I’ll Never Tie You Down

A Little Kiss

“You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”, Dusty Springfield

A Little Kiss, Part Two, Season 5 Episode 2

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            “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” is a sweeping, dramatic Technicolor song to kickstart an era, if the episode’s earlier musical number didn’t already do it well enough. Like some moments in the show’s plottier episodes, it gets somewhat lost in the shuffle, but that’s sort of the point. There’s a huge cultural revolution encroaching on SCDP, and this free-spirited tale of swinging and female empowerment leads us along with it. The one relevant element of its lyrics is their similarity to Megan’s predicament – she doesn’t have any expectations or impositions for their marriage, and she learns the hard way that Don has real trouble conveying intimacy.

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“Telstar”, The Inheritance

“Love Is Blue”, The Flood

            Season five’s lively premiere brings to mind two other episode closers, both fantastical and luxurious palate cleansers far removed from the show’s usual knotty thematic toppers. Despite having no extraneous connection to any storyline or theme, these hit instrumental pieces capture the mood of the office at their respective times: brimming with vitality in the former, and wistful in the latter.

            “Telstar” is a musical shock for such an early episode, brimming with innovation and futuristic sounds as Don and Pete take off in a first-class jet. It betokens the influx of modern technology and youthful trends, signals toward a new setting and shows a plane ride for the first time on the series. The stage is certainly being set here for the 1960s as we know it.

            Meanwhile, “Love Is Blue” is more classical and melancholy, taking an even-handed approach to ending a story about Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, which could have easily lapsed into preachiness or obvious sentimentality. It reflects on the difficult dichotomies of a whole decade while representing the peace and love that no one can completely attain.

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