Mad Men endgame theory: Don Draper is D.B. Cooper


In 1972 a man using the alias D.B. Cooper highjacked a commercial jet flying out of Portland, Oregon and jumped out with a parachute and $200,000 in cash. He was never seen again.

Two years ago, Lindsey Green posted a theory that Don Draper is D.B. Cooper. Since then, nothing has happened on the show that blows her theory.

Some observations and ideas (Spoiler alert):

  • Don Draper's real name is Richard "Dick" Whitman. He took the name of Lieutenant Don Draper who died in front of Whitman in the Korean war.
  • Draper's boss is Bert Cooper. Cooper died on the show. Draper will take the name B. Cooper, and add a D. for Don (or Draper) and give himself a new name: D.B. Cooper.
  • In the episode that aired Sunday, Don is sitting in a meeting and realizing his career has hit a dead end. He gazes longingly through the window at a jet.
  • The final season of Mad Men takes place in 1972, the same year of the D.B. Cooper incident.
  • Season 6's promo art (below) has more vague clues on it than Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Ben Collins of The Daily Beast asks an interesting question:

If [Mad Men creator Matt] Weiner learned that he got found out—that his legendary ending was spoiled by a particularly clever PR person in New York City — would he ever think of changing the ending? Would keeping it diminish the art? Would changing it? Could Green have had an effect on the end of the show?

"I've asked myself that. I'm like, 'Did I ruin it for myself? Did I ruin it for everybody?' I get nervous about it. I think Matt is such a smart writer," Green says. "It could go in so many ways."