Good Lord, so much to cover. It's March 1967, and billings are high, but Joan, keeping Lane's memory alive, advocates some amount of fiscal conservatism even as she gets them another floor in the building, so that PHANTOM second floor people referenced at the beginning of Season Four will now actually exist. She also lets Don know that their insurance policy, so cleverly referenced by Pete earlier in the season, has left them $175K to the good in the wake of Lane's death, so Don decides to take fifty of that to give to Rebecca as repayment of Lane's investment in the company. Rebecca, however, is unimpressed, and turns Don out of her apartment with some harsh and unforgiving words. That incident barely makes the top ten among ways in which Don is having a shitty episode, but we'll come back to that.
Pete runs into Howard and Beth on the train, and soon after, Beth calls Pete and invites him to a hotel, wherein she tells him that to combat her depression, Howard is sending her in for electroshock therapy, not for the first time, apparently. Pete is enraged by Howard doing this to Beth and gets into it physically with him the next time he sees him, which results in Pete getting punched by two people within the space of a minute, and wherever he is, I hope Lane is telling whoever will listen that he got there first. But the result of Pete's mangled face is that Trudy lets him get that apartment in the city, which probably will mean he can avoid further train awkwardness with Howard, at least.
So, back to Don. He's feeling a lot of pain both physical and emotional, in the form of a horrible toothache he tries to convince himself will go away and images of his brother Adam, who, as I reminded you last time, also hanged himself thanks to Don. So when Megan, selling out a friend in the process, asks Don to set her up with a commercial audition on one of his accounts, it's surprising he doesn't make her sign a paper promising she won't kill herself before telling her she doesn't want to get ahead this way. Knowing that her acting career is foundering, Megan gets wasted and cries to Don, and Marie, who's down to visit Megan and fool around with Roger, later essentially tells Don that Megan isn't talented and will be his doting wife as soon as her dreams are dashed. Don: "Thanks?"
Somewhat at a loss, Don runs into Peggy in a movie theater, and after he learns she's doing great and is in charge of Phillip Morris's new women's cigarette, she obliviously suggests Don give her love to Megan, and Don tells her he's happy for her success, but never thought it would happen without him. Possibly spurred by Peggy's uncomplicated feelings toward his wife, or possibly not wanting to lose someone else he cares about due to inattentiveness, Don watches a screen test Megan commissioned and is enchanted by her all over again, and ends up helping her, resulting in her landing the part. But I think it's fair to say, given how we end up, that he doesn't feel good about it.
In the end, Joan takes the partners to see their new floor, which is raw and waiting to be shaped by the five of them into something new. After a montage of Peggy in Richmond, Pete looking terribly unhappy, and Roger nude and on acid, Don walks off Megan's commercial set and orders his trusty old Old Fashioned as "You Only Live Twice" plays. A pretty girl asks if he's alone, he looks at her inscrutablyâ€¦ and we're out of Season Five. Well, except for the full recap, which I expect is going to be a doozy.
In his bathroom, Don takes a cotton ball and soaks it in what's probably whiskey before sticking it in his mouth over a particular tooth. From the not-in-a-good-way he rolls his eyes back in his head, he appears to be in some pain and having had oral surgery myself, I will not be the one to make fun of him.
Megan re-enters the apartment from picking up a couple things and we learn JULIA ORMOND is back. Megan tells Marie she'll make breakfast, but Marie offhandedly comments in French that her coffee is too weak and, by the way, "your husband" hasn't left. Megan calls to Don that he's going to be late before opening a letter that apparently doesn't contain good news, but when Don finally emerges she hides the piece of paper -- an act not lost on her mother, who asks Don if he'd like an omelette. Don sighs that he'd better not and the fact that Don's tooth is so bad he can't even handle an egg understandably gets Megan worried, but Don tells her the pain will go away. "It always does." Okay, I know I said I wouldn't make fun of him, but if he's being that stubborn about going to a dentist I may have to reconsider. Of course, Megan does a fair job herself by commenting that he should "go easy on the mouthwash" when she tastes the liquor on Don's breath. As he's leaving, Marie tells Megan that she shouldn't keep things from her husband. I'm not convinced Don's even quite out the door, but I'm thinking the chances he dropped the French lessons are pretty good. Marie inspects the letter, which apologizes for there being no response to Megan's reel and encourages her to try some advanced film workshop they just happen to offer. Working in the entertainment industry, I do sympathize when Megan explains that she paid for a screen test and the company was supposed to take it and send it to agents, but given that it's only been a week since she went in for it, they obviously didn't do squat and are now just trying to jack her for some more money. Marie offers in English that it's a great sin to take advantage of "hopeless" people and although at Megan's umbrage she backpedals and claims in French that she meant to take advantage of people's hopes, I don't think Freud would buy the language barrier as an excuse.
On the morning train, Pete is surprised to look up and see Howard with Beth, who "recalls" that they "almost had dinner." Howard references a second honeymoon that Pete and Trudy apparently took or that Pete said they were taking, but Pete ignores him in favor of asking Beth where she's off to. There's a pause long enough to indicate shenanigans before Howard explains that Beth is going to stay with her sister for a bit and I was trying to figure it out because if they were separating it hardly seems likely that they'd be traveling together, but I wasn't expecting the worst part of this episode to come from these two. Pete pointedly asks where that might be, but this time it's Beth who declines to answer, instead saying that she's going to the smoking car. She quickly makes her way out despite Howard's protests that they'll have to stand (guess most people don't appreciate Metro-North's progressive policy) and when she's gone, Howard tells Pete not to take it personally, that Beth is in a mood and I WONDER WHY THAT MIGHT BE. As Howard leaves, Pete notices a scarf of Beth's sticking out of one of the suitcases Howard's schlepping and takes a quick feel of it, and I'm going to have to quote Estelle Costanza: What can be gained by feeling a person's material?