Mad Men showrunner Matthew Weiner is famously dismissive and evasive when he does interviews about the show. Questions about the motivation for, or meaning of, various scenes or actions are usually met with something along the lines of “I don’t see why anyone would think that” or a begrudging “Yes, of course that’s why it happened.” He’s even more prickly when it comes to discussing things that haven’t aired yet, to the point he didn’t even send out screeners of upcoming episodes to critics last season. So it came as kind of a surprise when I read a recent interview he did with TV Line where he was actually somewhat forthcoming about the upcoming season. Specifically, the fact that Peggy, played by Elisabeth Moss, will return in some capacity next season despite leaving Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce for a new job.
Weiner likens the questioning of Moss’ status to the concerns he fielded after the Drapers headed for divorce a couple seasons back. “Everyone was like, ‘I guess January Jones is off the show,’ and I was like, ‘Why would she be?’ I never understood that.” [...]
“When people leave Sterling Cooper, sometimes it is the end for [the character],” Weiner allows. “But I will spoil that one tiny piece of anticipation and tell people that Elisabeth will be showing up to work.
I suppose this isn’t the biggest spoiler in the world, since anyone with an iPhone and a map of the television studios in Hollywood could have hung around and waited to see if Elisabeth Moss showed up when Mad Men was filming. Unless of course Weiner institutes a policy for next season where all members of the cast have to travel to and from the set via a 16 mile underground tunnel, and be chauffeured by former Secret Service agents with ironclad non-disclosure agreements driving Lincoln Towncars with blacked out windows. I don’t see how we can rule that out. Not yet, at least.
Aaaaaaaaanyway, considering Peggy and Don have been the beating heart of Mad Men since the beginning of the show, this doesn’t exactly come as a huge surprise. It is a relief, though. You can get another actor or actress to pick up the advertising work on the show, but the scenes where Don and Peggy broke down each others walls and put all their cards on the table were television magic, and I’m glad there’s at least a chance we’ll get some more of them.