Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 6, Episode 8 of AMC's "Mad Men," titled "The Crash."
This week's episode of "Mad Men" got speedy when a "Dr. Feelgood" stopped by SDPCGC and injected half the office with an "energy serum" that fueled them to work the weekend on the Chevy account. As Don and the creatives crammed and Ken Cosgrove tap danced, things got pretty weird. So what exactly was that speed serum?
"I've certainly never had any first-hand experience with this quote-unquote 'energy serum,' but it was amphetamine, a pretty pure form of speed," "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm (Don Draper) says in the video above from AMC. "As Cutler describes it, sort of a burst of creativity. Unfortunately, it's sort of unfocused and doesn't really lead to anything useful."
"Even before 1968, a lot of businesspeople and artists were going to one doctor in particular," "Mad Men" creator Matt Weiner explains in the video above. That doctor was the famed Max Jacobson, the original "Dr. Feelgood." Jacobson was a New York physician who treated clients including John F. Kennedy, Mickey Mantle and Truman Capote with his "miracle tissue regenerator" shot that contained amphetamines, vitamins, painkillers, and human placenta. His medical license was revoked in 1975.
"There were a bunch of them sort of competing to see who has the best serum. It causes some auditory and visual hallucinations, but what it really does is increase the passage of time," Weiner continues.
The drugs had Don pacing around the office like a sweaty man possessed, delivering bold proclamations about nothing in particular: "Just listen, I've got it ... If this strategy is successful, it's way bigger than a car. It's everything ... No, I don't have time for art." It also led him to the insight that connected his affair with Sylvia to a memory of the prostitute who took his virginity after nursing him back to health. But it didn't lead to any tangible progress on the Chevy account.
"The Crash" becomes the latest trippy "Mad Men" episode to portray the growing prominence of drug use in the late 1960s -- even on Madison Avenue. Roger Sterling tripped on LSD last season, and Don and Stan smoked pot in the office while working on the Heinz ketchup pitch earlier this year.
What'd you think of this week's "Mad Men"? Sound off in the comments!
"Mad Men" airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. ET on AMC.