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‘Mad Men’ Review: “The Crash”

Mad Men The Crash Review
AMC

Mad Men’ season 6 pitches its eighth episode of the season, “The Crash,” as Don deliriously struggles with a Chevy ad campaign, while Sally finds an unexpected visitor at Don’s apartment.

Last week’s ‘Mad Men’ episode “Man With a Plan” saw the merging agencies creating a bit of friction, while Don and Sylvia’s affair reached a breaking point, and Pete found himself burdened with his sick mother’s care, so what will the newest episode bring?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Mad Men’ season 6 episode 8, “The Crash”!

While Kenneth Cosgrove drives crazily among the Chevrolet executives, Don continues to wait outside Sylvia’s backdoor, leaving behind cigarette butts. The next day at work, the partners argue about their continued lack of Chevy campaign progress, before Don answers a call from Dr. Rosen. Sylvia answers instead and begs Don to stop leaving cigarette butts outside her door, wondering how she ever trusted him. As Don coughs into a napkin, he flashes back to the past, as he developed a cold in the whorehouse his aunt raised him in.

A re-blonded Betty packs Sally and the kids for the weekend at Don’s while Don exits his office to find the others mourning over Frank Gleason’s apparent death. Jim Cutler’s doctor meanwhile treats the staff upstairs, offering the men his own particular cocktail of vitamins and steroids for inoculation. Don takes his shot and finds the other men racing around the office, as he notes Peggy consoling Ted on Frank’s death. Don remembers how the hooker Amy helped take care of him for his chest cold, before Don returns to the present.

While the creative team struggles to come up with a Chevy pitch, Don urges Ken to get him a meeting with the executives, before Ken tapdances away, high on the cocktail. Don urges the creative team to keep going, before his continued cough sends him into another memory of Amy feeding him soup, inspiring him. By the time Don returns to the creatives after a nap, a day has gone by, by which a mysterious young psychic Wendy has set up shop in the office.

Don urges Peggy to find an old soup campaign for the key to their Chevy pitch, before finding Wendy waiting in his office. Wendy comes on to Don, though he resists her advances. Don calls Megan to apologize for his continued need to work, for which Megan offers Sally the chance to babysit her younger brothers while she goes out. Back in the creative room, Stan places an apple drawing above his head for the others to aim at, though Ginsburg hits Stan’s arm rather than the drawing.

Peggy treats Stan’s wound before Stan attempts to kiss Peggy, spouting his cousin’s death in Vietnam as the reason for his emotional state. Peggy assures him he needs to feel the loss on his own, while back at Don’s apartment Sally awakens to find an older black woman rifling through the place. The woman claims to have raised Don, and placates Sally’s concerns, offering to make the girl eggs as she attempts to locate the valuables.

Don continues to search for the lost soup campaign, remembering how the prostitute Amy took his virginity, before present Don finds the ad in question. Don presents the ad to Peggy and the others, pointing out how history shouldn’t be ignored, thought neither Ginsburg nor Peggy profess to understand his idea. Don rushes out, as Jim Cutler points out to Peggy that Stan has nearby begun a romp with Wendy.

Back at the Draper residence, the woman Ida cons Sally and Bobby into revealing the location of Don’s valuables, while Sally attempts to call 911. Ida hangs up the phone and continues on her raid, while hours later a delirious Don arrives home to find the police, Megan, Betty and Henry waiting, before Don passes out. After dreaming of Amy’s expulsion from the whorehouse, and his aunt’s subsequent beating, Don awakens to find Megan waiting for him.

The next morning, Don ignores Sylvia on the elevator, before comforting Sally over the phone that the woman’s burglary was his fault, and not hers. Don returns to Ted’s office, learning that Wendy was actually the deceased Frank Gleason’s daughter, before Don reluctantly takes responsibility for the encroaching Chevy deadline.

For as abstract as ‘Mad Men’ tends to be from time to time, we’re hard pressed to find much rhyme or reason to “The Crash,” which seems to present one random development after another. Fallout from Don and Ted’s merger has dominated a second episode without any sober commentary on the matter, while Sally’s peril in the apartment seems equally tangential to the stories of the season.

Observing the symbolism of the hour feels an easy excuse to justify ‘Mad Men’s weaker hours, none of which from the current season have done many favors toward the increasingly unsympathetic characterization of Don Draper. We’d love to observe that the penultimate season had a focused drive in mind, but thus far “The Crash” lives up to its name in landing absent any real purpose.

Did you get your fill of moving ‘Mad Men’ drama? What did you think about Sunday’s  episode “The Crash”? Check out all our other ‘Mad Men’ season 6 coverage here, and preview next week’s episode of ‘Mad Men’ season 6, “The Better Half” below!

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