Mad Men: What Happened?

 Posted by on May 17, 2016 at 4:00 am  Characters, Mad Men, Past Seasons
May 172016

On May 17, 2015 the last episode of Mad Men was broadcast.

It has been a very long year.

Matthew Weiner and the writer’s room did an amazing job of leaving most of the Mad Men characters in a slightly happier place, but with enough of a bittersweet mixture of closure and uncertainty that the ambiguity should have us wondering what happened in their lives.  We will never know, but we invite you to share your speculations.

Depending on your interest —  let us know in the comments section if you’d like to see this as a regular feature and how often (once a week? once a month?) — we invite you to share what you think happened to various Mad Men characters since the last time we saw them.  We provide a few leading questions to stimulate your imagination.


What happened to Sally, Bobby and Genie after Betty Draper Francis dies?


  • Did Don regain custody of his children?

Don and children at breakfast

  • If so, did he hire Carla to help him raise the kids in Manhattan?


  • Did Don play the “my children need a mother who is chill with spilled milk” card to reconcile with Megan?

Don Megan and children

  • Did Henry Francis fight for custody?

Henry Betty and children

  • Did the Draper kids end up being raised by Betty’s brother, William Hofstadt, and his wife Judy?

william and judy hofstadt


  19 Responses to “Mad Men: What Happened?”

  1. I’m betting Don went back to NYC and opened a small shop. He let Henry have custody, but started to see Sally more in college (she went to Barnard so she could be close to her brothers). Henry was strict with the boys, who started to rebel in their teens, and eventually went to live with their dad.

  2. I’d like to see this as a regular feature! Don gets the kids. When he comes back, he insists on it- and Henry doesn’t want to contradict the kids’ living parent and William/Judy are pleased to be relieved of the aggravation, especially since the kids have a living parent who wants them. Don gets another huge apartment in NYC and a full-time housekeeper who’s a lot like Carla even though it’s not Carla. The boys live with Don. Sally finishes high school as Miss Porters but constantly commutes and then, goes to Columbia for college.

    Don comes back in a much better place after Esalen, in terms of open affection and honesty but actually he’s a little disconcertingly interested in letting his freak flag fly high and competing as hard as he can at McCann. So, life for the Draper kids with Don is mix of pluses and minuses. They get some really good quality time with him and he’s far more focused on them and he does a much better job of mixing them into with his preferences like the next time that he wants to go on the road trip, he takes the kids instead of leaving them. However, the drama continues with late nights at the office even though he promised he’d be home, a parade of girlfriends, maybe one of the boys figures out that Don pays for sex as he said he would in Person to Person, etc. However, through it all, everyone grows up good and close to each other with decent values, even if dysfunctional and kind of scarred. Like Sally. Actually, especially with Sally’s constant influence.

  3. I’d love to see more of this feature.

    Here’s how I saw it, covering Don’s future, with looks at Pete, Joan, and Peggy:

  4. yes he did get them, and their maid…no doubt.

  5. Best ever. Makes me miss our discussions during and after the show. This should be a regular feature.

  6. I’ll second Jag-u-ar – regular feature! Please!

  7. I’d hope Don would not uproot the kids and leave them in that “spooky” house. Ossining to Rye is about 20 miles – would Carla commute? Is she even available? Don probably gave her a killer letter for her next “situation”.

    Sally will not become a “hippie” – she’s too well self-directed to go there. PLus becoming a part-time surrogate mom will mold her in a direction not so compatible with the hippie ethos.

    This is not to say she’ll be a striaght arrow – we know her too well to expect that.

    • Sally is a little bit on the young side to be a hippie, plus she has to be somewhat responsible for Bobby and Gene. She’ll have her rebellion in the next decade. Being the mix of Don and Betty that she is, Sally will easily sweet talk her way into Studio 54 and become a quasi-regular there.

      • Sally could even see the value in getting Don remarried. It would be a comical turn of events seeing her trying to get him to date her choices of acceptable candidates. He would be amused and like Cinderella an unlikely person would pique his interest. Afterall, Sally wants to perserve what family she has and move forward.

        Glen Bishop will be free to move about her family life when he returns from Nam an addicted, post traumatic, war hero. Will they marry?

  8. Is there any word that Matt Weiner is working on another series??

    Also, are you still considering a re-watch of the show? I really miss the show and the discussions on this blog!

    I also like the idea of “what happens next” though we know that none of us could ever really know what will happen next!

  9. I was going to say neither got them, but now I don´t know. I´m just trying to think how a Mad Men narrative would go. Okay, so Don would probably have to manifest his new ability to love and connect somehow, and I guess this would make it satisfying for him to show up two thirds of the way through an episode and claim the kids. Of course it´s against Betty´s wishes, but she didn´t know about this new Don. Betty would have wanted this man in their life. But Mad Men generally resolves itself in its final few minutes, and in that time something would happen which would probably see Don making up his mind that Sally and Bobby should go with Henry. Probably Bobby demonstrating a Henryism or something. Nothing huge, just a small thing to remind Don Henry is a real influence on his son´s life. It would be sad, but there would also be a rock solid conviction that this was how it had to be.

    I like this game.

    • I can’t see Don wanting to be out of his sons’ lives for good. Even Henry wouldn’t want that. I see Bobby and Gene still spending some weekends with Don.

  10. Thanks to everyone who left a comment and would like to see more of “Mad Men: What Happened?”

    Stay tuned….

  11. Don cast his kids in The Hillside Chorus and took them to Italy to film the commercial. Betty came along to see Italy one more time. Henry took a new job in The White House Plumber’s Unit and was preoccupied with planning the Watergate break-in with Gordon Liddy.

  12. I would love to see a scene with Don telling the Betty story to Peggy. Maybe cry. Peggy would be the voice of reason and say the kids need him. No matter how messy his life is the role of a parent, especially after the loss of their mother is something he cannot walk away from or move forward from.

    I would then love Roger to hear the story and he tell Don that if he had to do it all over again he would have tried to be more of himself with Marigold/Margaret. He would tell Don to get another suburban house and make the best Dad campaign he can. Even if it feels like playing a part, it is what is needed. “Buck Up”.

    Finally, I think he will buy a fabulous home in Larchmont, which is practically down the street from Rye and the kids could have free access to Henry, thier schools and friends. Don will be a gentleman toward Henry. Knowing that Don does not have to give an inch Henry will return in kind. They will have an understanding. The only conflict will come is when Henry may want female companionship and the kids are taking up too much space…

    Sally and the kids will roll with the situation, they always do!

    Thank you Polly Draper for this creative outlet. Love it!

  13. Yes regular feature!!

    I just put Season 1 on in the background while doing some work. The level of genius cannot be overstated for Weiner and his entire crew. The thought and foresight put into just the first episode is astounding.

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