Mad Men: Our Burning Questions
Mad Men's second season is now behind us, leaving viewers only to ponder the possibilities of what lies in store when the show returns for its recently announced third season. If we know creator Matt Weiner, there's no telling where the stories of Don Draper & Co. will go. But based on what we know right now, we compiled the questions we'd most like to see answered and even took our best guess at how it will all shake out. Don't like our theories? Share your hypotheses and own burning questions in the comments below!
Does Betty return to Don just because she's pregnant?
Weiner has said that Season 1 Betty was a child and Season 2 Betty was an adolescent. Her rebellion this season was equal parts impetuousness and sadness. At the stables with Don, she pouts, but it's clear that her flirtation with independence — which consisted mostly of drinking, not bathing and yelling at her kids — scared her a little. She still needs him.
Will Don ever share Dick Whitman with Betty?
Based on his measured admission of the affair ("I didn't treat you respectfully"), we're not convinced that Don Draper will ever be as free with Betty (or any woman) as he is with Anna. That's not to say his letter to Betty was insincere or that when he took her hand in the closing shot that he wasn't recommitting himself to her. But as Dick Whitman said in the penultimate episode, bringing Betty up to speed "would just confuse things."
Have we seen the last of Duck Phillips?
Though Mark Moses has been in 12 of the last 15 episodes of Mad Men, his name never left guest-star status. When we chatted with Moses about Duck's future, he didn't seem overly optimistic, and it's more than feasible that his drinking problem — and his behavior at the board meeting — will be reason enough for Sterling Cooper to cut him loose.
Who will be running Sterling Cooper?
With Duck presumably out of the picture, Don seems a logical choice. But we doubt it's a job he wants — or that we want to see him do. It would be easy to keep Sterling as a figurehead boss, but we're hoping for a new president who could mix things up in Season 3.
How far ahead will the show jump when Season 3 begins?
A well-discussed theory says that the series will run for five seasons, bookended by an election that Nixon loses (1960) and an election that Nixon wins (1968). Season 1 ended in November 1960; Season 2 ran from February to October of 1962. Fast-forwarding 15 months again would put the beginning of Season 3 at January 1964, two months after the assassination of President Kennedy. Weiner has said he would only include JFK's death as background to the characters' stories, but didn't rule it out entirely.
Why does Don leave his briefcase in the office at the end of the episode?
"I don't need that," he says, when Joan hands him his valise. You could argue that he's never returning to Sterling Cooper after the way he left things in the board meeting. But my guess is that, as Saturday Night Live satirized, Don will disappear for six weeks and resurface just in time to deposit the check with his share of the merger proceeds. The man just knows how to make an exit.
Will Joan get married at Christmas? Will she ever regain her professional standing?
Joan is both very traditional and a survivor. Despite her setbacks — both personal and professional — we are confident that she will move forward. Unfortunately, that means she will be marrying a rapist and forever fetching someone else's coffee. Poor Joanie.
Will Salvatore and Kurt ever hook up?
While Kurt is perfectly comfortable "[making] love with the mens," at this point it seems clear that Salvatore is meant to tell the story of the closeted gay man of the 1960s. We've seen Sal's version of domestic bliss with his chipper wife Kitty. Although, rewatch the scene where Kurt tells his coworkers that he's gay, and see how you interpret the look on Sal's face. It could be "I'm pretending to be shocked right now." We're thinking something closer to "I wonder what it would be like to be him." Bryan Batt (who plays Sal) has hinted that there might be big changes coming for Sal in future seasons.
How will Pete react to Peggy's confession?
Don't worry, kids, that was just a BB rifle Pete was holding at the end of the finale. (Remember? He traded in the chip-and-dip set for it?) Pete's shock will wear off, but we bet the irony of his resistance to adopt won't be lost. But will Pete's reaction affect Peggy's professional gains? We doubt Pete wants the word to get out any more than Peggy did, and while he might hold it over her head, any attempts to torpedo her career might also jeopardize his promotion to head of accounts.
Will Roger and Jane tie the knot?
We're pretty confident that these lovebirds will set up a nest. After all, he did champion the merger of Putnam, Powell & Lowe and Sterling Cooper to help pay for his divorce. But will Jane be woman enough to stop Roger's wandering eye? It'll take more than cleavage and crappy poetry. — Additional reporting by Mickey O'Connor