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Mad Men without Peggy: Still worth watching?
Rumor has it that Elisabeth Moss, who plays proto-feminist copywriter Peggy Olsen, is leaving the hit AMC drama for good, sending fans and critics into mourning
One theory behind Peggy Olsen's sudden exit from the Mad Men agency: Elizabeth Moss, the actress who plays her, had to leave early to film the BBC miniseries, Top of the Lake.
One theory behind Peggy Olsen's sudden exit from the Mad Men agency: Elizabeth Moss, the actress who plays her, had to leave early to film the BBC miniseries, Top of the Lake. Jordin Althaus/AMC
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s "You Really Got Me" Peggy Olsen's swan song? (Warning: Mad Men spoilers lie ahead.) Rumor-mongers claim that Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss and her character Peggy Olsen, last seen quitting ad agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and triumphantly stepping into an elevator as the Kinks' punk classic played, may be leaving the hit AMC drama conclusively. Fans assumed the show would follow the character to her new copywriting job, but Olsen was absent from the most recent episode. Now, fellow Mad Men actor Jared Harris, whose character Lane Pryce recently committed suicide, may have inadvertently told The Daily that Moss is gone for good. Explaining that the series routinely writes characters off, he mentioned Moss, adding, "...and she'd been there since the beginning." Peggy is one of Mad Men's most popular characters, and Moss has been nominated for three Emmys. Would the show suffer without her?

Yes. Immensely: It makes no sense for Mad Men to "ditch Ms. Olsen now," says Kimberly Roots at TV Line. Arguably, both Don Draper and Peggy Olsen are the show's "guiding lights." Mad Men is "as much about her journey as it is his" and the series wouldn't be nearly as transfixing "if either of them jetted off." I'm choosing to believe that Moss simply needed to make an early exit this season so she could film another project, the BBC miniseries Top of the Lake, and will return.
"Mad Men's Peggy gone for good? Say it ain't so!" 

There's still more to explore with Peggy: Yes, Peggy's trajectory is as vital to Mad Men as Don's, says Jennifer Graham Kizer at iVillage. Her story is hardly over just because she left SCDP for a job with better pay. Imagine the fireworks when she's "pitted against Don in a fight for a big client." Besides, it's almost impossible to imagine Moss choosing to leave the series "when it continues to be so creatively rich and well received."
"Is Elisabeth Moss leaving Mad Men?"

This is a fitting end: Peggy leaving for a competing agency that finally recognizes her worth is "as happy an ending as Peggy could deserve," says Kelly West at Cinema Blend. "The more I think about their final scene together," and Peggy's fierce exit into the elevator, "the more I could see that being her real final scene." Sure, it's not the most satisfying end to Don and Peggy's friendship, but Mad Men has never "shied away from a gloomier approach to relationships in the past."
"Is Elisabeth Moss leaving Mad Men for good?" 

Everybody calm down: "It seems highly unlikely that Harris knows anything definitive about [showrunner Matthew] Weiner's intentions or Peggy's fate," says Sean O'Neal at The A.V. Club. More probable: Harris merely made an "unfortunate comparison" between his last episode of the season and Moss'. Indeed, Moss is at least "temporarily scaling back" her Mad Men work to star in Top of the Lake, but that doesn't mean she's gone for good. Still, "this wouldn't be Mad Men if we weren't all jumping to huge conclusions based on some offhand remark."
"Let's all freak out pointlessly over the idea of Elisabeth Moss leaving Mad Men"

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