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Mad Men Creator Matthew Weiner Explains Last Night’s Finale, Defends Betty Draper

Last night, Vulture joined Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and cast members Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, Elisabeth Moss, and Cara Buono at the 21 Club to watch "Tomorrowland," the show's season-four finale. Attendees were dressed in Mad Men–appropriate attire, drank Mad Men–appropriate cocktails, and watched the actors' table for reactions to the episode's pivotal moments. Hendricks appeared to be wiping away tears at the end. Everybody laughed when Don delivered the big news to his co-workers. And Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner was beaming the entire time. He promised us an interview after the show, but only if the crowd enjoyed it. Thankfully, they did.

So, Don and Megan — that was quite a surprise.
Don can’t control the business, but he can control his personal life.

Faye seemed like Don Draper’s mistress type ...
No, I think Faye seemed like the next Mrs. Don Draper. She’s a professional and he’s an equal. I mean, who knows? There’s no stories about men in this situation. Maybe The Odd Couple. I realized because guys like this weren’t single for that long. To me, the reason this episode is called "Tomorrowland" is because it’s really about the choice between, "Do you want to deal with who you are, and live with that?" or "Do you want to think about the person you could be in the future and you’re becoming?" And Megan said, "Go to Tomorrowland." Everything’s pushing towards that fact. Why don’t you be the person you want to be, and not worry about dealing with the person you are?

And Megan doesn’t know about Dick Whitman.
And she doesn’t care. She says, "I like who you are now."

The real-life Don Draper, Draper Daniels ...
Not related to the show. I just saw the name. I also love Dorothy Draper. But Don’s not related to Draper Daniels.

Well, Draper Daniels ended up with a professional equal. Do you think Don will?
I don’t know who Don will end up with in the end. He’s ended up with Megan. Men back then married their secretaries. All the time. That’s what Roger said, “That’s how it’s done.”

And in this episode, we found out Joan didn’t have the abortion.
And I’m so surprised that people thought she didn’t go through with it. I didn’t think there was ambiguity. I thought everyone would say she hadn't had an abortion. We already know she’s had a bunch. Two, she admitted to the doctor. And to me, I felt she’s 34 years old. She knows there may not be another opportunity, so she’ll take the risk.

So next season we'll find out ...
Don’t start asking me about next season. Let me enjoy this! Let me enjoy ten minutes of this!

Why does it seem like there are no good mothers on Mad Men?
Wow, that’s kind of harsh. The question of Betty Draper’s motherhood is very peculiar to me. Because we were all raised by women like this. And I know it’s easy to hate her and think she seems childish and impulsive. We’re all here because of women like that. We’ll see how those kids turn out. They could end up being TV writers.

Do you think there are any good mothers on the show?
I think Trudie’s going to be an amazing mother. I think Trudie has a good mother. And I think Roger Sterling probably had an amazing mother. I bet his feet didn’t touch the ground until he was 3.

And Mona’s a good mother.
That’s true. Though they spoiled her. How much of it is the child and how much is the mom? One thing I say about Betty — I saw the word “monster” used. People must see a lot in themselves, or they wouldn’t be reacting so strongly. I guarantee one thing: If she weren’t so good-looking, they wouldn’t have a problem.

So no more Ossining? I’m really sad, since I grew up in Ossining.
I know, I didn’t want to say anything to you. I know it’s tough. But how great were Glen and Sally? To say good-bye to people all the time. It’s so upsetting to me.

Related:
Recapper vs. Critic: Logan Hill and Emily Nussbaum Debate Mad Men’s Season Finale
Mad Men’s Rich Sommer Explains Harry Crane’s Most Uncomfortable Moments
Mad Men’s Megan Speaks!
Mad Men Finale Recap: Did Don Disappoint You?
Why Do the Mad Men Writers Make Betty Draper Such a Monster?

Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images