Dream Sequences, Repairing Relationships, and Saying Goodbye: Consoldating Matthew Weiner’s Post-‘Mad Men’ Finale Interviews


Matthew Weiner had a busy Memorial Day weekend. The midseason finale of Mad Men aired (the last episode of Season 7A, as they say), and Weiner spent the rest of the weekend writing the actual series finale (i.e the finale of 7B), and giving interviews to seemingly every entertainment publication out there. Most of the interviews cover the same ground — Bert Cooper’s death, hallucinations/flashbacks, Don and Peggy’s relationship, Don and Joan’s relationship, Ginsberg, ending a show — so we’ve pulled together Weiner’s best quotes here to help you avoid reading the same thing four times and have a more productive Tuesday.

On the musical number Bert Cooper performed inside Don’s mind:

“I don’t want to do it all the time, but it is the language of the show. It’s as old as the flashback.” — The Hollywood Reporter

“Obviously we wanted to take advantage at some point of who Bobby Morse is. We’ve been thinking about it for the entire run of the show.” — Variety

“It was a lot of work to pull it off in our (production) space and not make it campy. It had some sentimentality to it. It’s for anyone who has an imagination or is lucky to have had the experience of seeing someone who wasn’t there. The message from Bert to Don is that life and death are bigger than money.” — Variety

“It’s Don saying to himself, I guess in some weird way, money isn’t everything.” — Vulture

“That’s the miracle of telling a story in film: You can express something inside someone’s mind.” — Vulture

On Don passing the baton to Peggy:

“I’m gonna admit [a sexual relationship between Don and Peggy is] not on our mind. To me that’s more almost a cliché scene: It’s backstage, she looks awful, he comes back and says, ‘The star’s sick. You’re gonna go on, kid.’ That’s what I wanted it to feel like.” — Vulture

“Within the show we wanted to start Don and Peggy as far apart as possible, because that’s where we left them. Part of the story of the season was them repairing their relationship. It has the structure of a romantic relationship, but to me it was about: Don cannot give Peggy confidence and Peggy cannot give Don integrity; both of them have to earn it for themselves.” — Vulture

“The irony is the fact that she’s pitching a commercial about turning off the TV just as we’ve come through probably the greatest TV moment we’ve ever had.” — Variety

On Joan’s bitterness towards Don:

“I’m stunned as someone who lives with the constant reality of the show and the fans who demand that it stays consistent that people were surprised. I guess they love Don so much and they love Don and Joan so much, but I always look at it and ask, ‘Are you friends with the person who lost your lottery ticket for $1 million?'” — Vulture

On Betty:

“I think Betty has grown a lot. We see her behave the way she behaves — but that conversation with her and Henry where she disagrees with him in public, that’s not about Betty being obnoxious. That’s about the fact that a woman was not allowed to publicly disagree with her husband.” — The Hollywood Reporter

“There’s a lot of anger in some of the other breakups but people didn’t expect Betty to still be on the show even though she has Don’s kids. Life isn’t really like that. It would be great if you could just say ‘This is over’ and hand somebody papers. That’s not how it works.” — Vulture

On Ginsberg:

“Yeah, he’s a delusional schizophrenic.” — The Hollywood Reporter

On computers:

“The surface interpretation that I wanted to show was that the people who are there are quite aware that this computer coming in is going to change their life, and it’s not all positive. It does the work of lots of people, and even though it’s made by people, it’s a terrifying thing. Looking back at the people at the time we think, Oh my God, they didn’t know. They knew.” — Vulture

On finishing the show and predicting the future of Weiner’s career:

“As much as it’s a frustration for the audience that it’s been split into two seasons, it’s a tremendous joy to us that we will finish this experience and not have to say goodbye until next spring.” — The Hollywood Reporter

“I can’t [give finale spoilers]… I can say that it’s almost finished. I have said from the beginning that a lot of this season is about the material and the immaterial. So many of [the characters’] concrete needs have been met, so now you ask yourself, what’s is left?” — Variety

“We don’t want to punch [our fans] in the face… We want them to walk away changed or better or at least entertained by it. That’s all I can say.” — Deadline

“In terms of what is my next project, I am not planning a sequel and I do not have my foot deep in anything else.” — Deadline

“For me, I need to take a break. That’s really what I’m planning to do. It’s scary because I’m stepping off a moving treadmill but I think it’s the best way to not just keep doing more of the same.” — Deadline