Mad Men
A Tale Of Two Cities

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B- | 6 USERS: B+
Don's Ghosts, Coast To Coast

Don's chatting with a male composer when he notices a woman getting out of the pool. Harry then rushes up with possible news of another party...

...but then we cut to Don walking into a very smoky room, which is no wonder given the octopus-like hookah in its center. Don claims to be looking for the restroom, but the hostess from earlier invites him to sample the pipe. He takes off his shoes and sits on a cushion next to her. She asks if he likes hash, and he wryly replies that he doesn't know yet. Heh. And look, hash is powerful stuff, but I'd think the things that happen to Don's face before he even exhales might be a bit much, except it occurs to me the room is so smoky that he was probably high already. A man's voice asks him if he came in a taxi, and Don nods? I thought we established that Harry drove them, but it's certainly possible that he intended to nod whether or not a question was even asked.

Night has fallen, and Roger is sitting with Lotus, but I think that's less due to attraction to him and more that she doesn't have the energy to move, especially since, as she nods in response to Roger's question, she's tripping. At least she took the shades off, though. Roger tries hitting on her anyway, adding that he's done acid five times, as opposed to the five times she's done it this week, and then Danny reappears and tells Lotus they're going. Roger is nasty to him some more in aid of trying to get Lotus for himself, and Danny smiles that Roger's lucky he hates violence, but when Roger talks about boxing and "that magic spot that will drop a man to his knees" before making yet another short joke, Danny punches him right in the dick without even having to bend down. See, Roger, there are benefits to standing that low! Roger collapses onto a chaise longue as Danny leads the giggling Lotus away...

...while inside, Don's just starting to make out with the Hash Hostess when someone taps him on the shoulder -- "Megan," wearing Cher's sixties hair and headband and telling him it's California, and "everybody shares." As usual, it's unclear how far the hallucination goes -- Hash Hostess sees "Megan" and asks if it's Don's "old lady," but we don't know if this is all unreal, or if HH is seeing something different from Don, or what. Don dreamily asks how "Megan" found him, and she tells him she lives there. "I quit my job; I couldn't bear to be apart. And I want to have enough love for my other surprise." She reaches for her stomach, letting us know she's pregnant, and it all seems like harmless drug-induced fun until you consider the prospect of Don Draper being a father, again. "Megan" takes Don by the hand and leads him through the house -- whatever reality this may be, the party is still going strong -- and then tells him that everybody's looking for him. Don pulls out a smoke, and a hand holding a lighter comes into frame -- and when we pan left, we see it's a uniformed PFC Dinkins ("Megan" is gone), the soldier in whose Hawaiian wedding Don participated. He's missing his right arm, and when Don asks what happened, he says he's not at liberty to discuss it. "My wife thinks I'm MIA. But I'm actually dead." Don asks if that's the case why PFC Dinkins didn't get his arm back, and I have to admit I was wondering the exact same thing, but PFC Dinkins replies, "Dying doesn't make you whole. You should see what you look like." With that, Don hears a splash from outside and someone calling "Man overboard." He turns... and sees himself floating face-down in the pool. I hate to chastise a man with one arm, PFC Dinkins, particularly since it's not exactly your fault that we're going to the death-wish place with Don yet again, but if you want this transition not to seem forced, there has to be a piece of Don missing. And while I can think of many things he lacks, unless you're going to draw a conclusion as to what it is, the line doesn't quite work. But let's move on...

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