Ever since the finale of Mad Men aired on Sunday, fans have been debating the meaning of the iconic show’s final scene. In an interview with The New York Times, actor Jon Hamm gives his interpretation of exactly what happened at the very end of the show. Spoilers obviously follow below.
For those who don’t know, the final scene involves main character Don Draper (played by Hamm) sitting on a beach meditating with a hippie commune in California. During the meditation, Draper gets a big, goofy smile on his face… and all of a sudden we cut to footage of Coca-Cola’s famous “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” ad from the early ’70s.
While Hamm says there are multiple ways to interpret the ending, he personally thinks it’s meant to imply that Draper went back to the advertising world and launched one of the most successful ad campaigns in history.
“My take is that, the next day, he wakes up in this beautiful place, and has this serene moment of understanding, and realizes who he is,” says Hamm. “And who he is, is an advertising man. And so, this [idea for the Coke ad] comes to him. There’s a way to see it in a completely cynical way, and say, ‘Wow, that’s awful.’ But I think that for Don, it represents some kind of understanding and comfort in this incredibly unquiet, uncomfortable life that he has led.”
Watch the whole scene below and decide for yourself.