Photo Credit: FRANK OCKENFELS/AMC
The last time we had the pleasure of Don Draper's (Jon Hamm) company, AMC's Mad Men was capping off its most-watched season with its highest-rated season finale. Things weren't quite so cheery for Don, though. When we left him, it was 1967, and he'd finally given in to his wife Jessica's (Megan Paré) requests to help her get into acting. In the final moments, he was seen walking away from her first commercial shoot, only to settle in at a dark bar and field a come-on from another woman. Would he cheat or wouldn't he? We weren't given an answer, but the scene's fade to darkness gave us a pretty good idea.
In season 6, which premieres on April 7th at 9 p.m. ET with a two-hour episode (and will resume its usual 10 p.m. timeslot on April 14th), we'll rejoin the characters some time later. Creator Matthew Weiner says there will be another time jump, but he's not saying how far ahead. (If he follows his usual course, it will be a couple years.)
Weiner views the end of season 5 as a decision to make the future of Don and Megan's relationship into a cliffhanger. "As the season went on and Megan began to express her own desires and ambitions, it was a real blow to Don and didn't jibe with what his fantasy of this relationship was meant to be," Weiner told TV Guide. "Maybe Megan wasn't exciting to him once she wasn't completely devoted to him anymore. But it ain't over."
Weiner also signals a shift in perspective in the coming episodes. "A lot of last season was told from the outside of Don, seeing him try to act like the person who was in that relationship," he told Entertainment Weekly. "And there was supposed to be something about that last moment of [the finale] where Don turns to the camera, where you are back on the inside with him, and I can say that it is an internal story this season."
So…we'll be back inside Don's head. Anything else we can look forward to when the show kicks back into gear? Weiner isn't big on giving out spoilers, but here's what we know so far.
We'll be seeing more of Betty Draper/Francis (January Jones) this season. In season 5, Jones' pregnancy limited her time on screen. But when we did see her, Weiner used her burgeoning belly to fuel a Betty-getting-fat storyline. Now that Jones is back to her svelte self, will her vain character get to return to form as well? Weiner's not telling.
Don and Jessica will head to Hawaii. Will they be plagued by a bad luck tiki taboo like the Brady Bunch did just a few years later (in 1972)? Probably not, but based on these photos, they'll sip fancy cocktails and sport stylish shades!
Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) is still part of the show. Despite her end-of-season decision to leave Sterling Cooper Draper (Pryce?) for another firm, she's still being written in. As for what's in store for her, that information is top secret. "We can't say anything, ever," she told an interviewer at the Sundance Film Festival. "But now I have even less to talk about, because I can't even say where I am in the show." We have no doubt that wherever Peggy is professionally, she's killing it!
Weiner has said that if we knew what was going to happen beforehand, we wouldn't enjoy the show as much. Agreed. We just wish we didn't have to wait so long to find out!