7 Reasons Why 'Mad Men's Don Draper Will Survive The Series Finale, Because It's Just Not His Time

We're quickly approaching the series finale of Mad Men , and I've set up camp right here in denial. I'm not at all ready to say goodbye to one of TV's finest dramas, or the nuanced characters showrunner and creator Matthew Weiner has crafted. What do you say — one more round, everyone?

(Hey, can't blame a girl for trying.)

As we approach those final moments of the AMC series, fans and media minds alike are making their guesses as to the fate of tortured ad man Don Draper (and have been since Season 1, really). It almost feels like the audience is waiting to see where, how, and with whom Don ends up, so that they can then squeeze his circumstances into a simple soundbite that will succinctly summarize once and for all what these seven years of Mad Men have been all about. That's a disservice to the show, an oversimplification of years of making television history, and a disproportionate focus on the destination instead of the journey.

And now that I've shared my frustration with the obsession over Don Draper's future, I'm going to share my theory. (Duh, of course I have one. Doesn't everybody?) Here it is: Don Draper is going to live. Weiner's liberal use of death imagery hasn't fooled me; Mad Men is not going out like that.

To support my theory, I've got 7 reasons why I know Don won't die:

1. It's what everyone expects, and Mad Men has never been a show to deliver what everyone expects.

Fans love the unexpectedness of the series. Why should it become predictable now?

2. As far as anti-hero ends go, this one has been done.

Most recently by Breaking Bad — and, arguably, Weiner's alma mater, The Sopranos. Don Draper isn't Walter White or Tony Soprano, and I think Weiner would be intent on setting him apart from the characters Don's compared to so often.

3. It would be more of a punishment to force Don to continue living in a world that perpetually leaves him unsatisfied.

Death isn't the punishment that fits Don's crimes. It's life. Relentless, bleak, boring life.

4. He's supposed to pass the torch to Peggy because he fades into uselessness.

Not because he gets hit by a bus or something. Peggy deserves more, frankly — and that's not a fitting end to the show's most powerful dynamic.

5. Somebody else is gonna kick it instead.

My money's on Roger.

6. He needs to be there to watch Sally grow up into whatever the hell she's becoming.

In horror? Pride? Both?

7. I have to believe that Don and Joan can finally have that fling.

Even if it's after the screen fades to black. The potential, guys. That chemistry can't be wasted.

Images: Justina Mintz/AMC; Giphy (8)