After shackling Don Draper into a (mostly) happy and (mostly) functional marriage for a year, Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner lets the lady-killing cad loose on the women of Manhattan at the end of the drama's fifth season finale. Don's return to the game comes soundtracked by Nancy Sinatra's 1967 single "You Only Live Twice" — consider it a wink from one fictional, boozing womanizer to another.
The camera cuts to the period piece's other primary characters, all of which have achieved a new kind of bankrupt happiness: Peggy Olson's new job sends her on a business trip and sets her up in a hotel with a nice view of dogs humping outside; Roger Sterling's newfound-but-ever-fleeting enlightenment comes courtesy of Dr. Timothy Leary; and Pete Campbell only looks peaceful when he's alone, wearing a pair of headphones. But Don remains the focus, just as he's about to step out on his wife and into the abyss, while Nancy Sinatra sings, "You only live twice or so it seems / One life for yourself and one for your dreams."
Yes, for a show that's fixated on identity, the very natures of truth and authenticity, and desires both repressed and not-so-repressed, "You Only Live Twice" is almost too fitting of a choice. K.M.