There's only one way Mad Men can end, and that ending is still kinda up in the air. Yes, that was a plane pun, because yes, the idea that Don Draper turns out to be DB Cooper, the famed and elusive aviation hijacker, was still a thing until today, when Matthew Weiner shot down the theory for good. It was a pretty solid theory, but it's not the only theory out there as to how Mad Men will end its seven-season run.
Also, that DB Cooper theory is only about Don. What about everyone else? Sure, the Don has been a focal point seven seasons, but he's not the only character. What about the likes of Peggy Olson, Pete Campbell, Roger Sterling and Joan Holloway? What about Sally? While we seem to have some (albeit, unsettling) closure for Betty Draper-Francis' story and life, everyone else is still fair game.
There are a million ways that Mad Men can end, and as we quickly approach that end, let me theorize for you one more time. Here are just some other likely ways that Mad Men can wrap everything up. Some make complete sense, some are completely crazy. But this is Mad Men after all — anything can, and just might, happen.
Don's Got A Medical Issue
Something's wrong with Don, and it's been bothering him for a while. He has no idea something is wrong, so he doesn't know it needs to be treated. What could be wrong? For Starters, Fusion suggests that he's got a brain tumor, which is why he's hallucinating Bert Cooper in strange places. This Reddit thread believes he's suffering from an advanced stage of syphilis (he has kinda slept with a lot of people). Considering his smoking, he could even be suffering from lung cancer, like Betty.
If I had to guess an ailment for Don, it would have to be liver failure. I WebMD'ed that for you guys, and I hate WebMD'ing anything. Liver failure is caused by excessive drinking, so really everyone from the early days of Sterling Cooper should have liver failure. What are liver failure symptoms? There are a few symptoms, but I think the important one here is hallucinations. That could explain dancing Bert, too.
Everything Will Come Up Peggy
The show is called Mad Men, so you'd expect the show to be about a bunch of men, right? Wrong. This whole time it's been a story about Peggy. We've seen Peggy rise, and rise, and RISE since Season 1. Don's time has come and gone, and now it's time for someone new to inherit his throne. Peggy is the new Don (also a much better Don). Peggy will inherit the Earth, er, the advertizing career Don once had.
Also, Peggy goes to Paris. She's been dreaming of going to Pairs for FOREVER. So for her it ends just like Kate Hudson at the end of Almost Famous where she just buys a plane ticket and disappears into the sky.
Pete Gets Eaten By A Bear
This idea comes out of a story back in 2013 on Uproxx. Basically, as the article clearly lays out:
"What if a bear just, like, walks off the elevator, strolls into the the offices, nods at the receptionist, then heads straight for Pete’s office and mauls him to death? No explanation, no foreshadowing, no scene where everyone in the office huddles around a television to watch a news report about a giant grizzly bear on the loose in Manhattan, nothing. Just a solid five-minute scene of a bear mauling Pete and his stupid new sideburns. How great would that be?"
I mean, yeah. What if, Uproxx? Though I'm personally pretty fond of Pete myself, this would be kind of great. Think about all the other crazy, side things that have happened on Mad Men before. Remember Roger's LSD trip? So a bear waltzing in wouldn't be the craziest thing. It would also solve that pesky Pete problem once and for all.
Pete's Gun Goes Off
Here's a literary principal called, Chekhov's gun. You've probably heard of it, maybe from reading Hedda Gabler back in high school. In case you didn't know, here's how it works: "Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there."
Remember when Pete BOUGHT A GUN? And then he raised it high above his head, and we were all like, "Dude, that is totally going to go off." Well, it's been seven seasons, and it hasn't gone off yet. So, Matthew Weiner, why did you introduce a gun in Season 1 if it's not going to off by Season 7?
SOMETHING About Planes, But Nothing About DB Cooper
The first season of Mad Men was about smoking and Lucky Strike cigarettes. Slowly, Mad Men became not about smoking and Lucky Strike cigarettes, but instead about the airline industry. It's not something that's blatantly insinuated through the past few seasons. It's like, an airplane mention here, and airplane mention there, Pete's dad dies in a plane crash, they lose the Mohawk account. Now in Season 7, it's all about airplanes. The promos for Season 7 even show everyone at the airport.
While this is good reason to bring up that DB Cooper theory again, Mad Men could simply be about planes. No fuss, no conspiracy theories, just aviation.
The Theory My Friend Steve Gave Me, Which Also Makes Sense
So, in the same way that I am a big Pretty Little Liars conspiracist, my friend Steve is a Mad Men conspiracist. He likes to get real in-depth about the clothing choices and color schemes of the show, like Breaking Bad-level intense. He also thinks he's figured out how Mad Men will end. As he calmly told me:
The best ending for Mad Men would be Don comes back to NYC, and McCann is like, 'Don, welcome back! We're going to throw a huge celebration in honor of your return!' So everyone goes up onto the roof, and has a big party and there are fireworks and stuff, and then the Ewok celebration song starts playing, and we pan up, and Bert Cooper, Lane Pryce, and Better are all looking down as holographic ghosts. They're wearing Jedi robes, smiling and nodding to each other. Smash cut to credits.
On a scale of one to crazy, this is like a six, while Megan singing "Zou Bisou Bisou" was at least an 11.
Absolutely Nothing Will Happen
Mad Men's not one to pull big stunts. It doesn't really go for that television sweeps ordeal where like, they tease a shocking death or someone winds up pregnant. Mad Men's done both of those things before, but without all the pomp and circumstance. That leads me to believe that it's just going to end, like all other episodes have ended. They'll be some closure, and some things left ambiguous for us to figure out on our own.
Only this time, there'll be no nonsensical preview reel to mull over. The ads will be over. And so will our journey with Mad Men and Don Draper.
Images: AMC; Giphy (7)