Any Mad Men fan worth caring about has spent the past two months slumped in a chair, highball glass in hand and dried sick crusted on the front of a half-unbuttoned shirt, blasting "Tomorrow Never Knows" on the hi-fi while consumed with worry that Peggy Olson's post–Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce fate involves her de facto exit from the show. [Editorial shit-losing aside: How could she leave Don for Teddy Chaough? Who's going to roll her eyes when Stan Rizzo sketches a cartoon of Pete Campbell fellating a Jaguar tailpipe? How could she abandon *us*?! OK, we're done now.] But today finally brings some comforting news on the Peggy front: Series emperor Matthew Weiner assures TV Line that our irrational panic is unnecessary, even silly. Of course she's going to be back. Don't be insane:
Peggy, played by Elisabeth Moss, “is going to be on the show next year,” Weiner shared. “I can’t say how much, in what capacity or what [her story] is going to be, but she has not left the show.”
Weiner likens the questioning of Moss’ status to the concerns he fielded after the Drapers headed for divorce a couple seasons back. “Everyone was like, ‘I guess January Jones is off the show,’ and I was like, ‘Why would she be?’ I never understood that.”
Well, that sensation of relief lasted about five seconds, didn't it? It's not exactly calming to the freakout-prone to compare Peggy's ongoing role to how the Betty situation unfolded. If we wanted to over-analyze what's supposed to be an innocuous update on a character's continuing existence — and trust us, we do, we so do — we could plunge our hands into the steaming entrails Weiner splayed out before us and predict a sinister fate for our prodigal copy chief. And so now we're afraid Peggy will show up three episodes into Season 6, get struck in the cheek by a Clio hurled by an enraged Chaough, and spend the rest of her handful of cameo appearances trying to emote from underneath a mummifying layer of face bandages. Is that a very dark place to go? It is, indeed. But Matthew Weiner, his hands still sticky with Fat Betty latex glue, led us there.