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