clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Episode 6: One Road Trip, One Acid Trip

New, 1 comment

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Wondering how the Mad Men writers were going to top last week's sexcapades? For starters, last night's episode included an acid trip, an impending divorce, a crisis at the Howard Johnson, one knock-down-drag out fight, and two failed pitches.

Let's begin. Episode 6 opens with Peggy and Abe in her bedroom. Abe is upset that Peggy doesn't have enough time to lay in bed with him and/or to go to the movies, since she's always working. Peggy is too nervous about her Heinz pitch to care, since after all, she's about to present it for the second time. (The first time was that awful debacle.) Abe reminds her that he's her boyfriend, not a focus group, and wishes her a shitty day. And, we're off.

Everyone slowly trickles into the office. Peggy interrupts Ginsberg's phone conversation with his dad. Stan comes in and starts talking about a woman with large breasts. Megan is in the office for two seconds before Don says he needs to speak with her in private. He tells her that they're going on a romantic getaway business trip together to the Howard Johnson upstate. Megan is on the Heinz team, and Peggy is visibly frustrated that she's missing the pitch for a trip to HoJo. So, she smokes a cigarette.

At the Heinz presentation: Peggy blows it. There are no dancing beans, but there is some sappy spiel about Heinz being where the home is. The Heinz guy is mad that the campaign still doesn't include protesting college kids eating beans off hotplates, or something. Peggy explains that the concept is "young and it's beautiful, and no one else is going to figure out how to say that about beans." Needless to say, she's taken off the account.

From here on out, Peggy turns into a mini Don Draper. She pours herself a drink, and then excuses herself to go to the movies. There, she watches a movie about lions. A man behind her passes her a joint, which leads to her giving him a handjob. She returns to the office and takes a nap, only to be awoken by Dawn at 8:30pm, because Don is on the phone. He's calling from a phone booth and looks disheveled. He asks her if anyone has called, and she's not really sure since she's been napping. She decides to take a moment to tell him she blew the Heinz campaign, but he's preoccupied and hangs up.

Peggy gets back to work with Ginsberg. He tells her that he's a Martian, which is actually his way of leading into the conversation about how he was born in a concentration camp. Visibly moved, and for once in the past few years not thinking about work, Peggy calls Abe when she gets home and asks him to come over.

If the first part of episode 6 is dedicated to Peggy, then the second is dedicated to Roger, Jane, and their acid trip. Roger wanted to go on the Howard Johnson trip with Don as two "rich handsome perverts," but Don decided to take Megan instead. So, Roger is stuck having dinner with Jane and her snobby friends. One might expect these snobs to be models or other twenty-somethings, but they're actually a bunch of boring grownups. Or so it seems.

After some psychobabble dinner conversation, the host, who just so happens to be Jane's psychiatrist, passes out LSD on a fancy tray. Roger isn't really into it, but Jane pouts and he gives in. At first, this looks like it's about to be the lamest acid party ever, but then Roger begins tripping and one woman begins crawling on the carpet on all fours. Some other things that happen: Roger finds an ad in a magazine he really likes, then hallucinates that half of his hair is black. He also sees Burt Cooper's face on a $5 bill. While taking a bath at their apartment, Roger also sees the World Series happening, and thinks that all the Model Ts are hilarious.

Then things get serious. After their bubble bath, Roger and Jane lay on the floor with their hair wrapped in pink towels. They have a conversation about how they both know their relationship is over. Jane says that her psychiatrist, the acid party host, believes that Jane is just waiting for Roger to say it. Jane thinks the problem is that Roger doesn't like her, and he tells her, "I did." They fall asleep, both happy that their divorce is going to be so polite and amicable.

Except that Jane doesn't remember any of it in the morning. Roger wakes her up, and tells her that he's going to check into a hotel for a few days, so as not to displace her. She has no idea what he's talking about, until he fills her in. Without skipping a beat and now realizing that acid is a hell of a drug, Jane tells Roger that their divorce will be very expensive.

And now, part three of episode 6: Don and Megan's awful experience at the Howard Johnson. Megan isn't as excited for this little field trip as Don is, and she feels bad about bailing on the Heinz campaign. Don reminds her that this is just one of the advantages to being his wife—getting to go to some crappy restaurant/hotel instead of working.

Once they arrive, the bickering begins. After they sample just about everything on the dinner menu, Megan says she wants to order pie. Instead, Don makes her order sherbert, which she then tells the waitress she hates after tasting it. Don thinks she did this just to embarrass him, so to spite him she stuffs her face with about seven spoonfulls of it.

They continue to go at it and eventually take it outside. She refuses to get in the car, and starts yelling about how he's always telling her to do this and do that, and eat this ice cream and take off this dress, and so Don drives away. He appears to make it a considerably far distance before deciding to turn back, and, surprise, Megan isn't there anymore. The waitress tells Don that Megan walked out with some boys, and when Don goes to inspect the parking lot he finds her sunglasses. Convinced something bad has happened to her, he frantically searches the entire HoJo, including the women's bathroom.

This is when he calls Peggy and wakes her up from her nap. Then, he calls Megan's mom, and rather than worry her, he makes up some half-assed excuse about wanting to buy Megan jewelry but not knowing what kind of metal allergy she has. Finally, after about seven hours of this, Don returns home to his apartment and finds that Megan is inside, having bolted the door.

And—they fight, again. Don chases her around the entire apartment, she dodges him and knocks over a lamp, and he eventually grabs her and they fall to the floor. Is this going to turn into another weird, passive-aggressive sex scene? Sadly, no. Instead, Megan says, "Every time we fight it just diminishes this a little bit," and Don says he thought he lost her while palming at her butt. Since it's now morning, they both go to work together like nothing ever happened.

Except something did happen, and that's that Don has totally forgotten he has a job to do at SCDP, and Burt tells him so. In addition to Heinz, another client left unhappy while Don was on "love leave" with Megan. Burt says that because "little girl" has been in charge—little girl being Peggy—things have kind of gone to shit. Roger, on the other hand, feels like everything is just lovely, now that he's getting a divorce from the former secretary he left his other wife for. He tells Don it's going to be a "beautiful day."

Good news for next week: In the preview, we see that both Joan and The New Bobby will be in episode 7, so presumably, Betty Francis will be in it, too. Also, something prompts Megan to say that "some things never change," and someone, presumably Don, falls asleep with a cigarette in his hand. We're sure that'll keep you on the edge of your seat until next Sunday.

· All Mad Men Coverage [Racked]