Sunday night’s episode of Mad Men brought quite a shock. While Don Draper was getting lost in Oklahoma still trying to find himself, his ex wife Betty got a horrible diagnosis. SPOILERS AHEAD
Throughout the series’ 10-year run everyone’s been expecting Don Draper to die. Many episodes have had heavy suicide themes, and his self-destructive and hypocritical behaviors like smoking and drinking in excess have led the audience to wonder if his luck was going to run out.
It now seems unlikely that Don’s going to meet his fate before Mad Men ends, now this big question is if he’s going to finally step up and be there for his children now that they’re going to lose their mother. That’s right, Betty Draper Francis has terminal lung cancer and has decided to forgo treatment. (How she found out was quite undignified. She had to sit and listen while the doctor mapped out her dire fate to her husband, referring to Betty in the third person instead of addressing anything about her situation directly to her.)
The unflappable Betty is staying Betty to the bitter end. She explained to her daughter Sally she was facing her death with stoicism and without facing treatment because she just knows when to end things. Their face-to-face discussion about Betty’s diagnosis was as stiff and difficult as always, but when Sally read the letter her mother gave her to open after she was gone the love between was evident. They must have lined up this entire season so they could expertly rip out our hearts on Mother’s Day.