Mad Men fans will be discussing and analyzing “The Phantom” for ages to come, thanks to the episode’s rich imagery and specific nods to previous episodes (Lane keeping that photo from the wallet he found, or Pete’s brother marrying a woman named Judy). Also, there were themes of amnesia versus denial, of construction, of regret, of missed opportunities — we could and later will go on and on. But the most important takeaway from last night’s episode is that Don and Megan are done, because Megan is Don’s extracted, painful, decaying molar. The only thing toothier than Megan is an actual tooth.
“I have a hot tooth,” Don complained. “I have a hot wife,” he could have said, since both were giving him a headache this week. [Rim shot.] Don loves her and wants her and is afraid to lose her, so he resists and resists and resists. He doesn’t want to call the dentist, and he doesn’t want to get her an audition, but he reluctantly and painfully winds up doing both. It’s so painful he can’t even kiss her. Put that ice on your face, Don, not in a drink. “I don’t feel well,” Megan tells her mother. Don’s tooth was so diseased it almost rotted into his jaw. “You’re chasing a phantom,” Megan’s mother says. Don’s anesthesia lets him talk to the phantom he’s chasing. A woozy Don beholds his discolored, monstrous tooth and thinks, Good God, is that mine? It’s the same perplexed and disgusted, but tender look he gave Megan when she drunkenly begged him for sex earlier in the episode. Good God, he thinks. Is that mine? Not for long, Don.