You Only Live Twice or so it seems,
One life for yourself and one for your dreams.
If ever a figure defined the suaveness of the 1960s, it was James Bond.
And, like 007, the real Don Draper is a phantom we’re not quite sure we’ve figured out.
So it’s apropos that the Season 5 finale of Mad Men was titled “The Phantom.” We all chase dreams, and while those dreams can be ghosts, the realities we portray are often phantoms of who we are.
Throughout the episode, Don has a toothache. When Megan suggests calling the dentist, Don says:
It’ll go away. It always does.
Like Bond, Don Draper can’t be held down by pain.
But, the pain eventually becomes unbearable, and Don Draper gives in.
Under the influence of nitrous oxide, Don Draper sees his dead brother as the dentist.
With a rope burn around his neck, Adam Whitman says:
I’m gonna do you a favor and take it out.
But it’s not your tooth that’s rotten.
And, so Don is freed of his physical pain, but can he escape his emotional demons like Roger Sterling has done?
Finally, Don Draper is physically pain free and seeing clearly.
But, what does he see?
Season 5 ends with Don Draper sitting alone at a bar.
He orders an Old Fashioned.
He is approached by a young lady who points to a pretty friend and says:
Are you alone?
Done Draper replies with only a look.
In the end, Draper, like Bond, is alone. Then the jukebox plays “You Only Live Twice.”
This dream is for you, so pay the price.
Make one dream come true, you only live twice.