Mad Men Review: Mystery Halluci-date

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The good news is that Don didn't actually cheat on Megan in "Mystery Date." The bad news is that he was so sick that he hallucinated, and said hallucination had him cheating on Megan with a former lover and then strangling her to death.

I'm definitely not one to dissect what somebody's extreme fever hallucinations say about their true desires, so I will discuss Don's affinity to cheat without bringing his faux experience with Andrea into the conversation.

That is basically what the entirety of Don's story was about on this week's Mad Men. Is Don going to act differently now that he's married to Megan? While with Betty, the man was a serial cheater, so when Megan and Don ran into a former partner of his, she obviously got upset.

She's worried that it wasn't Betty that drove him to cheating, but rather that it is just a part of who he is. Like the past couple of episodes, I liked the way that Megan dealt with the difficult situation. She faced it head on, bringing the conflict to Don's attention and making him aware of the way she felt.

Mad Men Cast Picture

He seemed to react positively, both to her being his wife in general, and Megan stepping up to the challenge of a former lover in that moment specifically, as he pushed Andrea away over and over again. What it meant that he ended up cheating on her in his hallucination, and then killed the woman in a fit of rage, I will not get into, but it is certainly an interesting topic moving forward.

Elsewhere, Joan was all excited for the return of Greg, but was only let down just like the audience every time Greg comes on screen. The guy is a jerk. We've always known that, but Joanie finally realized it as she told him to never come back if he left for war voluntarily.

I loved that she mentioned the horrid things he did in the past, but I enjoyed the dinner when Joan found out even more.  Oh your husband is going back to war because he wants to.  Here's some loud accordion music in your face. It was very reminiscent of the break-up restaurant referenced in a recent Happy Endings episode.

Race continued to play a bigger role in "Mystery Date," as Peggy brought Dawn home for the night after Don's secretary was found sleeping in his office. I loved that these two hit it off, bonding over the fact that each was the only one of her kind at one point or another.

Peggy admits that she was definitely not in the same boat as Dawn, but she can kind of relate, because she was the only woman doing what she was doing early on.

The best moment, though, was when Peggy stared at her purse - the one fresh with just under $400 from Roger - and left it there with Dawn all night long. It didn't necessarily have anything to do with race either. It was about trust. Peggy doesn't know this person all that well.

Would you leave that much money laying around for an acquaintance to be able to walk off with? I don't care if they're black, white, blue, pink, or orange.

Also in the most recent installment of Mad Men's fifth season, Roger continued to struggle with the day-to-day of the Mohawk account, Michael absolutely murdered his ad pitch, and Sally Draper's reaction to Henry's mother's story about her father kicking her and saying "that's for nothing, so watch out," was absolutely hilarious.

Her facial expression and statement of "that's not very nice" had me in stitches.

It was a relatively slow and quiet edition of Mad Men until Don went on a Landry Clarkian killing spree. Well, yes that was only a hallucination, but it was still extremely exciting. The emotion that Jon Hamm released in that scene was astonishing. In fact, the ability he has to play someone who is sick is downright award worthy.

What did you all think of "Mystery Date?" Was it one of the better episodes this season? Are you already missing Fat Betty? Do you have an opinion on Don's hallucination? And how excited are you that Joan told Greg to hit the road?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (81 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Really enjoying Don's new wife. Such a contrast to Betty, who was a woman of the 60's - Megan is obviously a more "modern" woman who is with Don because she wants to be, not because she has to be.
As for the hallucination - is it possible that the first portion, where Don and Andrea had sex, was real? Sure is in his nature when he's at a weak point. The second portion, where he killed her, obviously was not. What do you think?


I'm sorry, but I think you might be a bit out of your league when it comes to reviewing Mad Men. You've basically admitted you don't know what to say about the two most intriguing plot points in the episode. Speculate! Wrestle! That's what this show calls for. TV Fanatic might want to considering appointing someone comfortable with reviewing, rather than summarizing, this show.


Oh - and I was in Chicago at the time of the Richard Speck massacre. Eerie flashback for me.


Odd people in here, from my point of view anyway. I've never gotten the point of loving or hating characters on TV. It's all about the story, who they are, why they behave that way, what elements are there that can force a change? I'm fine with Megan. I thought she handled herself very well with Don. She didn't buy his crap, but she was simply direct about it. No scenes. Don's hallucination - I read it as wrestling with and maybe even trying to kill his former self. Peggy and the purse. Nobody (I hope nobody) actually thought that Dawn was going to steal it, but it was a moment when Peggy had to come to grips with her own feelings - actually, I think if it had been anyone else, she would have felt fine taking her purse with her. But since Dawn is black, she worried that it might seem otherwise. And maybe part of her worried about that too. Layers, people, layers.

Leigh r

I'm soooo happy Joan tossed Greg out and even more happy that she referenced his shitty actions in the past. I can't believe that the Grandma gave Sally a seconal, OMG started having Valley of the Dolls flashbacks!


you don't want to do those fake dream/hallucination things too often or the audience just assumes that is what is happening any time something barely believable happens. I'm looking at you True Blood


I think you totally missed the mark with your review. One, to not even go into the biggest part of the episdoe around Don's intense hallucination is just lazy writing. How as a reviewer do you not even address the biggest part of the episode? I get it was intense and you want to see how it pays out but at least go into your thoughts, if you even have any. And second your comment around Peggy and the purse scene, "It didn't necessarily have anything to do with race either. It was about trust," it had a lot to do around race. I agree it was definitely around trust, but it portrayed a contrasting point, Peggy mentioned she understood her struggle as a woman although she knew it was different than the race struggle but her extended look at the end created an awkward moment where Peggy realized she acted implicitly no different than others at SDCP. This was also reiterated by her not feeling good about it the morning after reading the note. I only watched it once, maybe I need to watch it again, but this was lazy review and won't be reading the site again. Although maybe you just have so many shows to review, no time to keep up with important points!

Beverly brooks

Sally and her grandmother was a hoot. Sally needs her mother's love so much. As for Don and Megan..she has turned into a shrew..over jealous housewife who is very threated by any woman who may have been with Don before. She is so bossy!!! Joan did the right thing throwing out Greg. He was not the right person for her anyway. I felt like he didn't respect Joan as his wife.


My favorite in the whole show is Joan. Not only is she absolutely georgeous, she is feminine and smart and could probably run the company with one hand tied behind her back. In the last episode, her conversation with Lane was very revealing. She opened up to him, and I am wondering if there might be a future there. I am delighted that she got rid of her idiot husband. I am also wondering why her mother is hanging around. She will eventually need proper day care. As for Meagan and Don--the jury is still out. I am getting the feeling that Don really cares for Meagan. Meagan has been transformed from the docile secretary to a dominating wife. I think Betty qualifies for the worst mother award. Who is there in the family to give poor Sally some of the motherly nurturing she so desperately needs. I am hoping that Megan can do that for her. Sally has really been an almost abused child. This season hasn't quite found its stride yet. I want to see more advertising pitches and strategies. This season seems disjointed. However, I love the show and the characters. Haven't we all met portions of them in our own lives?


This season so far is boring. JOAN - happy to have her awful husband dismissed. DON - is no longer interesting and I really do not like Megan. I would take "fat" Betty over this new wife any day. Also, I really don't care fornBetty's boring, drab husband either. DAWN - I have waited all of this time for some diversity on this show, and I get this? I like Dawn, and thought it was unforgivable that people would automatically assume she would steal Peggy's money because is a Black woman, this kind of thought is offensive and wrong. Why have her be a suspect because of the color of her skin????? It is hateful to have her put in that situation, and SHAMEFUL that Dawn is suspicious, she and her ancestors have been wronged, yet she is looked
upon as the criminal. When will people learn this country is screwed because the horrors put upon Black people?????

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Mad Men Season 5 Episode 3 Quotes

I married you, and I'm gonna be with you until I die...which could be this afternoon.


Greg: The army makes me feel like a good man.
Joan: You're not a good man. You never were.