Mad Men: Season 5, Episode 13

The Phantom (10 Jun. 2012)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 715 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 3 critic

As the partners consider expanding the office space, Don begins seeing ghosts and gets a request to advance Megan's acting career. Meanwhile, Peter's affair comes to a disappointing end, and Megan's mom briefly reunites with Roger.

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Betty Francis (credit only)
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Lane Pryce (credit only)
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Sally Draper (credit only)
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Henry Francis (credit only)
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Storyline

Among those who are depressed about their lives are Megan, Pete and Beth. Beyond getting what she believes are obscene phone calls, Megan is feeling that her acting career is going nowhere, especially after being duped by an unscrupulous agency who filmed a screen test for her. She feels she gets little support from her visiting mother, Marie, and Don. She uses a request from her acting friend Emily to what she hopes will be her own advantage, but she will need some help from Don to achieve her end goal, which he may not be willing to provide. Pete is still restless in his life, even more so when he sees Beth again, this time with Howard on the commuter train. He learns from Beth to where she is going which is directly related to her own depression. Her ultimate destination continues the vicious cycle which is her life. She hopes that Pete will be at least a minor sanctuary from that life. Meanwhile, Don, who refuses to see a dentist about a chronic toothache, continually sees visions... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Drama

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Release Date:

10 June 2012 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

In the receding shot after Don sits at the bar, we can hear hubbub from the bar crowd (under the closing "You Only Live Twice" theme), but we can't hear the woman singing and playing the piano in the background. See more »

Quotes

Marie Calvet: Not every little girl gets to do what they want. The world could not support that many ballerinas.
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Connections

References You Only Live Twice (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

You Only Live Twice
(uncredited)
Music by John Barry
Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse
Performed by Nancy Sinatra
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User Reviews

Season 5: Strong story telling with good characters and performances – shame about the terrible sound engineering
2 June 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The growth of the new agency continues while the personal lives of the partners all go in different directions and the county continues into the 1960's with cultural and societal changes all around. The fourth season of this show was really strong and I enjoyed it a great deal and again I have to say I have no idea why it took me so long for the fifth season to come to the front of my queue to be watched. It is a mystery to me why I seem to not be excited by the show and why it needs to win me over each year, but I am glad that whenever I do start watching, that it does get me every time. The fifth season is no exception as the writing makes a compelling series of threads and pulls them all together in a professional soap of work tensions and personal dramas. I say "soap" not in a negative way but in recognition that the show is driven forward and the characters and their dramas – it isn't a thriller where this engagement comes from cliffhangers, or a political piece where lots of issues are raised and points made, it is more about the characters.

This season continues that because the characters are strong and engaging. While Don of course continues to be the main man of the show, we have moved away quite a bit from an intense focus on him and allowed the other characters to come forward more and more, each producing good stories and threads. They are all held together by the central agency so the threads never feel like they are competing for time or distracting from each other, but rather that they compliment one another even though they may not directly have much to do with the other. Within the context of the show the characters are convincing. I will be the first to concede that the bed-hopping and other excesses are perhaps not recognizable as "real life" to me, but the show makes them work within the world it has created and the world it sells each week.

The progress into the 1960's is not forced into our faces, it happens through the music and the politics but beyond having characters and threads that are connected to changes in society, the show doesn't go out of its way to make points or large commentary out of it, so much as it just happening. I liked this as I didn't think the show was set up to push an agenda or preach, so I was glad that it didn't even really try. The cast are strong here and make the drama work well by delivering convincing characters. Hamm is very charismatic in the lead and he continues to engage even if his character now feels very familiar. The addition of a certain amount of weariness to him and a sense of being left behind was nicely done and nicely used by Hamm. Moss benefits the most from changes in the world of the show and her character and struggles are convincingly played out. Kartheiser becomes more engaging the less likable he becomes and the show gives him plenty to do this season. The cast is deep in talent and good turns though – Jones' fat suit may be the most obvious change but Shipka is great and the regular cast all maintain a high standard. Hendricks stands out a bit too much for my liking and I struggle with her being bigger than her character, it is a problem the show doesn't totally manage to deal with either. Likewise Brie is a tough sell at times in terms of what she has to play, although she mostly does it convincingly and well.

Overall another strong season and it does say something where one of the few negative things you can say is not about the drama but a technical thing; in this case the sound engineering. Perhaps it is just me but throughout the season background noises were far too loud and not in balance with the rest – it was frequently terrible and distracting and I have no idea why it was done like this. Otherwise though strong and engaging drama that employs all its characters well to the benefit of the story telling.


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