'Mad Men' Recap: A Speed Trip Reminds Don Of Miss Swenson
Man Men’s “The Crash" shows Don (Jon Hamm), Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) and the joint crew of SCDP and CGC spending a weekend together trying to come up with a new idea for the Chevy ad campaign, as all their previous efforts have been rejected. However, Don’s mind is elsewhere; he’s more concerned with trying to wrap Sylvia back into their sordid affair. When he comes back home, he finds that Sally (Kiernan Shipka) and Bobby (Jared Gilmore) were endangered by a home intruder who had claimed to be their grandmother.
Since they’ve yet to come up with an ad campaign that’s satisfied Chevy executives, SCDP/ CGC are running scared, and the Chevy big wigs' hard partying ways are endangering staff members. Ken (Aaron Staton), while schmoozing with the execs, found himself riding in a car of drunken men. The incident led him to return to the office with a cane and an injured leg. Taking things into his own hands, Jim Cutler (Harry Hamlin) invites Dr. Shelly Hecht to inject the uninspired staff with a vitamin cocktail that would give them, "24 to 72 hours of uninterrupted creative focus, energy and confidence."
And down the rabbit hole went the staff. Stan tried to hook up with Peggy, but she turned him down so he settled for Frank Gleason’s (Craig Anton) daughter Wendy. Don was tossed back to a memory of Miss Swenson, the prostitute who confused mothering with sex in the young Dick Whitman. Don realizes in step with the audience that his preoccupation with Sylvia (Linda Cardellini) comes from her resemblance to Miss Swenson, the hooker who both took care of him and took his virginity.
On Monday morning, after Don is confronted by the terror that visited his children over the weekend, and a silent elevator ride with Sylvia, whom he now knows is a toxic attraction for him, he arrives back at the office. Ted (Kevin Rahm) is displeased, because counter to what Jim had planned, nothing productive was achieved. “Half of this work is gibberish,” he spits. “Chevy is spelled wrong.” Don’s response, as it was with the home invasion and also with the realization of the root of his feelings for Sylvia, is detachment. Instead of throwing himself into devising a new ad, the great creative brain opts to sit on the sidelines, telling Ted he’s going to take an evaluative role on the campaign going forward.
Betty (January Jones), meanwhile, has transformed back to the slim beauty of seasons past. After struggling for over a year with her weight, she shed the pounds upon learning that husband Henry (Christopher Stanley) would be running for political office. All she needed was the motivation of the spotlight.
Mad Men airs Sundays on AMC at 10/9c.