"Mad Men" capped off its sixth and perhaps most divisive season Sunday evening on a surprisingly uplifting note given the wringer of hell the AMC series has put Don Draper, and us, through.
Surely this was the most emotionally turbulent "Mad Men" finale in years, an episode filled with much upheaval even amid an already incident-heavy season that was beginning to resemble the daytime soap opera Megan Draper had a dual role in. Written by Matthew Weiner and Carly Wray and directed by Weiner, (SPOILER ALERT) "In Care Of" ended not with Megan's death a la Sharon Tate, but with three main characters (Ted, Pete, Megan) decamping to California as a hasty escape from their Manhattan troubles, and with Sterling Cooper & Partners forcing Don to take a leave of absence and pull himself together after a disastrous, soul-baring meeting with Hershey's in which he, as Roger puts it, "shit the bed."
After the finale aired last night, Emmy-targeted press interviews with showrunner Weiner regarding "In Care Of" were published en masse. The series creator talked about the Don Draper of now and yesteryear, and where the series might be headed as the "Mad Men" gears up for the seventh and final season.
TOH! asked Weiner about Don's whorehouse upbringing and psychological issues here.
"I felt this season was a descent into Don's anxiety about why he was still the way he was, and I wanted to have a moment of realization of whether he can change or not. That he was going to have to, on some level, confront who he is, and that is the big tension in his life. People ask me if I've been saving stuff for the end of the show and, as you can see, no."
"We started the season saying, Society is in revolt. Don Draper is in a place where he has Ben before, and his anxiety has never been worse because he knows he's been there before. Certain things are conceived as twists -- you definitely expect Megan to find out about his affair, and it's Sally [who does]. That felt like that would be the worst thing that ever happened to him."
His marriage to Megan, you'll have to wait and see where that ends. I don't know how much hope there is for their relationship, but I would not take that as a definitive ending."
"I like to think that every finale is that cataclysmic. We just didn't hold anything back. It sounds like a lot but we ended season three with Don starting a new agency, living in the Village by himself and Betty going off to get a divorce. Hopefully it always feels like we've painted ourselves into a corner because we have."