Mad Men‘s days are numbered, which means it has a limited time to answer some of the burning questions posed throughout the series—in episodes both recent and old. Before the Emmy winner returns on AMC this Sunday, we outlined some of the questions we’re most curious about—and offer up a few possible answers while we’re at it.
Will Don or Peggy give the pitches?
In season 7’s midseason finale, “Waterloo,” Don finally handed the presentation torch to Peggy—who delivered a Burger Chef pitch that may have surpassed even her mentor’s best moments. But Don attributed his eleventh-hour redelegation partly to the forces within the agency attempting to force him out, leaving his pitching future uncertain. Plus, when Don urged Ted Chaough to remain at the agency, he cited the rush of the advertising hustle. Which reminds us…
How will Ted readjust to the life of a New York adman?
Don’s creative foil—sorry, Lou—spent much of season 7’s first episodes in an existential tailspin, at one point even killing his plane’s engines as he flew clients around southern California. Ted seemed set to leave the agency, and advertising with it, until McCann Erickson listed a five-year contract from him as an unnegotioable term of their acquisition of Sterling Cooper and Partners. Now he’ll return to the New York fold, which hasn’t been kind to him: Ted went out west to get away from his disintegrating marriage, his tryst with Peggy, and Don’s domineering persona. A rough transition for Ted seems inevitable, but might pale in comparison to another of the agency’s partners…
Sterling Cooper and Partners is now an “independent subsidiary” of McCann Erickson. But can Roger Sterling handle even a little oversight?
Despite his military history, Roger has never been one to bend to the wills of others—be it that of his wives, his coworkers, or his clients. So it’s doubtful that the opportunistic deal he brokered with McCann Erickson to save him and Don won’t create at least a bit of tension. Then again, the last conversation Roger had with Bert Cooper before his death was about Napoleon and the concept of leadership. That could foreshadow a change of heart from the agency’s resident jokester.
Does Mad Men have another musical number in it?
Mad Men ended its last run of episodes with one of its quirkiest, most surreal moments yet: Bert Cooper performing a dance number in the agency’s halls for a bewildered Don. Showrunner Matthew Weiner included the scene in part to pay homage to Robert Morse, the actor who plays Burt, who has a theatrical past—but the sequence deftly illustrated what the characters had gone through in recent episodes. While another scene exactly like this one may be unlikely, expect Weiner to have another trick or two up his sleeves. We just hope they’ll be better than that episode where Ken tapdanced.
Will we see Sal again—or at least find out what happened to him?
Salvatore Romano famously left Sterling Cooper and Mad Men back in season 3, when Don discovered his homosexuality, then discarded him when Sal refused to acquiesce to Lee Garner, Jr.’s advances. We may hear what happened to Sal—after all, Weiner gave us an update on Paul Kinsey seasons after he left the show—but don’t bet on it. Part of what made Sal’s departure so powerful was its suddenness, logic that could also explain an absence of Michael Ginsberg in the final episodes. (And Paul too, for that matter.)
Where’s Peggy’s baby?
We haven’t seen or heard about Peggy’s baby—who’s now old enough for elementary school—in some time. Weiner has wrapped up Ginsberg and Sal’s plots enough, but considering Peggy’s ties to church and family, some update on the baby front seems possible. If anything, the information could crystallize just how much Peggy has personally sacrificed to ascend in the professional world.
How about Chauncey?
Duck Phillips? No one cares about that booze-soaked has-been. But his dog, Chauncey? That’s a different story. In one of his many moments of poor judgement, Duck unleashed his pooch and shooed him into the Midtown streets. We can only hope Chauncey found a warm bed and some kibble somewhere.
Will any of the characters actually fall from a building—and if one does, who’ll it be?
Weiner’s penchant for subtlety nearly guarantees no one will actually fall from the building, like the opening credits might suggest. But that doesn’t rule out hints and allusions to falling: We already got one from Ted’s flying stunt, and Pete’s father died in a plane crash earlier in the show. Could a literal falling man be next?