Mad About Mad Men: ‘The Crash’

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The Low Down: Everybody’s gone plum loco! After a visit from Jim Cutler’s (Harry Hamlin) “doctor” who gives the men on the staff a shot of ‘vitamins and supplements’ to help their health and inspiration. This leads to massive, massive bat shit craziness from everyone, but it seems to hit Don (Jon Hamm) the hardest as he begins to have flashbacks of his time growing up in a house of ill repute.

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The Bed and Booze Count: Young Don gets lucky with a hooker with a heart of gold, Stan (Jay R. Ferguson) has sex with the I Ching hippie. –BB

I’m not going to even start to figure out how much booze was consumed by Ken Cosgrove and the rowdy Chevy executives. –JS

Favorite Performance: We’ve seen almost every facet of Don Draper, but never whacked out of his gourd on drugs Don. Watching Don go pretty much insane during this episode and doing so in such a manically convincing way was a testament to how good of actor Jon Hamm is. –BB

Linda Cardellini really fascinates me as an ex lover. While Sylvia started off as just another woman Don sleeps with, she very quickly became something more than that. Someone who can take his power away from him by walking away and her conversation with him on the phone about him basically being a stalker was very powerful. –JS

The Supporting Scene Stealer: Jay R. Ferguson’s Stan is usually the comic relief of every episode, but when he breaks down in stoned sorrow about his cousin’s death in Vietnam, he really stole the show. –BB

I’ve talked at great lengths about how entertaining I find Stan to be but him breaking down and grieving about the loss of his friend in Vietnam really tugged at my heart and was difficult to take in. –JS

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The Best Part of The Episode: The phone conversation between Don and Syliva (Linda Cardellini) was powerful. Cardellini really showed a lot of fire and conviction whole Hamm showed an extremely fragile and almost desperately irrational side.

The Part We Could’ve Done Without: Young Don loosing his V-Card to the hooker with a heart of gold. –BB

Any flashback regarding Don Draper and losing his virginity. You’re a hound, dude but I don’t want to know how it all started. –JS

The Little Thing We Loved: Kenny Cosgrove’s (Aaron Stanton) soft shoe routine was hilarious. –BB

While I did enjoy Cosgrove’s impersonation of Danny Kaye for some reason I have quite enjoyed Roger’s new found friendship with Cutler. Something about watching them play checkers in the opening was rather amusing. –JS

Final Thoughts: This was a ballsy episode of Mad Men. They really went for something different — almost as if they were trying to capture the psychedelic ’60s. However, this episode was a little too out there for my tastes. It seemed a little too manic, a little too much of a fever dream. When it ended you felt weird, like what the hell was I just watching. Is this what Roger Sterling’s acid trip was like, but on a TV episode? This didn’t jive at all with me. –BB

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Whenever Mad Men decides to experiment with its formula it’s either really good or sort of bad. I’m still very indifferent on “The Crash” but I think it was a bold episode to throw in mid season and it did have some great moments. This episode played a lot with the idea of loss which happened a lot here in some subtle and not so subtle ways (ugh, virginity). We are also once again getting a very unpretty picture of Don Draper and while that has always been the case it’s so vivid now that it’s making watching him in action so difficult especially when he was getting all over Ken Cosgrove in the beginning. Don’s declaration of needing to be seen and heard on a grand stage when pitching an ad made him seem more pompous than ever and he is clearly missing the bigger picture of the world he is in. Regardless I found it to be a rather unique and for the most part entertaining episode. –JS

All Photos Credit: AMC

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites