I’m going to fan girl for a moment. This past Friday, I was at a company dinner at a legendary restaurant in West Hollywood. Our group took up a long table against a wall in the back room of the establishment. About forty five minutes into the dinner, I looked straight ahead and noticed a man at the next table who looked remarkably like Jon Hamm.
Then I realized…it WAS Jon Hamm, sitting next to a handsome silver haired fox. Hot damn, it was John Slattery. There they were – Sterling and Draper sharing an antipasto salad and laughing it up – two days before the airing of their series finale.
So, it set the stage for a Mad Men weekend. I’m not usually star struck, but I’ll admit, I was beyond struck. You have to understand – I love Mad Men. I adore Jon Hamm and John Slattery. I’ve been putting off canceling cable until Mad Men ended its run.
Yes, to pun it up – I got to see “The Real Thing”.
As for the finale, I can get into every aspect of each character, but honestly I’m a little burned out these days to get into Peggy and Stan, or Pete and Trudy – or even Betty and Sally. I’d rather stick with Don – the man on the top of the hill with the blissful grin. Ha!
No way he’s really a changed, zen man. He’s the same old Don. He momentarily ditched the Bryl cream and went all loose and fancy free when he was testing cars on the Salt Flats (the ad man testing out the product for a possible future campaign?). But when it came right down to the meditation on the hill – the other side of the cathartic explosion – that hair was as slicked back as (and I quote Liz Lemon) a cartoon airplane pilot.
If he really shed the old Don, that man’s hair would be the epitome of “the dry look”, flying in the wind – his face unshaven. He’d have removed all Draper grooming from the equation. He may have been in a white shirt and khaki’s, cleansed and angelic, but Janie and the hair stylists knew what’s up. That’s the same old Don under all that Nag Champa.
The man who made that sad speech in the circle group was Don’s angel of hope. His dream of being on the shelf in a fridge was akin to being a bottle of Coke chilling, waiting for someone to open the door and drink him in. This was a metaphorical dinner for Don Draper’s ad man stomach. Don felt like a has been, left with nothing in his life – not even a creative idea. He was a caged animal, caught like game to mount over Hobart’s wall. He needed to shed himself of the old Draper to come back better than ever. He usually does this disappearance stuff. It just took him a lot longer, with many harsh, harrowing steps along the way, to get him back.
When he heard Mr. Cellophane man speak of his sadness over love and his inability to feel connected, Don not only responded due to being on common ground, but also due to the fact the guy was the harbinger for giving him a remarkable idea for Coke.
Yeah, Ommmm indeed, Draper. You were blissed out because you know you had your mojo back. That grease in your hair shows you’re still the same old Don.
I'm Debi Rotmil. I'm the author of the book "Hitting Water: A Book of Stories" and founder of The Good Write. I work in finance, write, eat, walk the dog, write, blog, jog, spin. I work everyday to try and change the world in my own way.