitting in that Burger Chef really drove home the point that these people who were so strongly ingrained in the different iterations of Sterling Cooper & Partners over the years, were now all barely attached to the place at all.
Don regained control of his job, barely, because of the idea he presented when he crashed that cigarette meeting, but there's still all those stipulations that have been added to his contract. Then there's Peggy, who is frustrated about being stuck at a dead end at the company and being bossed around by Lou who she could do a far better job than as creative director. As for Pete, he seemed happy in California at first with Bonnie and his silly preppy outfits, but now he knows that back on the east coast, Trudy has moved on and his daughter barely knows who he is. It would make sense for all of these people to find someway out together in order to get the conclusions they're looking for.
Earlier on in this season, Don ran into Harry Crane in Los Angeles and Harry told him, among other important things, that his suggestion for Don would be for him to run the LA office. Could it be that Don would actually end up doing this? It seems too simple, but what if there was some sort of rift between the two branches that brought along the changes Don and Peggy are looking for in their jobs. (As for Pete, his frustrations are in his personal life and this show doesn't do much with happy endings in that area, but I have a feeling he's along for whatever agency shifting ride is coming up.)
Alternatively, Don and Peggy could leave the agency, taking Pete with them because they need an account guy, and start up fresh with the accounts they need. If this plan doesn't become a success, that's okay because they can be bought back by SC&P and demand better, more secure positions using their accounts as leverage. I'll admit, this part of the theory is based entirely on The Office's Michael Scott Paper Company plot which is maybe not the best thing to use as a prediction for Mad Men but the logic is there.
The final episode of this half of the season is titled "Waterloo" which hints at some sort of battle. I'm thinking this battle has to do with the company and our rift is going to begin and I'm saying "hints" instead of "it's obvious" because this show never gives anything away that easily. The preview for the episode is comprised of scenes that have already taken place and is as vague as usual. It's truly anyone's guess what will happen and that's part of what makes this show so great: coming up with crazy theories that you're probably completely wrong about.