**SPOILERS AHEAD** An era is over, and the cocktails won’t be refilled, as “Mad Men” said goodbye with its series finale on Sunday. And Matthew Weiner gave fans something both memorable and enigmatic with the the show’s final shot: a blissed-out Don Draper sitting in yogic repose at the Esalen Institute before cracking into a big smile and scene cutting to the iconic Coca-Cola ad in which everyone sang, “I’d like to teach the world to sing.” Basically, for all that Don has been through, personal triumphs and tragedies and crises, the show seemed to end by suggesting that the ad man at his core is still there, even if the world around him has changed. And while Jon Hamm admits the ending is “a bit ambiguous,” he reveals his own interpretation of what it means for the character.
“When we find Don in that place, and this stranger relates this story of not being heard or seen or understood or appreciated, the resonance for Don was total in that moment. There was a void staring at him. We see him in an incredibly vulnerable place, surrounded by strangers, and he reaches out to the only person he can at that moment, and it’s this stranger,” he told The New York Times.
But like the best endings, “Mad Men” doesn’t go for closure so much as end the journey of where these characters are in their lives at the moment. “There’s people saying, oh, it’s so pat, and it’s rom-com-y, or whatever it is. But it’s not the end of anything,” the actor said. “The world doesn’t blow up right after the Coke commercial ends. No one is suggesting that Stan and Peggy live happily ever after, or that Joan’s business is a rousing success, or that Roger and Marie come back from Paris together. None of it is done. Matt had said at one point, ‘I just want my characters to be a little more happy than they were in the beginning,’ and I think that’s pretty much true. But these aren’t the last moments of any of these characters’ lives, including Betty. She doesn’t have much time left, but damn if she’s not going to spend it the way she wants to spend it.”
We’re sure this won’t be the last of the assessments by those involved about what the end of “Mad Men” means, so open up a Coke, watch the ad referenced in the finale, and then hit the comments section.