Skip To Content

    This Is What You Need To Know About That Final Scene Of "Mad Men"

    "I'd like to buy the world a Coke..." WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!

    WARNING: DO NOT READ ON IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE SERIES FINALE OF MAD MEN.

    Don Draper (Jon Hamm) was not in great shape in the series finale of Mad Men. And after going on a bender...

    AMC

    And sleeping with yet another pretty young thing...

    AMC

    He decides to pay a visit to Stephanie Horton (Caity Lotz), the niece of Anna Draper (Melinda Page Hamilton).

    AMC

    Who convinces Don to go to (though it's never said, but is heavily implied) Esalen, an alternative retreat in Big Sur, California.

    AMC

    Don is not amused.

    When Stephanie leaves after an uncomfortable interaction with another community member about the son she gave away, Don is alone and even more lost...

    AMC

    ...So he decides to call Peggy.

    AMC
    AMC
    AMC

    And though she's angry, she soon realizes what a bad place Don's in.

    AMC
    AMC
    AMC

    She tries to convince him to come back to McCann to work on the Coke campaign.

    AMC
    AMC
    AMC

    But he's not interested.

    AMC
    AMC
    AMC

    And with that, he hangs up.

    AMC
    AMC
    AMC

    But later, when a man at Esalen talks about how he's never really seen during a seminar Don's attending, he has a breakthrough.

    AMC
    AMC
    AMC

    He looks out into the distance...

    AMC

    And finds peace.

    AMC

    And an idea!

    AMC

    Then, the screen fades to the iconic 1971 Coke commercial.

    AMC
    AMC

    And if you pay close attention, you'll notice the woman with the braids looks familiar.

    AMC
    AMC

    Like the one who told Don at Esalen that he could go when he pleases.

    So "ding", Don gets an idea and goes back to make the Coke Ad? #MadMadFinale

    Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant appreciated that fans noticed.

    .@MyLifeInPlastic Not a #coincidence thank you for noticing 💋 https://t.co/RSSfCBpPq6

    And doesn't that scenery look familiar too?

    AMC
    AMC

    Even though the Coke commercial was shot in Italy.

    Though many were confused about the final scene, some pointed out that Don's lightbulb moment indicates he uses his experiences at Esalen to go back to New York, pitch McCann his brilliant idea, and reclaim his place in the world.

    Bwah ha ha ha ha ha. So Don obviously goes back to McCann, because Coke's "I'd Like To Be a Hippie Death Cult on a Hill" bowed in 1971.

    Kind of surprised so many missed Don's ending. He went back to McCann & did the Coke ad based on his experience. He's a lifer. #MadMen

    I'm going to assume that Don went back to McCann and made that Coke commercial. Anyone else? #MadMen #MadManFinale

    Don finds inner peace, comes back to NY to finally make something of himself...with the Coke ad. I think... #MadMenFinale

    Vox Media's Eileen Sutton and Todd VanDerWerff actually predicted the Coke connection after last week's episode.

    AMC

    "In talking with Eileen Sutton, a colleague from our Vox Media sister publication Racked who first pointed this out to me, I've come to realize that Mad Men is coming up on a very famous anniversary in advertising," VanDerWerff wrote on May 12. "It explains the season's obsession with Coca-Cola (which turns up even in this episode, in the form of the broken Coke machine). It explains the season's obsession with connection. And it explains the long, long wait we've had for a vintage Don Draper pitch. (By my count, we haven't gotten one since the sixth-season finale, which was the Hershey's pitch that lost Don his job.)"

    And the iconic 1971 Coke ad really did come from McCann.

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    When Bill Backer, McCann's creative director on the Coke account, was flying to London to write radio commercials with two successful British songwriters, heavy fog forced the plan to land in Ireland. Though passengers were at first unhappy, they bonded over the shared travel experienced over bottles of Coke in the airport café, inspiring Backer.

    And really, we all should've known Don would like to buy the world a Coke with a splash or five of vodka.

    AMC

    TV and Movies

    Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form