Original Air Date
May 13, 2012
Scott Hornbacher
Written By
Erin Levy
Network Aired

Mad Men: Season 5
Episode 509: “Dark Shadows”

It’s Thanksgiving time in “Mad Men” Ville. Fat Betty is stirring up shit by bringing up Anna Draper in front of Sally after seeing Megan’s hot bod while creeping around Don’s apartment. Sally continues to show signs of being a bitch like her mother, but there’s always a glimpse of hope when things are resolved. The conflict resolution is satisfying. Peggy’s falling more into obscurity as Michael Ginsberg takes the rise. Don sees Ginsberg’s name on most of his best work of the year and stays late to come up with new copy, to surprise at a meeting the next day. When everyone loves both his and Ginsberg’s ideas, Don “accidentally” leaves Ginsberg’s ideas in the taxi. Don’s idea sells. Ginsberg is humbled. Peggy is suddenly happy again.

Pete daydreams about the gorgeous Beth Dawes (Alexis Bledel) coming into his office with nothing on but a fur coat. He even goes as far as to yell at her husband on the train (“you spend Thanksgiving with [your mistress] and I’ll go have sex with your wife”). Roger persuades his soon-to-be ex-wife Jane to come with for a client meeting since her half-Jewish background could help with a Jewish wine account. They have sex. He “ruins” her new, Roger-free apartment. They really should be together. I thought for sure he’d come around. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing Betty pissed off when her plans fail. I really wonder whose idea it was to give her a weight problem. Also, I love the tiny references like the one about the dangerous smog condition on Thanksgiving.

Three random facts I found out while posting this article:

  1. The smog at the end is apparently symbolism of Betty’s influence on Don’s current marriage.
  2. The title of the episode comes from the script that Megan reads with friend Julia (Meghan Bradley), as she prepares to audition for the show “Dark Shadows”.
  3. Strangely enough, the Tim Burton adaptation of “Dark Shadows” was released the same weekend that this episode aired.


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