'Mad Men' Season Finale Recap: Don Must Face His Inner Demons Once & For All

don draper at bar season finale mad men season fiveThroughout most of the season finale of Mad Men, Don Draper is being haunted ... by not just a toothache, but by his deceased brother Adam, who committed suicide -- like Lane -- in the wake of Don's rejection. At first you might think the "hot tooth" and ghost from Don's past have nothing to do with one another, but nothing could be further from the truth. It's as if Lane's death has drudged up Don's guilt surrounding Adam, whose ghost tells him, "You're in bad shape, Dick. It's not your tooth that's rotten." And now, our flawed hero really has had no choice but to "extract" and face his inner demons.

But hey, at least he's not alone! Pete's doing the same, and Megan, too, who despite being told by her mother that she's only chasing a "phantom," has gotten her big break ... thanks to an unexpected angel.

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I actually found myself feeling a pang of sympathy for our not-so-favorite slimebag, Pete. Perhaps that's because his sliminess was somehow upstaged -- by his train buddy, Beth's husband, who is shipping her off to a hospital to undergo electric shock treatments for her case of the blues. And although she stood him up a few episodes back, lo and behold, Beth doesn't want to go all Eternal Sunshine without getting in some last-minute action with Pete. No surprise he gives into her wish, and then begs her stay, but she still wants to return to the hospital. Course that doesn't stop Pete from showing up to visit. Too bad she has no clue who he is, and he realizes that "his life with his family was itself some temporary bandage on a permanent wound." Aww, poor Pete! He's so damaged. Guess just not as damaged as we thought, because he was surprisingly not the one who ended up killing himself this season ...

Meanwhile, Megan -- haunted by her own phantom of craving success with acting -- pulled an unexpected, underhanded move! Who woulda thunk she'd swipe a role out from under a friend?! But after her acting buddy asks her to put in a good word for her with Don for a "Beauty & the Beast"-themed commercial being handled by SCDP, Megan asks her hubby to help her snag the gig. Cunning Calvert! I appreciated that Don put up a fight at first, telling her that she wants to be someone's discovery, not someone's wife, but in the end, he decides to hook 'er up, because he loves her. But the move is definitely going to come at a price. It's like what he tells Peggy -- who seems to be enjoying her new gig, by the way, and looks fab to boot! -- when he runs into her at the movie theater. Whenever you help someone out, you lose them ...

Though losing Megan to fame could certainly free him up to sink back into his dirty, old ways! The final scene, in which Don gets hit on by two women at a bar -- notably underscored by the James Bond theme, "You Only Live Twice" and the lyrics "The stranger is gone" -- definitely left me suspicious. This foreign version of Don, who has been faithful, devoted, and for the most part relaxed husband to Megan, might be gone come season six!

How did you feel about the season finale? Do you think Don will return to his cheatin' ways?

 

Image via AMC

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