'Mad Men' cliffhanger: Will he or won't he?
June 11th, 2012
11:46 AM ET

'Mad Men' cliffhanger: Will he or won't he?

[This post contains spoilers for the June 10 season finale of AMC's "Mad Men."]

As the credits rolled on the fifth season of AMC's “Mad Men” on Sunday, we were left wondering whether Don would remain faithful to his wife or succumb to the charms of a pair of comely young barflies.

Before we get to all that, however, let's talk about how we left everyone.

In spite of Lane's passing, things were on the up and up at SCD...TBA. An influx of cash from new business and Lane's insurance policy payout allowed the firm to expand, and the partners took a field trip – up one floor, but still – to explore their new office space.

We were treated to a fantastic shot of the five partners against the New York City skyline that might as well have been the teaser promo for the sixth season.

Later, Don went to pay his respects to Mrs. Pryce and given the circumstances, she was understandably icy. She disparaged Lane's memory, citing the photo she found in his wallet of Delores – the blue collar babe Lane flirted with over the phone at the beginning of the season.

Don was also fighting a toothache, better known in 1967 as a "hot tooth." (There's a new excuse for you to throw into the rotation the next time you call in sick.)

When he finally sought treatment, he had a dream of his late brother Adam while under anesthesia, a vision clearly brought about by Lane's suicide.

Elsewhere, Peggy thrived at rival firm CGC. In addition to test driving a new power color – ruby red – she was charged with dreaming up a new slogan for Philip Morris' new cigarette marketed toward young women – Virginia Slims, anyone?

She was even dispatched to tobacco country, where she was greeted by the commonwealth's official welcome wagon: two dogs humping. Virginia IS for lovers, y'all!

Pete still carried a torch for Beth, and he ran into her and her awful husband Howard on the train into the city. She was on her way to undergo electroshock therapy, and later summoned Pete to a hotel for farewell sex before she took the express to Crazytown.

When he went to visit her in the hospital after her treatment, Beth had no memory of their affair. Pete then took the opportunity to confess his deepest, darkest feelings to her, including the impact she had on his relationship with Trudy and the sadness he felt about his life in general.

He later encountered Howard on the train and lashed out at him for dumping Beth at a hospital while he whored about town. The two men fought and Pete got his clock cleaned (again) by a train conductor who demanded he make nice with Howard.

When he returned home battered and bruised, Trudy insisted they see about renting him an apartment in the city because the long days at the office (ha!) were jeopardizing his health.

Meanwhile, Megan continued to have great success in her role as an out-of-work actor. One of her fellow failed actresses thespians told her about an audition for a commercial the firm was casting for Butler shoes, and she asked Megan to put a bug in Don's ear on her behalf.

Desperate for a paid gig, Megan promptly screwed her friend over and asked Don to score her an audition instead.

He was quick to cite the glaring conflict of interest and tried to make her feel bad about her request, saying she'd get more satisfaction from a part she genuinely earned as opposed to him greasing the wheels for her.

Marie Calvet - renowned teller of truths and thrower of shade - was in town visiting, and didn't do anything to lift her daughter's spirits when she told Megan that she was likely not going to make it as an actress. Then she left to rendezvous with Roger, who'd been obsessively booty calling her in hopes that she'd drop acid with him.

All of this frank talk left Megan feeling sorry for herself and in need of a drink or ten. Don chastised Marie for leaving Megan in such a state and she in turn advised him to humor his wife's aspirations so Megan could fail, deal with it and get on with her life.

Marie's sage advice got through to Don, and coupled with Megan's sweet, hopeful screen test, he ultimately let go and did what he could to help Megan realize her dream.

She ended up landing the role in the shoe commercial, and as she stood on set trussed up like one of the Von Trapp kids, Don kissed her goodbye before striding away to seek refuge at the bottom of an Old Fashioned in a bar filled to capacity with temptation.

So that's it – another season's in the can! What'd you think?

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Filed under: Mad Men • television • TV recaps

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Dorsey Romm

    Since most toothaches are the result of tooth decay, following good oral hygiene practices can prevent toothaches. Good oral hygiene practices consist of brushing regularly with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, flossing once daily, and seeing your dentist twice a year for professional cleaning. In addition to these practices, eat foods low in sugar and ask your dentist about sealants and fluoride applications."-*-

    My current blog site

    July 6, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Feeniegal

    I think this was the slowest and worst season so far. And I think more than likely I'm over it. moving on

    June 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TJ

    Sorry, but this show is nothing but a rip-off of "The Sopranos". Weiner was a head writer for The Sopranos so naturally his style would be used in Mad Men. If you look closely, you'll see alot of the characters are the same type of characters from The Sopranos. Don't get me wrong, I think Mad Men is a good show, but I already seen this type of writing and story tellling on "The Sopranos" so it's really no surprise what happens on Mad Men. But the show will be good to those who never seen "The Sopranos".

    June 13, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. IamaBets55

    I thought the blond that comes over to Don at the bar looked alot like Meghan's friend. Was it? My hubby and I only started watching Mad Men a few months ago. We rented the full seasons on Netflix and got hooked. We love it but I think the first season was the best. Sometimes I think there are too many plots going on this season..alot of jumping around.

    June 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ironsman

    Did anyone elso notice the give away to were the ending was headed. When Don meets Peggy in the movie threater the flim playing is "Casino Royale" with Woody Allen, David Niven and Peter Sellers.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Julie G G

    Did anybody notice "You Only Live Twice" that Don IS LIVING twice, as Dick and Don. The look on his face in the last shot in the bar was worth the entire season. Also, when he was looking at Meghan's screen test I thought he wondered who she really was. So many people in the show aren't who they say they are, everybody is trying to play a role (exception is Peggy). That's to me what the 60's revolution was about, stopping playing a role and being truly authentic - being who you are. Don is on the "straight" side of the revolution - will he cross over? And I don't mean with Meghan.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sherron Teal

    I think Betty should be in the episodes more. The show was more interesting when Don and Betty interacted.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Harry

    Don is about control. he wants people to need him and like he said, "When you help people they go away. " I think that will be explored in 6. The shot of the partners on 58 SHOULD be the poster for next season, It was one of the best shots of the whole show, and its not Just about Don anymore. I think he cheats. He feels that Megan no longer needs him, the umbilical chord is cut and he is very insecure, especially when he thinks of his old self (Dick).

    June 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Carolyn

    I loved and hated this season. The story lines were much more interesting than last season. I want Peggy back but I liked the way she made her exit.
    I also think Meghan is too imature and a whiner.
    I can't wait til the new season.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. me

    I and going to think he DID NOT! He had just watched the video of his beautiful wife...

    June 12, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. Lee

    Totally disappointed in this season. It was the Meghan show, last two episodes seemed like the old show. Don't care when it comes back. It was not worth the wait.

    June 12, 2012 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  12. GovBlago

    Stupid, slow, boring show. Watched by same type of people. -RB

    June 11, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Erik

    good writing here on the summation...pete campbell is starting to have depth,,,I loved this episode, esp don walking off of the soundstage

    June 11, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Michael Calaizzo

    The show is getting tired and Weiner should get a real job!

    June 11, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Michael Calaizzo

    A clone of Jake Glenhayl would be a better statement for jewish men.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Michael Calaizzo

    Interesting that Ginsberg is a nerdy, pushy, wimp who is the Poste Child for jJewish brainpowr.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Anothertoothpick

    I think Dons Closet is going to have to get a lot larger in order to make room for a few more skeletons.
    Boy there certainly are a lot of people associated with Don....that are now dead.

    Starting with The real Don Drapper...we then have...Adam, his brother...and don't forget the original wife thay had one leg. (didn't she appear in "The Sopranos as one of those Russians?)

    And now we have the suicide (I knew that Jagg would not start my friend had that exact car...and mostly it sat in the garrage...unable to start.)

    Oh and I forgot to mention Roger Almost died. Any bets on who will be the next to fall?

    My bet is Campbell...

    June 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  18. grapefriend

    In the final scene at the bar, Don orders his staple Old Fashioned. But how amazing would it have been if he ordered a glass of wine? It would be far more creatively symbolic – of his confusion, of optimism, of embracing change, of trying to be closer to Megan – than a toothache! http://wp.me/p1xVI5-13C

    June 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • peacemonger

      problem is, Don is not is not embracing change...he's still in 1962 and we're going into 67'...he turned off Tomorrow Never Knows...he's out of touch with the rapid social change of the 60s...he's yesterdays man, and he;s smart enough to know it

      June 11, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Gert Chalfin

    Dish Network – the worst possible option for cable and a dire mistake (am paying the penalty to GET OUT!) did not air Mad Men's last episode. Incredible!! It takes me 6 STEPS to turn off the TV b/c of DISH (2 remotes!). Sooo bad. I am canceling and getting back my DIRECTTV and paying the huge price...so worth it. @DishNetwork is the worst and we missed Mad Men's finale thanks to their horrible CEO.

    June 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • LaKingsChamps

      Watching the On-Demand replay of MadMen now on my Comcast Cable for free. Dump dishes and get a real mans setup-cable. On-Demand on any dish is so clunky and awful.

      June 11, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  20. sandy

    This was the best yet. Don is typical male of his time and Jon Hamm plays him so well and so subtly it is hard to hate him even when we should. I think Meghan is boring and a whiner. I am liking Peggy more and more. will they ever be an item again? Love Joan. Will she and Don be together you think. At least she doesn't whine around so much. Best show on TV. Keep them coming. S

    June 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Gary

    Good season of transitions. Some of the better episodes in the series this year. With Don not cheating, had to have the moral drama come from other players, which worked. This season really is making me look forward to next season more than the endings to season 1 or 2.

    June 11, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |

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