Photo Credit: Courtesy of AMC
When Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) resigned from the advertising firm in the May 27th episode of Mad Men, Don (Jon Hamm) kissed her hand tenderly. "Don't be a stranger," he said, and she fought back tears. We did, too. But we didn't think we were losing her character for good. Now, it seems, that's a possibility.
In an interview with Jared Harris after his own character, Lane, permanently left the show -- we saw the gray, bloated proof when Don cut his suicidal body down from the door frame -- the actor remarked on others who'd left the show. He included Moss in that group.
"Actors are always ending jobs," he said. "It isn’t a big deal in that sense. Also other people had left the show that had been there since the beginning. Elisabeth left [the show] the episode before, and she’d been there since the beginning."
When the interviewer pressed him to clarify, Harris backpedaled. "Um," he said. "I have no idea what Matthew Weiner intends to do and even then I couldn’t tell you."
From a practical standpoint, the talented Moss is naturally being courted to star in other projects, like the BBC miniseries, Top of the Lake (which she's starring in next). But just as practically, it's tough to imagine the actress choosing to exit the series when it continues to be so creatively rich and well received by critics and viewers alike.
Don's story is the heart of Mad Men, but Peggy's own trajectory is pretty central, too. Is her story over now that she's landed a better job with better pay? Hardly. For one thing, we haven't yet seen her pitted against Don in a fight for a big client. There's a lot more narrative to be explored with these two characters.
Hopefully, Harris simply misspoke. Or Moss is taking a break but not leaving entirely. The show is full of fascinating female characters, but we'd hate to have to live without Peggy.