There'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