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Last night, Mad Men officially entered the late-1960s by documenting its first acid trip. In honor of that hallucinogenic milestone, The Hollywood Reporter compares Roger and Jane Sterling’s mind-expanding, marriage-ending experience to some of TV’s other notable, drug-induced journeys.
1. Roger and Jane’s Electric Kool-Aid Break-Up Trip
Episode: Mad Men, season five’s “Far Away Places”
Drug: LSD, aka acid
Circumstances: Attending an intellectual dinner party at Jane’s psychiatrist’s apartment, Jane and Roger take acid-laced sugar cubes from the hostess after dinner, who advises that the drug is “like a boat trip. You have to cast off without worrying about sinking.”
Results: Roger’s hallucinations include hearing a symphony play every time he uncorks a bottle of vodka, and seeing his hair divided by a part down the middle into jet-black and silvery-white hemispheres. At home, the couple take a bath together in which Roger imagines he’s watching the 1919 World Series, then both lie on the bathroom floor and come to the realization that their marriage is over.
2. Ruth Fisher Tumbles Down the Ecstasy Hole
Episode: Six Feet Under, season two’s “In the Game”
Drug: Ecstasy, aka MDMA, E, X
Circumstances: The Fisher family matriarch dips into son David’s aspirin bottle and unknowingly swallows an ecstasy pill.
Results: A blue-hued journey through an enchanted forest leads Ruth to a giant stuffed bear holding a ticking alarm clock. She follows it to find her deceased ex-husband working beneath a stalled hearse. They kiss.
3. Glint Claims Poppy
Episode: Strangers With Candy, season one’s “Old Habits, New Beginnings”
Drug: Glint, aka Glow, Glimmer and Satan’s Hairlip
Circumstances: A bright green, highly potent hallucinogenic made of various under-the-sink products, 46-year-old former sex worker/high school student Jerri Blank whips up a batch to ingratiate herself with Poppy, leader of the school’s popular clique.
Results: Poppy loses basic neurological functioning but gains superhuman strength and agility, climbing the rope in gym class in just three seconds. She then declares, “I’m a bumble bee!” and runs at full speed into the gym doors, thinking she can fit through the keyhole. She dies from her injuries.
4. Homer Simpson’s Spicy Vision Quest
Episode: The Simpsons, season nine’s “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)”
Drug: Guatemalan Insanity Peppers, aka The Merciless Peppers of Quetzlzacatenango
Circumstances: At the Springfield chili cook-off, Homer Simpson coats his mouth in candle wax in order to eat several of the insanely spicy GIPs.
Results: The peppers induce a hallucinatory trip in which Homer’s perception becomes greatly distorted, seeing melting faces and multiple eyes. He then encounters a giant snake, a psychedelic butterfly and a tortoise before accidentally destroying the sun. Later, he meets a coyote spirit guide who tells him to question his choice of soulmate.
5. Shroom-Assisted Career Decisions with Vince and the Boys
Episode: Entourage, season five’s “Tree Trippers”
Drug: Magic Mushrooms, aka shrooms, psilocybin
Circumstances: Actor Eric Roberts provides magic mushrooms to Vince and the gang as they head out to Joshua Tree to find the answers to a big career decision: whether or not he’ll take the lead in a Benji movie. Roberts decides to tag along, and Ari is convinced, too, as all head off for chemically induced adventure in Roberts’ custom Winnebago.
Results: Not much. Vince says the word “Benji” over and over, while Ari has a bad trip, complaining to Lloyd over the phone that he is “lost and hallucinating” after wandering off from the group. A visit from Turtle’s Rottweiler suggests to Vinny that he do the dog movie, but later, he sees his own face on a passing firefighter, and decides to go with “Smoke Jumpers,” Roberts’ low-budget movie, instead.
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