It was The Sopranos–like ending that had Mad Men fans questioning what lay ahead for their suave but down in the doldrums wanderer, Don Draper.
The show’s final scene has our favourite ad man alone in a hippie self-help camp, sitting in yoga position while listening to the instructor talk about wisdom, peace and love.
Then, Don smiles a smile rarely seen over the show’s seven seasons and the shot cuts to the iconic 1971 Coke ad called “The Hilltop” which looks suspiciously similar to his surroundings.
Did Don find some form of peace and contentment in the camp and stay out west, or did he go back to McCann in New York and make one of the greatest ads of all time?
Thankfully, Jon Hamm, the actor behind the iconic character, is here to clear things up.
Hamm thinks Don didn’t stay a hippy for long.
“My take is that, the next day, he wakes up in this beautiful place,” Jon Hamm told The New York Times.
“He has this serene moment of understanding, and realises who he is. And who he is, is an advertising man.
“And so, this thing comes to him. There’s a way to see it in a completely cynical way, and say, ‘Wow, that’s awful’. But I think that for Don, it represents some kind of understanding and comfort in this incredibly unquiet, uncomfortable life that he has led.”
Here is the Coke ad the series ended with:
Hamm also revealed in the interview how he knew about the ending for quite a while, but didn’t have any idea about how show creator Matthew Weiner would get the main protagonist to the “mediative, contemplative place”.
“It’s a little bit ambiguous. We had talked about this ending for a long time and that was Matt’s image,” Hamm said.
“I was struck by the poetry of it. I didn’t know how his plans were, to get Don to this meditative, contemplative place. I just knew that he had this final image in mind.”