The almighty Don Draper is sick, and we’re not talking about morality here. While he recovers, and the Mystery Date episode (the fourth in season 5) revolved primarily around the other characters. Here’s some of the top storylines in the episode:
Evolution of Ginsberg
In his debut, Ginsberg appeared to be a stream-of-consciousness cocky character who could be the heir-apparent to Roger Sterling. At the end of that episode, we got a glimpse into his home life, causing some doubt that he was simply the next generation’s extension. When Peggy’s friend brings explicit photos that TIME magazine won’t publish, Ginsberg does more than blush – he scolds the group for finding the gory pictures entertaining.
Later in the episode, we get an even deeper insightful look into Ginsberg during the sales pitch – or rather, after it. After an initial idea sells the client on a concept for a commercial, Ginsberg turns the conversation to an idea he didn’t pitch, which they love more than the original idea, and he gets scolded by Don afterwards for going off script and not telling him ahead of time. Ken Cosgrove warns him that Don was close to firing him for the impromptu pitch, but Ginsberg saw things differently. He might be a company player, but he certainly doesn’t play by all the rules… and that just might work in his favor, but for future success and to set him apart in the eyes of Don Draper.
Megan Takes Ownership Of Her Man
Megan clearly wasn’t happy to have run into one of Don’s past flings in the elevator (portrayed by the lovely Mädchen Amick), and she let him know how she feels about his past. Embarrassed by Don’s wild side during his previous married days, Megan indicates that this time around things will reflect more positively on her than Don’s reputation does for Betty Francis. Then when Don’s at home, Megan literally keeps his chair warm at the office, which likely caught the notice of the others at the agency.
The Discipline of Sally Draper
Through the course of the episode, Sally Draper goes from not liking her step-grandmother Pauline to forming a much stronger bond with her than has been shown between Sally and her mother, Betty. Though they butt heads in the early part of the episode, we learn that Sally just might appreciate the discipline from Pauline that she has been lacking from Betty. There has already been friction between Sally and Betty in past seasons, and many were predicting the wedge would further drive them apart. It seems that Grama Pauline might be a catalyst for that.
Peggy Grows A Pair
When Roger Sterling tells Peggy to work up an ad campaign for Mohawk Airlines at the last minute, Peggy plays hardball and Roger forks over $400 to get her to not only do the work, but lie about it to the rest of the company. Later, Peggy questions whether or not she likes the person she has become, trying to fit into what some consider a “man’s world”.
Don Has Demons
Though he was in a sickness-induced dream state at the time, a part of Don still allowed himself to be seduced by the woman from his past, and when he realizes he won’t be able to resist her in the future, he kills her to avoid putting himself in that situation. Clearly Don intends to be faithful, but in the back of his mind, he knows how difficult that struggle will be.
Joan Takes A Stand
Joan runs the emotional gamut, anxiously anticipating her husband’s return, then being frustrated that Greg has to return to war before hearing from his parents that he volunteered to go back. She finally comes to a calm realization that she doesn’t want him in her life anymore – something many of us had been hoping would happen ever since he raped her before they got married. This has the potential to be one of the biggest storylines of the season, as Joan decides whether or not to tell the clearly oblivious Roger Sterling that he is the child’s father.