One final (*sheds a tear*) connection that could provide some context and clues to the ending.

The only thing that I strongly feel needs to happen is that Don needs to go home to his kids. Other redditors have brought up solid points about how he was prepared to run away from his family in past. For example, in season four, when he thought he Federal background check would expose is crimes, he told Faye that, if caught, he would do "whatever he has to" and made financial arrangements for his kids (giving Betty control, if he had to disappear.)

However, a few years later, he breaks down telling Megan about his love for his kids. He tells her that when the kids were born, he knew he was supposed to love them, be just didn't know how. For years he pretended to love them the way he was supposed to. He starts crying, explaining how one day, they do something that makes you realize you at some point, you've come to truly love them. Don realized that he was no longer pretending, he loved his kids in a way he never knew he could.. He described feeling "like your heart is going to burst.

To me, this revelation implied that he never truly loved any of the women he was with, just the illusion of their life together. Don's first real love was his love for his children.

I felt like this was the key role of Diana, the waitress. She was a cautionary tale for Don. She warned him that you cannot ever really escape your role as a parent (also echoing Peggy's past.) If he is ever going come to peace with himself, it is not going to be by running away.

So, do people ever really change? in many ways, Don exemplifies how we're doomed to repeat our mistakes. Truthfully, he'll never be Father of the Year. But, as a parent, he has shown fundamental change.

/r/madmen Thread