#MadMen Recap (SPOILERS)

After a hiatus, Mad Men is back.

The second season premier kicks off with a point of view shot of a heart attack.

From this we are taken to a Hawaiian beach with a Dante’s Inferno narration. And with that the last season of Mad Men is off.

This season is going to be an existential battle for Don Draper. Is everything really how it seems on the outside?

As the episode goes, you get the sense that this is going to be an existential season for everyone in Mad Men universe.

Peggy Olson is trying to channel Don. But is she?

Betty is trying to figure out her “adultness.”

Roger Sterling is coming to grips with his own mortality.

This life and death tracking is going to be prominent and one can’t help but think this is building up to a choice for Don. There are other story-lines as well, but this story arc is the one that has the heart and soul of the show.

This is made  clear with pitch to the Royal Hawaiian folks. “Hawaii: The Jumping Off Point” is the tag line. The executives and the audience are immediately thinking that this is a message of suicide and not bliss. But Don doesn’t get it, but then we get a sense that he does as he recalls his participation in a Soldier’s wedding on the beach in Hawaii. It is as if, this universe that he has built on lies is finally starting to cave in.

We are introduced to Doctor Arnold, a surgeon and Draper neighbor, who on New Years 1970 is called to work in a snowstorm. “The whole life and death thing, doesn’t bother me. Never has.” But it bothers Don. And then we are introduced to the fact that he has been having an affair with Doctor Arnold’s wife. This is just another facade.

“What do you want for this year?” She asks.

“I want to stop doing this.”

And now we get the arc that this final journey will take us. He wants to stop doing this. He probably will get what he wants. But how he gets it? That is the million dollar question.