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Spoilers! Where did Season 5 of Mad Men leave off? We recap the highs and lows before the return of Season Six

Posted at 3:00 pm, April 10, 2013 in TV
Mad Men. Season Six. Read our Season Five recap.

Mad Men returns to our screens tomorrow night, but you might be a little foggy on where we last left Madison Avenue’s finest. So let’s cast our minds back…

…to Don busting Lane for cutting himself an advance cheque. And forcing him to resign!

Mad Men: Lane Pryce was caught stealing funds from the company

And he resigns, alright:

Mad Men: Lane Pryce hangs himself

No Lane, no! Rest in peace, Pryce. Don seems to feel a bit bad about it, but as nobody else knows he’d booted Lane out of SCDP, he’ll probably roll on just fine.

How are the family Draper? Well, Sally doesn’t want to go skiing with Betty (who’s still an ice bitch, still married to Henry Francis) and escapes to Don & Megan’s in Manhattan. Later, when the coast’s clear, creepy quasi-boyf Glen takes her on a hot date to the Natural History Museum:

Mad Men: Sally and Glen on a date.

But then she gets her period and runs home to Betty to have a you’re-a-woman-now moment:

Mad Men: Betty Draper and Sally Draper

Hey didn’t this whole ice-queen-as-cosmic-menstrual-guide happen in some other TV show?

So it did.

Meanwhile, back at SCDP, the big news is that they’ve landed the new Jaguar account!

Peggy got tired of being overlooked and resigned, headed for a top job at a rival agency. Don was sad to see her go:

Mad Men: Peggy Olson resigns, Don kisses her hand goodbye.

We later see her at her new agency. She has been tasked with naming some new Cigarettes for Ladies, and is dressed like Santa Claus:

Ho Ho Ho, Peggy Christmas.

And Don and Peggy bump into each other when they both go to clear their heads at the cinema. It’s nice:

Mad Men: Fees and Commissions

Joan is now a junior partner at the agency after, well, after she slept with the guy from Jaguar. In exchange for a percent of the business. Oh, Joan!

Joan Holloway: Mad Men

Then her asshole husband served her with divorce papers from afar, she got drunk with Don, and nothing happened, but it was sweet.

Pete Campbell looks like this pretty much all the time:

Pete Campbell: Existential Dread

He’s got a bad case of wife-and-kids-and-commuting ennui, shot through with the-woman-I-was-having-an-affair-with-got-electroshock-treatment-and-can’t-remember-me blues. Also, he still has a terrible personality and a face you wouldn’t get bored of dropkicking.

Business-wise, things are booming. They’ve got the cash for a whole new office floor:

The Mad Men in their new office.

Don, hungry for more, wants to pitch for the business of enormo-corp Dow Chemical. It’s run by Ken Cosgrove’s father-in-law, and Ken doesn’t this like it, but in the end he allows it in exchange for Roger’s promise to put him on the account instead of Pete. With that settled, Don goes to pitch them like a BOSS:

Don pitches Dow Chemical with aplomb.

“You’re happy with 50 percent?  You’re on top and you don’t have enough.  You’re happy because you’re successful… for now.  But what is happiness?  It’s a moment before you need more happiness.  I won’t settle for 50 percent of anything.  I want 100 percent.  You’re happy with your agency?  You’re not happy with anything.  You don’t want most of it… you want all of it.  And I won’t stop until you get all of it.”

And the Dow Chemical guys are all like:

Mad Men: Dow Chemical Pitch, reaction

And that’s where we left that.

Back at chez Draper, Megan and Don have not been seeing eye-to-eye. Megan almost landed a part in a play that would have her rehearsing in in Boston for six weeks, and Don threw a minor fit.  But when Megan’s friend asks Megan to recommend her to Don for a commercial he’s producing, Megan instead asks for an audition of her own. After much bad feeling, he gets her to meet the producers for a screen test:

Megan Draper's screen test.

And boom, she nails it, and gets the part:

Megan Draper gets a role in a commercial.

But Don’s still huffy about it:

Don Draper's sulky strutting silhouette.

And where did we leave Don? Drinking in a bar, alone, when…

Don Draper, Season 5 Finale, The Phantom Are You Alone? Mad Men, Season 5 finale

And with that, we leave him, like Schrödinger’s Adulterer. Don’t do it, Don! (We bet you do do it.)

Also, there was this:

Roger Sterling naked at the end of Season 5 of Mad Men.

In conclusion:

Lane: Dead
Pete: Angsty
Joan: Partner
Roger: Naked
Peggy: Elsewhere
Megan: Acting
Sally: Growing Up
Betty: Less Fat, Still Mostly Evil
Don: Alone/Not Alone

Mad Men returns to Sky Atlantic, Wednesday April 10, at 10pm.

Need more diversions while you wait? Play our Mad Men quiz.

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