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Damon Lindelof Is Just Screwing with Us Now

By Dustin Rowles | TV | April 28, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | April 28, 2023 |


Spoilers for “A Great Place to Drink to Gain Control of Your Drink,” episide 5 of Mrs. Davis

Hardcore fans of Mad Men may remember the “Sharon Tate” theory that surfaced nearly a decade ago now. That was me. I started it. I was being very earnest, too. I had managed to piece together a number of clues that suggested that Don Draper’s second wife was going to be murdered by the Manson cult. The evidence was so compelling that the theory took off. I convinced myself. It was mentioned everywhere, including the NYTimes, and a popular outlet even interviewed me about the theory. Eventually, that theory made it all the way to the show’s creator, Matthew Weiner, who was asked about it in an interview.

Weiner was annoyed. Maybe a little more than annoyed. While calling that particular theory “dumb,” he expressed some appreciation for television conspiracy theorists among us because we were at least watching, but he definitely seemed irritated that viewers didn’t just sit back, trust him, and let him tell his f**king story.

No one has had their work scrutinized and pilfered for television conspiracy theories more than Damon Lindelof, the guy behind Lost, The Leftovers and Watchmen. I don’t think that Lindelof is as irritated like Weiner was that television critics and Reddit threads have picked apart his work and tried to make predictions about them, but I think he expressed some amusing frustration with it in Arthur Schroedinger, the Mrs. Davis character played by Ben Chaplin, who is stranded on an island for a decade (ahem). After his rescue, the AI Mrs. Davis grants him one wish, and Schroedinger basically says: “I have to go back” (ahem).

Meanwhile, Sister Simone and Wiley — who continue to search for Clara, who is the key to finding the Holy Grail that Simone must retrieve so that Mrs. Davis will shut herself down — find themselves on Schroedinger’s island. Schroedinger knows who Clara is. He knows where the Holy Grail is. He sits Simone and Wiley down to tell them the story. It’s wild. But every few minutes, Wiley and Simone interrupt Schroedinger’s story to say something like, “Oh yes! I knew it! I knew it all along!” or to try and predict the next twist in the story. At some point, Schroedinger pulls a Matthew Weiner and says, “Would you two prefer to keep on wildly theorizing, or may I continue on with the story?” In other words: “Will you two just shut up and let me tell my f**king story, already?”

Tara Hernandez and Damon Lindelof, however, have conjured up a story that is prediction-proof. It’s a story so fantastical that no one on the Internet would be able to predict it. It is beyond bonkers. It’s bonkers on meth.

Here is the brief version of events: Remember the series cold open set in the 1300s, which featured Clara, a bunch of decapitations, and this:

It turns out, it was a present(ish) day $18 million sneaker commercial that Mathilde (Evil’s remarkable Katja Herbers) and the Sisters of Coin were making with the expectation that the sneaker company would air it during the Super Bowl because the Holy Grail required that it be seen by one percent of the population (Tom Wlaschiha’s Father Ziegler was instrumental in raising the money). However, the sneaker company declines to air the ad. While filming it, Clara steals the Holy Grail and replaces it with a fake. She is determined to destroy the Holy Grail.

In an effort to do so, she tracks down her real father, who happens to be Dr. Schroedinger (I gasped!). The Holy Grail, however, is indestructible. Nothing they do leaves even a scratch. They try for years. Clara finally surmises that the only way it can be destroyed is by drinking from it. Clara and Schroedinger play a game of rock, paper, scissors to decide who will take the drink. Clara wins. She drinks from it. Her head explodes. (I gasped again!).

Here comes another twist: A mouse also drinks from the grail, and it also dies. However, Schroedinger’s cat (ahem) eats the dead mouse. Schroedinger’s cat is 35 years old now, meaning that the youthful effects of the Grail have worked on the cat. Schroedinger, therefore, surmises that anyone who drinks from the Grail will die, but someone can consume it, so to speak, second-hand. After Clara’s head explodes, Schroedinger has her liver donated to Simone and Wiley. (Gasp!)

That was two decades ago. Now, Schroedinger believes that with Clara’s liver, one of them can successfully drink from the Grail and destroy it. There is one catch, however: Schroedinger fed the Grail to a sperm whale. Now they have to track down the Holy Grail, which is inside a sperm whale, and Simone or Wiley has to drink from it and hope that their heads do not explode.

Did you predict that, Reddit? I didn’t think so.

Here’s one last amusing postscript: I spent several years reading the tea leaves of Mad Men trying to predict how it would end. I devoted thousands and thousands of words to those predictions. None of them were right. But my colleague over on Uproxx, Brian Grubb — who posted that GIF up above — casually joked at one point that it would end with the famous ’70s Coke commercial, and that is exactly what happened. On the one hand, it was hilarious and perfect, and I was happy for Brian. On the other hand: FML.