Betty’s ‘Mad Men’ Finale Plot Line Could Have Ended So Many Other Ways & Here’s Solid Proof

She's not 2015's easiest TV character to root for (that title belongs to Jane Gloriana Villanueva), but I will forever have a spot in my heart for Mad Men 's Betty Francis. As picturesque as her existence may seem, she is plagued by a deep-seeded restlessness. No matter what changes she makes to her life, the specter of ennui is never too far behind. A Birdie in a cage of discontentedness. When it was revealed in the second half of the final season of of the AMC drama that she's begun pursuing her master's in psychology, I thought, Yes, this is it! This is what she's been looking for! This is when she finally achieves genuine happiness! This is the part where she breeeaaks free! She’s stronger that she’s been before! But that excitement did not last long: In the penultimate episode of Mad Men, Betty finds out she has lung cancer. She doesn't have much time left. Free Birdie’s wings have been clipped.

AUGHHHHHHHH WHY YOU GOTTA DO BETTY LIKE THAT???? A terminal illness was not the way I wanted to say goodbye to Don Draper's first wife. Way to break my heart, Matthew Weiner.

Here are just a few of the things I would've liked to see Betty do instead of, you know, find out she will soon leave mortal coil:

Pursue a career in academia

Don’t stop at that master’s degree in psychology! Get that doctorate. And then, start teaching and and writing and publishing! YAAAAAS, QUEEN.

Start a modeling agency

Hey, she knows the ropes, and if there is anyone who isn't afraid to be brutally honest, it's Betty. Can’t you just picture her exasperatedly thumbing through portfolio after portfolio?

Develop a stronger relationship with Sally

OK, I know this isn't an "...and they all lived happily every after" type of show (unless your name is Pete Campbell, that is), but it would've been nice to see the mother-daughter duo stop resenting one another. Would Betty and Sally ever be Lorelai and Rory Gilmore? Well, no. Let’s be realistic. I just would've liked to see that relationship mend over time and on its own terms (i.e., without cancer being the impetus).

Become a horse whisperer

Remember Season 2's riding lesson arc? That might’ve been the happiest Betty's ever been throughout the entire series. She genuinely loves horses, so why not parlay this into something? The first job title that comes to mind: horse whisperer.

Images: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC; fyeahmm (2), wedoitbetta, themaninthegreenshirt/tumblr