— White Lady (@BHisaRockstar) May 27, 2013
If there was ever a show that didn’t skimp on the symbolism, it’s Mad Men. There’s something to decode in every episode, but usually it has people wondering what the show’s trying to say about society or politics or any number of arsty-fartsy intellectual things. This season, though, the theorizing is a little different. We’ve been wondering all season who the heck this Bob Benson guy is, and whether he can be trusted. Clues about the agency’s Chevy account led people to realize that SCDP will have a lemon on their hands. And now the creepiest, most interesting theory of all is making the rounds on the interweb, including Reddit. And it’s all because of that cute star T-shirt Megan Draper (Jessica Paré) wore at the end of this past Sunday’s episode.
It turns out that’s the same T-shirt worn by actress Sharon Tate in a famous photograph. The daughter of the photographer tweeted at costume designer Janie Bryant asking if the photograph inspired the look. And Bryant replied to suggest that it was intentional.
— Janie Bryant (@JanieBryant) May 27, 2013
Sharon Tate was murdered in her home by followers of Charles Manson in 1969. We’re in 1968 now, so that fateful year is approaching, and some people think the shirt (which I figured was just a cute Macy’s product) foreshadows Megan’s murder. There are other clues people have used to come to this conclusion, including the fact that Sally was reading Rosemary’s Baby a couple of weeks ago. That book was adapted by Roman Polanski, who was married to Sharon Tate. There have also been a number of references to home invasion and stabbing this season, from the Grandma Ida situation to Abe’s mistaken stabbing last week. Since Mad Men isn’t the kind of show to alter historical events, I don’t think Megan is going to necessarily be killed by the Manson Family, but maybe there’s something there.
Janie Bryant might be counteracting these theories, however, in an interview she did with The Daily Beast, in which she explains it could all just be a political statement:
In terms of the t-shirt, Matthew Weiner had just said, ‘It would be great to have something political.’ I had done so much research of different political t-shirts, and found a picture of Sharon Tate from Esquiremagazine. It’s the Vietnam star. We saw a little bit of how Megan was so upset after Bobby Kennedy was shot, it really is so much a part of the turmoil happening during that period—really this is the time filled with civil unrest. [And New York] was really a decaying city.”
I certainly hope that’s all it is, since I’m finally liking Megan this season. Of course, her murder would pretty much guarantee her the top spot in our final Sympathy Rankings this season, even though that’s already looking pretty likely.