Jessica Pare and Jon Hamm in MAD MEN - Season 5 - "Christmas Waltz" | ©2012 AMC/Jordin Althaus

Jessica Pare and Jon Hamm in MAD MEN - Season 5 - "Christmas Waltz" | ©2012 AMC/Jordin Althaus

The fifth season of MAD MEN has been interesting. There have been lots of changes and losses and even some gains. The series still manages to keep me completely entertained and ready for the next episode as soon as the current one is ending.

Since there have been so many random WOW moments this season (and the finale hits Sunday night), ASSIGNMENT X decided it was time to look back at the best (and in some cases most disturbing moments) of Season 5.

10. Megan gets a musical introduction

Making sure to show that Megan (Jessica Pare) is not just some secretary that Don (John Hamm) married in between seasons, Megan performed a musical number for Don’s birthday in the season premiere. “Zou Bisou Bisou” was some kind of magic and harkened back to a more Henry Mancini time period, plus it set the stage for Megan to head back into acting later this season.

09. Sally Draper becomes a woman

Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka) has been one of the most interesting characters in this series as she grows up. At times you see Don and other characters through her eyes, and you can see just how confusing this world and time she lives in is. This season Sally got to have an Electric Barbarella moment when getting dressed up in “The Codfish Ball” and even more importantly she actually flowered and got her period in the next to the last episode of the season. Sally is officially a teenager and on her way to being a woman. Watch out world!

08. Don Draper commits murder…kind of

Sure it was just a fever dream brought on by a really bad case of the flu, but Don first had sex with a former old fling of his Andrea (TWIN PEAKS star Madchen Amick) and then strangled her and shoved her body haphazardly under the bed. Disturbing. Would Don ever really go that far to protect the new life he is building…or would he go that far to cover up mistakes that he makes that might threaten his new life?

January Jones in MAD MEN - Season 5 - "Dark Shadows" | ©2012 AMC/Jodrin Althaus

January Jones in MAD MEN - Season 5 - "Dark Shadows" | ©2012 AMC/Jodrin Althaus

07. Former model Betty Francis joins Weight Watchers

Betty (January Jones) hasn’t exactly been the most lovable character on MAD MEN…ever. I figure she gets more hate mail than anyone on the show. Now this season the writers decided to gift the character with obesity (for which a body double was even used for a bath scene to make it look real). Betty got her thyroid checked, but in the end she just likes to eat, so she decided to join Weight Watchers. Of course the most memorable thing about all of this is the YouTube “Fat Betty” song. It’s wrong on so many levels but it does stick in your head.

06. Lane beats the s**t out of Pete

Pete called Lane (Jared Harris) a “homo” and asked why he still was working at the firm when he basically does nothing.  So Lane called him out and beat him pretty soundly. This was the second ass kicking that a senior member of the staff has offered to give Pete (1st was Roger) and it was so lovely to see him get pounded. I think Lane’s description of him as a grimy little pimp was also bang on the money. This was one of Lane’s shining moments this season and perhaps for the whole series. Now if I can just see Roger (John Slattery) beat Pete down my viewing experience will be complete.

05. Joan becomes a single mom

Joan (Christina Hendricks) finally decided to give her piece of crap rapist husband the boot this season. Greg Harris (Sam Page) has been less than one of my favorite characters. I actually had hoped the writers would kill him off in Vietnam, but this works just as well. It doesn’t matter anyways since Roger is the real father of Joanie’s baby.

04. Kinsey is a Hare Krishna

Paul Kinsey (Michael Gladis) returned to the series this season, and even though he’s always been a bit of a radical and a beatnik, him showing up as a Hare Krishna was pretty stunning. Kinsey with a shaved head and a ponytail is an image that will haunt me forever, and will color how I see him whenever I re-watch previous seasons. It was a bold choice on the writers’ part to throw him so far down life’s ladder, but it was a memorable reappearance of a great character.

03. Peggy leaves the firm

Peggy has come a LONG way since her first day as Don’s secretary. This season she handled a lot of the clients while Don was swanning off playing a happy newlywed. She did have a blow up at Heinz at one point this season, and she and Don have had their share of fights. Of course no is going to forgive or forget him throwing money in her face to compensate her for her time. So it was with a heavy heart that we bid Peggy goodbye this season and wished her well in her new and upwardly mobile career. She was one that I thought would be with Don forever…but all good things…

02. Joan prostitutes herself for the firm

Joan (Christina Hendricks) had the offer on the table of spending a night with a man that could make or break the firm’s bid to win the Jaguar account. Of course Pete was the one making the arrangements. Don bowed out of discussion and the other partners decided to ask her to do it. Lane lost and gained credibility in telling Joan to go for a partnership as payment, even though he did it for selfish reasons. Joan has always been the office sexpot, but up until now I didn’t realize she had a price. It made me sad she had to hook to get ahead…but at the time it was still very much a man’s world.


Jared Harris in MAD MEN - Season 5 - "Commissions and Fees" | ©2012 AMC/Jordin Althaus

Jared Harris in MAD MEN - Season 5 - "Commissions and Fees" | ©2012 AMC/Jordin Althaus

01. Lane at the end of his rope

Lane’s fall from grace was a long one, starting with his familial problems, his abusive father, and his now ex-girlfriend at the Playboy Club. Stuck in a loveless marriage to a woman who is more of a shrew, Lane has always been a bit of sad sack. Embezzling funds led to his dismissal from the firm this season, and rather than deal with the shame he hung himself behind his office door. It was perhaps the saddest and most shocking moment on MAD MEN to date.

Related: TV Review –  MAD MEN – Season 5 finale – “The Phantom”

Related: Exclusive Interview with MAD MEN star Christina Hendricks on Season 5

Related: TV Review –  MAD MEN – Season 5 – “Commissions and Fees”

Related Link: Interview with MAD MEN star Elisabeth Moss on Season 5


Related: Interview with MAD MEN star Jared Harris on his character’s dramatic  exit from the series

Related LinkTV Review –  MAD MEN – Season 5 – “The Other Woman”

Related LinkTV Review –  MAD MEN – Season 5 – “Christmas Waltz”

Related LinkTV Review –  MAD MEN – Season 5 – “Dark Shadows”

Related LinkTV Review –  MAD MEN – Season 5 – “Lady Lazarus”
Related LinkTV Review –  MAD MEN – Season 5 – “At the Codfish Ball”
Related Link: TV Review –  MAD MEN – Season 5 – “Faraway Places”
Related Link: TV Review –  MAD MEN – Season 5 – “Signal 30”

Related Link: Exclusive Interview with MAD MEN star John Slattery on Season 5
Related Link: TV Review –  MAD MEN – Season 5 – “Mystery Date”
Related Link: TV Review of the Season 5 premiere of MAD MEN – “A Little Kiss”

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Article: The Top Ten WOW Moments of MAD MEN  Season 5

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