It’s the end of an era for Mad Men. And while the screen doesn’t fade to black, it does morph into one of the era’s most memorable ad campaigns and leaves the audience left to interpret exactly what becomes of our favorite philandering ad man turned self actualized yogi, his family and the coworkers we’ve grown to love (or at least appreciate) over seven seasons.
Show creator Matthew Weiner did the show, and it’s viewers, a service by giving us a sense of where everyone was headed during the series finale. But it also begs the question, what happens next?
Here’s our best guess at what becomes of the men and women of Mad Men after October 197o. And because we’re a bit biased, we believe that (almost) all roads lead to California.
Does Don go back to New York and conceive the iconic coke ad? Or does he live out his days as a yogi in California? Like most viewers, we think Don’s cross-country journey of self-discovery leads him back to New York and advertising. After all, he always returns to his life in New York, as Stan comforts Peggy, and Stan is always right, as Peggy notes. One thing Mad Men has taught us is that even if things come full circle, circles are round and repeat themselves again and again and again. But Don is clearly a changed man. And one with a clear understanding of the 70s zeitgeist. So we believe Don will need a retreat in Big Sur. Either one to call home, or his home away from home. And what better home for Don that the Voss House. Modern yet classic, refined yet relaxed, chic yet comfortable, this home’s dichotomy is the perfect mix of the old and new Don Draper.
Last we see Joan she’s in her kitchen working hard at her new production startup, Holloway Harris Productions, appropriately named after herself (twice, because you need two names to sound official). We have faith in Joan getting the most out of whatever she sets her mind to and this production company will take off, eventually necessitating a need for a move to the production capital of the world, Hollywood. We think Joan will feel right at home in this incredibly glamorous estate with luxe finishes and a Joan-worthy home office.
Has Roger finally got the timing right, as Joan comments, with Megan’s mom Marie? We see them together for the long haul and jet-setting around the world between New York, Paris and Napa. Their west coast abode will be private, elegant and the perfect relaxing retreat with amenities like a sun deck and outdoor shower.
Pete takes off to Wichita for a fresh start with his family and a cushy marketing job at Learjet. One of the show’s most unlikable characters, Pete somehow always lands on his feet. So we believe Pete will do well at Learjet, a company known for innovation, style and excellence, before setting his sites on the next big thing, which will eventually take him to Silicon Valley. Harkening on his experience at Learjet and his early automotive accounts days, Pete will spend his golden years on the Board for Tesla. The Campbells will retire to Atherton, settle into a classically styled, traditional home like this stunning estate, and watch little Tammy excel at Stanford.
And Peggy? Peggy will remain right where she belongs: On Madison Avenue. And while Pete predicts she’ll be creative director by 1980, we think she’ll break the ceiling in 1975. Sunglasses on, octopus painting in hand.
What did you think of the Mad Men finale? And where do you see the characters headed in the decades that follow?