At a Writer’s Guild Q&A with “Mad Men’s” Matthew Weiner last night, Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican tweeted a “wish list” Weiner and the show’s writers came up with for the final season.
— Anthony Breznican (@Breznican) May 29, 2015
You can make out most of the crossed-off items: “Peggy and Don’s dynamic [in] regards to what’s happened since she’s been gone,” check; “Glenn and Betty together again,” check; “Don meets doomed brunette who takes up two episodes then disappears forever” (okay, that wasn’t on anyone‘s list). But more fascinating are the roads not taken. “Jimmy Barrett / Bobby killed O.S. [off-screen]? (Former lover killed O.S.)” reveals that it could have been Bobbie Barrett whose death hung over the final season’s second half; that one was crossed out and combined with “Rachel Menken (Maybe not).” And then there are those that never made it at all. Among them:
- Dr. Faye
- Pete’s Knowledge of who Don Is
- Peggy’s dynamic with her Mom
- Sal — what happened to him?
- Peggy’s baby (Catherine could die and bring it back up on her deathbed)
- Pete sees Howard on the train
- Harry’s divorce: What’s Harry’s life life now?
- Frank’s story re: South Pacific/Papua New Guinea (Possibly a [unintelligible] from Roger)
- Israeli tourism board
- Peter could finally climb up to his name — interacts with the upper-crust that once judged him,
and/or reconciliation with mom (in a moment of dementia, she reveals respect for Pete, or in a moment of clarity she seeks Pete’s insight over Bud). See Pete usurping Bud in family importance.
Some of these are simple loose ends: What did happen to Sal, anyway? And others are the opposite of what finally happened: Rather than “climbing up to his name,” Pete ended up socking an admissions officer at a tony Connecticut private school in the jaw and starting over in Wichita, a place where the Campbell history likely carries no weight at all. In any case, it’s an intriguing look at what could have been, and the perfect starting place for the “Mad Men” fan fiction you might as well admit you’re writing.