Note that this post has a few spoilers from the Season 6 Finale of Mad Men, so read with caution!
I’ve always been a fan of the show Mad Men. The people, the time, the place, the industry, it is everything that I love all wrapped up in to a television show. It is one of the few that I watch these days and although it does focus around everything that I have a passion for, it is ultimately the people that draw me in to the story. Most notably, Don Draper.
I’ve felt connected with this character ever since the first episode, and it’s only gotten stronger as his story, and my life, have unfolded over the past 6 years. I’ve been on a similar story arc as Don, almost to the point where it has been scary. My own character has been developing, for the better and worse, in parallel to Don, battling many of the same demons and facing many of the same consequences.
Tonight, I just finished watching the season finale, and I feel more connected to the character than ever before. Don has been on a downward spiral for several seasons now, his relationships with many different people in his life have become strained, his drinking has gotten out of control, and he seems to have lost all that charm, talent, and charisma that brought him so much success in the past.
You can only live a lie for so long.
Don hit rock bottom tonight, and faced many realizations and consequences that were a long time coming. Because of how people perceived him, these consequences were delayed, and because of how he was living, these realizations were left in the dark.
I was a little ahead of Don this year, when I hit rock bottom, when I faced my consequences, and struggled with my realizations. But tonight’s show reminded me that we all can go through rough times, regardless if we brought them upon ourselves or not. That despite how bad things get, we can find hope in even the pieces of shattered life if we look close enough.
It is what we do, once we’ve hit the bottom that defines us. We all slip, but it is what we do after we slip that will determine our success in the future.
The next season of Mad Men won’t return until next spring most likely, and it will be very interesting to see where both Don and I have ended up. We’re both on a journey of realization, rebuilding and redemption. I don’t know if Don will find it, but I damn sure will.