Mad Men "The Crash" Review: Uppers Give You Wings!

Mad Men S06E08: "The Crash"

Last season, we were all treated to the trippy delight of Roger Sterling doing acid in "Far Away Places," so I guess it's only fair that Don Draper eventually got to dabble in drug-induced self-discovery himself—along with half the staff at whatever-the-the-hell-they're-calling-themselves-now. Cutler, of the former Cutler Gleason and Chaough, has repeatedly shown himself to be that firm's version of Roger with his amused cynicism and apparent willful ignorance of the difference between good ideas and hilariously bad ideas—like getting a chunk of the creative team to drop their drawers and take a shot of uppers to the ass in anticipation of a long work weekend that just so happened to be the same week a former partner kicked the bucket (bye, Gleason; your time was brief but sassy). 

I knew "The Crash" was going to be one of those episodes when the opening scene featured Ken Cosgrove stuck in a speeding car with a bunch of drunken Chevy executives doing their very best Animal House routine and failing miserably at it because TOO MUCH, GUYS, TOO MUCH. Were those firearms? It would have been too blatant to call an episode "The Crash" and then have it be all about Cosgrove's car accident, but for a second there, I thought they killed Kenny and I was real sad. 


Instead, "The Crash" was a jumbled mess of narratives bouncing off one another at a breakneck speed that seemed to reaffirm the cynicism of the late '60s, as well as the cynicism of Don Draper and how easily it spreads to everyone he interacts with.

Speaking of Don, he decided to go full-stalker in the wake of Sylvia dumping him, complete with lingering outside her back door and gettin' his emotional manipulation on every time they interacted—except for that last scene in the elevator, where our dear Don finally realized that Sylvia, like all women, was horrible. Or at least I'm assuming that's the lesson Don learned, since it certainly wouldn't be anything that could possibly point the finger at him being in the wrong... though admitting to Sally that he was the one to leave the back door open—thus allowing "Grandma Ida" to wander in and rob him blind while making the desperately-seeking-affection Draper children scrambled eggs as she cased the joint—was an okay start. At the very least it was a tiny gesture, a throwback to when Don was actually not the shittiest parent between him and Betty (I'd say they're about even these days). 

"The Crash" was an ode to cynicism, but it was also a tribute to the vast selfishness of Don Draper.  Despite the frat party atmosphere that erupted from Cutler's decision to give the creatives a little pick-me-up to help them through their surprise Chevy overtime, and despite the fact that apparently most of the resulting work was incomprehensible gibberish (according to Ted Chaough), at least Stan and the gang tried to come up with ideas when they weren't banging hippie chick Wendy Gleason or trying to bang Peggy. Don spent the entire weekend formulating the perfect pitch to woo Sylvia back between flashbacks to that time when he essentially lost his virginity through rape because in case you missed the memo, Don Draper is supposed to have the saddest and most miserable life on TV. I don't know if the revelation was meant to make me feel sympathy toward Don or not, because it seems like every time Mad Men gives us a reason to say "Poor Don," it turns around and cancels it out by making Don do something that inspires his audience (and co-workers) to say "Eff Don." In this case, it was the way he essentially wasted everyone's time by willfully not working on the huge, demanding, pain-in-the-ass account that is essentially the only thing keeping the firm economically viable. If Chevy were to take its business elsewhere, or Don were to cut the carmaker loose during one of his tantrums, it would affect scores of people at SCDP/CGC. Don's blatant disregard for the work, coupled with his final statement that his contribution would only be to pick through the underlings' ideas, rather than coming up with any of his own, cemented the notion that Don couldn't really care less about anyone or anything that isn't immediately related to Don. 


Honestly though, this isn't that new of a trait for Don, and as Mad Men progresses, the parallels between Don Draper and another TV icon Matthew Weiner had a hand in shaping—Tony Soprano—are becoming more clear. Or rather, if you adhere to the idea that The Sopranos changed the face of cable TV forever, and therefore everything that comes after it is influenced by it in some way, the influence of The Sopranos on Mad Men in the way characters' pasts and presents are hopelessly intertwined is becoming more clear. Tony's mommy issues got us through six seasons of psychoanalysis and while Don's own issues are certainly highlighted less than his predecessor's, when they are present, their purpose is obvious and in a twisted way, they kind of serve as a high-art PSA about not terrorizing your children/not being confused when they grow up to be assholes. 

Don's flashbacks are always awful and sad and depressing. His parents/stepparents are always shown to be callous, cruel, and capricious people with a hardwired selfishness that permeates everything they do. It wouldn't be a stretch to imagine a young Dick Whitman growing up and swearing to never act like the terrible people who raised him; the way he jumped at the chance to literally walk into another man's life as Don Draper was the grand gesture that symbolized a complete break with his old life. Unfortunately, picking a new name and a new location can't change the kind of person an individual is inside, and the influence of the people who raised Don colors everything that he does. He isn't necessarily a lost cause—in the past, we've seen him adamantly refuse to strike his children, and his declaration in this episode that automotive clients always turn the firm "into a whorehouse" implies that Don seems to understand, on some level, the wrongs that he endured growing up in one—but then there are the subtle tendencies that always seem to get away from him.


The influence of Aimee, the prostitute who popped a reluctant teenage Dick's cherry, can be traced through many of Don's romantic pursuits. She's "the one who got away," in a sense.  Even though Don seemed to understand that what she did was wrong, decades later, he also appears to continue to idealize her. Both the woman in his MIA soup ad and Sylvia had a mole in the same spot where Aimee drew hers on. Aimee was kicked out almost immediately after deflowering Dick Whitman—who was then punished by his stepmother for something that was essentially done against his will. Despite her final questionable act, for much of "The Crash," Aimee was the rare creature who was kind to Dick/Don during a time when not many people were, and despite the flaws in their relationship, it wouldn't be outlandish at all for Don to cling to that part of his memory of her. 

Megan was kind and gave Don the relationship he felt he needed both before they were married and early in their marriage. It's been implied that being married to Betty wasn't always a horrible thing; clearly, they once loved each other and Don once adored her. Despite generally strong starts, Don's relationships with both Betty and Megan fizzled and Don returned to constantly looking for "the idea," reflected in his answer to Peggy when she asked him if he even knew what the "idea" was. She was talking about Chevy, but Don was talking about his life, specifically the women in his life, and perhaps Don's inability to understand what or who he really needs all stems from his relationship with Aimee being interrupted before he could fully process and understand what'd happened. After all, Don's relationships always work well in the short term. 

All of the pitches for the Chevy Vega ad centered around the idea of car ownership as a rite of passage into adulthood, with the one eventually submitted to Chaough reading, "Make their first big step little," and the idea of growing up, specifically the idea that growing up is inherently painful and disappointing, brought us back to the cynical aspect of late-'60s Mad Men. Megan, we learned, had been paying Sally (with the sort of wardrobe items that made Betty's head explode) to watch her brothers while she went out and Sally was generally okay with it until Grandma Ida burst onto the scene. Sally is no longer the precocious little girl we were introduced to in Season 1, but has been hardened by her parents' divorce and general inattentiveness (and probably by hanging out with the weird but weirdly wise Glen). Up until walking in on a break-in, she considered herself quite the adult, but by the end of "The Crash," she was rethinking her status. She was disappointed in herself, but also struggling with the realization that she doesn't know her father nearly as well as she thought she did. 

Sally Draper hasn't idealized either of her parents in a long time, but in contrast to the overbearing Betty, Don has managed to maintain some small position of favoritism with his eldest child. Not knowing everything about your parents can be beneficial, maybe even a little bit liberating; Sally was free to liberally hate Betty for divorcing her father because she didn't fully understand that as much as we all love to hate Betty ourselves, the woman actually has some pretty justifiable reasons to dislike Don. By not knowing everything about Don, Sally could fill in the gaps as she saw fit, and in the face of Betty's constant nitpicking, Don's general neglect was probably a relief... especially with Megan essentially just throwing money and presents at her while also maintaining the standard hands-off approach to children in the Draper penthouse. However, a lack of knowledge can also be a threat to happiness in that it makes you vulnerable—as was the case with Grandma Ida—and it can make you unhappy when you find that the empty spots you previously filled with idealized versions of reality are suddenly overwritten with less pleasant, but more accurate, one—such as Don taking the opportunity to crash from his days-long bender during what was certainly a trying and terrifying experience for his kids. 


The still unnamed hybrid firm also experienced the unpleasant side of growing up as Chevy revealed itself as a beast that miiiiight just be too much for the baby big firm to handle. For Don, Ted, and the other partners, the union of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce with Cutler Gleason and Chaough was an exciting merger that turned both small-time firms into the huge power player each one wanted to be, and Chevrolet was the sort of A-list clientele both firms dreamed of working with. It's sort of like the sentiment children have, that when they grow up they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, and no one can stop them and it'll be AWESOME—and then they get to the being-a-grown-up part and realize that sure, certain parts are very very awesome, but many aren't. Chevy is an amazing client for the "new" firm to have in its stable, but it's also a difficult, frustrating, high-maintenance client that SCDP/CGC is going to have a bit of difficulty handling. 

When Frank Gleason passed away, Ted Chaough made the comment that "He's a piece that can't be replaced," and sure, that sounds like the sort of canned compliment that's served at a great many funerals, but Ted has shown himself to be a pretty sincere guy. Cutler's comment that Ted doesn't know how to "handle" these sorts of things only strengthened the notion, implying that Chaough's decision to treat Gleason's death like that of a friend—and to take the weekend off instead of maintaining professional distance and plowing through the upper-filled weekend—was the sort of quaint sentiment of an overly emotional man.

At first, with Gleason conveniently dying somewhere off-screen, the situation seemed primed for Don to infuse his own taste of reality into Chaough's more optimism-flavored work, but it's clear now that Don wants as little to do with actively guiding the new company as possible and frankly, Ted seems to be coming to the same conclusion. He knows that he needs that counterbalance—Gleason was the darker yin to Chaough's sunny yang—but he's realizing that Don Draper may not be able to provide it, and maybe, juuuust maybe, the two firms have gotten in over their heads by merging and winning Chevy as a client. 

Whew—still with me, kids? This was a messy episode, but not a bad episode per se. It was a fun one to watch, even though it was harrowing at times. A lot of it felt like a rehash of "Far Away Places"/every Dick Whitman childhood flashback ever, except this time we followed Don around instead of Roger, and it felt a lot like we were experiencing the same hyperactive marathon weekend as the drug-addled staff of SCDP/CGC. The structure of "The Crash" wasn't quite as seamless as that "Far Away Places," which featured three distinctive parallel stories all happening simultaneously. "The Crash" was essentially just that—a crash of a handful of STUFF and THINGS that barely related to one another and desperately tried to paint a coherent picture. Unfortunately, most of that picture resembled a lot of what we've already seen, and if you're going to make me explore new and exciting things with possibly illicit drugs, I'd appreciate it if they could actually be new and exciting things. Don Draper had a horrific childhood and as a result he's a generally selfish ass with woman issues. We got that one down in like, Season 1. 

Also: OMG please don't turn the rest of this season into a Ted vs. Don over Peggy thing. 



NOTES


– Everybody put your hands together and give a warm TV.com welcome back to Blonde Betty. Hi, Blonde Betty. 

– I'm not saying that Stan's assault-a-riffic pass on Peggy was okay, but her "I have a boyfriend!" excuse was pretty half-hearted. Zappa Abe, your days are numbered. Probably. 

– Sally Draper was reading Rosemary's Baby. Sally Draper is my salty, angst-ridden, tweenage hero. 

– For a second there, when she intercepted Sally's call to the po-po, I was really worried that this episode was going to go REAL dark and that Grandma Ida was going to chop the Draper kids into itty bitty bits. Idk. You never know with this show. 

– Greatest WTF LOL moment of Season 6 so far: Ken's tap-dancingor Pete falling down the stairs?

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idk, I thought this episode was just... kind of boring, really. But Ken's tap dancing made my day.
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ken cosgrove is one of the brightest spots on the show, they better not get rid of him
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This episode was so boring I had to take some uppers myself before I could get through it. The show's completely lost it this season, sigh...
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does anyone remember dr miller from season 4? when don called her to tell her he was dumping her for megan she responded "i hope she knows you only like the beginning of things." looks like she was right...
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Ken Crosgrove's dance FTW (include Don & Dawn's astonished looks please!)
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This was the week that Mad Men fell off my list of all-time TV greats.

The absurd, unbelievable, incongruous plot lines, alone, would have been enough to do it.

But what really pushed Mad Men off the "greatest" list is the simple fact that, this week, I finally realized there is nothing about Don and friends that I really care about. The show has become a failure in basic writing, a failure in character development.

And by the way, didn't Don and Ted make a winning pitch to Chevy when they were in Detroit? Wasn't that the pitch that Chevy bought and was going to hand to a bigger agency to implement, unless Don and Ted merged their two firms? If Chevy bought their pitch, why are Don and Ted now being asked for 20 new ideas a week? It's really pretty lame that the writers wrote a story line one week, and ignored it the next, just so they could create the mess that was this week's episode.
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I loved this episode. Ken's tap dancing scene was really well done.
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Much like ElizaGS just wrote, there's an hour that, much like this episodes related weekend, was completely wasted...the overall plot has not gone forward even by an iota (although to be fair, "mad men" devotees are somewhat accustomed to that by now), but on top of not serving the storyline at all, it was mind numbingly incomprehensible and boring...oh well, let's see what next week brings!
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What an interesting episode. It was very entertaining, but hard to follow. I know it was supposed to be, but still.... I think I am going to have to rewatdh this one. Also, glad to see Betty back.
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Greatest WTF moment of Season 6 so far, Ken's tap-dancing.

Did anyone else notice that when Don asked Kenny where he learned to tap-dance that Kenny replied "My mother. No, my first girlfriend." How creepy is that? Who confuses the things they did with their girlfriend with the things they did with their mother? Don Draper maybe?

That one scene convinced me that this entire episode is about a man searching for the unconditional love he should have received from his mother. With Aimee, with Betty, with Megan, with Sylvia; they all took care of him at one point, but none of them gave him pure love that he could count on no matter what.

"Does anybody love me?" No, I'm sorry, not the way you want them to.
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I found it odd that the Chevy execs were pointing a gun at Kenny.
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Ok, that's an hour I will never get back! It was just the people who normally act like children acting like drugged out children. Yay (not)! I really like Mad Men but this week was just awful, I was glad it was over.
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Staff
The best part? THIS:
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I totally agree. This was really an episode of reliefs. We were relieved to find:

1) Kenny did not die.
2) Grandma didn't kill the kids
3) Roger didn't have a heart-attack
4) Peggy and Stan did not become an item
5) Sylvia stood her ground
6) Betty is losing weight
7) Fake-Peggy didn't show up...and for that matter neither did Bob Benson (double bonus)
8) The episode was finally over
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Yes, fake Peggy was sacked last week. And totally agree with #8. It was the worst episode of Mad Men, ever.
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I think fake-peggy (midge?) was fired last episode when they were down grading
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Thank you for writing so much to try and explain this episode because it was a mess. When it was over I literally thought WTF just happened?? I'm just going to act like this episode didn't happen thankfully because the children didn't get kidnapped, Roger didn't die from a speed injection, and Kenny survived Chevy Chaos and even gave me a tappity-tap-tap dance to prove it. But I will remember the return of dun dun dun... Psycho Blonde Betty!! Love me some crazy bitch.
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Don is getting every episode more pathetic and far from his former cool self, and thats not a bad thing. I think is the natural route of development for someone who has lived such a lie for long. He´s aging bad (he´s even looking less handsome)...confussed, unfaithful (more to himself than others), sadly alone, repealing, unpleasant, selfish and for once not sleak and sexy...he´s mutating into Pete Campbell . Not even his current mistress buys the casanova crap anymore. He´s loosing control everyday more...maybe he will eventually jump that window after all. It was a very interesting episode in that regard: he´s everyday less interested on Megan -and the fake stability she might represent- or his own kids- who barely know him- or even the company...is also interesting how the more the 60´s kick in Don seems stuck in his old 1950 version of himself (outside and inside)...so uncapable to adapt and being slighty modern and true to himself (or at least more 60-ish) . I saw the Peggy-Stan thing comming from quite sometime now...and is not like shes going to fall for him but she obviously give a rat ass about Abe. About Betty...well true to her form...anoying as hell with or without fat suit. It was a trippy episode but not trippy enough to be fully 1960s trippy. I´m still wating for a Joan oriented episode...and her development as a partner in the firm or even about her personal life...i hope the writers dont forget about Joan this season that would be totally uncool. i Know Draper is the main character but since he´s stuck individual they should develop more the other characters.
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this is one of those episodes that will take me a while to like, b/c of all the jumps in time and its druggy feel which makes it hard to follow.
I know its been said b4 but the first scene made me think "OMG they killed Kenny, you bastards!" luckily that wasn't the case. One of the best scenes was his tap dancing. But I think I liked Dawn's expression while he did it a bit more.

I loved the scenes with Stan high on Speed while Ginsberg and Peggy were trying to work (also loved how Peggy was pretending to write down all of his ideas). In fact I kind of wished there were more scenes with them being high in the office, cuz I laughed so hard at them doing to the whole William Tell thing in the office with the apple drawing and Ginsberg chucking an Exactoknife at Stan. The stan/peggy scene was one of the stronger parts of the episode. And there you could really see that Peggy took a while before breaking it off b/c she was still with Abe (which I doubt will last much longer). Also when she saw Stan with Wendy and got upset do you think it was b/c she was jealous b/c saw him with her or the fact that he didn't listen to her advice?

For the Don's storyline, I really don't know what to make of the flash back scenes. The knowledge that Don lost his virginity to his first true mother figure is very weird (also the fact that it wasn't his choice that that she molested him). Also what was the deal with the baby picture on her dresser. Is it supposed to suggest that she lost a child and that's why when is mothering Don at that time?

Also no Joan in this episode, but Dawn did return. Speaking of Joan, based off of the preview for the next episode is she going to be teaming up with Pete?
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WELCOME BACK BETTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Don Draper is having the classic mid-life crisis, so get over it,please.He's been having it the last two seasons and maybe this was the episode when he is finally at its end. The series is called Mad Men after all because life does not end well for them.His great ideas have been at the center of his persona, but now he has retreated from the creative and only wants to supervize. How can that not be a humongous mistake.
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Really, this is not even a question, how can this: http://i.imgur.com/giOntby.gif
NOT be your favourite?

This episode actually held quite a few panic-inducing moments for me.
Starting with almost offing Kenny, then the break-in and later when Roger told the doctor "I have a heart condition", he replied "Don't worry about it" and Roger WENT IN! I thought that would be the last time we'd see Roger :(
Speaking of which, didn't that doctor say that the new firm was called SCDPCGC and that it was quite hard to pronounce or did I mishear that?

"Aimee was kicked out almost immediately after deflowering Dick Whitman—who was then punished by his stepmother for something that was essentially done against his will."
I think that was quite the revelation. I don't think that was the first or only time Dick was abused growing up, so I guess what he "learned" from instances like that is: if the truth comes out, you get whipped. Therefore I don't think that Don "effed up" in the elevator with Sylvia, but that he actively chose not to do what he thought about doing the whole episode (winning her back).

"the way he jumped at the chance to literally walk into another man's life as Don Draper was the grand gesture that symbolized a complete break with his old life"
I think he can only walk into another man's (or other men's) life(s) because he is Don Draper, not Dick Whitman, that that is the only way he can justify himself to himself in the infidelity-department, because Dick knows that's not how things are supposed to be, but Don doesn't care.

"please don't turn the rest of this season into a Ted vs. Don over Peggy thing"
I don't think that's where things are headed, but, like ToddMurray already mentioned, I think it's noteworthy that Don catches a glimpse of Peggy and Don, then the secretary closes the door and Don later mumbles about "don't close the door on me" and "you have to get a foot in the door".

By the way: did I miss something? Why does Ginsberg hate Stan?
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I think the agency is still unnamed and that the dr just said that SCDPCGC would be hard to say and that they should come up with a catchy name instead

"Why does Ginsberg hate Stan?"
I don't think he truly hates Stan (b/c real evidence hasn't really been shown) I think its more the fact that he hates that Stan kind of dominates him in the office when it comes to creative stuff. Plus in past episodes Stan has kind of bullied him at times. but I really think that statement was like a figure of speech more than anything.
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Sweet, a Ken tap dancing gif! This just made my day :)
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This may have been the episode where Mad Men jumped the shark.
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Any comments saying a show jumped the shark just jumped the shark.
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why? nothing truly outrageous/stupid happened to justify that statement
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This episode was pure comedy. I had a great time watching it. "are we negroes"? best line of the night
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"I thought they killed Kenny"

Unexpectedly that made me laugh out loud. Why? South Park!
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I think that was exactly the writer's intention...
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They almost killed Kenny!! You Bastards!!
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Well that was.... interesting. My initial reaction while watching it was "WTF?!", but after reflection, it was very much like the drug-addled creative session in the middle of the episode - too many ideas being thrown out all at once and none of them executed well enough to stick.

It's hard to even know what was supposed to be the over-arcing theme of the episode. Was it Don's drug and grief-induced journey into his own version of Dante's Inferno* (which he quotes in the first episode this season), searching fruitlessly for a way to reach his personal Beatrice (Sylvia)? Was it the effects a neglectful parent has on his or her child (Don's step-mother banishing him to the cellar in sickness and later beating him with a wooden spoon / Don's neglect of his own children leaving them vulnerable to Grandma Ida)? Was it the damaged and oedipal way in which Don views and interacts with all of the women in his life (the woman who nursed him back to health in a motherly fashion was also the whore who molested him and took his virginity immediately upon his recovery)? Or was it simply the continued downfall of a man who once seemed so great?

*Stan coming up with 666 ideas for Chevy was a humorous play upon this theme.

Perhaps it was none of those. I found it quite interesting the way they showed that Don and Peggy, dealing with grief and loss in very different ways, are on completely opposite trajectories - exemplified in her advice to Stan to deal with things head-on instead of trying to smother them in booze and sex (advice he almost immediately disregarded). The other brief scene that I felt had the most impact (for me, anyway) was Don spying Peggy comforting Ted as he came down the stairs and the drugs started to take effect. He watching her longingly, as if wishing he were in Ted's place being comforted by Peggy, until interrupted by Ted's secretary, whom he immediately sexualized with a "do I know you" line. It's interesting that Don has never really been sexual with Peggy, and yet he yearns for her comfort. She's the one person who sees through his charms and calls him on his bullshit. Even without knowledge of his alter-ego, Dick Whitman, she sees him for who he really is. Given the repeated usage of the 1st third of The Divine Comedy - there's a long way to go before Don leaves hell and travels through Purgatory before reaching some form of Paradise (and I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Peggy turned out to be his true Beatrice at the very, very end).

Since this season was billed as "An Affair to Remember" - I doubt we've seen the last of Sylvia or Dr. Rosen or have yet to experience the complete fallout from the affair. The shit will hit the fan, mark my words.
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The shit will hit the fan, mark my words.
I'm afraid it will. And when it does, I don't know what will be more sad, Don's new disappointment of himself or Rosen's feling of betrayal. He really is fond of Don.
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" Don spying Peggy comforting Ted as he came down the stairs and the drugs started to take effect. He watching her longingly, as if wishing he were in Ted's place being comforted by Peggy"
well when it comes to Peggy I think there was a short period of time where she truly acted as his replacement for Anna (after Anna's death and b4 he told Megan his whole life story). And I think in a way he wants her support again and I also think hes looking for a true "mother figure" in his life, and I guess Peggy is closest thing he has right now.

Also I just imagined what this show would have turned out like if Peggy did deal with grief by turning to drugs and sex... It really would have been a different show
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if they had killed off ken cosgrove i would;a been so pissed off. in the big scheme he;s not an important character but dammit he;s so adorable!!!! and his tap dancing was the cutest thing ever!!!
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Don was a mess in his personal life ever since season 1 but his saving grace was always his brilliant ideas in his work ! That is the 1 saving grace of his character. I almost believe or perhaps want to believe that he ultimately will come out with the "IDEA" that will knock Chevy off and made all his partners and staff admire him with glee again. Alas, I was disappointed when in the end he got nothing and just want to be the critic of other people's work ! There is almost no reason to like Don Draper now.
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there was never really a reason to like Don Draper.
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Exactly. That's not why we watch Mad Men.
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I loved this episode. Favorite episode for me this season. And yeah it was a bit of mess and all over the place, but it was so entertaining (despite it's somber mood at times). And OMG, seriously panic inducing that they killed Kenny as soon as the episode started. And so relieved when he reappeared with just an injured leg. Whew.

Greatest WTF LOL moment: definitely Kenny's tap dancing FTW. But where's that gif? I need to see that on loop, much like Pete's falling :)
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Totally agree. All the time while watching I kept thinking, God Almighty!? How can it be just SO GOOD?? It was incredibly funny, Ida was a real professional, it was so easy to believe her! I had a similar experience as Sally's when I was a child and you just believe what they say because they are grownups, they just KNOW. And then, her bag clanging all over the place!? Hilarious.
And at the same time it was all so sad, it was the next step in Don's construct identity simply crumbling down. This is the core of the show isn't it? How he tries to be the Don Draper of his own manufacturing, and how, little by little, he looses control over it, he realizes he doesn't know who Don Draper is, let alone Dick Whitman. It was kind of appalling to watch him in the archive looking for The Thing that makes sense, that appeals to his desperate search. I think Don Draper must be one of the, no, THE best character in TV ever. So flawed, so irresistible, so empty and so conscious of it, at times. In the middle of all the mess, and after having spent hours listening behind Sylvia's door like a nutty stalker, he rang Sally to reassure her, tell her it was not her fault, but his. Don is selfish because he's self absorbed -who wouldn't be, in his place?- and a mess. But he's also Sally's dad. All these layers make him a genius creation. I've always loved Mad Men, but after this episode, I realised how in love with this series I am. I totally admire the writers for always being capable of taking risks. I am in awe just enjoying the story, not needing to like, dislike or judge the characters (if we couldn't do that, Humbert Humbert wouldn't even exist).

Great review! I loved the mole observation, I'll need to marathon this season when it's over ^_^

Peggy is another wonderful character.

Ken's tap dance was adorable -seasoned with Don's look of disbelieve!-, and yes, difficult to choose between him and Pete's fall. I thing I take Pete, because he deserves some pain.

I was also thinking, was it really like that, in the sixties, were people in all walks of life, in all social contexts, doing drugs? Jim whatshisname (will always be Aaron Echolls to me) gave them all a shot and it was on him, right? My goodness, what craziness! Doctors were jolly making people high as the most normal thing. Vitamins! Lol!
So many thoughts! I just wanted to say, if Mad Men writers ever read online reviews and our comments, my fully-hearted THANKS! (This is me standing up in ovation)
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