It's been only a few days since Sunday's season finale of Mad Men, and the episode is sparking plenty of discussion around the water cooler. This past season of Mad Men, the show's fifth, felt a bit hit-and-miss at times. It may have started off slow, but it picked up toward the end of the season and featured episodes that arguably were some of the best of the series.
There are lots of reasons to love Mad Men, whether it's the show's clever writing, interesting character development, and, of course, those dapper suits. But another great aspect, often its secret weapon, is its music. Each season of Mad Men so far has been filled with lots of memorable musical moments, and season five of Mad Men was no different.
As there's still some time to kill until Breaking Bad returns in July, we thought we'd take a look back at some of the most memorable musical moments of season five of Mad Men. They are listed in the order that they happened in the show. Oh, and if you haven't figured it out yet, there are a ton of spoilers ahead. So if you haven't already, but are planning to finish watching this past season of Mad Men, stop reading now and go finish that show already (and then come back).
Megan Draper performing "Zou Bisou Bisou"
One of the central plot points of this season of Mad Men has been Don Draper's adjustment to life with his new bride, Megan. The difficulty of co-existing with Megan was probably best illustrated during the season premiere. When Megan decides to throw Don a surprise 40th birthday party, she decides she'd throw in another surprise by giving Don a musical performance in front of his friends and co-workers. So how did Don Draper like the performance? He bitched her out for embarrassing him and the party in general, and they ended up having angry sex in the living room. Still, the moment was probably one of the most talked about moments of the season and helped establish Megan as one of the most important characters of the season (plus, the performance ended up a special vinyl release on Record Store Day).
Roger Sterling Drops Acid
Probably one of the more amusing moments of the season came when Roger Sterling and then-wife Jane dropped acid together. The result was a mixture of hilarity and a few scary hallucinations. What really made the scene was the inclusion of the Beach Boy's song "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times." Lyrically, the song is more about Brian Wilson being ahead of his time, but the the idea of not being made for these times as an idea fit pretty perfectly to what Roger is experiencing. (An alternate Beach Boys classic that could have worked: "Hang on to Your Ego," the original lyrical take of "I Know There's a Reason.")
Don Draper Listens to the Beatles
In the episode "Lady Lazarus," Don and Megan's co-existence gets a little tougher. Megan decides she's going to leave Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in order to pursue her acting career, and Don isn't crazy about the decision. Toward the end of the episode, just as Megan is about to leave for her acting class, Megan gives Don a gift: a Beatles record, Revolver. What follows is one of the better musical montages of the season, something the show always does really well. An interesting side note: Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner paid $250,000 in licensing fees to use the album.
Don and Glen Go for a Drive
Don Draper can be kind of a dick sometimes. Okay, often. But he can get away with it because he's really, really good-looking. Every once in awhile, though, Don will try and do the right thing. Sadly, it seems like everytime he does it backfires on him. There isn't a better example of this then when Don finds out that Lane Pryce is embezzling funds from the company. He tries to do the decent thing by letting Lane resign quietly rather than go through the humiliation of being fired and going to jail. Of course, Lane doesn't see it as much a gift and hangs himself in the office. After discovering the body, Don heads back home where he finds Glen, his daughters sorta-boyfriend, and offers to give Glen a ride back to his school. After Glen goes all emo in the elevator Don tries to do the right thing again and asks him if he could do anything what would it be. The young boys dream is a simple one. He just wants to drive home, and Don obliges. It was a pretty touching moment, soundtracked by the Lovin' Spoonful and proof that Don isn't always such a bad guy.
You Only Live Twice
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The producers of Mad Men picked the perfect song to close out the season with Nancy Sinatra's "You Only Live Twice," from the James Bond film of the same name. Not only does it make perfect sense considering that Don Draper has literally lived two lives, but it hints at where the next season may take us. Don heads to a bar as Megan shoots her commercial, where a beautiful woman asks if he's alone. Before he answers, the show fades to black. Has Don gone from trying to be a good person and husband to heading back to his cheating ways? Turns out we will all have to wait until next season to find out.