[Review & Recap] Mad Men: Season 5 Episode 8 "Lady Lazarus"
Although Don isn’t necessarily pleased, we sense his respect for her and her decision. He wants her to be happy. We also can’t help but sense his trepidation is tinged with fear. We’re guessing the elevator scene was symbolic; there couldn’t have just been an empty shaft in a high-rise like that without someone being called in. He tries to go down as well, but can’t, she’s already too far gone. At the same time it’s like Matthew Weiner says in Inside Episode 8, “He offered her the orange sherbet ice cream, it was his favorite. And she doesn’t like it.” He’s invited her into this world, that women are dying to be a part of and she passes because it’s not her style.
It seems like Beth Dawes is also struggling between her old identity and a new one as housewife. She romps with Peter as way to get back at Howard but also it seems as a release for what’s been pent up inside of her. She reminisces on how she used to be, but then passes up that recklessness to return to her suburban “bliss.” Her and Megan make opposite choices.
“Tomorrow Never Knows” sums it up wonderfully, relinquishing a little control “is not dying.” Letting Megan go isn’t the end of his world, it’s the beginning of hers as an individual. She’s offering Don a lesson about listening to the color of your dreams. Whether he receives it or shuts it off like the record player at the end of the episode, remains to be seen.