“My friend down there, she was wondering: Are you alone?” — a blonde to Don Juan DraperThe season five finale of “Mad Men” ended on both a high and low note: although SCDP is rolling in dough (apparently it had a great insurance policy in case a partner died), almost everyone’s personal life has gone to shit. Unless, of course, you’re Roger and gallivanting around, butt-naked in newly-single bliss. See the slideshow for photo evidence.
The relationship that has the most to lose, of course, is Don’s. The season opened with the honeymoon phase. Smitten with Megan, we held our collective breath whenever Don encountered a beautiful woman and he, surprisingly, barely took notice. Well times they are a-changing. In the final seconds of an overall sleepy finale — to accommodate all of the characters’ clinical depression — Don looks up from his Old Fashioned at the beautiful brunette whose friend propositions him on her behalf, intrigued, as he … faded to black!?! Why, producers, why?
Titled “The Phantom,” Don battled the ghost of his past as other characters chased other phantoms, be it their careers or past relationships.
Raise your hand if you were surprised that Don is the kind of guy who refuses to see a doctor, or in this case dentist, when he's sick.
Yeah, that's what we thought.
Months after Lane's death, Don experienced both emotional and physical pain as he suffers from a toothache of epically symbolic proportions. As he fights his rotting tooth, Don relents to his guilt and begins to see images of his half-brother, Adam.
When Don finally goes to a dentist and gets laughing gas, his drug induced vision is far more depressing than Roger's dalliance with LSD. He sees Adam, who is sporting a noose-shaped bruise on his neck to remind Don of the eerie similarities in their deaths. 'You're in bad shape, Dick. It's not your tooth that's rotten.'
Rory Gilmore/Beth and her side boob made another appearance in the show's season finale. She runs into Pete on her train into the city with her husband, who is checking her into a mental hospital to undergo electric shock therapy for being 'blue.' (Because this was a time when husbands could institutionalize their wives for the blues or, say, cheating).
Her final wish before the treatment erased her memories was to sleep with Pete one last time. 'Please, please, give me this.' Really? Well, that wouldn't be our first choice, or even in our top five, but we went with it.
When they're in post-coital bliss, Pete, apparently under the impression that he ejaculates high doses of Lithium, asks, 'Don't tell me you don't feel better?' She doesn't. She gets the treatment. She forgets who Pete is while we worry that he's going to hurl himself out of the hospital window.
Considering that Pete also seemed clinically depressed this episode, it's a wonder that he was able to spout one of the funniest lines of this week's episode.
He also got punched for a second time, which means that someone, somewhere won an office pool.
Pete also managed to get his apartment in the city after Trudy thinks he gets a black eye from falling asleep at the wheel of his car on his drive home as opposed to his beat down on the train after he confronts his mistress' husband.
After months without the glimmer of a job, Megan can be added to the list of depressed characters on this week's episode, too.
When she hears that SCDP is hiring for a European-looking actress for a national commercial that riffs on 'Beauty and the Beast,' Megan realises that she is already sleeping with the guy who can get her the job and asks Don to help. At first he says no, almost bitterly, assuring her that she wants to win a part based entirely on her own merit.
This launches Megan into a depressive drinking binge that Don must physically lift her out of. 'This is what you want, isn't it?' Megan sneers, implying that he only wants a wife who waits on him hand and foot. Even though she assures him 'You know I love you' after he relents and gets her the role, her drunken declaration appears to be a more accurate reflection of her beliefs.
Megan may have landed the Beauty and the Beast role--going under the name Miss Calvet--but the fairy tale might be over.
It looks like Megan's French (Canadian) mum is giving Betty a run for her money for the 'I'm a selfish and awful mother' title. (And the poor, Rye housewife wasn't even on the episode to defend her title. I bet she's rage eating about that right now).
Marie is in town, drinking all of Don's beer, to celebrate Easter with Megan because 'my husband is an atheist.' While Marie might have faith in JC rising, she has no words of encouragement for a depressed and unemployed Megan who is chasing her phantom dream of being an actress.
'Not every little girl gets to do what they want. The world could not support that many ballerinas.'
She tells Megan that she doesn't have what it takes to act, dismisses Don with the cold statement 'I have postcards to write' (which turns out to be the best way to tell someone to go screw themself ever), and sleeps with Roger. All in a day's work!
Even though Glen wasn't physically present in the episode, his creepiness still managed to insinuate itself into the finale.
Megan is getting phone calls from an anonymous heavy breather. Hmm, wonder who that sounds like. (Some commenters say it was Roger, who was trying to call Marie all day. I remain unconvinced, but that's just me).
Glen got what he wanted from Mrs. Draper number one, and it looks like he's moved on to the new and improved version.
Remember Dawn, Don's black secretary that could have started a really interesting 'Mad Men' dialogue about race in the 1960's (it was kind of a thing back then) but then just got 20 minutes of awkward bonding time with Peggy?
Well the producers wanted to jog your memory (and remind you that she represents racial tensions) by having a client make a politically incorrect joke about her.
While Peggy bosses around junior copy editors and takes complete control of her own cigarette account (somewhere, Don is crying into his Old Fashioned) at her new gig, the dynamic is seriously off at SCDP ... or is it now just SCD? Ginsberg and Don are fighting and clients are starting to notice that, hey, it was kind of useful to have a female voice in pitches. (Progress!)
But Peggy's unbreakable tie to SCDP and especially Don becomes clear as the episode unfolds and we find the two comrades sneaking into an afternoon movie to clear their minds. In a beautiful scene, Peggy and Don are able to come to terms with their separation and seek closure.
D: 'It's going well?'
P: 'Yeah is that ok?'
D: 'That's what happens when you help someone: they succeed and they move on.'
Oh, and then Peggy sees two dogs humping out of her window. Discuss!
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