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Is Everyone On Mad Men Dead?

Submitted by on June 6, 2013 – 10:15 amNo Comment

I don’t watch Game of Thrones, but from what I hear about the last episode, everyone died and it’s very upsetting. I do watch that other Sunday night show, Mad Men; and some of the wilder conspiracy theorists think that death has finally come home to roost for Don Draper and/or his wife, Megan.

Two weeks ago, the internet went crazy when it realized that Megan Draper was wearing the same T-shirt worn by doomed actress Sharon Tate in an iconic photo shoot for Esquire. Mad Men‘s costume designer even confirmed that the shirt was “no coincidence.”

This week, writer Dustin Rowles at Uproxx took that evidence and, in his own words, “travelled so far down the Mad Men rabbit hole that [he] may have lost perspective.” Rowles makes a convincing argument that Don’s “hashish hallucination” was in fact a visit to the afterlife, not a drug-induced dream.

As far as we know, Don did actually die floating face down in that pool- for a minute or two anyway. So Rowles re-analyzes the trippy preceding scene under the assumption that Don is dead, not hallucinating:

The wording during that sequence is very careful. During the hallucination, in addition to finding out that Megan is pregnant, Don asks, “How did you find me?” Megan responds, “But I live here.” The “here” is not California; it can’t be the party. She’s clearly not actually there, but she could be in the afterlife. A few seconds later, Draper sees a dead Private Dinkins, who says, “I heard you were here.” Again, “here” is in the afterlife. “Dying doesn’t make you whole,” he tells Don, which is when Don realizes that death won’t fulfill him, it won’t bring him the answers he seeks. He has to get out, back to the living because “everyone is looking for you,” as Megan suggets. That’s when he is pulled from the pool and returned to life, away from Megan, Private Dinkins, and that place where the doorman was briefly after he died. It’s a perfect bookend to the opening scene of the season.

So “here” is the afterlife, and Megan lives “here.” Gulp.

Of course, The Atlantic Wire points out that if this is true, Megan would have had to die suddenly sometime after last week’s episode (when she was definitely alive with her cast mate in the apartment and on set). But Matthew Weiner wouldn’t be above some non-linear storytelling.

Meanwhile, over at Grantland, Mark Lisanti predicts conspiracy theories that Don died for good in that pool, and the rest of the season is just Purgatory, a la the last season of Lost. That hasn’t quite panned out in the blogosphere yet, but at least one commentor has suggested that Don Draper could die at the end of this season, leaving the show to navigate it’s final season without a lead. What better twist for a show about having a void instead of true identity?

What do you think of all the theories?

[via AV Club]


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