Megan watches Don's true colors emerge ...You know those episodes in any TV series that seem to lack huge developments and be filled with pure story arc-building? Tonight's episode of Mad Men felt like that. And yet, that's not to say that it wasn't one of the most enthralling and entertaining episodes of the season so far -- taking us through the course of one day, from Peggy's perspective to Roger's and then Don's, using a POV device my mom noted was probably a nod to The Twilight Zone. Which fits in perfectly with the plot when you think about it ...
Peggy must have felt like she was in The Twilight Zone when she went from having a shouting match with her BF Abe to being treated like a "little woman" by the sexist Heinz corporate guy who never seems to be satisfied with her work to taking off to see a movie and ending up sharing a joint with and giving a handjob to a stranger. Then, it got even weirder.
She finds out that Ginsberg was reportedly born in a concentration camp. Whaaat? Horrific! The poor guy. (I knew he must be hiding some terrible Dick Whitman-esque secrets up his sleeve ...!) This understandably disturbed Peggy, who, despite being the workaholic that she is, was ready to call it a day at that point!
And that's when the POV shifted to Roger, whose proposal to Don to enjoy a weekend of debauchery up at client Howard Johnsons' flagship property is quickly rebuffed. So he ends up taking his loathed but gorgeous wife Jane to her fancypants psychiatrist's dinner party, where they do LSD. What an awesome "snapshot" of a certain time and place, huh? Who knew the literati in upper-class NYC were so down with dropping acid as early as 1966? And I also loved watching Roger trip, hearing classic music come out of a bottle of vodka and find himself in the middle of a baseball game in 1919. Wacky! But it was a total reality check when he and Jane found themselves at the end of the night being gently honest with one another about their failing marriage and deciding to end it. Kinda sad that the next morning, Jane doesn't remember their discussion as vividly, but it's pretty clear they've been over for a while now.
So then, we rewind back to the beginning of Don's storyline. And he decides he's going to drive up to the Howard Johnson's in Lake Placid with Megan instead of Roger. Cause he's still got those newlywed rose-colored glasses on, you know -- which apparently prevent him from seeing that his wife would rather stay and work. He presses her, and she acquiesces. Once at the HJ diner, he also fails to see (slash doesn't seem to care) that she would rather have pie than orange sherbet. Uh-oh ... Megan's no Betty! She's not going to stand for being told where to go and what to eat. But Don still thinks he's da man. So, after she yells at him, "Get in the car! Eat ice cream! Leave work! Take off your dress! Yes, master," he drives off -- leaving her alone! Well, HELLO OLD DON DRAPER! Where have you been for the past five episodes?!
Even though their diner fight was a glimpse at the selfish Don we've known (and yes, loved) in the past, I feel like there's a new Don showing his true and scary colors sporadically this season. Case in point: After spending the whole night searching for her, he ends up back at their apartment, where he proceeds to knock down their door, yell at her, and chase her around their apartment, eventually grabbing her and throwing her to the floor. AHHH! Totally twisted. He's never come off as decidedly abusive, but that's exactly how this relationship is shaping up to look. Especially after he gets on his knees and says to Megan that he thought he almost lost her and they kiss and make up ... too quickly.
Damn. I can't see Weiner actually leading them to down to divorce court so quickly (especially since that's Roger's storyline now), so maybe they'll just continue to torture one another?? Either way, I have to admit ... I'm a bit afraid of the old/new Don.
Were you surprised by Don's behavior? What do you think will be Megan and Don's fate?
Image via AMC