When we left him in the finale of last season’s Mad Men, ad man Don Draper had performed an incredibly self-destructive act, blurting out the truth about his hard-luck upbringing as the son of a prostitute at a pitch meeting with Hershey’s. Or was his breakdown actually a brilliant, subconscious, last-gasp attempt to save himself from the ocean of lies in which he has been drowning?
We won’t know the answer until this season plays out, starting at 10 p.m. Sunday on AMC. Season 7 is Mad Men’s last, although that description is something of a tease: There are 14 episodes left, and the network took a page out of its Breaking Bad handbook and plans to split the season in half, showing seven episodes now and the rest next year in what can only be described as a plot to drive fans insane.
So in honor of Matthew Weiner’s terrific series that is less about advertising than it is about a changing America, we remember Don not at his best but his worst. He is, in the words of actor Jon Hamm to Time magazine, “a miserable drunk” whose partners ordered him out on sabbatical at the end of last year. Then, in what may be only his second honest act in the series, he drove his three children to the slums to eyeball the decrepit wreck of a house he grew up in.
Will Don’s spiral continue, or will he be redeemed? Either way, here are the worst mistakes Don has made so far:The Walking Dead
Now: How about a couple fingers of Canadian Club?