MAD MEN
SEASON FIVE

Episode 9: “Dark Shadows”

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
APRIL 9, 2013

It’s Thanksgiving time in “Mad Men” Ville. Fat Betty is stirring up shit by bringing up Anna Draper in front of Sally after seeing Megan’s hot bod while creeping around Don’s apartment. Sally continues to show signs of being a bitch like her mother, but there’s always a glimpse of hope when they resolve things. Conflict resolution is satisfying. Peggy’s falling more into obscurity as Michael Ginsberg takes the rise. Don sees Ginsberg’s name on most of his best work of the year and stays late to come up with a new copy, to surprise at a meeting the next day. When everyone loves his and Ginsberg’s ideas, Don “accidentally” leaves Ginsberg’s ideas in the taxi. Don’s idea sells, Ginsberg is humbled, and Peggy is suddenly happy again.

Pete daydreams about the gorgeous Beth Dawes (Alexis Bledel) coming into his office with nothing on but a fur coat. He even goes as far as to yell at her husband on the train (“you spend Thanksgiving with [your mistress], and I’ll go have sex with your wife”). Roger persuades his soon-to-be ex-wife Jane to come with him for a client meeting since her half-Jewish background could help with a Jewish wine account. They have sex, he “ruins” her new, Roger-free apartment, and they really should be together. I thought for sure he’d come around. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing Betty pissed off when her plans fail. I wonder whose idea it was to provide her with a weight problem. Also, I love the little references like the one about the dangerous smog condition on Thanksgiving.

Three random facts I found out while posting this article:

  • The smog at the end is a symbolism of Betty’s influence on Don’s current marriage.
  • The title of the episode comes from the script that Megan reads with friend Julia (Meghan Bradley) as she prepares to audition for the show “Dark Shadows.”
  • Strangely enough, the Tim Burton adaptation of “Dark Shadows” was released the same weekend that this episode aired.

RELEASE DATE
May 13, 2012

DIRECTOR
Scott Hornbacher

WRITTEN BY
Erin Levy
Matthew Weiner

STUDIO
Lionsgate Television

NETWORK
AMC

TV-14

DRAMA
48 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Christopher Manley

COMPOSER
David Carbonara

EDITOR
Christopher Gay

CAST
Jon Hamm
Elisabeth Mos
Vincent Kartheiser
January Jones
Christina Hendricks
Aaron Staton
Rich Sommer
Kiernan Shipka
Jessica Paré
Christopher Stanley
Jay R. Ferguson
Robert Morse
John Slattery
Peyton List
Alexis Bledel

PRODUCED BY
Jon Hamm
Blake McCormick

Leave a Reply