Is Megan Draper actually Sharon Tate? Well, no, not exactly. But a Reddit theory making the rounds suggests that Megan might be a stand-in for the real-life actress who was brutally murdered in 1969. While it’s all speculation at this point, the similarities between Megan and Tate are clear — and Mad Men does seem to be heavily foreshadowing violence. Here are some of the most pressing clues, as identified by redditors.
1. The shirt.
Was this unintentional, or is Megan’s shirt a direct nod to this 1967 photo of Sharon Tate in Esquire? Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant tweeted that it’s “no coincidence.”
2. Abe’s stabbing.
The red on Megan’s shirt also mirrors Abe’s shirt after he’s stabbed — blood red on white. And the incident also reflects the season’s heightened violence. (Remember that Stan was casually stabbed in the arm just one week prior.)
3. The budding acting career.
Like Sharon Tate when she was murdered, Megan is an actress whose career is on the rise. She’s just now coming into her own, which would make her untimely death all the more tragic.
4. The pregnancy.
Sharon Tate was eight and a half months pregnant when she was murdered. Megan was pregnant earlier this season, though she had a miscarriage.
5. The marriage.
Tate’s husband Roman Polanski was 10 years older than she was. Like Don, he was a philanderer — something Tate came to accept begrudgingly.
6. Rosemary’s Baby.
Speaking of Roman Polanski, he directed the film adaptation of Rosemary’s Baby, which Sally was seen reading during the home invasion.
7. The home invasion.
And ah, yes, that home invasion. Sharon Tate was, of course, murdered during a home invasion. Grandma Ida’s sudden appearance also speaks to the fact that no one is safe — even up in a high-rise building, protected by security. On a practical level, we now know how easy it would be for someone to break in to the Drapers’ apartment.
8. Don’s absence.
Megan frequently complains about Don never being home. In the home invasion episode, Betty criticized him (and Megan) for leaving the children unattended. They won’t be making that mistake again, but we surely haven’t seen the last of Don leaving Megan to fend for herself.
9. The Beatles.
Remember when Don listened to The Beatles and it was a huge deal? Here’s why that also ties into the Manson family: Charles Manson was heavily influenced by The Beatles, to the extent that “Helter Skelter” was written on the walls in the LaBianca home where Sharon Tate was murdered. And the lyrics to “Tomorrow Never Knows,” the song Don listens to? “It is not dying, it is not dying…”
10. Mistaken identity.
It’s a frequent theme on Mad Men, what with main character Don Draper being an alias for Dick Whitman. This season also began with Don switching lighters with a soldier, and the Season 6 poster includes two Don Drapers. And let’s not forget: Megan is now playing TWINS on her soap. Why is any of this relevant? Because Sharon Tate’s murder was a case of mistaken identity. Charles Manson wanted revenge on Terry Melcher, a music executive who had blown him off. Tate and the other victims just happened to be staying at Melcher’s home — but Melcher wasn’t there.
11. The poster.
And while we’re on the subject of that poster, the police presence is certainly ominous. Could those cop cars be on the scene of Megan’s murder? It’s a literal interpretation, but not an impossible one.
12. The rise of violence.
Dread is building: this season we’ve encountered riots, a home invasion, multiple stabbings, a mugging, two assassinations, and constant reminders that things just aren’t safe in the big city. Megan’s murder would be a shocking but fitting conclusion to the rising fear.
13. The fixation on death.
It’s been constant this season. Sometimes it’s all anyone seems to be talking about. What greater climax to a season so obsessed with dying than the murder of one of Mad Men’s main characters?