Mad Men
The Phantom

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | 5 USERS: A+
Giving Up The Ghost

...and then he's asking Marie how she could leave Megan all wasted. Instead of pointing out that she probably was quite so trashed when she left, Marie tells him it's his job to take care of her and adds that she knows it's difficult to watch, but this is what happens when someone has an artistic temperament without the talent to back it up. "Take my advice. Nurse her through this defeat and you shall have the life you desire." Given Megan's earlier comment, it seems clear that Marie is speaking from experience; I'm not sure if Don realizes this, but if he does, he must not love the idea that he's going to grow up to be the Emile of the piece. Marie, not unkindly, excuses herself to write some postcards and then Don's tooth acts up enough to send him into a chair...

...and then into an actual dentist's chair, THANK GOD. The dentist tells Don that he should have had the thing extracted days ago OH YOU DON'T SAY, adding that he almost developed a nasty abscess. Don weakly replies that he kept thinking it would go away, but the dentist, setting him up with gas, tells him he's lucky he didn't lose his jaw. I mean, yikes. After Don's been breathing the gas for a bit, he reopens his eyes to find Adam, who speaks for the first time: "You're in bad shape, Dick." Don blearily asks what he's doing there and now I can see that Adam has a purple mark around his neck where the noose did its work as he tells Don he's going to do him a favor "and take it out. But it's not your tooth that's rotten." He starts to leave, but Don grabs him and begs him not to go, so Adam tells him he'll hang around. And you can hardly be blamed if you thought that was a bad pun of mine -- you don't know how many times I had to stop myself from discussing how "shocking" Beth's storyline was -- but it's Adam himself with the joke as he asks Don, "Get it?" I should probably exit with Adam after I tell you I appreciate his attempt at gallows humor. And for those three of you I didn't lose there, it seems clear that Adam is talking about Don letting go of his guilt, both over him and over Lane; the tooth is the physical manifestation of it and the fact that he wouldn't have it taken care of the indication that he felt he deserved to suffer for failing the two of them. The dentist then removes the mask and cautions Don that he's going to be sore, so he should take it easy, get the prescription he gave him filled and not smoke for twenty-four hours. Once Don is in an upright position again, he looks at the excised tooth, which is bloody and also has a large grey spot on it, the physical evidence of his emotional pain. And considering how completely gross it is, I'm really glad that he never, like, actually killed anyone.

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