Whiskey in your water

What in the holy name of Anna Draper was that? No guarantees, but I’ll try to be a little more sophisticated than I was in my text message to dear friend and loyal reader Michele:

Photo May 20, 10 08 03 AM

My husband wasn’t paying enough attention during “The Crash,” to my tastes, so I turned to the loving arms and equally hysterical arms of Twitter. I don’t know about you, but about the time Minny Jackson showed up in Don’s apartment, I was

Let’s look at this sequence of events in the cold, sober light of day.

  • Don is exhausted, in mind and heart.
  • Don, a 40-year-old man, chooses to take the injection from Harry Hamlin’s quack doctor, despite not knowing what’s in it.
  • Don trips the trippiest trip that ever was tripped.*
  • Don flakes on the Chevy account.
  • Don’s obsession with Sylvia leads him to leave his home unattended (and his door unlocked, in hopes she’ll return?) and the safety of his children is compromised.

All these actions begin win Don. But when Don returns to earth, presumably feeling even more exhausted in mind and heart, he lays the blame at the feet of everyone else:

“Every time we get a car, this place turns into a whorehouse.” 

Conclusion: Don still doesn’t understand that actions have consequences. The Tin Man discovered his heart, though, so that’s something?

Part of me felt that a lot of this goes back to Peggy. I’m not saying that Peggy is a stand-in for Sylvia or anything like that. We saw that Sylvia is a twisted mother figure to Don, down to the headscarf she wears at home that matches the headscarf in the soup ad that became Don’s obsession. 

But as the shot took effect, Peggy, touching Ted’s arm in comfort, was Don’s last sober sight. Don hasn’t been the same since Ted and Peggy came on board and Don saw the way she had slipped into the role of caretaker to Ted — presumably without the adversarial undertones that came with her similar relationship with Don. Her dynamic with Don has changed, and he can’t seem to handle it. “Change isn’t good or bad. It just is.” Season 3 Don laughs in Season 6 Don’s bewildered face. The world is changing, and Don’s bad trip show he’s not up for that ride, either. Peggy sees this, and I feel like there’s a sense of longing on both their parts for the old days. She seems regretful that the relationship has changed, but resolute.

I’m curious to know what others thought of this episode! As disorienting as it was, the more I think about this episode, the more I think it was great. It had an undertone of sadness that couldn’t be eclipsed, at least permanently, by any pharmaceuticals.

Uncategorized observations:

  • Peggy Olson is always the classiest person in the room. This time, it’s when she refused to bad-mouth her departed boss. “I liked him.”
  • Peggy and Stan!?** I wanted it to happen, but I didn’t, and was so relieved it didn’t happen, and

  • Betty is back to blond and skinny. “Henry is running for office!” Yes, sweetie, we assumed.
  • Clearly Megan as Maria von Trapp is long gone, but she didn’t deserve Betty’s “casting couch” dig.

*What kept running through my mind was Three Dog Night’s “Mama Told Me Not to Come” (written, as so many good songs are, by Randy Newman). “Don’t know what it is, but I don’t wanna see no more!”



4 thoughts on “Whiskey in your water

  1. I have already talked with you a bit about this, and I hope to have a more cohesive and intellectually impressive take on this after a rewatch. Until that happens, here are some stray thoughts:

    I’m enjoying the heck out of Harry Hamlin on this show. I love his giddy running up the stairs.


    I think I want someone/anyone to take Peggy away from Abe. He is certainly not good enough for her. I’m fine if it’s Ted, but Stan would be less sticky. Not sure I actually see it happening, though. I don’t know if she could forgive him for going straight from her to someone else. I WILL say, that I enjoy that the menfolk are finally recognizing the magic and wonder that is Peggy. Is that part of the changing times? A woman in a powerful position is now something to be desired, not something to ostracize?

    From a totally shallow perspective, how gorgeous is Kiernan Shipka?

    And it’s like you said earlier about them dropping characters. I feel like Joan would’ve been all over these guys while they were tripping. Or at least she’d have some kind of amazing comment about it.

    Also: if you have any interest in the concoction they were all taking, a pretty interesting story can be found here: http://www.nysun.com/out-and-about/dr-feelgood/20251/

    • Tap-dancing Ken Cosgrove scared the crap out of me. That was the thing in that whole wacky episode that really freaked me out!

  2. This was another episode that reminded me of season one, episode five of The Twilight Zone. The TZ show is titled “Walking Distance”, about a New York ad executive visiting his youth. He dresses like Don Draper, smokes, mentions needing to get out of the office before he would “jump out a window”…and…there’s a carousel! (also a very young Ron Howard).

    I have mined the google and am amazed nobody is making this connection.

    Peggy should be with Ginsberg, he’s funny.

    • This show needs much more Ginsberg!

      I don’t know the Twilight Zone well, because I’m not as old as you. 😉 But I’m amazed, too. There is so much more analysis of this show. Imagine if we all put these resources toward actual work! (But what would be the fun in that?)

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