Jon Hamm solves the 'Mad Men' mystery

AMC Pres. talks 'Mad Men' finale
AMC Pres. talks 'Mad Men' finale

The closing sequence of 'Mad Men' confounded many fans and critics.

Does Don Draper, who spent the show's final slate of episodes driving as far away from his life in New York as he possibly could, really wind up returning to his lucrative career in advertising?

The man who portrayed Draper thinks so.

Speaking to The New York Times, Jon Hamm said he believes the character he played for seven seasons came to realize in the end what he does best.

"My take is that, the next day, he wakes up in this beautiful place, and has this serene moment of understanding, and realizes who he is," Hamm told the Times. "And who he is, is an advertising man."

The final scenes of the series finale certainly invited that interpretation.

After suffering an existential crisis at a California commune, Draper attends a meditation session atop a hill overlooking the ocean. It's there that the tortured protagonist appears to finally find peace.

Related: Man behind iconic Coke ad quit watching 'Mad Men'

As he echoes the soothing "om" chants, Draper cracks a smile. At that moment, the episode cuts to Coca-Cola's seminal 1971 "Hilltop" ad.

Many fans concluded that Draper used his experience among the hippies to come up with yet another award-winning commercial. Some eagle-eyed observers even noted the resemblance between a woman at the commune and an actress in the Coke commercial.

Hamm conceded that some viewers might find his interpretation upsetting. Draper had spoken about his career in advertising in the past tense, so was he really going back to his old life?

"There's a way to see it in a completely cynical way, and say, 'Wow, that's awful,'" Hamm said. "But I think that for Don, it represents some kind of understanding and comfort in this incredibly unquiet, uncomfortable life that he has led."

Hamm said Matthew Weiner, the creator of "Mad Men," had considered the ending for quite some time.

"We had talked about this ending for a long time and that was Matt's image," Hamm said. "I was struck by the poetry of it. I didn't know what his plans were, to get Don to this meditative, contemplative place. I just knew that he had this final image in mind."


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