In Season 7 of Mad Men, which launches this Sunday on AMC, we hope for some closure on the real Don Draper and the secret life he created for himself.
Draper was named #1 Most Influential Man by online magazine Ask Men in 2009 (ahead of real people, mind you), and Comcast has christened him one of TV's Most Intriguing Characters.
And rightfully so. Draper is the perfect character study for Drama 101, introduced to us in 1960 as the dapper, charming creative director for the fictional NYC advertising firm Sterling Cooper.
But as the series unfolds, it’s hard to ignore Don’s cynicism, arrogance, and womanizing tendencies. He drinks and smokes too much. He’s cheated on both of his wives (many, many times). He's left his children home alone (to deal with an intruder, no less), and Sally once caught him having sex with a neighbor. And let's not forget that he was basically fired in the last episode.
But perhaps most telling is that Don Draper's name is actually Dick Whitman, a Korean war deserter who switched Lt. Donald H. Draper’s dog tags with his own and created a new life for himself.
We love him. We hate him. And we definitely don’t understand him. Many questions remain, but perhaps the most puzzling of all is simply: who is Don Draper, and why is he the way he is?