If you haven't seen the series finale of Mad Men, consider stopping right here. We go into details about the last scene of the episode, and what Jon Hamm thinks it all means. In short, there are spoilers ahead, so consider this your spoiler alert.
In an interview with the New York Times, Jon Hamm discusses the serene, meditative state that Don Draper finds himself in at the end of the final episode, and how the scene then cuts to the classic 'Buy The World a Coke' commercial. The Times asks Hamm if there's a correct interpretation of the event:
I think there probably is. But I think, like most stories that we go back to, that it’s a little bit ambiguous. We had talked about this ending for a long time and that was Matt [Weiner, the “Mad Men” creator and show runner]’s image. I was struck by the poetry of it. I didn’t know what his plans were, to get Don to this meditative, contemplative place. I just knew that he had this final image in mind.
When we find Don in that place, and this stranger relates this story of not being heard or seen or understood or appreciated, the resonance for Don was total in that moment. There was a void staring at him. We see him in an incredibly vulnerable place, surrounded by strangers, and he reaches out to the only person he can at that moment, and it’s this stranger.
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. And who he is, is an advertising man. And so, this thing 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.
And while everyone is mourning the end of the show, Hamm also talked about how he's already said his goodbyes, and he's ready for his next role on The Love Boat (just kidding):
It’s a hell of a thing, to end something like this. Is my melancholy seeping through enough? [laughs] In a much more healthy sense, we all put this show to bed quite some time ago, and said our goodbyes and cried our tears. Everybody’s moved on. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone else’s next things. As I said to someone, I’ll see you on “The Love Boat.” And if you print that, somebody, somewhere, is going to pitch that.
Check out the interview for more wisdom from Hamm.