‘Mad Men’ season 6: Matthew Weiner offers brief glimpse

Has Don really changed?

If you love “Mad Men” as much as we do, then you are already well aware that we are in for an excruciating wait now before the premiere of season 6 next year. Shooting does not even begin again for a couple of months — and even though  show creator Matthew Weiner is not sharing much in the way of explicit details, he is at least giving us some thoughts about what we saw play out in the finale on Sunday night.

For us, really the most powerful shot was seeing Don Draper walk into the darkness while his wife Megan was encapsulated by a spotlight, seemingly knowing that after struggling, she had finally started to “make it” as an actress. In that moment, Don realized that he had just set the wheels in motion for a scenario in which he could lose her (much like he feels he helped, then lost Peggy), and this led directly into the scene at the end of the episode where he is approached by a woman at a bar asking is he was alone.

But is Don really going to divert back to his old (and rather tawdry) ways? As a part of a rather fascinating interview with TV Guide, Weiner ultimately cautions us not to jump to any major conclusions when it comes to the character, and how he reacts to the line “are you alone?” with some sort of piqued interest:

“I think it’s a fleeting glimpse [at the bar]. I can’t tell you where we’re going, but I definitely think when you hear that question, ‘Are you alone?’ it’s not just, ‘Are you going to start cheating on this woman?’ We’ve seen how faithful he’s been — not just his conscience, when he strangles that old lover in his mind — but also in actuality.”

Weiner seems to be well aware of the tendency by many of us to knee-jerk, mostly because of the strong opinions that are so easy to have about this. Take Megan, for example — we love what she brought to the show, whereas others felt as though she took away from people like Betty and Peggy, who we have grown ore accustomed to seeing over the years. It’s easy to think of Don Draper as a cheater, and it’s actually harder to imagine him faithful — with that in mind, the latter story becomes infinitely far more interesting from the standpoint of pursuit.

Do you think Don is going to cheat on Megan? While we feel the answer to this question is “no,” we are still not committed to the notion that he and Megan will stay together long-term either.

Photo: AMC

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