Mad Men Recap: Chasing A Phantom

It's a pleasure to watch a show that carries itself with confidence down to the smallest gesture. Mad Men proved that it was that kind of show throughout season five. And it proved it again in its finale, "The Phantom," set in April, 1967, months after senior partner Pryce hanged himself in shame after getting caught stealing company funds.

Read the episode summary and it doesn't sound eventful. Joan takes charge of her new position as partner and urges SCDP, suddenly flush with cash, to expand to the now-vacant floor above them. Megan badgers Don for the chance to audition for a TV ad, prevails, gets the audition and wins the part. Lane's company life insurance check comes through (a previous episode established that it paid off even in the event of suicide) and Don brings $50,000 of it to Rebecca Pryce; Rebecca tells Don it's scant compensation for the money Lane sunk into the business and the tragedy she believed was caused by Lane trying and failing to be like Don and SCDP's other carousing alpha males  ("You had no right to fill a man like that with ambition!" she tells him). Peggy settles into her new gig working for Don's nemesis Teddy Chaough, randomly runs into Don at a theater that's showing the 1967 Casino Royale, reconciles with him, and seems to enjoy his company as a true equal for the first time. Roger lures Megan's mom Marie, who became smitten with Roger in "At the Codfish Ball", to a hotel room for a tender tryst. Pete has one last go-round (also in a hotel room) with his beloved, depressive Beth before she has her memory erased by electroshock treatment. Pete impulsively reveals his infidelity to Beth's piggish husband on the train and gets beaten bloody. (As Community writer Megan Ganz put it, "Pete Campbell should think about getting a less punchable face.") On returning home, Pete lies to Trudy about having driven his car into a ditch, and is shocked when Trudy finally agrees that he should get an apartment in the city so that every trip home doesn't have to be, as once put it, "an epic poem." Read More...


Want to comment on this? First, you must log in to your SideReel account!