‘Mad Men’ Creator Planning ‘Sopranos’-style Open-Ended Series Finale?

Published 2 years ago by

Jon Hamm Mad Men The Phantom Mad Men Creator Planning Sopranos style Open Ended Series Finale?

All season long, fans and critics alike have fallen into the habit of shaking every episode of Mad Men like it was a Magic 8-Ball, desperate for answers from a series that provides few. Even the trailers feel like subterfuge as multiple characters appear on the screen delivering simple phrases and single words without any perceivable connection. But with the show nearing season 7, its final season, everyone wants to know if Mad Men will leave us with some concrete answers or just simply come to a stop.

In a new interview following Sunday’s season 6 finale, show creator Matthew Weiner is careful to avoid painting himself into a corner, admitting that he only has an “image” for the “very, very end of the series.” However, he does talk a bit about whether there will be a resolution to Don Draper’s search for self, while waxing about the open-ended nature of life – something that maybe, possibly, could offer a hint about what is in store for the final season of Mad Men.

Here’s Weiner on Draper and the existential question of who he is and whether that will ever be resolved:

I don’t really know what I’m going to do, and I don’t know that the show will ever offer anything [concrete]. I find it difficult to even express resolution on the show. It’s not a creative problem for me. [...]

Resolution in itself is a mystery in this world. I don’t know what to say. Other than death, and even in death, I don’t know that there is that much resolution in [real] life ever anyway, and I’m always trying to approximate that on the show. But in terms of the last season, without being coy at all, I haven’t really thought about it. I have something that I think is the image for the very, very end of the series. Other than that, I just sort of leave things where they are. I think you can feel all of the basic tensions of the series, of the premise of the series, are still intact. I haven’t protected them in any way. The people have evolved; we know more about them than ever, and I just want to be able to leave people with some sense of satisfaction that they were glad that they were on this journey for all these years.

mad men flop house field trip Mad Men Creator Planning Sopranos style Open Ended Series Finale?

Of course, the question is: can fans walk away from Mad Men with satisfaction if Weiner doesn’t provide the chance to see some kind of grand payoff? That all depends on your perspective and your preferences, but recent history suggests – in the case of similarly-celebrated dramas like The Sopranos (which Weiner wrote for) and Lost - that the gallery seems to collectively demand answers.

Recent history also suggests, though, that Matthew Weiner isn’t likely going to let anyone or anything sway him from ending Mad Men on his terms, and it also suggests that none of us are any good at predicting his actions – you can consult your scribbled Bob Benson theories and your hastily-thrown-together Megan Draper/Sharon Tate evidence board for proof of that – so this could all be useless speculation and word parsing. I guess we’ll just have to wait to watch and see.


Mad Men season 7 premieres in 2014.

Source: THR

Follow Jason Tabrys on Twitter @jtabrys
TAGS: Mad men
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  1. I love Mad Men and I loved the Sopranos. But the ending to the Sopranos was terrible. So on the off chance that anyone involved with the Mad Men series finale who is considering doing the same thing that happened with the Sopranos is reading this:
    Please, please, please, for the love of God, don’t.

    • Weiner has said on multiple occasions that he won’t end it that way. I liked the Sopranos ending–There doesn’t have to be a carved in stone ending, in fact, it works better how it was because we can now believe what we want about Tony. Either way, it wasn’t going to end up nicely, either he dies horribly or goes to jail, I’m glad I didn’t have to actually see it, but my imagination can take me where I want to go. The Sopranos had the best ambiguous ending ever, Six Feet Under had the best ending ever for any type.

    • Sopranos ending was brilliant – people just didn’t get it. Like The Wire, it was ahead of its time.

      People just wanted to see Tony get whacked – or live happily ever after. The ending of the show depicts (for the only time in the series) the world from the perspective of Tony’s mind – how everything he sees (random people in a diner) or anything he cares for (his daughter outside the diner by herself) is constantly veiled in this subtle but persistent undertone of dread – i.e., he lives looking over his shoulder for the rest of his days, good or bad.

      The final cut to black symbolized the same blackouts Tony was experiencing at the start of the show. Taken altogether, the ending shows that this non-heroic character isn’t getting a hero’s ending or a tragic ending – since life is more gray than that, we’re shown he’s going to live in a state of anxiety for the rest of his life because of who he is (a mob boss) – to the point that he will still be physically overwhelmed by it (the blackouts).

      It was a brilliant and sophisticated way of making commentary on a character that people had come to foolishly idolize, not picking up on so much of the commentary in the show, which clearly stated this guy was not to be admired.

    • He’s said he’s not going to. I remember him saying in an interview that he’d end it in the 2010′s with old Don Draper.

  2. If you want answers go to a motherfracking oracle and stop winning… This is just a TV show, goddarnit.

    • *WHINING

      • Sorry, i’m latino, ese…

  3. I would like to see Don get back with Betty. The final image of them at a fourth of July, fireworks show.

    • hahahahaha

  4. There is simply no way that the ending of Mad Men can live up to the expectations of fans. No matter how Weiner chooses to end it, people will be disappointed. (I actually love the Sopranos ending. Absolutely brilliant. That said, I doubt Weiner would do things that way.)

  5. The one resolution that might happen is Don’s identity.
    Don comes to think that escape from his torments
    requires admission of all sins including who he is.

    This would mean being carted off to prison.
    Which would of course be a hell of an ending.

    Plus it keeps the door open for any revisit in
    another form, perhaps a film, upon his release.

    Which is always a motivation to keep things
    somewhat open ended; to have the option
    of returning to the show later on again.
    The Sopranos kept that door open.

  6. Unless Don does a complete personality change in the last season, he doesn’t deserve a happy ending….