The Craziest "Mad Men" Conspiracy Theories You Need To Read Before The Finale

Is Don an alien? Is Joan a wizard? Is baby Gene a Russian spy who will one day grow up and be your father? According to the internet: Yes. Mad Men conspiracy theories are our guiltiest Monday morning pleasure, and after this Sunday's season finale we'll be stuck waiting months for the next crop (or will we?! See: conspiracy #467). After the media exploded with suspicions about a Megan Draper/Sharon Tate connection, we decided to dive all the way down the rabbit hole and see what other interesting theories we could come up with. It was quite a trip.
Some of these notions have roots in reality, and many took us back to our film school days of picking apart the mise en scène to determine a character's fate. And some of them are just bonkers. Either way, we whittled down the hundreds (probably more, we're still digging around down here) to the best and craziest Mad Men conspiracy theories out there. There are no spoilers here, unless these bloggers, journalists, and redditors are right. In which case — watch out, Pete Campbell. You're about to be eaten by a bear.
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1 of 18
Megan Draper = Sharon Tate Because Of This T-Shirt
Aforementioned internet explosion occurred after Jessica Pare appeared in this top during the last scene of this season's ninth episode. Sharon Tate wore the top in a famous 1967 Esquire shoot, so naturally, we assumed Megan would soon be preggers and/or dead. According to Matthew Weiner and Janie Bryant, it was actually just about some boring argument they had over whether or not women wore T-shirts in the 60s. OR WAS IT, WEINER?


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2 of 18
No Wait, Megan's Been Dead The WHOLE TIME
A smaller (but no less vocal) group of conspiracists insist that Megan has been dead this entire season. It's something to do with the fact that she appeared in Don's stoner fantasy out in L.A.. We don't get it, but we liked her headband.


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3 of 18
Betty Is Going To Die Because We Hate Her
Some speculate the whole Megan-will-die theory is just a red herring, and really it's the former Mrs. Draper who's about to bite the dust. Fine, by us. Can Sally kill her?


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4 of 18
Bob Benson Is A Spy And It's Something To Do With Coffee
Many posit that Bob Benson is a corporate and/or Russian spy, using his charming smile and always-carrying-coffee skills to infiltrate SCDP and get the dirt on Don.


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5 of 18
Bob Benson Is Homeless
Or he's just a well-dressed homeless guy who lives in the SCDP offices and no one ever kicks him out because he's so helpful and friendly and coffee-having.


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6 of 18
Bob Benson Is Peggy & Pete's Son Time-Traveling Back From The Future
...to hit on his father?!


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7 of 18
Bob Benson Is Just A Weird Smiley Character
Or there's no secret twist with Bob. We just don't get him.


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8 of 18
Joan & Peggy Are Starting Their Own Agency
One theory gaining traction is that the finale twist will be Peggy and Joan leaving to start their own agency, probably because they're sick of making out with their bosses.


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9 of 18
Pete Campbell Is Totally Going To Commit Suicide
When in doubt, the go-to Mad Men conspiracy theory is that Pete will commit suicide. His wife kicked him out, his mom went crazy pants, and his sideburns aren't working out at all. So, he's going to off himself.


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10 of 18
Ted Is The New Lane
Both Ted and Lane have reclined on couches. Both Ted and Lane have cranky wives. Both Ted and Lane have issues with Don. Pretty much describes every dude on this show, but for some reason everyone thinks this means Ted is going to kill himself, à la Lane.


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11 of 18
Don's A Murderer
Oh yes, obviously. He dream-killed his former mistress last season. He's definitely prone to blackouts. He's always coming home sweaty and tired. It's probably because he's all tuckered out from a long day of murdering.


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12 of 18
Megan's Going To Die Because She Ate Orange Sherbet That One Time
Thanks to symbolic usage in The Godfather trilogy, oranges have long been associated with death in film and television. It's everywhere from Requiem for a Dream to Family Guy. Film geeks assumed Weiner might have buried the seed for Megan's eventual death because of that time Don made her eat orange sherbet in a Howard Johnson's last season. We're guessing there's a chance Weiner has seen The Godfather, so perhaps it is true. One thing we're sure of: Orange sherbet is gross.


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13 of 18
This Is Actually The Last Season, Not The Second To Last
It would be the world's crappiest twist, but some speculate that when this season, the second-to-last, ends on Sunday, Matthew Weiner will be like "Psych! I'm out." We say no one could be that cruel, but remember, this is the guy who gave us the Sopranos finale. Raise your hand if you're still pissed about that.


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14 of 18
Don Is Dead And This Is Hell
Or maybe just purgatory. This theory speculates that Don Draper never made it out of Korea and this entire series is just his super-sexy afterlife. Sounds reasonable. He goes to the same job every day, he never ages, and everything is just vaguely miserable all the time.


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15 of 18
The Entire Show Is A Ken Cosgrove Book
Or perhaps we're just riding along in Cosgrove's writerly imagination? Some speculate the entire plotline is based on his memoirs, but no one's memoirs are this juicy. If this is a book, it's of the drugstore-counter bodice-ripping variety.


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16 of 18
Sal Is Coming Back Because We Really, Really Want Him To
Remember Sal?! Of course you do. He was the saddest casualty of Weiner's cruel pen and we've missed him from the moment he was written out. Weiner apparently knows this but, as we've noted, he's a monster and won't give us what we want. Nevertheless, the internet is determined to conspire Sal back into being.


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17 of 18
Don Will Go Down In Delta Flight 273 And Re-reinvent Himself As Dick Whitman
The good thing about living a double life is you can always ditch the new one and go back to the original. Since the show is fond of incorporating historical events (especially the terrible ones), many believe Don is about to go down in the 1973 plane crash of Delta 273. Sounds perfectly reasonable, except that we're still in 1968. Still, the concept that he might go back to being Dick Whitman seems ever more plausible.


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18 of 18
Pete Campbell Will Be Eaten By A Bear
Not sure where this one came from. But somebody somewhere believes it.


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