Mad Men Review: The Energy Elixir

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In many ways, watching "The Crash" made me feel like I had been shot in the backside by one of the crazy doctor's energy elixirs. Like many of the characters at the still nameless SCDP-CGC, the episode was energetic but also extremely frantic and all over the place.

The hour was heavy with flashbacks to Don's childhood at the whorehouse. Early on in Mad Men's run these looks back at Don's life before advertising were deeply informative. They gave us insight into who this man really was. Lately, though, I don't think harkening back to his past life has been very interesting.

He's an extremely flawed individual. Seeing that unfold, and learning about much of Don's history over the first few seasons, was completely enthralling. Watching him lose his v-card to a whore wasn't nearly as informative, however.

Ted Chaough Picture

It didn't change my perspective of him. It didn't surprise me either. The lack of grit behind the arc can easily be credited to the fact that we ARE five seasons into this story. The further along into a story you go, the more difficult it becomes to create interesting or surprising character points.

His childhood made a serious mark on his adult life. Yeah, we've known that. 

I was, however, much more intrigued by the twist in 1968 that Don was using his high energy state to work on getting Sylvia back. He wasn't racing around like a maniac spewing out ad campaigns to help their issues with Chevy; he was doing it serve his personal issues, and I found that funny.

What made the whole thing come together was the fact that his fake mother's burglary put a pin in his Oatmeal plan to win over Sylvia and when the energy shot wore off, all he could do was stand in silence the next time he saw her. It was so pathetic that I felt bad for him.

The energy shot, meanwhile, had many others acting crazy at the agency. Highlighted by Ken Cosgrove's tap dancing poetry session, the folks at SCDP-CGC were again, all over the place.

Cutler was racing through the building, Stan was coming up with 600 ideas, and because he didn't get the shot, Ginsberg hated everyone.

It wasn't as funny as Kenny's dance, but nearly as exciting was Stan and Peggy's interaction. Ever since they first started showing these two having meaningful phone conversations while at rival agencies it has been easy to root for them. They're both very likable, and they seem so happy when they're with each other. I give kudos to Peggy for stopping things from going further than they did because after all she does have a boyfriend, but I wish she hadn't seen Stan getting it on with Gleason's daughter moments later.

Stan, why did you have to dampen your problems with sex?

At the end of all the madness, Don decided that he was not going to work on the Chevy campaign anymore. The jerks wouldn't take any of his ideas and they wouldn't even meet with anyone other than Ken. He's tired of it all, exclaiming to Ted that "Every time we get a car this place turns into a whorehouse."

I wish we had seen the next scene, in which someone in the office walks over to Don and says, what on earth do you mean by that guy?  

"The Crash" wasn't one of my favorite episodes of Mad Men Season 6. It certainly had great moments, but the whole didn't live up to the sum of its parts. What did you think of the hour? What were your favorite moments? What didn't you like about it? And how are they going to just skim by the fact that Betty became thin and blonde again like it's nothing?!?!  

P.S. Awesome points to Bobby for asking, "Are we Negroes?"


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.2 / 5.0 (54 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


What a p.o.s. The character's reaction to being on speed were as believable as a Lucy Ricardo episode. People racing in the office? The stupid tap dance. Dan's 72 hour non-stop hallucination? The series has gone down the toilet. And please, god, stop the bearded bear character from acting as if there is any substance to his sneering, leering fat boy portrayal. At least Roger had minimal screen time, sparing us whatever feeble idea the writers may have come up with to show what Moe Howard would have been like on speed.

Beverly brooks

What a waste of my time on this episode. Didn't like Don past...already knew enough about to what makes him tick. Didn't like the idea of energy shots. Don't like Megan at all. She is so irresponsible. Going off and leaving the kids, the way she did.


Such a terrible episode. I used to love that Mad Men sucked you back into a completely different interesting time with interesting characters, that they placed a spotlight on all of the flaws at the time and incorporated events of the decade either discreetly or obviously. However, this episode was just nonsense and incredibly tiresome, recycling everything they've already touched on. The flashback definitely felt like a waste of time. Even the conversations between the family in the lounge room felt like they were just repeated past conversations... under new circumstances. I swear the writers behind the show have ironically run out of ideas because we're slowly just watching each male character provided a cheating storyline and recycled past story lines dragged out. Even the promos have become increasingly odd.


Megan is the Yoko Ono of Mad Men! This season is woefully lacking because Don is not in a dynamic relationship. I firmly believe when they get rid of Megan, hopefully by death, so that she will never ever ever come back, then Don will become an interesting protagonist again. What Don needs is another Rachel, Faye, Suzanne and yes, even pensive Betty, to filter the essence of his existence. I used to think Bobbie Barrett (fugliest by far) was the worst of Don's conquest, but Megan has won by a long shot, due to her boring personality!

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Mad Men Season 6 Episode 8 Quotes

I hate how dying makes saints out of people.


Girl: I think it's broken.
Don: You can hear that?