The Monolith



Critic Consensus: Despite heavy-handedness in spots, the slow-burn of "The Monolith" succeeds in building tension in the development of Peggy, Don, and Roger's stories.

Episode Info

Sterling Cooper & Partners prepares for a guest; Don calls an old friend; Roger confronts problems at home; Pete underestimates Peggy.


Jon Hamm
as Don Draper
Elisabeth Moss
as Peggy Olson
Vincent Kartheiser
as Peter Campbell
January Jones
as Betty Francis
Christina Hendricks
as Joan Holloway
John Slattery
as Roger Sterling
Jessica Paré
as Megan Draper
Aaron Staton
as Ken Cosgrove
Rich Sommer
as Harry Crane
Robert Morse
as Bertram Cooper
Kiernan Shipka
as Sally Draper
Kevin Rahm
as Ted Chaough
Ben Feldman
as Michael Ginsberg
Joel Murray
as Fred Rumsen
Allan Havey
as Lou Avery
Talia Balsam
as Mona Sterling
Elizabeth Rice
as Margaret Hargrove
Jessy Schram
as Bonnie Whiteside
Derek Ray
as Brooks Hargrove
Josh McDermitt
as George Payton
Robert Baker
as Lloyd Hawley
Show More Cast

The Monolith Photos

Critic Reviews for The Monolith

An unsettling episode for viewers. More unsettling for Don, Roger and Peggy, all of whom slammed into unpleasant truths they'd have preferred to avoid. The last scene felt like the writers saying, "We gotta give 'em SOMETHING that's a little hopeful."

Jan 5, 2015 | Full Review…

This past Mad Men was Don's entire arc so far, crammed into one episode. Hitting bottom, then starting over.

Jan 5, 2015 | Full Review…

Don's brief relapse into the bottle was frightening. But the real story meat here comes from Roger, forced to realize his daughter is made in his image when she leaves her family to live on a commune... and it isn't pretty.

Jan 5, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

"Boring" is a strong word, so let's just say last night's Mad Men was no fun. This entire season has been devoid of joy.

Jan 5, 2015 | Full Review…

Sunday's "Mad Men" found Don Draper back where he started: writing tag lines, this time under the supervision of his former secretary. The show's exit music nicely captured how much he's spinning in circles.

Jan 5, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Unlike most of what came before on Mad Men, most of this episode wasn't made to be an enjoyable effort to decode -- it was laid out as directly, if not more so, as any episode yet to air. But did it have to feel so lifeless?

Jan 5, 2015 | Rating: C | Full Review…

Overall, "The Monolith" is an unbelievably strong hour of Mad Men. No huge movements of plot or dramatic twists, but something just as exciting: a sense of urgency.

Jan 5, 2015 | Rating: A+ | Full Review…

This week's episode was easily the most heavy-handed in the metaphor department, but for some reason... none of it felt trite.

Jan 5, 2015 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…

It's not the series' greatest Stanley Kubrick homage, but "The Monolith" is almost certainly titled in reference to the towering black engines of evolution that punctuate the great director's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Jan 5, 2015 | Full Review…

Throughout the episode, the shrew-ing of Peggy Olson continued. She went from being insecure and irritating to now being a total nightmare. I'm starting to question why the show is taking her down such a dark path.

Jan 5, 2015 | Full Review…