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Monday, May 20, 2013

Recap: Breaking Mad Men

Posted by Jacob Schraer on Mon, May 20, 2013 at 10:44 AM

An out of control office spends a long, drug-fueled weekend working on the Chevy account in a mad cap episode.

I like that table in the background.
  • AMC
  • I like that table in the background.

Chevy proving to be a demanding client, the office pulls a weekend creative session to meet a deadline. Jim Cutler brings in a physician to inject everyone in the office with a hypo that will "fix them right up."

Everyone is immediately chasing each other around the office, spouting off nonsensical ideas, bonding over deeply obvious truths, and in general just on. fucking. drugs. It seemed to be amphetamines or cocaine, but everyone who takes the shot spends the weekend tripping so it was pretty awesome stuff.

So while the writers come up with useless ideas for Chevy and his children are in town to visit, Don spends the weekend obsessing over Sylvia, tracking through his professional and emotional past, trying to find a way to communicate how he feels to her. Back at his apartment, his abandoned children are victims of a home invasion in the Draper condo. Stan makes a move on Peggy, which she lightly rejects. We also get the story of young Dick Whitman, goofy looking as ever, losing his virginity in a brothel.

What comes to light throughout the hour is that everyone is dealing with some form of deep personal loss. From partner Frank Gleason dying, to Stan's cousin in Vietnam, to Don mourning his affair, the episode was about coping mechanisms both respectful and reactionary. But really, everyone is crashing (episode title, "The Crash"). Ken crashes first thing in the episode, driving drunk with the Chevy clients (car guys are the worst). Ted is mourning his friend, Stan his cousin.

And Don. To his infinitesimal credit, Don learns something from the experience. Gleason's daughter, who wanders the office reading the I Ching for people, tells him he's wondering if anyone loves him. When he finally returns home, his family and the police standing in judgement, his failure and narcissism laid bare, he realizes how foolish he's been.

Riding the elevator, deep in morning after shame, Don is finally faced with the chance to talk to Sylvia. He's been waiting days for the chance, but by then it's too late.

FUN STUFF:

—Betty's looking slimmer. She's back in blonde and gets in some good digs at Don and Megan.

—Peggy seems to still enjoy Pete's attitude. A little.

—Henry always comes away seeming like a decent dude.

GIF OF THE WEEK TO KEN COSGROVE OMG

Next week on Mad Men.

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