Did the dramatic shot of Don walking away from Megan at the end of the Mad Men Season 5 finale signal a see-ya for Jessica Paré?
It may have, according to showrunner Matthew Weiner. Toward the very end of the finale, “We see her on the [Butler Shoes commercial] set and we realize that she’s gone,” says the series creator.
Weiner’s comments come in an AMC-produced behind-the-scenes look at the episode, in a segment that examines the way Megan’s barely there acting career gets a big boost from her hubby. Don “knows that if he gives Megan what she wants, she could possibly leave him,” Weiner says, adding that nevertheless, the screen test changes Draper’s mind about helping his wife land the commercial audition.
“I think it’s almost a story of sacrifice, that he sees her on that film and falls in love with her again and realizes that he has to do this,” Weiner says.
It’s possible that Weiner solely spoke metaphorically, and that although a huge emotional gulf may grow between Mr. and Mrs. Draper next season, Jessica Paré’s Megan certainly will be present and on screen. But Megan was a very polarizing character that invoked the ire of Mad Men diehards who felt her scenes came at the sacrifice of screen time for other members of the ensemble.
Might Weiner have taken the Megan-hate to heart? The way the finale ended, with Mrs. Draper plying her craft on a soundstage while Don fielded other women’s advances at a bar, sure makes it seem like the Mad Men creator’s statement literally could come to pass.
At least, that’s how we see it. How do you interpret the closing scenes of “The Phantom” and what Weiner had to say? Sound off in the comments!