“That machine makes men do unnatural things” – Mad Men

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Don is going after redemption but promoting cigarettes is the wrong way to do it.

We’ve also seen Don tell small lies to people close to him, even while sincerely trying to be truthful about parts of his life he’s ashamed of.

Don is trying to be a better person but he does not always know right from wrong.

Some people would say that Don’s threesome is a big part of not knowing right from wrong. I figure that’s between him and Megan; if she’s OK with it, it’s nobody else’s business.

On the other hand, it does seem to be part of Megan’s desperate attempts to hang onto Don.

And how did Megan go from virtually ending things with Don earlier this season to being desperate to hang onto him?

Some people would also say that Don’s continued drinking is another big part of his not knowing right from wrong. He was drunk when he got home from the bar with Harry. But he was functioning drunk; his judgment was still good. In real life, I know that most people say recovering alcoholics can never drink again, but some say alcoholics can learn to drink in moderation. It remains to be seen what kind of recovering alcoholic the fictional character Don Draper is (the rules of the Draperverse, so to speak).

And here’s what some other people had to say about last night’s episode:

[C]haracters weren’t so much turning on a dime as they were turning into the people they were inevitably going to become….

At a different point in their marriage, [Megan] never would’ve been that threatened by the existence of Stephanie, but this girl came into her life and shone a harsh light on Megan’s pretensions and insecurities right at a time when she didn’t want to hear it. Pregnant and living the counterculture life, she is both what Don wishes Megan was (pregnant) and what Megan wishes Megan was (more adventurous than she actually is)….

Don seems to be the one person in the story right now who is struggling to become more than what he is; better than what he was. This episode was the first time we wondered if the show wasn’t actually heading toward a somewhat happy ending for Don (instead of long dive off the roof many people seem to think is going to happen). Not that he won the day or anything. He’s still in a terrible position, both professionally and in his personal life. But maybe that three-way helped him get some of his mojo back (Weiner does tend to like that kind of reductive writing when it comes to Don, where a hot sex scene re-energizes him James Bond-style), because he swaggered into that Phillip Morris meeting and (you’ll pardon us) slapped his dick whitman all over Jim and Lou’s astonished faces. Then he shoved them in a cab and literally whistled his way back to work. He deliberately broke the rules right in front of the man who wrote them (Don’t go off-script in front of clients and don’t meet with clients without permission) and wants to see him fail. Result? Nothing. The rules are bullshit. Jim Cutler is bullshit. Don Draper’s big dick and intimidating talent are all that matters.

Tom & Lorenzo

See Yet Another Mad Men Homage to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001

This is one of the defining features of the SC&P work environment: It hides its employees’ issues, because everyone else is so sloppy and inappropriate it takes extreme misbehavior to distinguish their problems as especially problematic. There’s no better place for an alcoholic to hide than among other alcoholics, and the same, apparently, goes for people who have lost their minds.

Willa Paskin, Slate

Actor Ben “Ginsberg” Feldman kept the prop nipple.

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