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Mystery Date

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Mystery Date
MysteryDate5x4
Production
Season 5 Episode 4
Air date 8 April 2012
Written by Victor Levin
Matthew Weiner
Directed by Mark Shakman

Previous
Tea Leaves
Next
Signal 30

"Mystery Date" is the fourth episode of the Season Five of Mad Men.

Don runs into someone from his past. Joan makes a decision, and Roger gives Peggy extra work.

Synopsis

It's July of 1966. Joyce Ramsay walks into SCDP with graphic photos of the recently committed murders of eight nurses in Chicago. There were nine possible victims, with one woman hiding under the bed until the murderer left. Michael reacts in disgust to the other employees' fascination with the murder photos.

Don, on the elevator to SCDP's offices with Megan, is coughing profusely, sweaty, and feverish. A flirty old lover, Andrea Rhodes, walks into the elevator and starts to home in on Don before Don introduces Megan as his wife. Don tries to assuage a slightly perturbed Megan, who is upset over how many of Don's old flames they have been running into in Manhattan.

Don works with new Michael and Ken on the pitch to Topaz. Michael goes rogue during the presentation and ends up pitching a commercial based on Cinderella. Don is enraged and admonishes Michael for the act. Afterwards, Don returns home early to an empty house and collapses on his bed in a weakened state.

Don in mystery date

Don during a fever dream, in Mystery Date.

Don awakens to a knock on the door. It's Andrea, still in her tight yellow dress from earlier in the day. Don orders her to leave immediately and forces her to go out through the apartment's service elevator to avoid the possibility of Megan seeing her. After Don returns to bed, Andrea walks into his home again, having worked the doorman. She seduces Don and the two end up having sex in his bed. In a post-coitus moment, Andrea declares to Don that he will continue making love to her. He has no choice. Don flies off the handle and

becomes involved in a struggle with her. He chokes her until she stops breathing. He jumps off of her after her death and kicks her under the bed. He climbs back onto his bed to see her one shoe visible under the bed, recalling both the visual of Michael's Cinderella pitch and the lone survivor from the Richard Speck murders. Don awakens the next day to realize that he was having a fever dream. He says nothing of his vision to Megan.

Under the couch

Sally under the couch, Mystery Date.

Sally's step-grandmother, Pauline, is babysitting Sally while Betty and Henry are out of town. Sally overhears Pauline having a telephone conversation about the murders in Chicago. After stealing a newspaper out of the garbage and reading about the murder, Sally becomes frightened and unable to sleep. Pauline comforts Sally by suggesting that the nurses asked for their fate for presumed lasciviousness. Pauline takes out a butcher knife, intending to use it for protection, and shares a Seconal sleeping pill with Sally. Betty and Henry return home the next day to find Pauline knocked out while holding the butcher knife. Sally is asleep underneath the couch, once again recalling the visual of the Speck survivor.

Peggy and dawn mystery date

Peggy trying to overcome racial tension in the company of Dawn, in Mystery Date.

Roger gives Peggy an exorbitant amount of extra cash to devise a new Mohawk Airlines campaign over the weekend in an attempt to one-up Pete. While working later, Peggy discovers Dawn sleeping in Don's office. Peggy offers Dawn a spot on her couch, as Dawn worries about returning to her home in Harlem due to racial tension in the area. Peggy and Dawn drink beers at Peggy's apartment, while Peggy reveals insecurity over whether she "acts like a man" or not. While leaving her apartment's living room, Peggy has an awkward moment with Dawn when Peggy realizes that her purse (with all of Roger's money inside) is alone on the table next to Dawn. Peggy cleans up and leaves the purse next to Dawn. Peggy wakes up the next morning to find an apology note from Dawn for inconveniencing Peggy. Peggy sighs over her possible offense to Dawn.

Joan in Mystery date

Joan faced with raising Kevin alone, in Mystery Date.

Joan's husband Greg returns home from the Vietnam War after a year of service, greeting their new baby boy, and spending an afternoon with Joan in bed. Afterwards, Greg breaks bad news to Joan: he is being shipped back to Vietnam again for another year. Joan complains about the government's lies, but Greg backs up his duty to the country. During a dinner at a fancy restaurant with Joan and Greg's parents, Gregs mother reveals that he actually volunteered to go back, sending Joan into a rage. The next morning, Joan is still in absolute horror that Greg would abandon his duties as a father to head back to war where he "feels like a good man." Joan angrilly tells him to leave. Through her teeth, she proclaims that he was "never a good man," referring to the time he raped her in Don's office. Greg leaves and Joan spends the night lying awake next to her sleeping mother and child.

Cast

Main

Guest Starring

Co-Starring

  • Stephanie Drake as Meredith
  • S.E. Perry as Poul Harris
  • Matt Biedel as Lewis Porter
  • Zac Goodspeed as Soldier
  • Nicholas Cutro as Waiter
Joan and greg in mystery date

(From upper left) Greg coming home, Greg telling Joan about the Army, Joan's revelation and Joan asking Greg to leave, in Mystery Date.

Quotes

Joan: "I've been thinking about it and, I want you to go."
Gail: "I'll put this away."
Greg: "I'm glad you came around, it's only a year."
Joan: "No, I want you to go and never come back."
Greg: "Damn it Joanie. They need me."
Joan: "Well then it works out, because we don't."
Greg: "I'm very important there. I have twenty docs and medics who rely on me. They look to me for my skill and leadership."
Joan: "I'm glad the Army makes you feel like a man, because I'm sick of trying to do it."
Greg: "The Army makes me feel like a good man."
Joan: "You're not a good man. You never were; even before we were married and you know what I'm talking about."
Greg: "If I walk out that door, that's it."
Joan: "That's it."

- Greg choosing Army duty over family in Mystery Date.

Notes

  • This episode takes place in late July of 1966, featuring much discussion of the Richard Speck murders that took place in Chicago.
  • The footage of Don returning to bed after kicking Andrea out of the apartment was actually reverse footage of Don getting out of bed only minutes before.

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