This week finds Mad Men on speed — literally. Almost everyone (save for Peggy and Ginsberg) at the agency drops their pants for an injection of some kind of "complex vitamin boost" and stays up all weekend trying to think of a campaign for Chevy — emphasis on "trying." We get some major flashbacks to Don's childhood at the brothel, and Sally and Bobby play host to an unusual guest. All of this is preempted by the death of Frank Gleason as Ted leaves the agency to attend the funeral.
"The Crash" is definitely the trippiest episode of the season, and not just because of the drugs everyone takes. Between the flashbacks and the woman who comes to the apartment (more on that later), I was constantly questioning what was real and who might be hallucinating. Let's get to the nitty-gritty with the five maddest moments of this week after the jump.
- Say no to drugs. A fancy, possibly crooked doctor visits the newly merged agency to give everyone a little pick-me-up of what appears to be an early liquid form of Ritalin times 100. Even Don drops his pants (it's much less exciting than it sounds) to get the shot. When Roger warns the doctor that he has a heart condition, his response is "Don't worry about it!" Then all hell breaks lose: the creatives are literally running around the office, Ken can't stop tap-dancing, sweaty Don is saying stuff like, "I know you're all feeling the darkness today," and Stan gets stabbed in the arm during a game of William Tell. All in a Saturday's work at SCD-CGC, eh?
- Flashbacks galore. Don, Don, Don. What are we going to do with you? When will you realize that you and substances simply do not mix? Apparently not this week, since the drug gives way to some gnarly memories from his past. Turns out, while he was living at the brothel, he had quite a chest cold. A kindly prostitute nursed him back to health, then promptly took his virginity. I was disturbed by this on a number of levels: the child-rape, the unsanitary nature of having sex with an individual who was recently very ill, and Don's bowl haircut.
- Peggy might be the new Don. Peggy is killing it lately in the romance department. Not only does she have a steady boyfriend who wants to have kids with her someday, but her boss, Ted, recently kissed her, and this week, Stan makes a pass at her, too. Rather, he makes out with her a little. Peggy turns him down, but don't feel bad, Stan doesn't leave empty-handed.
- Who invited the hippie? Somewhere in the midst of the madness at the office, this hippie girl Wendy appears. First, she tries to seduce Don, asking if he wants to "get it on" and telling him she can hear his broken heart. I was praying he wouldn't have sex with her, given that she looks about 15 years old. He resists, but she moves on to Stan. In fact, Peggy catches them having sex in Stan's office while Jim Cutler watches. The most disturbing part of this? Wendy is the late Frank Gleason's daughter! When Ted scolds Jim for letting Wendy come to the office, Jim maintains that he "kept an eye on her." More like, got an eyeful. Gross.
- Somebody needs a better home alarm system. Megan leaves the kids to their own devices to attend a play, and as foreshadowed, it's a terrible idea. After her brothers go to sleep, Sally finds an older black woman in her kitchen. Even I froze. Who is this lady, and what is she doing asking things like how many other people are in the apartment and when will Sally's parents will be back? The lady (who makes off with Don's watches) turns out to be a burglar. Everyone is OK in the end, except for Don, who faints, and Sally, who might have a touch of PTSD. Don's sage advice? "Try not to think about it."
What did you think of this week's episode? Were you as entertained by Betty's line, "You're . . . what does he tell everybody? You're at work?" as I was? And after that icy elevator ride, do you think it's really over between Don and Sylvia?