Let me just preface this by saying, as someone that is often associated with the “Mad Men” nuttery going on this season, that I’m not just making up any of the theories. They may be far fetched, the chances of some of them panning out may be remote, and they may sound a little silly, but they are grounded in the allusions, the references, the actions, and the symbolism of the show (most of the Bob Benson theories going around, however, are mostly made up, but also enjoyable!). I may be over-thinking it, but the speculation is a lot of fun, and whether anything comes of the theories or not, they’ve added a lot of value to my experience of watching Mad Men, especially the Don Draper plotlines, which — without the subtext — have dragged a bit this season. If we were reporting on important world events, I’d call this irresponsible journalism, but since we’re speculating on outcomes in a television show, I call it having a good time.
Granted, if none of this comes to fruition, I’m probably going to be disappointed, but I haven’t had this much fun digging in to a series since Breaking Bad. All of which is to say, I hope you folks don’t throw X-Acto knives at my head if Matt Weiner decides that, at the end of the season, Don and Megan should be a happily married couple who have decided to start a family and move out to the Cheeverian suburbs.
Man, that would be disappointing. But speaking of Megan Draper, the actress who plays her, Jessica Pare, addressed those Sharon Tate associations in an interview with Esquire magazine, and in typical Weinerian fashion, she was fairly evasive in her answer.
ESQ: Do you have any thoughts on this murder theory?
JP: Well, I know [creator] Matt [Weiner] spoke about it a few days ago. [Eds. note: We were unable to find Weiner talking about it, at least publicly.] I think that one of the greatest things about being on this show is that people love to talk about the characters. For me as an actor, it’s absolutely so thrilling to hear anybody talk about the character that I play. [Laughs.] In terms of whether that’s going to happen or not, I’m pretty sure that Matt spoke to it, but I just want to say, I don’t know.
ESQ: In shooting that scene, is there a connection being made like, “Oh, I’m wearing Sharon Tate’s shirt,” or is it just a costume you put on?
JP: There was a reference photo in the costume shop that was that shot with Sharon Tate. That’s right where I saw it. Women didn’t really wear a lot of t-shirts at the time, so we were trying to find a t-shirt, where this woman was on her balcony, by herself, and not really expecting her husband being home so soon and she’s just wearing underwear and a t-shirt — looking vulnerable and casual. Not like vulnerable in an explicitly sexual kind of way, but almost vulnerable in its dowdiness or whatever. That might not be the right word. But he’d come home and see her in this vulnerable state and she’d just say it, say exactly what she’s thinking. Which by the way, people rarely do in life, but people do on TV and especially on this show. So I think that was the idea in finding that t-shirt — something that we had a reference that somebody had worn at the time. And if there was any significance beyond that, I don’t know, you’d have to ask Matt.
Raad into that whatever you’d like. On the one hand, she seems to be dismissing the significance of the T-shirt, but on the other, she says we should ask Weiner if there is more significance to it. Also, that she’d doesn’t know, except that she absolutely knows! She played the character so she ought to know whether she was in a death scene or not.
Either way, while others suggest the interview puts the theory to rest, she didn’t outright dismiss it so far as I can see, so the theories are still alive. FUEL FOR FIRE. FUEL FOR FIRE. FUEL FOR FIRE.