That question is at the center of a “Mad Men” theory that has suddenly erupted on the Internet. Started by a Twitter post and then fueled by rampant speculation on Reddit, fans of the AMC drama are now wondering if Megan (Jessica Pare) will suffer a fate similar to Manson family-victim Sharon Tate.
Sharon Tate was an actress who rose to prominence throughout the decade of the 1960s. Originally appearing in small television roles, she gradually moved into film and was nominated for a 1967 Golden Globe Award for her performance in “Valley of the Dolls.”
With her marriage to director Roman Polanski in 1968, Tate’s career seemed poised to go only upward. She became pregnant early in the marriage and was only two weeks from her due date when she met a shocking death.
On Aug. 8, 1969, members of the Manson “family” entered the house where Tate was staying with three friends and brutally stabbed all of them to death. Their bodies were discovered the next morning. Later, during the murder trials, it came out that Tate and the others were not even expected to be there — the killers were simply instructed to kill everyone in the house.
The origins of the “Megan Draper is Sharon Tate” theory come from two images. One is a photo taken of Tate in 1967. The other shows Megan Draper in episode 9 of Season 6. A quick glance at the two photos shows some obvious similarities.
Could there be a connection, or is Megan just a big fan of the actress?
A connection is definitely possible. On Monday (May 27), Twitter user, @BHisaRockstar, sent the two photos to “Mad Men” costume designer, Janie Bryant, with the following message:
“Dying to know if this pic of Sharon Tate inspired Megan’s look? My dad shot it for @esquiremag in ’67.”
Bryant quickly — but cryptically — replied:
“no coincidence! So nice to tweet meet you”
Megan’s t-shirt does have meaning. But does it mean she is doomed? By itself, this is obviously not enough to believe in. Unfortunately for Mrs. Draper, there’s more.
If you think that fans are going crazy when they reference Sharon Tate being a model for Megan, you might be shocked to realize it has been going on all season. When AMC released pre-Season 6 publicity stills, for example, the Tom & Lorenzo website noted the following for the photo of Megan and Betty:
“Megan’s going a more California-inspired, Sharon Tate kind of route, which fits her character.”
This line was published on March 15, 2013 — long before anyone in the “Mad Men” audience was even thinking about murder.
And then there’s the “Mad Men” Season 6 poster. Throughout the run of the show, each season’s artwork has represented an overwhelming theme in the life of Don Draper. Because of this, many were alarmed when the poster appeared.
In this retro-looking piece of art, there are two Don Drapers. One is simply out for a walk, holding hands with a woman. The other, more disturbing Don Draper heads in the opposite direction, toward what appears to be a crime scene.
Out-for-a-walk Don is turning his head in alarm to watch crime-scene Don. A prominent “one way” sign points directly at the crime-bound man.
There has certainly been crime and violence throughout this season, but that hardly seems to be enough. What crime would be so serious that even Don Draper would pay attention? The murder of his wife would certainly cover it.
It’s not like fans can take anything in the “Mad Men” poster for granted either. Matthew Weiner cared so much about it that he hunted down an artist from the show’s era, Brian Sanders, and commissioned him to draw the design.
Season 6 foreshadowing
Since just about anything can be considered foreshadowing if we look hard enough, here are just some of the most disturbing warnings scattered throughout Season 6.
- The Drapers’ home was invaded and robbed in a recent episode.
- Peggy stabbed Abe because she thought he was someone else. Since mistaken identity played so big a part in Tate’s murder, this could be significant.
- During the break-in episode, Sally was seen reading the novel, “Rosemary’s Baby.” This was also a film, directed by Tate’s husband, Roman Polanski. The white-shirt-red-star photo of Tate was even taken during the filming of “Rosemary’s Baby.”
- Sirens have been a part of many Megan scenes throughout Season 6. In “The Better Half,” Megan could barely be heard over the noise of sirens. She was wearing the red-star t-shirt at the time.
- Megan Draper shares more than a few features with Sharon Tate. Both are young and rising stars. Both married men noted for their cheating ways. Pregnancy figures into both women’s tales — don’t forget that Megan miscarried earlier in the season.
Does all of this necessarily mean that Megan Draper is going to be brutally murdered? No. Of course not. But the signs are ominous, and it seems likely that something is indeed going to happen.
Considering this is “Mad Men,” anything is possible.