Now that fans and critics alike have had time to digest the final episode of Mad Men, it’s time to revisit the plots that weren’t neatly tied together at the end of the series. Some are small loose ends—the Mohawk to bigger storylines’ American Airlines, if you will—while others involve characters we haven’t seen since the first half of the seventh season, or even longer ago.
We’ve put together a rundown of characters’ fates we may have to ask showrunner Matthew Weiner about in the future, from minor to major characters. It’s not a comprehensive list by any means—I would still like to find out what happened to Dr. Faye Miller and Bobbie Barrett, for example, but their times on the show ended years ago—but these are the main figures we would have liked to see have definitive endings:
Peggy and Stevie (played by Devon Gummersall, a.k.a. Brian Krakow all grown up) went on a date after being set up by his cousin Johnny Mathis, who, of course, later got fired for trying to be Don. They ended their romantic evening by almost flying to Paris, until Peggy’s misplaced passport got in the way. But even though Stevie said he wouldn’t be in town much, he never came back at all. Did he ever intend to?
Okay, okay… no one really wants to know what happened to Diana, the woman who became Don’s reason to take a cross-country drive. But the drab, lonely soul Don clearly thought he could save simply disappeared without a trace after practically taking over the first half of the second half of this season—as an eyesore for fans, maybe, but a glaring target for Don. Did she ever see her family again?
Don’s probably wondering this one, too: Toward the end of the series finale, Stephanie left Don alone with the hippies. Did she head back home? Did she track her child down? Did she end up in the Lazarus Pit, revived and ready to fight crime alongside a band of superpowered heroes and criminals led by Brandon Routh?
We saw clear-cut final scenes for her fellow secretaries Shirley and Meredith, but we never saw Dawn say goodbye. Did Dawn understand, as her colleagues did, that anywhere outside of McCann Erickson would be a better place than inside it?
Yes, Ted’s final scene wrapped things up nicely: He watched as Don left in the middle of a creative meeting, and he stayed behind, a full McCann Erickson devotee. And his final season wasn’t a complete bust: He’s the one who told Don that there are three women in every man’s life—a line he had stored for years to use in a possible pitch, but that instead came true for Don when he called Betty, Sally, and Peggy in the finale. Still, when it comes to Ted’s fate, the real question is: Would he care about Steggy?
James Wolk’s short-shorts-wearing, knee-brushing, Spanish-speaking Bob Benson didn’t return during the latter half of the final season, but it would have been nice to catch a glimpse of him. No sign of him at all? Not great, Bob!
Harry Hamlin’s bespectacled company man also didn’t show up in the final episodes, and for someone who once appeared to be Don’s career foil, his story was a noticeable omission. That said, what would have been his story anyway? Was he necessary in the McCann Erickson shakeup? Clearly, the show didn’t think so.
Fine—we knew, after actor Bryan Batt’s essay in Esquire, that Sal would not appear in the finale after a long absence from the show. (He was let go from Sterling Cooper in season 3.) But Sal Romano was a fan favorite, a man whose fate should have mattered just as much as, say, Harry Crane’s. What happened? (EW’s Jeff Labrecque predicts he wound up working at Holloway-Harris Productions, a comforting thought.)
Henry Francis didn’t show up in the finale, not even to discuss custody of Betty and Don’s children. Instead, his final scene played out the week earlier when he brought Sally home to see her mother. How does he handle life after Betty?
No, Megan Draper, née Calvet, wasn’t the most loved character by fans—but we never did find out if her acting career panned out. Sure, we saw her accept a hefty check from Don and get all dolled up for a meeting with Harry that could have led her to an agent… but we don’t get an update on her life even after we catch a glimpse of her mother with Roger. What are Megan’s thoughts on that coupling: oui or non?
Baby Gene said one line in the series finale: “No.” What else would Gene refuse? What else is Gene capable of?!