'Mad Men' Recap: Don Has a 'Sick' Nightmare While Joan Ends Her Living One

joan and greg at dinner mad men season five episode fourAfter gunning for more drama, I think it's safe to say we Mad Men fans sure got our fill tonight. Matthew Weiner may have actually veered a bit too dark and twisted ... For starters, the episode occurs in July 1966, soon after the brutal Richard Speck rapes and murders of student nurses in Chicago. And everyone's sick fascination with or fear caused by the story sets the tone for some especially unnerving moments.

But let's start with another guy we knew all along was bad news: Dr. Greg. Joan's husband -- who had been serving in Vietnam through the birth of "his" (not really, since we know it's Roger's) son -- returns home! He holds baby Kevin for all of 0.5 seconds, takes Joanie to bed, then divulges that he's going back to 'nam for not just another 40 days as expected ... but for another YEAR. Surprise, surprise!

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Making matters worse, it comes out at his "welcome back" dinner via his mom that he wasn't being required to return for a year. Oh no, he had volunteered to go back to serve in the increasingly unpopular war. Wow.

We know Joan isn't one to hold back from expressing her point of view, and it seems like she's gotten even ballsier since becoming a mama on her own. At the dinner table, and later, in their apartment, she lets Greg have it, pointing out that his decision to sign up for more time should have been one he made with her. The fiasco culminates the morning after when Joan lets him know she wants him to leave ... and never come back. The best part? She tells him that he was never a good man, and he should know what she's talking about. Yes -- it's about damn time!! We've been waiting FOREVER for that slap in the face -- ever since he raped her before they were married. UGH! He warns her that if he leaves, that's it. She agrees, and he stomps out. GOOD riddance, Greg! Let's hear it for Joanie!

Now, as fulfilling as it was, the Joan-Greg split was a moment I could have put my money on seeing at some point. But what happened with Don was one thing I'm not sure anyone could have seen coming ...

After he and Megan run into another one of his old flames, Andrea, in an elevator, they argue, because Megan's freaked out about being the one Don's married to now. (Given his track record, who could blame her?) But Don's sick -- with a nasty cold, that is. So she's quick to forgive and sends him home to rest while she finishes up work. Just as Don's about to get some shut-eye, Andrea appears at their apartment door, looking for a taste of the past. Don resists and shuttles her out ... but she comes back! And this time, she insists, and ... he gives in! Noooo! But it gets worse. Because after she prods him to admit it'll happen again, he throws her to the floor and starts to strangle her. Until ... what ... the ... Did Don just have sex with and then MURDER an ex-lover?!?! OMG.

Thankfully, the whole creepy thing appeared to be a warped, delusional nightmare. Because when Don awakes, there's no body under the bed, and Megan says she's been with her sick hubby all night. Still. That moment. Shudder. Despite all his faults -- sex addiction, serial cheater, his identity crisis, etc. -- we've loved Don unconditionally for the past four seasons. But after tonight -- nightmare or not -- not sure we'll be able to see him in exactly the same light.

What were you most stunned by on tonight's Mad Men?

 


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