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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?

Review

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.

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I remember that story from the 60's of the guy who killed the 8 nurses...so a theme was "under the bed" .... The surviving nurse hid under the bed, Don put the strangled girlfriend under his bed, Sally hid under the bed/couch, lots of people sleeping....Don with his cold sleeping...Don's new secretary sleeping on his office couch and then on Peggy's couch, Joan sleeping and tired, Roger sleeping on his office recliner. LOVED THIS EPISODE!

Ava mila

I really don't like Megan either but her reactions were actually quite normal this episode. She was good at handling the situation, she didn't make a big scene but she let Don know it will never be ok that he was (or maybe still is) a cheater. And she wasn't bossy but worried when she told him to stop smoking and to go home. Oh, I can't believe I'm defending Megan, I called her evil the last episode haha.
Don was so desperate in his dream, desperate to keep his image of his new marriage and his new self as clean and perfect as possible but you can't run away from who you are. He maybe should deal with his problem in a therapy or something cause he still has big issues.
My favorite part was with Sally and Pauline, they were hilarious.
And I'm really glad Greg is gone, I just don't get how he couldn't put two and two together and see that the baby is too young to be his.

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I thought this was one of the best episodes of the series as it has the characters struggling for survival. The only interpretation of Don's dream that I will make is this: is he killing off his desires to cheat? I liked that Joan told her husband its over, but was expecting to her to tell him it's not his baby, I also want her back at work interacting with the other characters. I am also beginning to like Roger more as he has to make deals to keep up. His lines are the best of the show. I also wonder if this episode sets the stage for a dark turn in the characters story lines. Placing these first three episodes against the current events of the time show how the characters are experiencing the same things the country is times are changing in a dramatic way and everyone is struggling to survive.

Queenbeethegreat

Actually half-expected to see his new wife lying dead on the floor the next morning. I know, right? I actually hoped that this would happen. I can't exactly stand Megan...

Queenbeethegreat

Urgh, stupid TVF cut of the rest of my comment... [Anyway I like your observation about him not being afraid to cheat out of love for Megan but because he's scared to fail (and be alone) again. He wouldn't have left Betty on his own, I don't think he ever thought they would split up - not because he loved her so much but because he can't be alone and he always knew that Betty was] at home waiting for him. But then she quit waiting for him and he moved out and he was miserable. That's the only explanation why he married Megan so quickly. He thought she's good with the kids and she's good-looking enough so he can marry her and have someone he can come home to again and who cares for him. An that's exactly what she does, she's being the wife. Ofc she's not the "fun" sexy secretary anymore - she got what she wanted and now she's Don's wife. Why would this contradict her character? In fact it's displayed very accurately. Actually half-expected to see his new wife lying dead on the floor the next morning. I know, right? I actually hoped that this would happen. I can't exactly stand Megan...

Queenbeethegreat

@ Mia, ofc she's upset and why wouldn't she be? The fact she cheated with him makes it even worse for her because she knows how easily he hops in bed with someone else - and that someone once was her. It doesn't matter what she did before she is his wife now and she would be naive to think that this fact keeps Don from cheating and she must know that it will eventually happen again. Betty didn't "drive" him to cheat, he is a cheater, that's just something in his nature and to be honest I wasn't surprised at all when he gave in to Andrea in his hallucination. I've been waiting for him to cheat since the season started and it's gonna happen sooner or later. Anyway I like your observation about him not being afraid to cheat out of love for Megan but because he's scared to fail (and be alone) again. He wouldn't have left Betty on his own, I don't think he ever thought they would split up - not because he loved her so much but because he can't be alone and he always knew that Betty was at home waiting for him. But then she quit waiting for him and he moved out and he was miserable. That's the only explanation why he married Megan so quickly. He thought she's good with the kids and she's good-looking enough so he can marry her and have someone he can come home to again and who cares for him. An that's exactly what she does, she's being the wife. Ofc she's not the "fun" sexy secretary anymore - she got what she wanted and now she's Don's wife. Why would this contradict her character? In fact it's displayed very accurately. Actually half-expected to see his new wife lying dead on the floor the next morning. I know, right? I actually hoped that this would happen. I can't exactly stand Megan...

Queenbeethegreat

@Mia, ofc she's upset and why wouldn't she be? The fact she cheated with him makes it even worse for her because she knows how easily he hops in bed with someone else - and that someone once was her. It doesn't matter what she did before she is his wife now and she would be naive to think that this fact keeps Don from cheating and she must know that it will eventually happen again. Betty didn't "drive" him to cheat, he is a cheater, that's just something in his nature and to be honest I wasn't surprised at all when he gave in to Andrea in his hallucination. I've been waiting for him to cheat since the season started and it's gonna happen sooner or later. Anyway I like your observation about him not being afraid to cheat out of love for Megan but because he's scared to fail (and be alone) again. He wouldn't have left Betty on his own, I don't think he ever thought they would split up - not because he loved her so much but because he can't be alone and he always knew that Betty was at home waiting for him. But then she quit waiting for him and he moved out and he was miserable. That's the only explanation why he married Megan so quickly. He thought she's good with the kids and she's good-looking enough so he can marry her and have someone he can come home to again and who cares for him. An that's exactly what she does, she's being the wife. Ofc she's not the "fun" sexy secretary anymore - she got what she wanted and now she's Don's wife. Why would this contradict her character? In fact it's displayed very accurately. Actually half-expected to see his new wife lying dead on the floor the next morning. I know, right? I actually hoped that this would happen. I can't exactly stand Megan...

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Don and Megan's story line is quickly becoming very boring. It doesn't make sense that Megan, someone who knowingly seduced him while he had a girlfriend, is upset when they run into former flames. Where's the Megan who cleaned-up knocked over milkshakes and tossed awards. Where's the Megan who still slept with a man, knowing the mess he created with a former secretary and declared she just wanted to be with him, she wasn't expecting anything more. Did anyone noticed how bossy she was when she told Don not to smoke. I don't see the creative reasoning behind making her this annoying contradiction of her former self. It's very evident that Don's fear of cheating on her is not out of love, but because he doesn't want to fail at life again. And that fear is slowly emasculating him, anyhow unfortunately it seems Megan is here until the end, either hers or his, which mega sucks! Sally and the Grams was very entertaining, and the comical aspect of the new copywriter is so spot-on. Peggy is totally cooler than ever holding her ground with Roger. She's starting to become my favorite on the show.

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We had a tv with a remote control, it had 3 buttons 2 for volume and 1 for channel selection. I could not wait to show it off to my friends at the time, and they were all very impressed.

Avatar

I found Don's hallucinations boring tbh. Actually half-expected to see his new wife lying dead on the floor the next morning. The best part of the episode for me was when the daughter and grandmother bonded over the serial killer news, and then split a sleeping pill with the butcher knife 'burglar alarm' close by. And yeah, I found the accordion loudly playing while everybody was fighting to be quite amusing. Btw, Joan is no angel either - she had Roger's baby after all.

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.

Don

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