Jessica Paré’s bare belly, err, I mean the highly acclaimed AMC drama known to all of us as Mad Men, dove right back into the cultural conversation this week. This was thanks to a number of careful little drips and drops of information, from new interviews with the show’s stars and the release of some stunning photos of the cast draped in plaids, ruffles, florals and bell sleeves.
As our anticipation builds between now and when the final few episodes begin airing in April, so will the tight-lipped responses from anyone involved with the show. We have to cope with the reality that we must soon say our adieux to Don, Peggy, Joan and the rest of the Sterling Cooper (etc.) gang, without knowing how that goodbye will go. The sight of their gorgeous threads in these pictures can dull the pain, but punditry aside, these pics can’t provide that many clues.
Still, the interviews offer us a little bit more fodder for speculation, so because we can’t resist, here’s what we learned just this week.
1. Pete Campbell will be a jerk, but in a different, more evolved sort of way. “He’s calmed down a little, a little less jealous a little more bitter, a little less envious and cutthroat but a little more frustrated and entitled,” Vincent Kartheiser told Variety.
2. John Slattery, who plays Roger Sterling, says the ending will be “satisfying.” He told Huffpost Live, “I think the way that Matthew figured out how to end it for everybody is very satisfying, and that’s not easy to do. I mean, there’s so much scrutiny on these series finales, and I think he did a great job.”
3. However, Joan and Roger ‘shippers will likely be disappointed (although, honestly, who knows what will really happen). Last spring, Slattery put the kibosh on this fan desire: “That’s why Matt’s as good as he is, because he knows what the audience wants — you know, Joan and Roger —that’s not what he’s necessarily interested in.””
4. Peggy’s story arc is ultimately happier than Don’s “She could have very easily grown up to become like Don, and she’s not,” actress Elisabeth Moss told TV Guide. “She could have gone in that direction easily, but she’s going the other way. She is the story of hope. He’s the story of this sort of failure of a man and she’s the story of this hope for the next generation.”
5. Do the costumes mean there will be key parties, cocaine, and malaise? Well, it’s Mad Men. We know there will be malaise.
6. Megan Draper will maybe still be around. Jessica Paré’s prominence in the promos suggests that despite her and Don going their separate ways, she won’t be fully out of the picture. Will she get to do another musical routine, though? Only time will tell.
7. The show will be enshrined in the cultural annals and totally over-promoted when it debuts in April. Yes, friends:
“Among the locations where Mad Men-themed exhibitions, screenings, events and discussions are to be held are the Museum of the Moving Image, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Film Society of Lincoln Center, The New York Public Library, BAMcinématek, The 92nd Street Y and Museum of Jewish Heritage.
The Smithsonian is getting Don Draper’s blazer and his bar cart for its permanent collection. The rest of us will have to be satisfied with watching the blazer on TV and endlessly overanalyzing every frame of every episode.