Speedballs and whores and hippies, oh my.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
Let’s dive right in.
- The title of this week’s episode is “The Crash” and it literally opened up with a car crash but on a deeper level was this Don’s crash as well? Has he finally hit bottom and can now start the healing process? He makes an ass of himself chasing after Sylvia while blowing off his responsibilities at work and putting his children’s life in danger. At the end of the episode we see him take responsibility for the break-in and finally get over his obsession with Sylvia. Has he seen the error of his ways or is this more of the same old “When the going gets tough, Don bails” behavior? We’ll have to wait and see.
- Stan’s character dealt with the death of his cousin in Vietnam. To provide a little background, the process of notifying next of kin during the Vietnam War was a shit show. At the start of the war telegrams were used. These telegrams were handed to taxi drivers who pulled up to the houses of the next of kin to deliver them in a very impersonal manner. An Army wife, Julie Moore, was instrumental in advocating for a change to that policy. Her efforts helped move the army to establish casualty notification teams to personally deliver the news. These offices received upwards of 400 casualties notices a week during the height of the war resulting in major backlogs. The process, which was intended to be completed within a 24 hour window, could often be delayed weeks. The Vietnam War was unique in being the first war covered by television news shows so these delays meant families would sometimes learn of their loved one’s death by watching it happen on the evening news.
Obviously this process was devastating for families and no one can blame Stan for searching out some comfort. At first I was all fuck yeah Stan and Peggy but the situation really wasn’t right and at the end of the day Peggy likes a good power figure which Stan is not.
- Is it just me or does it seem like a major cast member is going to die this season? First it seemed like something health wise was going to happen with Don between the allusions to him possibly having a recurrence of tuberculosis and his taking that speedball or whatever it was while already in poor health. I know, I know, how could the show go on without Don but Weiner likes to shake things up with the unexpected and he keeps inferring the show is going to transition more and more to being about Peggy. It may be in the outer reaches of the realm of possibilities but it’s not outside of it. The whole second half of the episode I was freaked the hell out it was going to be Sally at the hands of that intruder. Feels to me like we’re getting set up for something.
- More flashbacks this episode. Poor Little Dickey Whitman was the victim of statutory rape by the only woman who showed him motherly concern in his young life. Not to make light of the situation but these flashbacks are so literal staying only this side of predictable by a hair’s breadth which makes it hard to take them too seriously. We see the genesis of the archetypal mother figure Don has conjured in his mind right down to the beauty mark which follows through his life from Ms. Swenson at the whorehouse to the mother in the Oatmeal ad to Sylvia. The flashback tied everything up with a nice little bow and if it did so a little too neatly, well, beggars can’t be choosers.
- Finally, your .gif of zen.