I watched the final episode of Pt. 1 of the final season of Mad Men this morning. I've often asked myself why it is that I continue to root for Don Draper. Matthew Weiner has given us a truly terrible character at times, and he'd be easy to demonize, but I continue to want to see him succeed. Why? I think Don Draper is many men I know. Men who would be easy to write off, yet who I wish had found some redemption before death or for those alive that I wish would find redemption. Draper reminds me of these men for whom I root. Maybe because I know it is but grace that has kept me from becoming like them. We humans are fragile. Each decision we make adds to a long list of decisions and sometimes the snow ball of bad ones has just gotten too big for some people. As much as I'd like to believe that I'm a better person that those people who have ship wrecked their lives I can't quite say that. Change a few elements of my life here, add some others there, and I could have made the same mistakes, done the same dumb things, hurt or abandoned the same people who loved me. Grace reminds us of who we might be and it reminds us that a better version of even our worst enemies might dwell within them still.
Update: Libby Hill's article says a lot of what I'm saying here, but she says it better: You Just Might Find: The Midseason Finale of "Mad Men"