'Mad Men': 17 Quotes from Matt Weiner About Season 6's Finale and What's Next

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Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner is notoriously difficult to reach during the filming and airing of each season of his beloved AMC show. But following the wrap of the season? He's more than available.

After the Season 6 finale of Mad Men aired — and, after much speculation, only one minor death, surprisingly — Weiner talked to several outlets about the much-discussed episode, and what might be next. Below, read 15 of the most essential quotes to help you understand Sunday night's "In Care Of":

Weiner Wanted You to Fear for Don's Life:

"I wanted you to think that Don was the one who was dying. Death can be literal, but death can be a transformation. I don’t know if it’s my concept of the tarot or what – the death card is always about change, and people get scared when they see it. But it’s about the death of a condition or a state of things." ( New York Times )

Some Feared Don's Hershey Speech Would Be Too Much, Too Early:

"And what I really wanted to do was get him to a place where he would look himself in the mirror and see all those things about himself. When I brought this up in the writer’s room at the beginning of the season, everybody got this nauseous look on their faces. I mean, no one ever does that. Let’s see if we can make Don confront who he is." (EW.com)

"That was a decision made early on with Maria and Andre [Jacquemetton], who are the other executive producers here and second in charge of the writers’ room. I started saying, 'Well, why don’t we wait for that, why don’t we wait for that?' and they were kind of like, 'You have to do the show the way you’ve always done it. Just put everything in there and we’ll paint ourselves into a corner and we’ll deal with it later.' ... I feel like I owe it to the audience to not have to stall, to not have a filler season, and to continue the journey for Don." ( Daily Beast )

Don Was Not Fired... Or Was He?:

"No [Don hasn't lost his job]. I think his job is what it is. It’s a leave of absence. It looks bad. But there has to be some punishment for the way he behaved. Firing their most important client, forcing them into a merger and then waging war on his partner, and the destructive swath that he cut through the agency, killing the public offering and everything else, that cannot go without punishment." (New York Times)

"Freddy Rumsen (Joel Murray) came back, and I’m not saying people don’t come back from that and you’ll have to watch, but that shot of him going down the steps and Peggy’s in his office and there’s a replacement coming in — he was fired." (EW.com)

That Phone Call With Betty Was Everything:

"I think there’s a moment in the finale, the phone call with Betty [when] Betty tells him Sally is now using a fake name and drinking alcohol, and all the things -- her flaws, her crimes sound a lot like something Don Draper might have done, and Betty says, ‘Well she’s from a broken home.’ Betty blames it on herself, and you see this moment of shame on Don’s face because he knows what it’s from; he knows that it’s more than that, and you know, Sally doesn’t know who he is, but she really knows who he is because she saw that." ( The Hollywood Reporter )

That Final Shot Could Mean Reconciliation Between Don and Sally:

"I shot it without dialogue and Carly Wray and I, we wrote it that way so that we wouldn’t have to necessarily say it. I hope a picture’s worth a lot more words than that." (Daily Beast)

Pete's Mom Was Murdered By Manolo:

"It doesn’t look good. I would say that she was, yes." (Daily Beast)

Who Is Bob's Friend, Not Lover:

"I think he’s his friend. He may know him through the, what would then be the underworld of gay life, but he’s definitely his friend. I mean he definitely knew him. I don’t know if he was his lover or what their relationship is, but Manolo has an alias." (The Hollywood Reporter)

Don't Mess With Bob:

"We wanted [Pete] to have a protégé, and my feeling was that Pete is very admirable to somebody. Who is that person? ... That Bob has merit in his job, a lot of it comes from the fact that he's a chameleon. It really, really works in this business environment. I just love that, over the course of the season, we would see that Pete had learned something. And that he knew, after all this time, even though he didn't learn how to deal with his marriage, didn't learn how to deal with his mother, all the problems that he's had and been carrying around, he had learned not to mess with someone like Bob." ( Vulture )

"[Bob is] someone who, even without any substance, had a blind affection for Pete, almost an obsession with him. I don’t even think it’s gay. I think he honestly just loves what Pete represents, because Pete has everything that he wants." (New York Times)

Bob Is Peggy's Future Child:

Well, not really. But that was Weiner's favorite theory surrounding the much-discussed new character. “Bob Benson was Peggy’s baby come back from the future in a Terminator thing to illuminate and set things right. That was the most ingenious one. I hope what really happened in the show didn’t disappoint people — that’s not a vernacular we usually work in." (EW.com)

Peggy's Moving On Up:

"She’s fallen into a place of professional success, if nothing else. Hopefully, there’s some irony in the fact that she is cleaning up Don’s mess. I never miss a chance to make an allusion to their similarity. They’re very different people, but there’s something really tandem about their journeys." (Daily Beast)

"She's finding her way at the beginning of this season, her management style, and then it ends with her in a pants suit. Thank you, [costume designer] Janie Bryant, I was waiting for the right moment to do that, in a pantsuit. And she says to Stan (Jay R. Ferguson), ‘This is where everything is.’ And I think that is in a nutshell what’s going on in Peggy’s life. It’s not like there is no joy at all, but her work has become everything." (EW.com)

We Will See Pete, Ted, and the Rest of the California-Bound Next Season:

"I think that you will have to take my word for it, judging from the mystery of Don and Betty’s divorce [back in Season 3]. I have not cut anybody loose, I really haven’t. I am interested in this world and I think that it’s a really, really fertile ground with great actors and great opportunities for the writers and directors, so we’re going to keep things where they are. People have to tolerate that it can’t be a Joan story every week." [Edit Note: We can't tolerate that, Matt. Sorry.) (Daily Beast)

Even Weiner's Not Sure What's Next:

"I haven’t really thought about it. I've always taken this one season at a time, and we tell the story. I and the writers get a sense of how it's going to end [before each] season." (Vulture)

Or What Year Season 7 Will Be Set In:

"I don’t know if we're going to come back [in 1969]. I don’t know anything yet. I literally have to stop thinking about it, let the finale play out, and really get my head blank. For me, I was sort of dreading dealing with 1968 because it was kind of, on some level, the climax of the '60s and everything that I was making the pilot about. The pilot of the show was kind of about, Can you imagine that in eight years that's what the world will be?" (Vulture)

Images: AMC