Look, this has nothing to do with fashion or beauty, but fuck it, I’m going rogue.
Matt Weiner, the creator of Mad Men has always said that the opening credits on Mad Men are a very significant statement. If you’re unfamiliar you can watch the credits here. If you hate watching videos, they depict a man wearing a suit walking into an office building, laying down his briefcase, and then leaping out a window and plummeting to his death. Weiner says the images he passes on his descent (a woman’s stocking, a family, a glass of scotch) represent his deepest fears. Now, obviously something can be a significant statement without literally manifesting on the show but, dude, someone is totally going to jump out a window, right? TOTALLY.
I think viewers generally suspected it would be Don but, gosh, Don seems so well adjusted now. I’m inclined to think that it will be either Pete or Roger. I’m going to break down my reasons on these two. Let’s ride:
Pete’s major problem with his office is that “there isn’t even a window in it.” Seeing Pete throw himself from the window he coveted would be fitting.
Pete ends the last episode by saying “I have nothing.” He’s just been bested by Lane Pryce in fight, Don is able to repair plumbing like some kind of superman, his marriage is unhappy, he’s suddenly old. He’s… not wrong.
He chuckles like a crazy person when someone on the train says “I hope to be dead by Christmas.”
Unlike the other characters, Pete has no strong bonds of friendship in the office. He notes that they are supposed to be friends, but Pete doesn’t really have any friends. Anywhere. And his office-mates are willing to draw the curtain and watch while someone beats him up.
It’s revealed that he still keeps a gun at the office.
Pete is the quintessential company man. He’s the first one in, the last one out. If he was going to kill himself, he’d do it at the office. After finishing his work for the day.
The last episode, which revolved around Pete, ends with Ken writing a story which reads “There were phrases of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony that still made Coe cry. He always thought it had to do with the circumstances of the composition itself. He imagined Beethoven deaf and soul-sick, his heart broken, scribbling furiously while Death stood in the doorway, clipping his nails. Still, Coe thought, it might have been living in the country that was making him cry. It was killing him with its silence and loneliness — making everything ordinary, too beautiful to bear.” Death is clipping its nails in the doorway.
Roger tells new hire Michael Ginsberg that “they both share a dream” of pushing something out of the large picture window in the middle of the office.
Roger’s major defining trait has been a lack of contentment about his life. He whines about Mona, he’s turned nasty towards Jane, he’s generally good natured in his cynicism, he cracks great jokes, but he’s fundamentally dissatisfied. This is not a happy man, and he is less so now than ever.
He wants to know “when things will get back to normal.” And as he makes jokes about the new black receptionist, Dawn, being “darkest before Dawn” and the Jewish hires, it becomes more and more clear that Roger is becoming a relic.
He tells Don, ““I’m tired of it. Tired of trying to prove I still have value around here. I’m exhausted from hanging on to the ledge and having some kid’s foot on my fingertips.” Sounds like he could just let himself fall. Just, any time now.
So, let’s roll with the poll: