Why was Don Roger’s “marriage counselor”?


[SPOILER ALERT for anyone who hasn’t seen episode 6 of Mad Men Season 5.]

I’ve read several recaps of the most recent episode of Mad Men and many people seem to be confused as to why Don appears as Roger’s “marriage counselor” during his long, not-so-strange (yet highly amusing) acid trip:

“The one strange note in the acid trip was Don appearing in Roger’s mental kaleidoscope as a paragon of marital good counsel, telling Roger to go to Jane: “She wants to be alone in the truth with you.”” – Julia Turner, Slate

“Having conjured as his psychedelic guru not Jesus or any other deity but Don, and fixating on details such as what color his hair is and why the Stoli bottle is singing in Russian, Roger doesn’t seem enlightened but merely on a more interesting high than usual.” – Nelle Engoron, Salon

To me, this is an easy one: Don unwittingly played “marriage counselor” for Roger once before in episode 9 of Season 2, “Six Month Leave,” while the two were out at a bar after letting Freddy Rumsen down easy. Over drinks, Don talks about moving forward with his life while estranged from Betty.


Roger takes the sentiment to heart and begins divorce proceedings with his first wife, Mona. (Remember that fabulous “I’ll show you” dress she wears to the office to confront Roger and scold Don?) It seems only appropriate that during Roger’s LSD-induced trip, he would again see Don as “indirectly” telling him to move on with his life and end his second marriage.

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