Season 6 Speculation

 Posted by on November 7, 2012 at 12:55 pm  Characters, Mad Men
Nov 072012

Season 1 started off with Don at a bar talking to a busboy about cigarettes. Season 5 began with a picket line outside another ad agency. While we do not know when the new season will air, I cannot wait to see what appears onscreen after the opening credits roll. I have a feeling I am not alone in this. What will the first scene of season 6 be? What year will it be set in? Where will the scene take place? Who will be in the scene?


  79 Responses to “Season 6 Speculation”

  1. (Is this a spoiler? No spoilers allowed. Even if it’s just about a photo you saw -Mad Chick)

    • What if it’s from a photo I saw in a dream…..Wait, Dulcinea says it wasn’t a dream, I really saw it.

      • Following the line of reasoning by our friends at dividable watts ( the How it Goes Down guy) I would imagine Dante’s Inferno would be a good reference point to begin delving into the upcoming season. I saw here earlier someone compared 1968 to hell on earth, having lived through it, I would say that’s a fairly good assumption.

        • 68 was THE year. The essence if the 60’s. Last year’s first scene was the first one that was totally unrelated, to the coda. S1: back of DD’s head in the bar, MAN ALONE. Last scene: MAN ALONE on the stairs of his home on Thanksgiving.
          On to S2 DD at doctor–Bets tells Don she’s pregnant. S3 shot of DD’s. bare feet,– Don thrown out and stepping into his new ‘home’. S4 Who is DD. Don looking out the window, wondering what he has gotten himself into, and what kind of person he will be now.
          S6 will open in January 68, Vince Lombardi has retired. Ultimate symbol of the Establishment, and RFK announces his candidacy, representing the new establishment.
          Don looks at a Stan drawing of a Ginzo pitch, bewildered. Calls Megan for some input, she is not home. A harbinger of things to come.

          • S5 – A bunch of people protesting. End of season: a bunch of fans protesting about Megan, among various other things.

        • Hey! Thanks man. Happy to see folks are reading my crazy blog here!

        • What happened to that comment? It seemed a good starting off point. And now it’s gone.

  2. Fall of 1967, in L.A., on the set of Star Trek. Megan has parlayed her shoe commercial appearance into a one-shot supporting role as a mini-skirt wearing crewman (even the women are called crewmen, right?) in an episode called “The Negron Complex”–from a story by hotshot upstart freelancer Paul Kinsey, touched up a little by D.C. Fontana. And by “a little,” I mean a lot.

  3. Dawn could refer to MLK’s shooting. Abe would be shocked and bummed by RFK’s demise (and might later get beaten up at the Chicago Democratic Convention). Roger could take acid and (re)watch 2001: A Space Odyessy. Megan would love to twist Don’s arm to take her to see Hair of Broadway. Bert would be excited about RMN’s re-nomination and election (with Henry on the outside looking in). Stan will find the Jag ads in Playboy to be more beautiful than the “models”.

    As for “first scene/episode”, I’ll keep mum about the spoiler photos circulating out there.

    • John Mitchell (Nixon’s law partner, campaign manager, and future attorney general) lived in Rye and may be Henry’s neighbor. Henry is unhappy with Lindsay and could find a job in the Nixon campaign.

      • If I remember right Lindsay switched parties and became a Democrat (not sure which year) Who knows? Maybe Henry works on RFK campaign. He was New York’s junior senator in ’68, the year he ran for prez. and was killed

      • And/Or Burt may decide that Nixon is too moderate and do work for Reagan. Peggy takes a leave of absence from CGC to work for RFK.

        • A quick look at Wikipedia shows Lindsay’s handling of the Februrary 1969 Nor’easter created a political crisis, resulting in his loss of the nomination for another term as mayor. The storm will surely be mentioned in season 6.

          • Yes, BUT, he ran as an independent and WON!!! He later switched to the Dems. and ran for pres. nomination in either 72 or 76. I was born in ’71 and his name is on my NYC birth certificate. I think he was succeeded by Mayor Koch (although there may have been someone in between)

        • Reagan didn’t make a run for the White House until ’76, but I’d imagine Burt would have been a supporter.

          • YodaBert would see Reagan as Hollywood trash. Millhouse is HIS man.

          • Reagan entered the 1968 primaries and finished 3rd behind Nixon and Rockefeller at the convention. Lindsay received 1 vote for President and 10 votes for VP. (Wikipedia)

          • Lindsay is on my birth certificate too. 69. Abe Beame was mayor of NYC from 73-77 between Lindsay and Koch.
            I love love love Signal 30. Ep can be described in one word: PAIN.

          • …and it’s a warning. It reminds me of Cheever’s “Enormous Radio”, the collision of work and private life and the ultimate faliure of language as communication…interesting note…the night they have dinner is the same day ground work is broken on WTC.

            “There’s an airplane here to see you, how’s that for a surprise?”

          • Man, I’ve gotta back to working on my own short stories…this site is a time vortex. I swear it was 9 pm 45 minutes ago…

          • You are killing it/me tonight David. Thanks for helping a crazy insomniac pass the hours somewhat pleasantly.
            Every time I think of the Towers, I remember that haunting cover art on DeLillo’s Underworld. It just freezes me.

          • DeLillo is one of the best. Without a doubt, one of America’s five greatest living writers. White Noise is my personal favorite. Libra is also outstanding.

          • Being a writer of fiction myself I am also of the opinion you can never “read too much” (yes, I hate that term as well) into Weiner’s work, especially when you take into account his love of Kubrick and Weiner’s own philosophy background. I also get the sense he is a serious man, who wants to talk about serious things; things that the average viewer may not yet be comfortable discussing. In this way “Mad Men” has always reminded me of “The Crucible”, not in the sense of a straight forward allegory, but more as a comment on the conditions that create a writers need for camouflage to begin with.

    • Naaah…Abe’s a Eugene McCarthy supporter if I ever saw one. Will probably hit the road with the Weather Underground.

      • Reagan did enter in ’68? Hmmm….I stand corrected. Thank you for the info.

        • Oh, I see, it was a convention announcement. Interesting.

          My initial thought was that Reagan must have been aiming for Nixon’s VP nod, but being that he and Nixon were both Californians that wouldn’t have made much sense. Looks like he was just trying to establish himself as a serious political figure for ’76. 68 was also the year of Romney Sr’s aborted presidential bid.

          Funny to think that even after his strong showing against Ford in’ 76, the good money was still on John Conally (another party switcher) for the 1980 Republican nomination. Shows how little faith the GOP establishment had in Reagan up until primary season got under way. Fear of another Goldwater I presume. How wrong they were.

          • I just remembered something else…68 was also the year of George Wallace’s AIP presidential campaign. Imagine the Tea Party had a national figure like him to run now? That’s some scary stuff. Again, this is going off memory, but I believe Wallace carried every southern state but Florida, essentially hammering the final nail in the coffin of the southern democratic caucus. They would all flee for the Repubs by the end of the decade laying the groundwork for what became the modern GOP. ( John Connally being one of the more prominent).

    • Abe will certainly get beat up at the Chicago Democratic Convention mid-season. I’m expecting that convention to get a lot of play, be one of the real events that really impinges on Mad Men daily life. My view may well be biased because I was the right age (20), but there’s no way it can’t be a major factor in the lives of the young crowd, to start with, and the older crowd too. It was one of those defining events that changed life for urban North Americans, and I think much of what Mad Men is supposed to be about.

  4. S6 will span winter 67/68 to just before the 68 election. SCDCH ( Pete and Joan elevated to name partners) will work for Nixon. Henry guides Lindsay’s unsuccessful Presidential campaign. SCDCH will parlay the Dow pitch into additional business. Don and Megan will continue to drift apart. Her career takes off, their age difference will become a larger factor, Don will question his job, his marriage and what he wants to do with the rest of his life. Peggy will have success but it will be unfulfilling. Don will observe her sucess with a mixture of envy and pride. Ginsberg will essentially become the creative driver of the company and earn Don’s inner respect. Don will begin treating Ginsberg like he treated Peggy. Jumping ahead to the final scene of S7, I see Don convincing Peggy to return to the company as partner and full creative director, fulfilling the arc of the series. Peggy comes full circle and Don becomes a mixture of Bert and Roger.

    • Our Joanie will never have her name on the front door. Not with her meager 5% stake.
      DD and Pegs are husband and wife, figuratively. Like your S7 ending rl.
      I think Don is already Bert/Roger, he just is not aware of it, yet.

    • I don’t see Don ending the series in advertising. IMHO, his arc will take him back to California, shunning the material world which makes him so unhappy ( think St. Francis of Asissi, with whom he shares more, I believe, than just a middle name).

      Check out this pix:

      The read about St. Frank:

      Very interesting stuff.

      • If Don goes to the Golden Land, hopefully he takes beloved Pegs, instead of “Megan” with him.
        Once Abe gets wind of RFK’s mind blowing speech to the students at Kansas University, he will know which way to blow with the wind.

        • You should read about Draper Daniels, the guy Draper is somewhat based on, the idea he’d run off with Peggy may not be that far off.

      • Dick Whitman does not have a middle name. Whore Child it ain’t.

        • Dick Whitman might but Donald Francis Draper does (which after all is who he is to most who know him). You wanna play word games watch “Signal 30”

          • Yeah, “Sig 30” is interesting. All about words and names. There’s “Handsome” whose real name is “Hanson”. Megan forgetting Ken’s wife’s name. The name Whitman being brought up at the party. I forgot about all of that. Great, great episode.

    • Lindsay didn’t run for president in 1968. According to Wikipedia, Lindsay was very unpopular in 1967-9 so it will be interesting to see if Henry keeps working for him. And I doubt Henry will be a Nixon supporter given that he’s a liberal Republican so maybe he’ll quit politics all together or switch to the other side.

    • Let’s answer the phone:

      “Sterling Cooper Draper Campbell Harris – how may I help you?”

      What a mouthful!

      I think guilt, deserved or not, will keep “Pryce” in as a legacy.

      • “Guilt” is a good way of putting it. It will haunt that firm until the series comes to an end.

        • Adam really “overreacted” – not grasping how his showing up shook Don and his sense of self-preservation. It seems ironic that the “5G’s” may have actually tipped Adam over the edge.

          More irony – if Lane had approached Don for an $8,000 bridge loan to pay “the Queen”, Don would have fronted it without a second thought and kept the secret to his grave. Lane was the guy who told Pete that Don had ponied up Pete’s part of the collateral. As it was, Lane “progressed” from pride to humiliation to dispair to death.

          Lane’s early checkout will haunt Don to his death – he would much rather have kept the secret.

          • I don’t know if I read this at Dividable Watts or I just emailed with its author, but Lane’s failure to achieve transformation is very alchemical in a sense. I think he actually gets the loan from a chemical bank. Which is someyjing Kubrick was very interested in, it’s all over 2001. SOmething about the color green not being good? Not sure, but the green jag may be a reference to “the green lion” in alchemy. IDK, made sense at the time. Gonna go Google it.

  5. Tin soldiers and Nixon coming! Megan goes to India with the Maharishi and becomes best friends with Mia Farrow, and they do mushrooms together and grouse about their squarebridges husbands and plot their escape. Don tries to turn Michael into the new Peggy, and Michael makes him work for it much harder than Peggy ever did. Peggy decides she doesn’t love Abe, and loves Ted Chow-guh-guh even less, and breaks away from both of them to form her own agency.

    Joan gets a much younger boyfriend and digs it. Pete gets a much younger girlfriend and doesn’t dig it. Roger tries heroin and throws up. Bert is annoyed by everyone. Dawn is even more annoyed by everyone, especially white people who don’t seem to give a crap about MLK being shot. The agency has RFK as a client. Betty takes diet pills and terrorizes everyone. Henry takes tranqs and can’t get out of bed. Sally unwittingly eats a pot brownie. Bobby finally has a conversation with his biological father. Gene finally has a conversation with anyone.

    • Speaking of dope, I keep thinking that Roger will slip a tab or three of acid into Don’s drink, thinking he’s doing Don a favor. Opening up Don’s doors of perception are not a good thing, as he has spent a sizable chunk of his life nailing, duct taping and cementing those fuckers shut.

      • Roger is heading into Leary/Zarathustra territory. Seeing him in that Hawaaiin shirt in “X-mas Waltz” all I could think of us Leary circa 1986.

    • Peggy would invoke The Pact – and see if Ken would bring some clients into the new Olsen-Cosgrove. She will charm the (figurative) pants off Stan and poach him. Is there even a slight chance that Sterling would scorn Pete and go along (he would also be scorning Bert, Don, and Joan)? He has shown that he’s still a hell of an account man – and has deep pockets still – despite two divorce settlements. Ginz might go if Don’s been treating him shabbily.

      (does the Pact imply that Ken is not subject to a not-compete-clause? I suppose Roger is, however)

      (for a richer dramatic circumstance, she could keep Abe around, who will resent that she loves her new agency more than she could ever love him)

      If talking to your dad (at age 5-6) about his dad and other stuff after he breaks your robot, then it would be Bobby’s second conversation on screen.

      Joan as “cougar” – I imagine the younger might dig that more than she.

      Where would Sally find a pot brownie? Glen’s lunch? Sneak one out of Megan’s room?

      • I think the one thing we may all be forgetting is Ed Baxter. I think the firm’s involvement with him & Dow is going to have HUGE consequences (and not good ones). Because once Don has them signed — whether its directly or indirectly -SCDP will play a part in the sanitation of war. Nothing good can come of that.

        • I agree. I saw on your blog you called their confrontation very “thou shall have no other God-like”, spot on. Baxter is going to be one demanding SOB. I see him playing a very large role this season.

      • It’s true Bobby and Don have talked before. But not much since the robot incident, that we’ve seen. I mean, he’s going on 11 now. It’s overdue.

        I was thinking Sally eats the pot brownie at a party. Someone’s older sister decides to bake for the kids, and…

        Yeah, it’s hard to believe that the pact will never come up again. I would think Peggy would try to poach Ken, or if she sticks with Chaough, try to get him to do it. Ken looked pretty monumentally annoyed by Don trying to move in on Dow Corning; that would certainly stick it to Don.

        • “How old will you be?”

          “Forty, how will I be when you’re forty?”

          “You’ll be DEAD!”

          That doesn’t quite reach the level of conversation, so Yes – some Bobby time is in order.

          Did (do) older sisters really do that (drug their younger siblings and their friends)?

          Although the trip turned out well, George Harrison’s dentist friend was incredibly irresponsible to slip LSD into everyone’s drinks – at a night club no less. Dr. Leary was far more forthright and responsible – providing a secure, controlled setting.

          As for Dawn and the MLK atrocity, I think you are right that the Mad Men crowd would be fairly indifferent – more so than they would be about the RFK slaying. I graduated from high school nine years after that summer and MLK’s significance was not part of my formal nor self-education.

        • I couldn’t see an older sister doing that to a younger sister, but I could see Sally and one of her friends listening on a conversation the older sibling is having about the anti-war movement.

          • Sally will be 13 (almost 14) starting S6 unless they don’t time-jump more than about two months. It wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility for her to attend a party given by 15- or 16-year-olds, especially if she dates a slightly older boy. In 1967-68, who the hell knows what could be on that snack table.

  6. Well I’ve given up hope that Betty will ever be treated decently by the writers or that Don will ever apologize to her so instead I hope that Don acknowledges his sons in season 6. Like actually tries to cultivate a relationship with Bobby. I don’t understand how someone with Don’s daddy issues can be okay with having no relationships with his sons. Bobby probably feels closer to Henry than he has to his own father and that apparently doesn’t bother Don at all.

    • I haven’t given up on that. Don is going to fuck up, and find himself down some rabbit hole, which involves Betts, and try to have his catharsis, for all the ghoulish shit he pulled on her.
      DD and beloved Pegs eventually had to have it out, and they did (The Suitcase, obviously).

      I just hope the price of Don’s ‘redemption’ with Betty doesn’t come at the dear price of her death. Lets face it, Betty is almost a non-person in the ongoing plotline. (Weight Watchers????? jeesh!) Her demise would not shock. Another phantom to add to Don’s bloated psyche.

  7. Is it bad that all I care about is how they all will look? I’m so geared up to see the longer hair and sideburns. EM will most likely need a wig. Will she get something short like Twiggy, or long and big like Mary Richards? Probably a little more cursing too? Will Betty lose all the weight and embrace her skinny self by adapting to a more current style of clothes? Can’t wait!!

    • Yes. It is bad. Very, very bad.

    • As Karthheiser said in his commentary on Signal 30 “Peggy looks gorgeous in that dress” (the one she wore during the fist fight). This is not the only thing I care about, but it’s a big part of the fun, no doubt about that.

      “I’m so geared up to see the longer hair and sideburns.”

      Mad Men may never get past Jan 1, 1970, but don’t we all sort of laugh when we see guys from 1972 who were Don’s age, with those mutton chops and hair covering their ears? I predict we will never see Don Draper in mutton chops.

      “EM will most likely need a wig.”

      Because that short ‘do she’s got will not grow out in time?

      “Will Betty lose all the weight and embrace her skinny self”

      For January Jones’ sake, I hope Betty will get back to her “fighting weight” (as Mrs. Holloway might say). Prosthetics and Fat Suits can’t be much fun.

  8. Is it weird that talking about all of these 1968 events is making me feel old, in the sense that if this much time has passed in the Mad Men universe, it means THAT much time has passed in mine!? I feel like we should still be talking about the Cuban Missile Crisis but it’s time to talk about Reagan and RFK and the Tet Offensive.

    I think one of the early opening sequences will reveal this illustrious second floor of SCDP, and perhaps Pete in his new NYC apartment.

    I’d also like to see this year how Peggy’s family, and any future boyfriend of Joan’s, deal with the enormous success of these women. They are no longer simply ‘women with good jobs’, but powerful, soon-to-be-wealthy women. Does Ma Olson finally accept what Peggy does or is she even more alienated by her daughter’s success? Can any man be comfortable with Joan being a partner in a company?

    Okay, you guys are good, I can’t compete. I bow down to you!

    • I like the idea of seeing the new 2nd floor. Any idea what they will use it for? It’s a shame we won’t see the arguments about who is moving where, who gets the new office space, and who takes over empty offices from the people moving. I had forgotten about Pete’s apartment. I wonder where it will be, and how it will be decorated.

      Future men in Joan’s life don’t have to know she’s a partner. If they question the money she’s making, she could claim she’s been with the company for years, and explain how important she is to them, something along the lines of “I’m very good at what I do, and they pay me well for it.” I do think Ma Olson accepts what her daughter does, and has for awhile. She was bragging about her to the young priest years ago.

      • We already heard Pete say smugly that his office would have “the same view” as Don’s: i.e. he made sure to get the same office as Big Don, one floor higher.

    • I’d love to see Joan and a totally together, non-threatened professional man become an item. This would not be unprecedented or so unlikely – Mary Wells Lawrence and Jane Maas were both half of a professional power couple.

      Joan marked the spot for a staircase – a harbinger of a fairly major set modification, where they may be shooting right now. I’ll bet it’s fancy.

      Peggy’s family will be proud of her. I wonder if Abe’s ego and disdain for wealth will cause an early demise for their romance.

  9. I doubt it would go here, but wouldn’t it be something if, maybe not the first scene, but the first scene Pete shows up in, that he runs into Howard and a very pregnant Beth on the train, and he has to think about yet another baby of his that he didn’t plan for, didn’t know about, and suddenly leaves a hole in his heart….meanwhile barely spending a minute with his “at-home” baby?

    • Speaking of Beth, I thought it was strange that she didn’t have any stockings or pantyhose under her pink dress in the hotel tryst before her shock treatment. Not many women went out bare-legged at that time of the world. And it was cold out!

    • Beth, like Bethany, Bobbie, Joy, the Twins, the au paire, Pete’s model, Hildy, Allison, Doc Miller, the stewardess, the bellboy, the chocolate bunny, the housekeeper in Waldorf Stories, and Rachel (siiiiigh), are in the fling dustbin of MM history. Never to be seen again.
      What will be the name of the first girl Don paws outside his “Megan” marriage? My money is on Anna.

      • I’m not so sure Rachel is gone for good. Don reading “The Fixer” last season may be (I repeat may be) a hint she is still on his mind. I always like to remember that “The Rachel” is the name of the ship that saves Ishmael in “Moby Dick” as well. Who knows?

  10. ……….Suzanne, the college boy at the bar in Love Among the Ruins (my fave ep, Yay!), Captain Awesome in Meditations,………and so it goes.

  11. Not one opening scene in any year has been situated inside the offices. (Season 5 was office workers looking down at the street.)

    Last season was “every man for himself.”

    This season I see the theme as “second wind”. Each character finds himself or herself again in the agency and begins to feel his or her oats in terms of importance or power but I see the environment gradually encroaching on the life of each character to remind each character how precarious their life and lifestyle is in the midst of chaos.

    So I see the opening scene being in SCDP’s new digs that we saw in the last episode of season 5. And I think we will see this “second wind” played out immediately.

    • I have a feeling that maybe be a tad bit optimistic (unless I’m misunderstanding your comment.) I think this past season represented the calm before a very, very big storm. If that’s what you meant by second wind, then I agree.

  12. I see NYC in the full flower of its degenerative era. Fun City, in all its squalor. Lots of dope, lots of crime. Don Draper walking through mid-town, oblivious.

    • Don Draper is never oblivious. He always pays minute attention to his environment and learns from it.

  13. Season 5:

    Far away places, At the Codfish Bowl and Lady Lazurus on now.

  14. The music in that episode, that waltz-esque tune, is just awesome.

    Did you ever listen to The Orange Couch on youtube, their reviews of Mad Men season 5? They are succinct but really, really on the nose and interesting. I remember listening to the review of this one and really liking it.

    • I wasn’t watching The Orange Couch last season because my time constraints were intense, but that’s Amanda Marcotte, and I always adored her reviews (and sometimes linked to them here) when they were text-based.

  15. I think the first scene of season six will actually feature Peggy, doing something important inside CGC. My guess is: making a big presentation to an important client and discovering the reception isn’t as cordial as what she was (sometimes) getting at SCDP. She will be shown pondering whether her move to the other agency was really the smartest move ever.

    My guess is that S6 will pick up in mid-1967. I expect we’ll see most characters’ relationships poised on the brink or having just gone over the edge. Peggy and Abe: good, but feeling the stress of conflicting values and career paths. Don and Megan: shaky, as Megan has more success in acting and Don succumbs to the pull of his old demons. Pete and Trudy: on the rocks and on the verge of divorce (the new apartment Trudy told Pete to get in the city is soon to be his home.) Betty and Henry: also rocky, as Betty’s fragile ego frays under the strain of their empty, political marriage. I can actually see Joan entertaining new suitors, and maybe meeting a decent guy who isn’t threatened by her strong personality. Roger will be enjoying permanent bachelorhood.

    As for the social backdrop of next season, I think the civil rights movement will take center stage as the dominant major issue. I expect to see a lot of new cast members, possibly an expanded role for Dawn Chambers, and Sterling Cooper Draper Campbell struggling to accept these changes. While the Jaguar account may have brought them more money and enhanced status, those stuck-in-the-50s personas have a long way to go before they’re truly the modern company Don claimed he wanted them to be in S4.

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