Mad Men Boss Matthew Weiner on Season 5's Theme and Kicking Off With a 'Big Movie'

Mad Men‘s famously spoiler-averse creator is breaking his silence about the plot of the show’s long-delayed fifth season.

“A couple of [themes] have emerged as we have gone on, one of them [being] ‘It’s every man for himself,'” Matthew Weiner said at a cocktail reception held Saturday at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour. “There’s a line in the third episode where somebody says, ‘When is everything going to get back to normal?’

“There’s a feeling of being in the midst of change,” Weiner added. “I love that feeling of, ‘Right when I think I’m on top of something, right when I think that I have some wisdom from life experience, you just sort of feel things slip away.’ And there’s this sensation, which I think people have right now — I know I do — [that] there is just so much change going on. I write from what I’m feeling, and I have this feeling right now of like, ‘Enough already! Let’s just get our feet on the ground and go back to the way it was.’ I don’t know if anybody else identifies with that, but that’s a big part of the season. Just trying to hold on.”

Weiner also revealed that the two-hour opener, airing Sunday, March 25, is not two individual installments sandwiched together but rather one super-sized episode. “As I started writing [the premiere], it started spreading and spreading and spreading…,” he said. “I was like, ‘There is too much story. I could either cut this thing down, or I think I have a Mad Men movie here.’ I had a great team helping me develop this story and we just sort of went for it. And the network was excited. I was like, ‘We’ve been gone for so long, let’s give [fans] a big Mad Men movie to start the season.”

One detail Weiner refused to part with was how how much time had lapsed between seasons. “I can’t tell you when it picks up,” he said. “You’ll have to watch.”

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