The cast and crew have already processed this, but for Mad Men fans the final—split into two—season will officially kick off on April 13. This is both a gift and a curse. The good news for devotees is that the drama will be lasting until summer of next year, but it stings a bit to get fourteen episodes stretched out over what is logistically just two short seasons. 

Matthew Weiner did an interview with Vulture as a precursor to Mad Men's first-half seventh season, warming us up for Donald Draper's last hoorah. Which will be his last hoorah—don't anticipate a spin-off:

I have not been approached, but I think it’s because they know I’m not interested in it. There are going to be 92 episodes of this. It’s a lot more than Breaking Bad. I feel that I’ve exhausted this. That’s not a judgment, that’s just the kind of person I am. I would like to do something else, but I also would like to leave it in its state, as a whole thing, as a work. I don’t want to tamper with what we did.

Reporter, Denise Martin, mentions that Weiner told NPR that he'll be ending the show on an ambiguous note. Here's Weiner on the possibility of Mad Men having an ambiguous ending:

You know, I think the context of that — and I’m not backtracking — is no matter how definitive I am with the show, it always seems to be ambiguous for the audience. For me, that’s just the nature of the show and the nature of the audience. Convincing the audience that Lane had actually died and was not coming back … I mean, that’s why we showed his body! I ended “Shut the Door, Have a Seat” with Don moving into a new apartment, Betty on a plane to Reno with her lover and her baby, and all that I heard about in the off-season was, “Are they getting divorced?” I had no idea that would be ambiguous. [When I said it would end on an ambiguous note] I was probably defensively preparing myself for all the crap you get when a show ends no matter what you do. I get it. I watch TV. Hopefully it will be a loss for the audience that it’s going away. It’s been a long relationship. I don’t think anyone’s going to be happy about it. [Laughs.]

In case you didn't know, Donald Draper doesn't vote:

We kind of established he doesn’t vote. Part of it is his assumed identity, but also Don has a very cynical attitude about politics. I know he’s against the war. But like a lot of people who grew up in the Great Depression, I don’t think Don’s someone who’s saying, “We have to restore order. This thing is out of control.” I think he knows things have to change.

Peggy Olsen is almost as essential as Don:

Peggy is a very important character. What happens to her every season is No. 2 on the list.

Weiner hasn't finished writing the show yet. He's getting there:

I’m writing episode nine. Right now, I’m definitely thinking about the pilot. We had a very emotional and fun evening at the beginning of this season. I showed the cast their auditions. There’s a little bit of that going on, like, “Can you believe this happened to us? A seven-year job in television?”

Weiner on the sheer terror of Jon Hamm undergoing throat surgery: 

I know, I know. Believe me, your entire livelihood is not riding on that voice.

AMC also released these three new photos today in an effort to get you excited for the upcomming season. 

[via Vulture]