With an Om…and a coke…and Don Draper in lotus pose. SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t already watched the series finale of Mad Men you might want to skip this, unless you really want to know what happens to Don Draper in the end.
Still with us? We’re sad it’s over, but OMG what a finale! We’re fans of the show and loved how creator Matthew Weiner and the talented writers wrapped up the characters and interwoven storylines in an interesting and somewhat lose-ends-tied-up kind of way. Of course, not everyone is going to be thrilled with the finale episode of an 8-year running, 7-season show that many have become emotionally dialed into for just about that long, but that’s just how the bittersweet cookie crumbles. Everyone thought Don was going to die. But we think he did, in a way, in order to live.
We’re happy to say almost every one of the main characters achieved some sort of enlightenment. Peggy and Joan found empowerment, with the former finding love and the latter letting it go (for now). Pete found a new exciting job, reunited with his wife and child. Roger found someone at his level to love, that might even last. Even Betty reached a certain point of wisdom and understanding despite her prognosis. And Don…
Don was the one who went searching for meaning and purpose the most. He physically went “On the Road.” And where he ended up was a hippie commune/ashram. And what he found there was…drum roll…inner peace? Could it be?
The final episode of the Mad Men found Don Draper, AKA Dick, sitting in lotus in the sun Om’ing with the best of them.
He seems at peace, and dare we say, really, truly happy(!) which is a rarity. But there are many layers to this, as there have been throughout the Mad Men journey. It can’t be this easy. The finale ends with the famous Coca-Cola commercial we’re lead to believe Don dreamed up in his meditative state. He smiles with the smile of someone who is finally content. And perhaps that’s really what he was seeking all along. We’ll call it Donlightenment.
As New York Magazine notes:
It was a smile not unlike that of Walter White’s at the end of Breaking Bad. Both were tributes not to great ideas, but the meaning one finds working to create them. They are tributes to creating the shows themselves.
Agreed. So maybe he’s no ad exec-turned-yoga guru. Though we can’t deny the freakout we experienced after we threw this prediction into the social at the beginning of the show:
SPOILER ALERT: Don Draper and the rest of his agency go to yoga teacher training and open one of LAs most successful a yoga studios #MadMen
— yogadork (@yogadork) May 18, 2015
This was before the yoga hippies entered the frame.
But whatever happened in the end, and beyond, in the finale everyone owned up to who they truly were and embraced it. There are some lovely hints of yoga in that, we think.
Let’s experience that Donlightenment one more time.
Some fun deeper reading:
And remember this? Mad Men’s ‘Yogi’ Moment from season 4. We were all so young then. (ps. the video was taken down, but if you don’t remember, it’s between Peggy and Stan.)
gif via NYMag
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