The last line of Mad Men Season 5 was "Are you alone?" That line will stay important throughout Mad Men Season 6, which starts with a two-hour premiere Sunday, April 7 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
Showrunner Matthew Weiner told Entertainment Weekly, "The whole story of the season is the answer to 'Are you alone?' It does not have to do with those women at the bar. It doesn't mean lonely." Yes, Kelly Clarkson taught us well. Here's a roundup of some stuff to expect on the premiere.
Synopsis: Episode 1 is called "The Doorway." Here’s the official synopsis: "Don spearheads a new campaign; Roger gets unsettling news; Betty takes in a houseguest."
Another time jump: Weiner told The New York Times the show "will advance in time, as it does. I can’t say how much or how little. We’re coming off a period in Don [Draper]’s life where he’s trying to normalize, and trying to have this relationship — a real relationship with this woman [Megan] that he fell in love with. She expressed her desires [to return to acting] and that was a surprise for him. On this show, it’s a very rich, full orchestra, and we like to follow what is the next stage in these people’s lives."
Perception: "The episode is about how you're perceived," Weiner told Entertainment Weekly. "All of these people are facing their exact same problems, but they're doing it again, and they're wondering 'Is it me?' A lot of the season is talking about why and how to deal with that duality of 'I'm looking at myself and I don't like it. What's wrong with me? Can I change?'"
Two deaths and a wedding: Here’s some E! News scoop on the premiere: "Here are five things you can expect to see: a wedding, two deaths, Megan rocking several colorful bikinis, a dramatic physical transformation from Betty and one character dropping an F-bomb (is that even allowed on AMC?!). As for the finale's big question — did Don cheat on Megan? — let's just say that will no longer be a question by the end of the two-hour premiere."
Megan is a famous actress: Another tease from E! News: "Remember Megan's fledgling acting career? As season six opens, it's going well enough that Don's latest wife gets recognized by a fan and asked for her autograph. She's thrilled — at least until the fan makes a comment about her weight."
Focus on death: Here's some death talk to go with the E! News teaser. The Hollywood Reporter previewed the episode in a lengthy review, writing, "The season kick off is heavily preoccupied with death. It’s roughly two hours of Don and Roger looking, for different reasons, into the yawning maw of death and wondering what the whole point of their lives is. For Roger, this is relatively new territory as he’s previously laughed off thoughts about the end, even though change has been pushing his character to new corners for the past three seasons. Since Roger’s more of a whistling-past-the-graveyard kind of guy, viewers aren’t given a lot of his self-reflective moments as he stares into the vast distance lost in thought. That’s a Don Draper specialty on Mad Men, however, and Season 6 wastes no time getting to it."
Paradise lost? According to THR, on the premiere, we see Don reading Dante's while he and Megan lie on the beach in Hawaii. "As the camera lingers on Megan’s bikini bottom, Jon Hamm’s voice over thoughtfully recites, 'I went astray from the straight road (pause) and woke to find myself alone (pause) in a dark wood.' Contrast that with the bright Hawaii beach scenes and you get the sense that maybe Don’s not fully getting the Paradise vibe."
Roger is in therapy: According to THR's report, "Roger finds himself needing therapy in season six — not because he believes in it, but because he’s finally coming to grips with the kind of existential crisis Don has pondered for years. In a great scene, Roger rants to his shrink about the notion of going through a doorway in life because you want to discover new things and grow. Then you go over bridges to find things and through windows, too. But there’s nothing there, nothing new about the experience, he says. 'They all open the same way and they all close behind you.'"
Here's the wedding part: Photos of Don at this wedding were posted a while back. According to THR, "Unable to sleep, Don meets a drunk guy getting married the next day. Turns out, the guy is in the service, heading out for a tour of Vietnam. He knew Don had been in the service because they have the same lighter. [...] Don inadvertently picks up the wrong lighter and there he is, facing his past, his lies and the reason he can’t ever stop moving in search of something that looks or feels, at least temporarily, like happiness. Don is getting his picture taken when he first notices he’s got the wrong lighter. Stunned to see it, Don looks up and confusedly asks the photographer what he wants Don to do for the picture again? ‘I want you to be yourself,’ he says.”
Read The Hollywood Reporter’s full review here. And read more Mad Men Season 6 spoilers in the stories below.