‘Mad Men’: Will Don Draper Die or Just Fade Away?

Mad Men

On the series finale of Mad Men tonight on AMC at 10:00pm ET/PT, the question on many fans’ minds is about the fate of Don Draper, if he will die or fade away, or if his fate will be something in-between the two possibilities. Fans will not have to wait much longer to find out, but some media sources, like the U.K.’s Daily Mail, are suggesting that there is at least a 50/50 chance Draper will die, by suicide, plane crash, or other means.

Though the AMC series about the lives of men and women in the advertising world of the 1960s has never been a huge ratings success, it has developed a very loyal following of fans over the almost eight seasons and 91 episodes it has aired on AMC. Mad Men was AMC’s first success with a scripted television series, leading the network to eventually adding other extremely successful scripted series to their line-up, like The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad.

Some fans of Mad Men would like to see Don Draper find a feeling of redemption, or to even find Jesus, while other would like to see him suffer a violent and graphic death. While not giving anything away, AMC president Charles Collier told CNN Money that “It will stick with people for a long time.” He added that he feels fans will find the finale to be “just as beautiful as you’d hoped it would be.”

Whatever else might happen in the series finale, it is probably a safe bet that it will end with a song. As Newsweek pointed out in a recent article, “Singing the End of ‘Mad Men'”, Matt Weiner, the creator of Mad Men, has used music from the 1960s in the final scenes of each of the 91 episodes leading up to the finale, so the finale will also probably end with a song. Much of the rest of the article speculated about which song that it might end with, and why.

Matt Weiner has been keeping the details of the finale, for the most part, a secret. He has done the same for every episode of the series, loathe to reveal any potential spoilers. Even the scenes at the ends of each episode about the next, upcoming, episode were designed to reveal very little about what was to come. The scenes have been widely parodied, because they did not really tell viewers much about an upcoming episode, at all.

Despite an outwardly glamorous lifestyle that many of the characters in the cast of Mad Men have seemed to live, of coming up with slogans, having casual sex, smoking and drinking, and living life like there is no tomorrow, many of the characters have had to deal with traumatic situations in their lives. There is a sort of “dark heart” to the series, as the Newsweek article mentioned, with most of the characters being basically “unhappy,” despite outward appearances.

The characters in Mad Men have attempted to hide or disguise their unhappiness and loneliness through work, loveless sex, drinking and by other means, but none of the ways have helped to solve their problems. At best, the methods that the characters have used are like bandages, temporarily offering some relief, but not serving as cures.

With Betty Draper, played by January Jones, having been diagnosed with aggressive cancer that has progressed to her bones, one of the latest casualties to the lifestyles that the Mad Men characters live, it should be perhaps no wonder that many fans of the series envision a bleak outcome for Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm. Rachel Menken was another character who was killed off, without even getting to have a death scene.

Will Don Draper die in tonight’s series finale of Mad Men, find the Lord, or possibly just fade away, becoming homeless and wandering the streets, lost in a drunken stupor? Whatever might happen to Draper, the finale should be a huge ratings success for AMC. Mad Men has become so popular to some fans, that their children have dressed up as characters from the series for Halloween. Check out the finale tonight on AMC!

Written By Douglas Cobb

Newsweek: Singing the End of ‘Mad Men’
CNN Money: ‘Mad Men’ finale has finally arrived
Daily Mail: Goodbye Don: will Don Draper die
in the last episode of Mad Men? Six key questions
about tonight’s finale, by Jim Shelley

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