A look at the beginning of the end of ‘Mad Men’

Aubrey Shanahan

Television lovers of all different ilk are losing some beloved shows this year. “The Mentalist,” “Glee,” “Justified,” “Parks and Recreation,” and to my dismay (after only recently binge watching on Netflix),” The League” will end after its seventh season. Perhaps the most unfortunate loss of the year, however, is “Mad Men.”

“Mad Men” was one of the first prominent dramas on cable television, and it was AMC’s first original series. The network had previously been known as American Movie Classics, and showed older films for the majority of its first 20 years of programming. In the early 2000s, they moved towards showing films from all time periods until “Mad Men” premiered in 2007 and changed the face of television forever.

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AMC will air the first of the final seven episodes of Mad Men starting April 5, and it is almost impossible to predict what is going to happen.

Theories and musings about the final episodes have been popping up since before season seven even began. A prominent question that is being asked across the Internet: who will survive? Many fans, myself included, are not so certain that Don Draper can make it to the end alive. The show’s title sequence only furthers this rumor, as it features Draper’s outline falling from a building surrounded by advertisements.

Fans have also postulated that Megan is a kind of manifestation of Sharon Tate and that, much like the real actress, she could end up being murdered. Others suggest that either Peggy or Pete will meet their demise by the series end.

One of the more far-fetched rumors going around is that Don Draper will eventually be revealed as D.B. Cooper, a man who hijacked a plane in 1971. While there are some similarities between Draper and Cooper, it doesn’t seem like a plausible theory.

“Mad Men” is drenched in US history, but it is not like the show to place their characters into any kind of historic role. Perhaps it could serve as a shocking end to the mysterious show, but over the past few seasons Don has been making efforts to be a better father to his children, and it doesn’t make sense that he’d be willing to cut himself out of their lives.

A more realistic theory which would debunk the D.B. Cooper idea is that we will encounter a jump in time; towards the mid-1970s. The clothes and hairstyles in the teaser trailer are more similar to the middle of the decade than the beginning, and the song, Diana Ross’ “Love Hangover,” was not released until 1976. For a show that has always prided itself on historical accuracy, it seems likely that we’ll be moving forward in time.

If we’ve learned anything from “Mad Men,” it’s to expect the unexpected. There is no clear direction for the show these last few episodes, but in the capable hands of creator Matthew Weiner, we will undoubtedly receive a rewarding and meaningful ending to a brilliant show.

Collegian A&E Writer Aubrey Shanahan can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @aubs926.