Mad Men Season 7 Episode 5 Recap: Threesomes and Throwbacks!

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In the fourth season of Mad Men, Don Draper - adrift, drunk and newly divorced - broke down into tears after learning of the death of his sole confidant, Anna Draper.

It was a moment that astounded fans and inspired countless memes based on the sight of the usually aloof ad man's outpouring of raw emotion.

Flash forward to season seven: Don is yet again rudderless, living alone, and drinking more than ever (or at least more than usual)...and his late friend Anna is once more a presence in his life, this time in the form of her pregnant and desperate niece Stephanie.

One of the techniques that makes Mad Men so consistently engrossing is the writers' ability to make the show unpredictable in the manner of real life:

Characters and subplots arise out of nowhere and disappear just as unexpectedly, sometimes for seemingly no reason.

Still, patterns repeat and the smallest details often prove profoundly significant, so observant fans of the series may not have been surprised to see the specter of Anna re-emerge just as Don has once again bottomed out.

And it seems she may have once again provided the inspiration Don needed to kickstart his slow climb back to the top.

The butt of jokes on last week's episode, this week Don blasts Lou for his Beetle Bailey aspirations (advantage Don), reunites with Megan, and scores an awesomely 60s West Coast threesome (definite advantage Don).

That last conquest may cause some problems later on, but Megan seems like she's growing accustomed to the idea that Don is basically a walking libido.

The rest of us have known that for years.

Back to Stephanie - it turns out the unexpected guest was merely looking for a hand-out and Megan was more than happy to cut a check in order to make Don's past go away. Smart move.

Speaking of things that may not drop your jaw: Betty Francis is still not great with inter-personal relationships.

After she expresses her idiotic views on Vietnam (Keep it going!) at a social function with her politician husband, Henry yet again stands in for the audience by informing Betty that she's basically the Devil with blonde hair and an eating disorder.

Meanwhile in the Francis household, Sally somehow broke her nose sword-fighting with golf clubs. (If that doesn't hint at her ascendancy into the world of WASPy sexuality, we don't know what does.)

If you're digging for more Freudian implications: Don watches Megan dance with some hippie while another dude plays a sexy clarinet solo. Suggestive!

But while the early seasons of Mad Men may have presented this psycho-sexual weirdness as part of the consequence-free misbehavior that helped put Madison Avenue on the map, in the SC&P of 1969, the good times often take hairpin turns into very dark territory, and vice versa.

For example: at the end of last night's episode, Michael Ginsberg slices off his nipple and presents it to Peggy (Who saw that coming?!) just before Don pulls a an unexpectedly savvy move that brings to mind the Dick Whitman of old.

Ginzo being wheeled away by the white coats and Cutler's ominous closing lines don't bode well for the future, but hey, we don't watch this show for the happy endings!

Watch Mad Men online at TV Fanatic to join in the paranoia!

Lane Price and Pete Campbell Fight
Lane and Pete go at it. Lane won the fight but this season, um...didn't end well for him.

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