Ah, Mad Men. You puzzle us, you entertain us, you alienate us — and you send us scurrying down rabbit holes of hyper-analysis, historical research, and wild conjecture. Creator Matt Weiner’s insistence on maximum secrecy (and comically mysterious teasers) has led, rather directly, to the show becoming a repository for some of the Internet’s wildest conspiracy theories. Here are the ten kookiest.
Megan Draper is Sharon Tate.
The Internet went bananas this week for this notion, which started (as these things so often do) on Reddit and was further developed over at Uproxx, which has kind of become your one-stop shop for Mad Men theorizing. It goes like this: at the end of this week’s episode, Megan is seen wearing a white T-shirt with a red (Vietnam) star. That shirt was worn by Sharon Tate in a 1967 Esquire photo shoot; a Twitter conversation between photographer William Helburn’s daughter and Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant confirms that this was “no coincidence.” Tate was, of course, the wife of filmmaker Roman Polanski, murdered in her home (along with four others) in 1969 by members of the Manson Family. So this week has seen a flurry of Internet chatter about the Tate/Polanski shout-outs this season, from Sally reading Rosemary’s Baby during a home invasion to the cops on the Season 6 poster to the rise in violence and general dread. So is the show setting Megan up for a Tate-like murder? “After all,” notes Jezebel’s Tracie Egan Morrissey, “Tate wasn’t murdered until 1969, but something else happened to her 1968 — she got pregnant just as her acting career was taking off.” Or was the shirt merely an attempt to show her wearing “something political,” as Bryant has insisted?