5 Bizarre ‘Mad Men’ Theories

May 11, 2015

The stylish, acclaimed series ends its eight-year run this week. But how will it end? Probably not like any of these fan theories predict.

  • Mad Men TheoriesDon Draper (Jon Hamm) has had a lot of hallucinations—including a post-mortem Bert (Robert Morse) singing and dancing in the season 7 midseason finale, and seeing Bert again during a cross-country drive this season. In the sixth season, he hallucinated seeing his own corpse floating in a pool. Some fans say that a brain tumor would explain these episodes, as well as his consistently erratic behavior.
  • Regular viewers know that Don Draper is really Dick Whitman, who assumed the identity of his commanding officer when the latter died in the Korean War. Some fans think the entire series has been imagined in the brain of Dick Whitman as he dies in a military hospital. (Alternately, the series has been Dick Whitman’s personal “purgatory.”)
  • The show is big on accurate historical detail, and it included so much relating to late 1960s California (after a handful of characters moved there), that many viewers thought that the show was setting up Don’s wife, actress Megan (Jessica Pare), to be murdered by Charles Manson. The most prominent occurred when Megan wore a star T-shirt worn by Manson victim Sharon Tate (also an actress) in Esquire in 1967.
  • In 1971, a man named D.B. Cooper boarded a plane in the Pacific Northwest, hijacked it, and jumped out of it into wilderness with thousands of dollars in tow. He was never seen from again. Some fans theorized that Don Draper ultimately becomes D.B. Cooper—largely because Jon Hamm looks a bit like D.B. Cooper police sketches.
  • Don has struggled with alcohol abuse for the duration of the show, and it’s negatively affected his life. One fan theory posits that Don Draper becomes “Bill W.,” the anonymous founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.
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