Happiness is fleeting and disappointment reigned in last night’s episode of Mad Men. “Lady Lazarus” features a stunning performance by guest star Alexis Bledel as an unhappy housewife. Megan gives in to her heart’s desire as Pete digs himself into a deeper hole. Also, Peggy wrestles with a secret.

Check out our full review below…

The Players:

  • Director: Phil Abraham
  • Writer: Matthew Weiner
  • Cast: Jon Hamm, John Slattery, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, Elisabeth Moss, Jared Harris, Robert Morse, Rich Sommer, Aaron Staton, Kiernan Shipka, Christopher Stanley, Jessica Parè, Alexis Bledel, Jeff Clarke

Episode Title: “Lady Lazarus”

Peggy stumbles upon a lie that puts her in a compromising position. Meanwhile, Megan makes a confession that changes things for Don. Elsewhere, Pete attempts to help a friend but gets himself into serious trouble.

The Good:

  • Skis: Until last week, Roger was the season’s most morose character. It was lovely to see him regain some of his spunk and humor. Thankfully, that hasn’t dissipated. He manages to stay chipper in the face of Pete snagging yet another one of his clients. His scenes were brief, but they gave hope that this Roger might be in it for the long haul.

The So-So:

  • So What Do You Want To Do?: To his credit, Don took Megan’s decision in stride. His happiness has been a change of pace for the show, one that the audience has enjoyed. However, with all that’s happening in his work and home life that may end. Having him resume his bad habits might not be the best course, but Dark Don is a beast everyone loves. It’s just a matter of waiting to see which version we’re given.

The Bad:

  • Ominous Elevator: Peggy, Don, and Megan’s elevator ride was foreshadowing for Megan coming clean, as well as Peggy and Don’s conflict. Don’s absentee elevator is an obvious nod to what’s ahead. From the look of it, whatever’s coming isn’t good.
  • Insurance: Roger and Pete are like the sun and the moon: as one rises, the other must fall. Pete’s displeasure with life has made more than one appearance this season. In the wake of his tryst with Betty Dawes, he seems to be on the brink of deep-seated misery. A character in the midst of conflict is practically a guarantee for more face-time. But since most fans already view Pete as a jerk, his wayward husband shtick won’t improve popular opinion.
  • Just Taste It: Megan’s delightful presence at Sterling Cooper Draper Price was fodder for the Peggy and Don debacle. With her there both titans of advertising had to form new work habits. Peggy found self-confidence, while Don bounced ideas off of his chipper wife. In her absence, it is critical they find harmony once again. Their dynamic is as essential to the show as Don’s suits. Without it, Mad Men might crumble.

The Quotable:

  • “I’ve had men pay attention to me since before it was appropriate and they don’t care what I say. They just watch my lips move.”
  • “It’s so simple when it’s someone else’s life, isn’t it?”
  • “You’re everything I hoped you’d be.”

Overall:

Things definitely picked up last night. There were quite a few laughs, and it was chocked full of exciting moments. That, coupled with an impressive guest star, made for the best episode of the season so far.

Rating: 9/10

Mad Men airs Sunday nights at 10p.m. on AMC.

What did you think of the episode?