'Mad Men' Recap: Don Draper Falls Down the Rabbit Hole & Really Experiences the '60s

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Mad Men Roger SterlingThere's just one word to sum up tonight's episode of Mad Men. OK, not so much a word as an utterance: huh? The goings on at the as-yet-unnamed Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce/Cutler Gleason and Chaough mash-up made for some of the trippiest television yet. Don Draper even admitted he was, gasp, FEELING things! 

Only one thing could make that happen.

Getting Don Draper -- and most of the staff at SCDP/CGC -- high as a kite!

Yup, Don's had plenty of sex over the years; so it was time to introduce the drugs portion of '60s living (no word on when rock 'n' roll is coming ... although we still have a year to go in Mad Men time until they hit Woodstock).

With the folks at Chevy not doing much other than taking Ken Cosgrove on (life-threatening) joy rides, things are getting pretty desperate at the TIME/Life building. So Jim Cutler decides he's got the ticket: his special doctor, who comes in and shoots a "proprietary" blend of vitamins and a, ahem, stimulant, into the buttocks of Don, Roger, Stan, and pretty much everyone else on staff so they can get their creative juices flowing.

The effect is to make Don even harder to figure out than ever ... although we did get a peek into why old Dick Whitman ended up having such a problem keeping it in his pants. Our boy lost his virginity semi-unwillingly to a prostitute. A prostitute who was something of a mother figure to him. Oy.

So much explained in that moment ... right up to his creepy stalking of Sylvia Rosen (who is still making him feel all those icky emotions even though they're technically broken up). How can he really form proper relationships with women after a start like that?

But if the drugs explained Don's trip down the rabbit hole and the wacky antics at SCDP ... whatever you want to call it, they didn't quite cover the "huh" moment that was Sally Draper waking to find a random black woman in her dad's apartment claiming to be her "Grandma Ida." Another mother figure for Dick Whitman? Geez, we're losing count here!

The stranger rummaging through the cabinets seemed to know a fair amount about Don, but what she was doing in his apartment and why she went with "grandma" instead of "old family friend" is still up in the air. But it's clear she's more than just your garden variety home invader by the way Don reacted when he heard about her -- fainting right there on his own floor.

Or maybe that was just him coming down off that shot in the hiney?

Either way, something tells me we haven't seen the last of "Grandma Ida" or at least of the emotions Don dragged up during his weekend-long bender.

He promised the creative department, "There is an answer that will open the door" to the perfect pitch for Chevy, but maybe Matthew Weiner's going to throw us a bone ... and he really meant he's close to the answer that will open the door to whatever version of himself he has locked down? Hey, a girl can dream.

What was your reaction to this episode? Did you say "huh" at least once?

 

Image via Michael Yarish/AMC

mad men, recaps

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nonmember avatar Danielle

Did you watch the whole episode? What do you mean you wonder if we haven't seen the last of "Grandma Ida?" She was an intruder. It was meant to show how little Sally actually knows about her father. Dude go watch Matt Weiners brief behind the scenes of the episode. I feel like you didn't get this at all and instead wanted to get a recap up as fast as possible. It so hugely misses the point that I actually felt the need to comment, which I never, ever do.

nonmember avatar Jennifer

Did you even watch the show? "Grandma Ida" was a burglar who had robbed several people in the building. There's nothing "up in the air" about it.

nonmember avatar Cyn

What I didn't understand was what was Dick Whittman doing in a whore house. His mother was a prostitute that died giving birth and he was taken to his father's wife to raise. Did I miss her death which landed him in the whore house? And what about the "family" that came to the train station to claim Dick's body from Korea; and Dick's brother that saw him on the train... I must have missed something somewhere

nonmember avatar kaerae

The burglar (and that's all she was) knew nothing but his name, which she got off his mail. "Is your daddy still good-looking?" (Every little girl thinks so) "Is your mother still a piece of work?" (Whose isn't?) She was a random thief, Don doesn't know her and she doesn't know Don, he passed out coming off of a 3-day speed trip. You really need to watch with a buddy, you're terribly confused.

nonmember avatar kaerae

@Cyn - Yes, you must have missed her death, then his father got together with the woman who runs the whorehouse. The family at the train was his father, 1/2 brother and this stepmother/dad's gf.

nonmember avatar matt

@kaerea and Cyn--Don's stepmother didn't die; his father did(kicked to death by a horse), after which his stepmother moved to the brothel operated by her sister and "uncle Mac." The family at the train station was his stepmother, his half-brother Adam, with whom she was pregnant when his father died, and Mac. Really, does anyone actually watch this show? Granted, it's confusing, but gosh.

nonmember avatar Ralph

What was that cool music playing while Don was tripping ,and talking to his wife and soldier Tom?

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