Tonight's Mad Men brought us into 1965 and the things that are about to come are taking shape. But, the past, as always played a large part, especially for Don, as he again must grapple with who he is.
Don's relationship with Anna Draper has always been a fascinating part of the show. All of the other women that he's confided his true self to have quickly left, specifically Rachel Menken and Betty, of course. But, Anna, though she's probably had the most reason to despise him, has always been there for him; their relationship is close and honest. She's the only person to whom he ever tells the truth.
With the revelation that she's dying of cancer, Don is appropriately upset, and wants to help. There's no doubt in his intentions, but his abilities can't measure up. As Anna's sister makes clear, Don really isn't anything to them, either as Don or as Dick.
Back on the homefront, when Joan's husband Greg announced that he had joined the army at the end of Season 3, we knew what it meant and what his fate would most likely be. Now that the Gulf of Tonkin resolution has come and gone, it's starting to play out for the characters. But, that didn't stop the handling of the situation to have any less sting. And sting it certainly does, when Joan mentions Vietnam for the first time.
This season has been hinting at the darkness to come; the tone has been heavier, Roger's snarkiness has been mostly substituted for the seriousness of life at SCDP. There's no reason to believe that this will change in the near future. 1965 is upon us, and it's only going to get worse. Shall we begin?