The wait may have been excruciating; curiosity may have reached an
all-time high, but now the last seven remaining episodes of Mad Men are finally
here and, as per usual, it left us excited, anxious, and even slightly confused. Remember that time Don dreamt of a then-deceased Bert singing and dancing to "The Best Things in Life Are Free"? Well, that little trip to fantasy town was apparently not a one time thing. During Sunday night’s Mad Men Season 7 premiere “Severance," fans were treated once again to a glimpse into Mr. Draper's complex psyche when Don dreamt about Rachel Katz, who died, as he later finds out.
If you recall, Rachel was once romantically involved with Don. (Though who hasn't been at this point, really?) But when things didn't work out (and with Don they never do), she ended up marrying a man named Tilden Katz. Since then her whereabouts have remained a complete mystery… until now, that is. While searching for the perfect model to fit their latest "mink" ad, Don envisions Rachel walking into the audition room at SC&P and saying these very cryptic words: "I’m supposed to tell you you missed your flight." However, when he tries to contact his ex in real life, his secretary informs him that she actually passed away recently from leukemia. Spooky right? So what does this exactly tell us? You know, other than the fact that Don is dreaming of dead former lovers?
Well, as always there are tons of symbolism to play with, especially since the ad itself has the models looking into a mirror. Seems like Don is literally in search of some serious self reflection. This is a guy who has made countless mistakes throughout his life and more than likely has many regrets. Perhaps these dreams are his subconscious trying to warn him that if he keeps walking down this path, all he'll find is death. Or maybe it's an actual medical condition we're dealing with here. Could Don potentially have a brain tumor or something else that would cause him to have such puzzling dreams/visions/fantasies? (Think Izzie and Denny on Grey's Anatomy.)
And, of course, let's not forget that ominous flight reference. There's been a great deal of speculation regarding Don's inevitable fate. Many believe he, like the ad man in the intro, will fall (or plummet) to his death by the end of the franchise in one way or another — maybe even by plane. Is this the show's way of continuing to point us in that dismal direction? Right now it's still too early to say, but if death persists on looming over Don's dreams, it's only a matter of time until it becomes a possible reality. Now imagine what a nightmare that would be.
Image: Doug Hyun/AMC