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The Crash
The Crash.jpg
Season 6 Episode 8
Air date 19 May 2013
Written by Jason Grote and Matthew Weiner
Directed by Michael Uppendahl

Man With a Plan
The Better Half


The creative department has a wild, drug influenced weekend as they work on the Chevrolet account, Don has trouble letting go of Sylvia, and Sally walks in on an unwelcome intruder.


The episode opens with a manic situation inside a speeding automobile full of drunken Chevrolet executives and Ken Cosgrove behind the wheel. Just as it appears that the vehicle crashes the scene cuts to black.

Don Draper is standing in the back hallway outside Sylvia's apartment smoking a cigarette. It's obvious he's been standing there seemingly eavesdropping on Sylvia and Arnold's domestic life.

The men at Sterling Cooper are frustrated that only Ken has access to Chevrolet decision-makers and so far Chevy doesn't like any of the ideas the firm has presented. Don's secretary interrupts the meeting to tell him he is a phone call from Arnold Rosen. Fearful of what Dr. Rosen may say, Don takes the call. He finds that it's not Arnold but a very angry Sylvia. She's aware that Don has been loitering in her hallway and she wants him to stop, forget about their affair, and move on with his life. Don begs to see her again but she refuses. After she hangs up, Don hurls the phone across his office. Don has a flashback to his youth when he lived in a brothel.

Jim Cutler advises the team that he's brought in a doctor who will give them the energy they need to get the juices flowing for a successful creativity session on the Chevy account. The doctor's "proprietary" stimulant concoction has the team at SC running off the walls on an apparent amphetamine high. Spoiler: Ken Cosgrove is one hell of a tap dancer.

Don calls Megan, who's watching his kids and the apartment. She's upset because she has to go to a play and he's not back yet. In fact, he's been at the office for a couple of days. She leaves Sally in charge of watching the kids.

Don takes the back stairwell back up to his apartment and pauses at Sylvia's back door, gently  knocks, but gets no response.

Sally, hearing a noise in the living room, comes to confront a black woman who appears to be burglarizing the apartment. The woman identifies herself as a Grandma Ida and says she was invited by Don, whom she claims she raised as a child. Sally is obviously suspicious. "Grandma Ida' cleverly asks many questions in an obvious attempt to identify where the valuable merchandise is stashed.  When she steps into another room Sally calls the police. Grandma Ida catches her, hangs up the phone, and claims that she is stepping out for some air.

At the office, Don, still flying high on his energy booster, calls Peggy and Ginsberg into his office. They anticipate he has an idea for the Chevy campaign but he claims he has something far greater. An idea the transcends automobile advertising and taps into consumers' most primal need. Unfortunately, Don is completely unable to articulate his idea. He leaves the office and heads back to his apartment. When he opens the door he finds Henry Francis, Betty, and the police. Betty is infuriated that no one was home and the children were in danger. Don, confused and exhausted, collapses on the floor.

Don has another flashback to his childhood in the brothel. A prostitute, leaving in anger, claims to have taken Don's virginity. On hearing that, Don's stepmother violently beat him with a large kitchen spoon. He awakes, startled, in bed with Megan apologize for leaving the children alone.

The next morning Don rides the elevator down with Sylvia in awkward silence.

At the office Don calls Sally to apologize for leaving the apartment door open. Sally is also apologetic, saying that the burglar had answers to every question Sally asked. Sally tells Don it made her realize she knows very little about her father.

Ted comes back from Frank's funeral and questions Don on the work that's been submitted for Chevrolet, complaining that most of it is gibberish. Unapologetically, Don tells Ted that every time the firm gets an automobile client the place turns into a whorehouse.


Don Draper: Well, Kenny, how are you feeling?
Ken Cosgrove: My foot's like new. You think you have new work on Monday?
Don Draper: I'll have fifteen campaigns for you by then, but you have to get me in a room so I can look him in the eye. The tambour of my voice is as important as the content. I don't know whether it will be forceful or submissive, but I must be there in the flesh.
Ken Cosgrove: You understand that I have no power whatsoever?
Don Draper: That's not true. Not if they like you.
Ken Cosgrove: (taps cane on floor) Oh, they like me, all right. (tap dancing) I'm their favorite toy.
Don Draper: That's your job?
Ken Cosgrove: (keeps tap dancing) It's my job to take them out to dinner eight miles an hour. It's my job to stop a mile from a restaurant to the guy like five pounds of crab legs and three bottles of beer piece, and then go get a prime rib. It's my job to go hunting, so they can fire off their guns, an inch for my ear, and laugh when I can startle, because it's my job. (stops tap dancing)
Don Draper: Where'd you learn that?
Ken Cosgrove: My mother. No. My first girlfriend. (taps cane on floor and taps dances down the hall)

Seasons of Mad Men
Season 1 • "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" • "Ladies Room" • "Marriage of Figaro" • "New Amsterdam" • "5G" • "Babylon" • "Red in the Face" • "The Hobo Code" • "Shoot" • "Long Weekend" • "Indian Summer" • "Nixon vs. Kennedy" • "The Wheel" •
Season 2 • "For Those Who Think Young" • "Flight 1" • "The Benefactor" • "Three Sundays" • "The New Girl" • "Maidenform" • "The Gold Violin" • "A Night to Remember" • "Six Month Leave" • "The Inheritance" • "The Jet Set" • "The Mountain King" • "Meditations in an Emergency" •
Season 3 • "Out of Town" • "Love Among the Ruins" • "My Old Kentucky Home" • "The Arrangements" • "The Fog" • "Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency" • "Seven Twenty Three" • "Souvenir" • "Wee Small Hours" • "The Color Blue" • "The Gypsy and the Hobo" • "The Grown-Ups" • "Shut the Door. Have a Seat" •
Season 4 • "Public Relations" • "Christmas Comes But Once a Year" • "The Good News" • "The Rejected" • "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword" • "Waldorf Stories" • "The Suitcase" • "The Summer Man" • "The Beautiful Girls" • "Hands and Knees" • "Chinese Wall" • "Blowing Smoke" • "Tomorrowland" •
Season 5 • "A Little Kiss, Part 1" • "A Little Kiss, Part 2" • "Tea Leaves" • "Mystery Date" • "Signal 30" • "Far Away Places" • "At the Codfish Ball" • "Lady Lazarus" • "Dark Shadows" • "Christmas Waltz" • "The Other Woman" • "Commissions and Fees" • "The Phantom" •
Season 6 • "The Doorway, Part 1" • "The Doorway, Part 2" • "The Collaborators" • "To Have and To Hold" • "The Flood" • "For Immediate Release" • "Man With a Plan" • "The Crash" • "The Better Half" • "A Tale of Two Cities" • "Favors" • "The Quality of Mercy" • "In Care Of" •
Season 7 • "Time Zones" • "A Day's Work" • "Field Trip" • "The Monolith" • "The Runaways" • "The Strategy" • "Waterloo" • "Severance" • "New Business" • "The Forecast" • "Time & Life" • "Lost Horizon" • "The Milk and Honey Route" • "Person to Person" •