Last Man on Earth‘s Season 3 premiere was called “General Breast Theme with Cobras,” but we’d like to suggest a more apt title: “Betty Draper Francis’ Ultimate Revenge.”
In an epic casting coup that Last Man star/creator Will Forte miraculously managed to keep a lid on all summer (and that, yes, was the subject of a certain Blind Item), one of the two gun-toting, hazmat suit-wearing mystery men that stormed the Malibu compound alongside Pat (the returning Mark Boone Junior) was none other than… Jon freakin’ Hamm, aka January Jones’ onetime Mad Men co-star. (For the record, the other, far luckier uninvited guest was Kenneth Choi, best known for his roles as Henry Lin on Sons of Anarchy and Lance Ito on The People v. O.J. Simpson: American
And in a most meta-tacular twist, it was Jones’ Melissa who shot and killed Hamm’s character, Daryl. To put a finer, fourth-wall shattering point on it, a back-from-the-dead Betty Draper murdered her serial-cheater of an ex-husband Don in cold blood.
The biggest surprise? The Mad Men parallel did not dawn on Forte when he pitched the cameo to Hamm (which follows a pattern, seeing as how last season’s Mad Men homage was also initially lost on SNL alum). “There was no Mad Men tie-in that we were ever planning,” Forte maintains to TVLine. “Frankly, I can’t believe it didn’t occur to me.”
One person who instantly made the connection was Jones, who tells TVLine she “died laughing” when Forte “whispered it to me” back in July at Comic-Con, adding, “I thought it was ingenious given our history together.”
Did she take any particular delight that, in the Last Man universe at least, Betty exacted the ultimate revenge against Don? “I didn’t, because I thought we had such a beautiful ending to our story,” Jones admits. “I felt like there was closure. As Betty, I didn’t feel any anger towards Don. But I thought the fans would get a kick out of it. Thinking back to some of the stuff he did to Betty, maybe they’d see it as a little redemption.”
Jones describes shooting the top-secret sequence as disorienting. “It was surreal, to be honest,” she says. “I see Jon socially and we keep in touch, but it was very weird to see him on a [non-Mad Men] set — especially one that’s so modern — playing other characters. It was bizarre. But it was so much fun. He was such a good sport about it.”
Scroll down to view an exclusive behind-the-scenes photo of Jones, Hamm and Forte, and then scroll down further to re-watch my interview with the Last Man crew from #SDCC, during which Forte and Jones presciently discuss the series’ relative obsession with all things Mad Men.