Last year, when we spotted Megan Draper wearing a t-shirt on Mad Men that resembled a t-shirt made famous by Sharon Tate, we thought we had something. We really thought there was something there, and we all became so convinced that Megan Draper was connected to Sharon Tate — who was murdered along with several others by Charles Manson in August of 1969 — that for a few weeks, it was the central conversation when it came to Mad Men. It got so big that Jessica Pare was answering questions about it, and eventually, Matthew Weiner himself broke his rule about discussing ongoing developments to dismiss the possibility that Megan Draper would die in the sixth season.
But here’s the thing about that theory: From the moment it began until the end of season six, interest in Mad Men was at an all time high. When a show airs on the same night as Game of Thrones, it needs something like the Sharon Tate theory to compete in the Internet’s water cooler.
I don’t think that Matthew Weiner ever expected so much conversation would center on a t-shirt Megan Draper was wearing. I also no longer believe that Megan Draper is going to die in a manner similar to Sharon Tate (and I sure as hell don’t think she’s actually Sharon Tate, nor did I ever). But I do think that Weiner is playing with that theory now. I think he’s exploiting it. I think he’s f**king with us. Despite the fact that Weiner dismissed the Sharon Tate connections last season, nearly every recap on the internet yesterday mentioned the connections in this season’s premiere episode. Even Tom & Lorenzo, a site that was annoyed by all the Sharon Tate theories last season, couldn’t help but to bring them up this season.
I think that’s by design. Maybe it’s misdirection. Maybe Weiner is winking at us. Or maybe Weiner is just straight-up trolling us. If he is, he’s doing a damn fine job of it. Ultimately, I think it helps to keep that theory alive in some way, because it continues the Mad Men conversation.
Below are 15 connections between Sharon Tate and Megan Draper, some of them better than others. You might find this aggregated evidence bolsters the theory, but at this point, I actually think it works against it. It is now TOO obvious, and that’s sly genius of Weiner. Lead us into one direction, and the Mack truck broadsides us from the other. We may be able to dismiss the possibility that Megan Draper is going to die a grisly death, but there’s too many connections now to dismiss it as coincidence. At this point, I don’t think the question is whether Weiner is drawing these connections, but why is Weiner drawing these connections?
1. The original Mad Men season six promo photos, in which Megan Draper is looking very much like Sharon Tate, fashion-wise (a point Tom & Lorenzo made before any of this theory stuff broke out).
2. The original inspiration for the theory: The T-shirt worn by Megan Draper was also a t-shirt popularly worn by Sharon Tate.