Mad Men: Christmas Waltz

Posted on May 21, 2012

Going by online reactions, it would appear that we are the only two people in the world who don’t pine for a Joan/Don hookup. We can certainly see the appeal; they’re both extremely attractive – almost archetypally so – and the actors do have a tremendous chemistry, that can’t be denied. But watching Don and Joan hook up would be watching two people make a terrible mistake. Granted, that’s not exactly notable in the world of Mad Men, which in some ways is all about watching people make terrible mistakes and then squirming in our seats as we wait for the fallout to hit them (e.g., Lane’s embezzling). But worse than actually making the mistake of a Don/Joan tryst is the idea behind the mistake. They’re terrible for each other. We can see Joan or Don having an affair right now – we just can’t see them having an affair with each other. Or rather, we can see them doing it, but we’d have to accept it as the character-breaking moment it would be. In other words, it would be fun to see Don and Joan hookup, but only if we pretend that Don and Joan would hook up at all and that’s something we have a hard time doing.

Fortunately, the writing this episode seems to uphold our view because Don all but stated he’d never make a play for her because she intimidates him. In response, she took a sip of her drink and coolly told Don Draper all about himself, explaining why his first marriage failed and hinting at a failure in his second marriage because “that’s just the way he is.” Faced with a woman who knows his inner workings better than he does, he high-tailed it out of there to burn off some middle-age frustration in his temporary Jaguar. If there’s one kind of woman Don can’t abide in his life, it’s one who knows him well. If there’s one kind of man Joan can’t abide in hers, it’s sloppy ones with messy personal lives. She wants strength and stability and he wants a woman to applaud his every move. They couldn’t possibly find worse candidates to fill those positions than each other.

But it was fun watching them, wasn’t it? Pretending to be a married couple, driving a Jaguar off the showroom floor, and getting a little sloppy together at a bar. Like the movies of the period, it was much hotter to see them dance around the idea of sex than actually engage in it. The scene at the bar was deliciously tense, because it felt like at any moment they were going to stop talking and fall into a kiss. But we’re glad they kept it at talking, not because we’re prudish and not because we’re averse to seeing these characters make mistakes (we’d be watching the wrong show if we were), but because an actual affair would feel like a betrayal of the characters, to us. Besides, we don’t like the idea of Joannie being passed around the partners like a tray of canapes. She did that once and now she’s a single mother in 1966, turning down checks from the childlike father of her child. Better for both Don and Joan to treat each other just as they did: as a temporary Jaguar to drive around for a while, but ultimately something to be returned to the showroom, the check uncashed.

This wasn’t a theme-heavy episode, which is a self-flattering way of saying “We couldn’t pick up on a central theme.” Instead, it felt, to us, like a continuation of general themes of the season. There has been a recurring exploration of people trying to be something they’re not (Megan as copywriter; Lane as accounts man), struggling with the expectations of their role (Don as creative director; Peggy as copywriting dynamo; Pete as suburban husband and father),  or outright rejecting it (Joan as dutiful wife; Roger as doting husband). You could apply any and all of these themes directly to poor Paul Kinsey, whose earlier-season predilection for pretension has now taken a turn toward the self-destructive. He is literally willing to destroy his life just to find someone who likes him. It would be sad – if the sight of him in full Hare Krishna drag wasn’t so hilarious. This is mean of us, but our first thought upon seeing the newly-shorn Paul was “Now, HERE’S something to get Joan out of her funk!” Could you imagine what Joan would’ve said to him if she’d seen him like that? He would’ve gotten a tongue-lashing so severe it would’ve left him in a fetal position, softly weeping.

Instead, he got Harry. And for once, that wasn’t a bad deal. Poor Harry hasn’t had a great year in the eyes of the show’s fans. His charming dorkiness has mostly faded, to be replaced by a smarmy, eyebrow-wiggling jackass who makes jokes about his dick size and fantasizes about fucking a partner’s wife in the office. He’s likeable enough, but you sure as hell wouldn’t want to work with someone like that. Still, he was a good enough friend to Paul to realize that his current life situation was toxic for him (Seriously: that bitch CRAZY) and that the pursuit of a dream for which he’s not suited would still be better for him than pursuing a woman who exploits and uses him. That’s kind of depressing, but we were touched by Harry’s concern for his former co-worker. It’s notable that Harry, who never misses a chance to make fun of someone if it’ll make him look better, said not a word to his co-workers about Paul’s recent descent into cultism. And let’s face it, he could have had a field day with the information.

After the initial “OH. MY. GOD.” at the sight of Paul, we found ourselves squirming slightly, however. Dropping characters into the middle of the burgeoning late-sixties movement toward Eastern spiritualism and having them talk about Star Trek seemed just a little too on-point for a show like Mad Men. Considering just a few of years ago Matthew Weiner was seriously considering NOT featuring an episode about the Kennedy assassination, it’s a bit jarring to see the show so openly roll around in the history and pop culture of the period. We expect people to obliquely reference things like the Hare Krishnas and Star Trek; we don’t expect entire storylines to revolve around them. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; just a thing we didn’t expect. The writing this season (as we’ve noted in practically every review) is a lot less subtle than in previous seasons and the longer this goes on, the more it seems to us to be deliberate. The social upheaval of the sixties, coupled with the drastic changes in the lives of these characters, has resulted in a status quo that is louder, cruder, and more obvious than the smokey, moody, more subtle Mid-Century vibe of the show’s earliest episodes. Look at Peggy as the living embodiment of this idea. Compare the silent, wide-eyed, inscrutable Peggy of season one to the cocky, wisecracking, sarcastic Peggy 0f season 5. It almost seems like a different person altogether, but she’s really just a person who’s been through a lot and come out the other side changed. That applies to each and every one of the main characters and both the dialogue and the plotting reflect that.

And speaking of changed characters, it’s pretty distressing to see Lane slide into the kind of quiet desperation that leads to forging checks. There’s been a heavy pall hanging over the show all season, with some minor foreshadowing towards a character’s death. We’ve all been assuming Pete was in trouble (especially since mentioning the suicide clause in his life insurance), but if we had to pick a character heading for a disastrous downfall, it sure looks like Lane to us. With someone like Pete or Don or Roger, you can imagine that at some point they’ll stop fucking up their private or professional lives. With Lane, it’s hard to see any happy way out of his current situation and indeed, it’s hard to see Lane happy, period. He’s been a tense and unhappy figure since the moment he was introduced and nothing has really changed that. We hate seeing him like this, but we kind of love there’s now an embezzling subplot hanging over the proceedings. It’s been a while since we felt like SCDP had any drama to it that didn’t involve the messy personal lives of its principles. It’s nice to see a return to real workplace drama. Right now, it’s a race to see whether the agency can hold on to Mohawk, acquire Jaguar, and stave off financial ruin in the wake of Lane’s $50,000 of borrowed money.

But even if SCDP doesn’t get its mojo back, it sure was thrilling to see Don get his. It’s funny, though. After years of living in these characters’ lives, knowing everything we know about them, we couldn’t help but see Don’s speech as the load of bullshit it really is. Four years ago, a speech like that would have been stirring, but in 1966, it just sounds like Don trying desperately to regain something that’s lost. Four years ago, the sight of Don taking off his jacket and rolling up his sleeves while talking about Champagne dreams would have seemed a perfect encapsulation of mid-Century American bravado and ambition; now it just seems like a bit of stagecraft that he falls back on because he knows it looks good. We can’t tell if his turnaround is due to the discussion with Megan about how he no longer loves his job or whether it’s an instance of Don running into the arms of his professional world when life gets too hard at home. After all, he was at his creative peak back when Betty used to sit angrily at the kitchen table with a glass of wine, waiting for him to come home. It was a bit distressing to see his actions turn Megan – who is nothing like Betty – into essentially the same person. Then again, Betty would have never had the nerve to throw a plate of spaghetti at the wall in anger. Still, it seems clear to us that Don can have a fulfilling professional life or he can have a semi-fulfilling home life, but he’s incapable of doing both at the same time.

 

[Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/AMC]

    • Scimommy

      Going by online reactions, it would appear that we are the only two people in the world who don’t pine for a Joan/Don hookup.

      OH MY GOD, I DON’T EITHER!!!

      Oh, sorry, didn’t mean to yell. Off to read the rest of your analysis. I’m sure it’s brilliant as always.

      • Sweetbetty

         Please clarify two things for me, BKs: 
        1.  Why did Lane need that money and who was the kinda sleazy character he was dealing with over the phone?
        2.  When and why did Paul leave SCDP?

        This point definitely needs no clarifying:  Don and Joan should NOT hook up; not even for so much as a kiss.

        • Sobaika

          They never recruited Paul when they started Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

        • Sweetvegan

          At the beginning of the episode, we hear Lane on the phone with his attorney, and it seems that he owes back income tax in the UK. The attorney makes this deal for him where he just has to pay taxes/fines and he can avoid jail time. The attorney explains that the UK is looking to make examples of expats who stop paying their British income taxes.

          • Sweetbetty

             Thank you, and other BKs, for that explanation.  So this tax issue must have been going on for some time.  That takes away a bit of my sympathy for Lane.  I could understand if he just forgot about or didn’t realize he had to pay one year of taxes but to be threatened with jail time and for the taxes and fines to be so high it must have been longer than that.  And Lane is the firm’s accountant, isn’t he?  He of all people should have known better.

            • Chickadeep

              The top tax rates in the UK at the time were astronomical (in the 90% range, I think?); one reason for so many “tax exiles” living in places like Switzerland and Spain, then and now.

            • Sashima

              Reference “Taxman”, written by George Harrison on the Beatles’ album Revolver :
              George as the taxman sings, “It’s one for you, nineteen for me” in direct reference to the 90+% tax rate in the UK at the time.

            • http://www.wordydoodles.com WordyDoodles

               I have to find it but there’s a brilliant blogpost about how every episode this season is a reference to a song on that album.

            • http://twitter.com/pennyeager Penny Eager

               Seriously? Please find!!

            • http://www.wordydoodles.com WordyDoodles
            • fursa_saida

              They haven’t gone into it in detail on the show (at least I don’t think so), but it’s been clear off and on for a while now that he’s severely in debt. He can’t even pay his kid’s private school tuition. I don’t think it’s a matter of his just not bothering to deal with it; he’s in that terrible, seemingly inescapable downward spiral where debt begets debt.

              How that spiral began, precisely, is not clear to me, but probably it would never have happened had he not chosen to jump ship and start SCDP.

            • http://profiles.google.com/ameliaheartsu Amelia Logan

              Well on basket of kisses they wrote about how much money each of the partners put in, it as a lot, like 1 million or something. Lane was a middle level manager he never had Don Draper or Roger Sterling money – he probably gave everything he had.

        • Frank_821

          Lane made some errors in taxes. he owes back taxes basically. ironic for the CFO. Paul was never recruited for SCDP. He, like Ken, was left behind. However Ken is good enough at his job that he left McCann and came to SCDP. Paul, who was a competent copywriter, underwent a downward spiral

          • P M

             Ah, but Lane was never very good with numbers, no? He needed Joan, if I remember correctly.

            • Melissa Brogan

               Lane used to be quite good whipping a company into shape. After all, that’s why the Brit firm that bought Sterling Cooper sent him in to get the SC affairs in order for them, and then they wanted to ship him off to India or somewhere to get another firm in order.

              But Lane’s been in a rather severe downward spiral ever since he got sent to SC in the first place.

            • filmcricket

              People can be good with numbers and still have problems keeping their own finances in order. I remember a guy being on one of those debt refinancing reality shows who was the head of accounting at a well-known (if not very large) company. It’s about self-control, not mathematical ability.

            • P M

              I get the feeling that Lane is burdened by way too much responsibility. And methinks part of his abusive relationship with his father is that the old sadist witholds financial support from his son. Even if he does know Lane’s in trouble, he’s not going to help.
              Why bring that up? Because when people are in this much trouble, one option is to SEEK HELP. And Lane doesn’t seem to believe he can.
              Anyway, back onto responsibility. Lane supports a wife and a child; it’s possible he also keeps up family property / properties in the UK, along with club memberships and the like. I also wonder if he supports his father somehow?

              You know, after my blathering above, I wonder if Lane wouldn’t be a perfect candidate to just join the counter-culture and let his hair down. He could sure use it – and it would be just the way to jolt MM fans who are expecting a suicide.
              I, for one, would be very disappointed to see the end of Lane. When he kissed Joan, I thought, ‘good for you!’ Even if it was inappropriate.
              On the other hand, poor Joan. No man has ever really measured up, eh?

            • http://profiles.google.com/ameliaheartsu Amelia Logan

              right. We know Don Draper lent Pete Campbell way more than 8000, it is presumable he could lend it to Lane. Especially since he’s dropping 6000 checks.

        • http://profiles.google.com/misslauraschultz Laura Schultz

          it seems like Lane had some tax dodging issue in England and I’m not sure that guy was as sleazy as Lane seems to be….

        • ldancer

          I got the impression that the British government was extracting a high tax on Lane’s expat income. But there’s something else going on with his finances, too, as implied in the beginning of the season. His trajectory is as dark as his wife’s hair and clothes are tragic.

          • Chickadeep

            “His trajectory is as dark as his wife’s hair and clothes are tragic.” Ha! Perfect summation of his character arc this season.

          • Glammie

            There have also been indications that Lane has been living above his means–his son’s private school, pretty much buying his wife’s happinness.  

            Yeah, I don’t see a good end for Lane this season.

        • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

          The key word in the conversation was “Inland Revenue,” Britain’s version of the IRS. I like MM for not spelling everything out, but I understand how you might not have caught that. Without knowing what Inland Revenue is, it’s not obvious why he needs the money.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/76MOACGITT5AHEG24N6E7RZWDA Kay

          UK taxes on top of US taxes were a huge issue at this time I believe.  I remember reading about Agatha Christie in the 60′s had a huge battle with UK & US taxes.  Not directly quoting her, but recall her comment that she was being taxed more that what she made ~ for example $1.00 in income; she owed taxes of $1.10. Something along those lines. Also, that the UK revenue changed their minds retroactively about taxes on US income. When I get home from work I will pull out that book and refresh my memory on what her situation was.  Bet Lane got hit along the same lines.

          • AudreysMom

             If Don can write an easy check for $6,000, why didn’t Lane just ask him for a loan? $8,000 wouldn’t seem like much for a guy like Don. And if it’s taxes, it’s not like Lane did anything illegal – or am I not getting something?

            • http://twitter.com/JodieKinnersley Jodie Kinnersley

              I believe it was 8,000 pounds, which is significantly more. Almost three times as much, I think.

            • TheOppositeOfBatman

              The British Pound was worth substantially less back then, only about a third of a dollar. A loan from Don would’ve been easy, but Lane’s pride is screwing him over.

            • Scott Hester-Johnson

               Wrong, Batman. Back in the 60s the pound was worth like 3-4 times the US dollar.

            • fursa_saida

              No, Lane distinctly said 8,000 dollars. I was listening for what currency he would say, for the same reasons.

            • http://twitter.com/JodieKinnersley Jodie Kinnersley

              Right. That’s strange isn’t it when talking to a fellow Brit about the cheque he would write to the British crown? I just assumed.

            • fursa_saida

              I dunno. The currency he lives in, conducts most of his business in, gets paid in, is dollars. He’s in America; when he finds the money, it will be dollars, and so it only makes sense to convert the amount he owes into dollars. 

              I currently live in Egypt, and now if I buy, say, an e-book, something online where the price is in dollars, I find myself converting it to Egyptian pounds in my head–even though the bank account is American. Putting it in EGP makes it easier for me to relate it to the rest of my expenses.

            • KittenKisses

               He stated the amount in GBP and then coverted to USD. Probably to illustrate the point of how much that was (in terms of his salary) or to clarify for American audiences.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=556972078 Liane Penney

              Don’s cheque to Jaguar wasn’t meant to be cashed.  It was just being held as collateral while he took it for the test drive.

      • Jane_Lane

        Neither do I, they’d be an amazing superhero team up, though.

        • LuLusLemons

           Yes, and they are each other’s romantic Kryptonite.

      • MImi Taylor

        John Hamm confirmed in the Episode interviews on Amctv that the two are only destined for friendship. I actually think it must have been his connection with Joan that fueled his Mojo. He had a reflective drive in the Jag and thanked her with flowers the next day. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Don let loose and connect with someone, perhaps since Ana Draper. We know for sure him and Megan suffer from a generational gap and Joan’s candid read of him as they judged the man across the bar was an awakening for him. Joanie knows him real well.

        • fursa_saida

          I agree. I think it was also a bit of the breaking of the routine–leaving the office, getting drunk at odd hours, doing something a little bit crazy with that whole stunt at the dealership. I think those things loosen up his brain or something. He’s been sort of hibernating on that office couch; the Jaguar thing made him lumber out of the cave. He should probably send Pete some flowers too.

      • MImi Taylor

        John Hamm confirmed in the Episode interviews on Amctv that the two are only destined for friendship. I actually think it must have been his connection with Joan that fueled his Mojo. He had a reflective drive in the Jag and thanked her with flowers the next day. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Don let loose and connect with someone, perhaps since Ana Draper. We know for sure him and Megan suffer from a generational gap and Joan’s candid read of him as they judged the man across the bar was an awakening for him. Joanie knows him real well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1183772509 Jen Hughes

      I totally agree with everything you said about Joan and Don. You, of course, described much better than I could. I mostly yelled NOOO at the screen the whole time. Now that I know it doesn’t end disastrously, I need to go back and watch it and enjoy the flirting.

      • Sobaika

        Joan is too good for Don Draper’s bullshit.

        • P M

           And having gone through the mill so many times, I’d be very surprised if Joan would actually fall for the Don Draper b.s package (TM!)

          • Denise Robinson

            She wouldn’t fall and that’s why Don has never tried anything with her. I also loved that he made mention to Bobbi Barrett and how she had him pegged from the moment she saw him.

      • Redlanta

         They had another great flirting scene after the office party where the client got plowed over by the “John Deere” tractor.  They do have marvelous chemistry-but agree-they are much better as cohorts than lovers.  Also, Joan needs to be a little more pragmatic about taking $$ from Roger.  Single motherhood is tough, and it looks like Rapist Greg is going to try and screw her over on alimony.

        • ciotogist

          Yes, but if Greg gets the slightest inkling that Kevin’s not his, there won’t be any alimony.  New York didn’t have no fault divorce then. 

        • Maggie_Mae

          Alimony or not, she wants Greg to pay child support.  And for her kid to be legitimate–which really mattered back then.  

        • Sweetbetty

           I wonder what grounds Greg is using to file for divorce from her?  Apparently Joan threw the papers out of the window without looking at them.  And regardless of alimony, he’ll still have to pay child support and as long as he’s in the service he will get an allowance for his child.  I wonder if the brilliant doctor has suddenly done some math and decided that the child isn’t his?  But it was very difficult to prove in those days and I believe in some jurisdictions it was held that any child born while two people were married was considered to be the husband’s.

          And I agree, Joan should latch on to anything Roger offers for Kevin.

          • CheriCPat

             It still is the law in NC.  Child born to a married woman is presumed to be the child of the Husband.  Even if they both know it’s not. 

          • A Reeves

            She can’t.

            Gifts from Roger come with strings.

            • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

              Just ask Jane.

    • J MN

      I totally agree with you guys.  It would ruin it, like in Moonlighting w/Sybil & Bruce.  All that delicious chemistry and undercurrent not to mention their long standing friendship and respect would be blown.  Let it be.  

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

         They won’t have an affair- but they might be suspected of having one.

        • CozyCat

          I think Meghan already thinks there is something between them.  She was very insecure around Joan at SCDP, and it seemed to center more on Don than on her earlier status.  And the way she overreacted to Don leaving the office and coming home late (yeah, she had the right to be mad, but she totally lost it) may have had something to do with who he was with.

          • filmcricket

            I don’t remember this supposed insecurity that I keep seeing mentioned. While Megan was a secretary she and Joan barely interacted that we saw. When Joan brings Kevin into the office and Megan hesitates to go over and say hi, it’s because Don’s with Joan and Megan’s still pissed at him for his ingratitude over the party. Joan’s mother hinted that Megan didn’t want Joan at the party, but we knew Megan invited everyone at the last minute. I’m just wondering where people are getting this idea from.

            • fursa_saida

              I disagree. I picked up on the same undercurrent. I’d have to go back and watch some episodes again to tell you why, though. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

      Pete is really acting like a turd, but he’s the only partner who’s doing any actual work at present. 

      • filmcricket

        Yeah, if anything makes Pete eat that rifle he’s got in his office, it may be the moment he realizes he’s built all his professional dreams on quicksand.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

          I think that if Pete wasn’t such an ass he’d do very well in the profession- he’s not stupid and can be charming when it’s to his advantage. Unfortunately he’s made enough enemies that SCDP would think nothing of cutting him loose and tossing him to the dogs.

          • Lynn Landry

             I worked in advertising for years and being an ass is not a detriment. There are successful Petes in advertising even today.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

               I very much agree- but he’s getting to the point where his value to the firm might be outweighed by the desire most people have to punch him in the face. If he screws up Jaguar he’s a dead man.

      • MK03

        When they had the shot of Don laying around on his couch (again), I said aloud “Does Don do ANY work anymore??”

        • fursa_saida

          No he does not, and the way you know that is that he made a point of sitting up and picking up a pad and pencil before whoever-it-was (don’t remember) came in. Before, he woulda just brazenly laid there, because he knew that ten minutes later he was going to go dazzle a client and so he could get away with some shit.

      • Melissa Brogan

         Ever since his reawakening, Roger seems to be putting in just the slightest bit more effort. After all, he’s trying to bring Manischewitz on board.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

           Roger is trying- but I don’t think he’s doing it for the firm, he’s doing it so he can rub it in Pete’s face.

          • Melissa Brogan

             Oh yeah, I totally agree. He’s not doing it because he has real business ambitions–but then again, Roger never really had to have any. He played the part his father expected of him.

            • Sweetbetty

               If there’s any doubt about Roger’s motivation just look back on his private conversation with Ginsberg last week.  It was all about how he hated Pete so much, nothing about being good for the company.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        Yeah. I mean, he really showed initiative in that situation (in an ambulance-chaser way, I guess), so good on him. But he was obnoxious, the way he acted about it.

      • fursa_saida

        Seriously. If I were him I woulda had at least two screaming meltdowns by now.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

           I think he’s lubricated enough that he’s tranquilized

    • Andrea Rossillon

       Megan’s going ballistic about Don’s late evening pointed out to me how young she is– she hasn’t figured out yet that yelling and screaming isn’t the best way to achieve your ultimate goal of a happy marriage. She is honest with herself and with Don, which is something Betty wasn’t able to do, or articulate, and that’s better–but she’s still 26. Good for her for communicating to Don that his behavior was not acceptable (staying out late and not calling), but man, the whole time she was yelling I just thought, “Girl, just tell him it freaked you out because you know his history and you miss seeing each other all day. It’s not like he won’t agree with you 100%.”

      • CPT_Doom

        I think it is also clear that the one thing Megan fears more than anything else is Don’s returning to his womanizing. She was at SCDP long enough to see him juggling women, and must have heard stories from the former SC folks about his various conquests – real and imagined. We know from “Mystery Date” that she’s aware of his past and actually relaxed in last night’s episode when she learned he has been with Joan and not out with some woman.

        • http://profiles.google.com/misslauraschultz Laura Schultz

          I think they’re just struggling with no longer spending 24 hours a day together and how to live like that. I’m sure she is worried about him returning to his old ways and her presence at the office was a shield for BOTH of them that I think they both depended on….

          • Sweetbetty

             Speaking of Megan’s office presence, did anyone think that Don’s comment to Joan in the bar that he thinks the office misses Megan was just wishful thinking on his part?  And Joan’s smiling, making no comment, then changing the subject shows her skill in handling awkward situations masterfully.

            • http://twitter.com/ThatFerd Ferdinanda

              I think, what he was really saying, was that HE misses having Megan in the office–but he turns it around so he won’t sound too needy (maybe he even believes it–hard to tell with him!).

            • fursa_saida

              I don’t think he was aware of turning it around. He never understood Megan’s position, reputation or situation in the office at all clearly. What he said was laughable in many ways; he simply has no idea of that fact, because a) he was so happy to have her there, b) he thinks she’s the most wonderfullest wonder so how could everyone not love her, and c) he was always remarkably oblivious to the knots he frequently tied her into by blurring the lines between wife and colleague. 

              That last issue was a huge part of what her side of their fight in “Far Away Places” was about; note that he still managed to emerge from that giant blowup without understanding said issue.

        • Sobaika

          It reminded of me of the weird tension between Meghan and Joan at the beginning of this season. I think Meghan might have called the office and learned he’d headed off somewhere with Joan. She’s terrified of Don’s cheating past and it shows.

        • Sweetvegan

          She should’ve thrown *his* dinner against the wall.

        • Sweetbetty

           It’s notable that two younger second wives see Joan as no threat to their marriages.  Granted, Jane and Roger are already in the midst of a divorce, but when Jane suggested he take Joan to his Maneschevitz dinner last week she didn’t seem to be saying it in a biting, sarcastic way; she just seemed to be suggesting another person so she didn’t have to go.  Are they so young that the think an “older” woman like Joan isn’t attractive to men any longer?

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EB3JCJ2B76QOFQFPL7DXEZRKSM Bree

            Actually, I think Jane didn’t like Joan. Roger made a comment to Don at his birthday party that he was glad he hadn’t invited Joan or he would have had hell to pay from Jane. I don’t know if she knows the extent of their relationship, but I think she was clearly jealous.

            • http://darkesword.com DarkeSword

               Well, Joan did fire Jane way back when. I can’t imagine them ever being buddies.

            • Sweetbetty

               And don’t forget that Joan fired Jane at one point.  That would explain Jane’s dislike whether there was any jealousy or not.

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EB3JCJ2B76QOFQFPL7DXEZRKSM Bree

            Actually, I think Jane didn’t like Joan. Roger made a comment to Don at his birthday party that he was glad he hadn’t invited Joan or he would have had hell to pay from Jane. I don’t know if she knows the extent of their relationship, but I think she was clearly jealous.

          • nancymae

            I thought Jane said that precisely because he knew Joan was always the woman Roger really wanted. As i recll, she practically spat out the words.

          • nancymae

            I thought Jane said that precisely because he knew Joan was always the woman Roger really wanted. As i recll, she practically spat out the words.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

            I thought Jane was indirectly calling Joan a whore last week, when she said something like, why don’t you take Joan, she’s a professional?

          • Melissa Brogan

            Actually, she said it in the most biting way she could without being explicit about it: “Why don’t you ask Joan? She’s a professional something.”

          • Vodeeodoe

            Oh, she was being snarky all right. Jane knows about them.

      • Sweetbetty

         She could also remind him of how he felt when he didn’t know where she was after he abandoned her at HoJo’s.

      • http://profiles.google.com/misslauraschultz Laura Schultz

        but yelling and screaming is all she knows and as was pretty darn evident in that scene that they both get turned on by high drama, her especially. It’s her M.O. and he called her on it. 

        • fursa_saida

          I don’t think saying it’s “all she knows” is fair to her. She has handled several difficult situations (like the whole issue around Anna, Sally and Betty last episode) quite gracefully, I think.

      • Browsery

        ” Megan’s going ballistic about Don’s late evening pointed out to me how young she is– she hasn’t figured out yet that yelling and screaming isn’t the best way to achieve your ultimate goal of a happy marriage.”

        It worked in the short-term.  I think the only reason we had sympathy for Don was because this rare time he was actually thinking of someone else — he spent the evening cheering up Joan.  Megan settled down pretty quickly.

      • VanessaDK

         I loved that after all the screaming she orders him to sit down and eat dinner.  That one gesture reminded him that he has accountability to a spouse, and a job to do as a husband–eat the dinner he was expected to come home for.   She also reminded him that he used to love his work.  My interpretation is that she would like a more “modern” marriage where they both do things that they enjoy, and she is trying to get him back into  his work so that he is a better, happier man.

        • Sweetpea176

          I took her comment:  “You loved your work before you met me,” to mean, “Don’t blame my leaving on why you don’t love your work any more — my being there wasn’t what made you love it in the first place.”  I took it as a response to the comment he had made the previous night about her “taking a stand against advertising.”

      • rowsella

        I guess it is turnabout now.  Meghan has lots of time during the day to wonder where Don is.  Perhaps this acting deal is not working out well for her.  Maybe she might go back to work — at SCDP? or somewhere else?   We really are not given much information other than her dramatic behavior when Don returned home drunk. Then she chooses to focus on Don’s job/career rather than her own.

    • http://twitter.com/AbbottRabbit AbbottRabbit

      I’m actually totally with you on the Don/Joan front — I’ve thought this since they took the guy who’s foot got lawn mowered off to the hospital together, but I think both characters understand that they would be briefly amazing together…and then things would go amazingly bad. And so some of my favorite scenes come from the two of them together as the sort of friends who each periodically thinks of the other “why didn’t we ever…” for about 5 seconds, and then all the reasons they “never” come rushing back at them. 

      I also thought while watching the scene that at their core, they’re two old roues who understand each other perfectly, and that they both know that and don’t want to risk mucking it up. 

      That said…if we ever got treated to “Mad Men: the Golden Girls Years,” when the characters are all in their 60s and 70s and Roger is dead and Megan is on husband #4 (and assuming Don hasn’t drunk himself into an early grave by then), I could see them having a very easy, companionable, later-in-life marriage. 

      And poor Lane. Poor Lane.

      • AViewer44

        I think they were enjoying being the people they used to be and appreciating how the other still has the power to turn the act on …. (neither of them seemed at all old at that moment.). But I never felt there was really a chance they’d do anything. They know each other too well and are too appreciative of each other’s acts.

        • fursa_saida

          I agree. They were acting out a classic movie from the era of their prime. 

      • Sweetbetty

         That’s what I’ve thought for a while; end the show (or bring it back as a movie) with Don and Joan in their Golden Years, each having been through it all with various partners, finally finding that the time is right for them.  I want to see Joan as one of those Stunning Old Lasses TLo shared with us a few weeks ago.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        Yes, poor Lane. He certainly made his own bed, but still. Poor Lane. I like him, but this doesn’t surprise me at all. Hopefully it will come to a head before the end of the season. I would not love a Lane-embezzlement cliffhanger.

      • TheDivineMissAnn

        Yes, poor Lane.  Do you suppose this is where the Mafia-type man (from the lost wallet found in the cab episode) comes in?
        I was holding my breath during the partner’s discussion of Christmas bonuses.  Lane’s desperation was palpable, at least to the viewers.  I felt sorry for the guy, tho’ when you make your bed…..

        • AZU403

          Tut tut! He wasn’t mafia, just Italian. Still, I bet we will see him again.

          • TheDivineMissAnn

             Yikes!  I’m sorry, that was a poor choice of words.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            I got a Mafia air as well. Not because he’s Italian. But there was something about him that I couldn’t put my finger on. 

            • fursa_saida

              I think maybe it had to do with some things Delores said? But I can’t remember clearly.

          • Sweetbetty

             Lane’s lawyer seems a bit on the sleazy side so maybe he hires him to collect the fee Lane owes him (and cannot pay).

            • fursa_saida

              Preeeetty sure the lawyer is in England, and even if he weren’t that would be a hell of a coincidence.

          • fursa_saida

            I thought he was Hispanic?

        • http://twitter.com/AbbottRabbit AbbottRabbit

          I actually  initially thought that was who he was seeing when he went to see the guy who extended the firm’s credit. 

          • TheDivineMissAnn

             Yep.  That was my first thought too.  Didn’t wallet man say something to the effect of “Let me know if you need anything?’ or something of that nature?

          • TheDivineMissAnn

             Yep.  That was my first thought too.  Didn’t wallet man say something to the effect of “Let me know if you need anything?’ or something of that nature?

            • Sweetbetty

              Oooo, forgot about that.  Could be that he hooks Lane up with a loan shark so Lane can replace the money he took but then he needs to pay off the loan shark.  This could keep Lane around for a while longer but I still doubt it will end up good for him.

            • KaiLing90

              Then Lane will meet that guy’s girl (he kept her photo) and get in even more trouble.

    • Sobaika

      I lost it when Paul popped up in full Hare Krishna drag looking like a modern-day Varys. Lost it.

      • deathandthestrawberry

        like a modern-day Varys. lol
        I lost it too. Of all the crazy possible future I might have envisioned for Paul, being a Hare Krishna would’ve been one of them.

      • Redlanta

         Ken could spiff up that script…

      • MK03

        I was screaming with laughter when they revealed that. 

      • MK03

        I was screaming with laughter when they revealed that. 

    • http://profiles.google.com/beckygsayers becky sayers

      I relished every single word!!!!! thank you!!–and couldn’t agree more about joan/don. I guess i would say the theme was “truth”, but i would have to have you explain it :).   definitely felt the death edit for Lane :( worried it was going to be that episode!– so who was aly khan (wiki says rita hayworth’s third husband and prince etc)? – signed someone born in the 70′s.

      • Maggie_Mae

        Aly Khan was a famous international playboy.  

        • Sweetbetty

           It was said that while he was courting Rita Hayworth he sent a giant bouquet of flowers to her every morning.

          • KittenKisses

             And when she left him to get a divorce she ran off with a girls’ most important friend – her hairdresser. :)

        • CozyCat

          And Don made a joke that he thought all the flowers Joan used to get came from Aly Khan.  Sending them, and wording the card that way, was one of the sweetest things we’ve ever seen him do.

        • http://profiles.google.com/beckygsayers becky sayers

          thank you Maggie_Mae– a history lesson every episode. 

      • Sobaika

        He was an Iranian prince in name only, and an infamous playboy and philanderer. Our Joanie was probably his type ;)

        • KittenKisses

           He married Rita Hayworth, so she absolutley was.

        • sarahjane1912

          And like Rita, our Joanie has that lush red hair. ;-)

          The first line that popped into my head when I heard the Aly Khan comment was something Rita Hayworth said about her less-than-idyllic love life: “They go to bed with Gilda; they wake up with me” [or words to that effect!]. Not sure it has any relevance to the scene or Joan or anything … Just occurred to me.

          PS. Loving all the comments, BKs. Late to this week’s ep [just watched it] but my favourite bit is reading TLo and everyone’s take on the latest instalment of MM. :-)

    • http://twitter.com/otterbird otterbird

      I actually bought the “Star Trek” reference, seeing as how in the second episode of Season One Paul Kinsey was reciting the opening to “The Twilight Zone.”  He was established as a sci-fi geek very early.  Of COURSE he would aspire to be a writer for “Star Trek.”

      Include me in your No Don-Joan Hookup Club.

    • Judy_J

      I was very glad that Joan and Don went no further than flirtation. I loved the scene at the bar. They had great repartee, and the friendship between them was genuine. I also loved that they used the Dois Day recording of “Christmas Waltz” in the bar scene. I had a hard time paying attention to the dialogue, because I was listening to Doris. I adore her.

      • sarahjane1912

        Wasn’t it lovely? :-)

        I did get a little pang though, when Joan wistfully said: “They’re all dancing to my music”. It seemed to me as if she was looking at all those happy couples celebrating their love at Christmas and she wanted some of it for herself. Sigh.

    • http://profiles.google.com/dorothymichael Dorothy & Michael n/a

      Anyone who pines for Joan and Don to be a romantic twosome does not pay attention to the dynamics of this show.  They just want the quick fix of seeing a fantasy play out in front of their eyes. 

      Per usual, I’m rapt while reading your wrap-up, which is not too different from the way I watch the show on Sunday nights.  Thank you for your thoughtfulness and truth in your writing.

    • Damien W

      Is the Net really whining for a Don/Joan hookup after last night? If so, the Net really missed out on exactly what made those scenes so great. And the Net needs to watch it again.

      In the middle of this mirror-world of chaos in the MMverse, we got an oasis of a one-act play, where Don and Joan get off the carousel for a few minutes to compare notes and have a wistful laugh at the absurdity that is their lives. And yes, to flirt, but more like they were exercising those muscles to keep in shape, rather than doing it with any real intent.

      I seriously want to piece together their scenes from last night, and watch it as its own mini-episode. Again and again. This one’s going on their Emmy reels.

      • Sweetbetty

         “And yes, to flirt, but more like they were exercising those muscles to keep in shape,”
        I assume you took note of Joan sighing and saying, “I miss this”, meaning sitting in a bar and being admired by men.  Does anyone think that anything happened between her and the guy eying her from across the bar?

        Also, when Joan said to Don that he found the perfect one (Megan) and his agreeing with her, do you think either of them really felt that, deep down?  Joan had already voiced her opinion that Megan was “one of *those* women…” and Don had already seen that Megan wasn’t exactly who he had hoped she’d be.

        • TheDivineMissAnn

           Didn’t Joan get flowers the next day?  I couldn’t make out what the note attached to the flowers said, but I just assumed they were from the man in the bar. 

          • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

            The flowers were from Don. I can’t remember the exact words, but the card said something like, “Your Mom did a good job. (signed) Aly Khan.”

        • MK03

          Did Don agree that Megan is perfect? It seemed like he sort of shrugged it off when Joan said that. 

          • Melissa Brogan

             He did agree, but it took him a moment and it was a sort of muted/mumbled agreement.

          • Sweetbetty

            He said, “I did” (shades of Peggy!) then quickly diverted the conversation.  I paid special attention to how he’d respond to that comment from Joan.  It didn’t sound very heartfelt to me.

        • MK03

          Did Don agree that Megan is perfect? It seemed like he sort of shrugged it off when Joan said that. 

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          Joan and Don will be lifelong Wingmen for each other.

      • http://twitter.com/Selkiechick Selkiechick

         THIS! I love Joan and Don together, as friends, as partners in harmless banter and flirting, as people who have been through rather a lot together. A fling or any real romance…. would be catastrophic, but they have given Joan has made some bad decisions in this arena before.
        I am keeping my fingers crossed that they stay as they are- good friends who trust each other enough to flirt without anyone getting the wrong idea.

      • makeityourself

        What a lovely and apt description of their scene together. Very well put. Those two are so believable when playing off each other. Their wistfulness was palpable.

    • imakeart

      Did Don smile more last night than any episode ever?  The scenes with Joan were brilliant from both of them.

      Am I the only person who didn’t know that Jared Harris is the son of Richard Harris?  His voice is identical.  And his stepfather was Rex Harrison?  That’s quite a pedigree.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527150091 Pat Biswanger

        Are you kidding me???  I had no idea!!!

      • Sweetbetty

         I had just asked that same question during last week’s discussion and I had only become aware of it after watching an episode of “Inside the Actors’ Studio” featuring the cast of Mad Men.  It doesn’t sound like he was especially close to either one,though, but genes are genes and they’re bound to show up.

        • emcat8

          That wouldn’t be at all surprising, since neither Richard nor Rex was particularly family-oriented, Richard especially being quite the lad in his day. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be a kid of either of theirs.

          • filmcricket

            Wouldn’t surprise me if it made one a teetotaller, at least, as they were both famous drunks.

      • Browsery

        I didn’t know he was related to Rex Harrison by marriage.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

        The only time Don may have smiled that much were when he was spending time with Anna.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        I knew that. I am a bit of a Jared Harris buff, however. :)
        And yes, he smiled a lot!

      • CarolinLA

        Richard Harris – one of my absolute favorites.  His appearances on Johnny Carson were such delights.  He was a reprobate and a fabulous actor and he relished in it.  

        • bluefish

          And he was a dear dear friend of the fabulous Peter O’Toole for decades –Richard Harris, I mean.  Jared was terrific as Andy Warhol.  He’s a wonderful addition to the show and I am praying that Lane doesn’t self-destruct.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            Yes, he was! Of course, he’s good in everything. Even the crappy “Lost in Space” movie.

    • http://www.facebook.com/asheslaree Ashes Laree

      No I dont want to see Joan/Don. I agree that they are wrong for eachother. I still want roger to be less of a jerk, and pick up joan and their baby and fly around the wold together happy, but joan would never have it.

      As far as Lane’s imbeselling I didnt understand what the lawyer needed the money for, something with the british goverment? That phone call was confusing for me. I got that he was desprate and stole the money…but why? I was lost. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527150091 Pat Biswanger

        He had failed to pay taxes in the UK; he only paid them in the USA.

      • CozyCat

        Roger is one acid trip away from proposing to Joan.  :-)

    • MissAnnieRN

      It’s true of a lot of shows that allowing fanfic to drive the plot really leaves the show at a dead end. It would be like scully and milder hooking up in camera or something. Leaves you with a sort of “now what?” feeling after the initial voyeurism of two hot people with delicious sexual tension do the deed.

      Re: theme heavy-handedness – I did totally groan at the play that megan and don went to see. Too overt for my liking. However I did have to applaud Megan’s restraint to don’t finals barb about her advertising career. It was interesting to me that she knew to leave it be.

      I must admit i was gritting my teeth through all the Lane/embezzlement stuff. I wanted him to just take don and roger aside and tell them the truth about the tax bill and ask for a loan. Now, clearly $8k is a shit ton of money (given that a jaguar is $5600), but I still think 2 guys like don and roger would have sympathized with his predicament and done their best to try to bail him out or give him a loan. Of course that would be boring though. But I like Lane and I really don’t want all the macabre foreshadowing to be related to him!! I sill think at this point it would be out of haracter for him to off himsel though…

      And yay for Joan’s presence in this episode! She is by far my favorite character an I need more Joan in my life!!!

      • Spicytomato1

        “I wanted him to just take don and roger aside and tell them the truth about the tax bill and ask for a loan.”
        That’s what I kept wishing and hoping for, too. I agree the partners would have been inclined to help him out. That would have been too easy and neat, I suppose, for this show.

        • jmw1122

           That and I think Lane is too proud to admit he needs help, or that he screwed up. Clearly his wife has no idea what’s going on either. His pride is going to be his downfall.

          • sarahjane1912

            I felt sure, especially since he almost lost it [a few times] when trying to push through the bonuses, that someone would call him on it. He got some weird looks, but that was it. 

            And while I’ve never personally been in the situation, oh I could feel his agony. I just wish he’d been able to swallow that “We-Never-EVER-mention-money/Neither a borrower nor a lender be”*** British pride that’s been strangling him for so long and go direct to Don for a handout. Better that than stealing from the books.
             
            *** Yup, I know that Lane DID borrow 50K ‘for the firm’ but that’s different — in his mind — to asking it for oneself. IMHO of course. ;-)

            • Sweetbetty

               And while I’ve never personally been in the situation, oh I could feel his agony.”

              It seems that about once a month in my area some soccer-mom type is charged with embezzling from her employer or volunteer organization that she handles finances for.  Usually by the time they’re found out it has been going on for a while and they’re into six-figures worth of theft.  I watch them on the news, trying to hide their face from the camera, and wonder what the heck they were thinking.  Then I think back to times when I was in desperate financial straits and think how easy it would have been, with easy access to lots of money that wasn’t mine, to “borrow” some “just this once” with every intention of replacing the money as soon as I could.  Then after you did it once it would be easy to justify “one more time”, and before you knew it you’d be in deep doo-doo.  I could just feel that in Lane, that he was going to do it “just this once” but since we know he has other financial problems it will be easy for him to do it “just one more time” and then there’s no turning back for him.  Poor Lane.  Whether he dies or not, things are not going to be pleasant for him in the immediate future.

    • http://twitter.com/Marie2Eyes Marie Ingrisano

      No mention of Harry’s fling in the office with Lakshmi?  That was really gross and it seems Harry has gone from dutiful husband who once made a mistake while drunk to a full time philanderer.  Must all the men on this show be two-timing bastards?

      • O H

         Yes, and the wadded up tissue, tossed into his trashcan.  He will need a shot of penicillin, for sure.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

          EW. I missed that little tidbit. 

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          Yeah. That was gross.

      • Jodie_S

        I don’t think that Ken is two-timing his wife (whose name I can’t remember).

        • http://6things.blogspot.com par3182

          CYNTHIA!

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

            What?

            • Frank_821

              it’s a joke refernce to an earlier episode where no one could recall the name of Ken’s wife

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

              Yes, and in that episode, right after Megan blurted out, “Cynithia!”, Cynthia said, “What?”

              I was continuing the joke.

            • Frank_821

              Sorry I forgot that part :p

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YAMNQMUGFM4NNSPAQLZRODSD5I Angela

          CYNTHIA!!!!
          lol…

      • Vlasta Bubinka

        I really wish we got more on him. I remember the adorkable Harry in “The Wheel,” and by last season, he’s a smarmy media guy, all “coast” talk and Buddy Ebsen…. and now references to his hotel whores, and his bit about Megan after “Zou Bisou.” And I’m curious, what exactly is he worried about Megan telling Don, as he said to Pete? The “Zou Bisou” thing? And would that have made sense to Pete, who wasn’t there for that joke?

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          I didn’t really get that line either.

          • judybrowni

            After the Zou Bisou performance, Harry is loudmouthing in the break room what he’d like to do sexually to Megan, when Megan walks in and overhears him.

        • CheriCPat

           Megan caught him talking about how he wanted to fuck her while she was singing that.  He was afraid she would tell Don the vulgar things he said about her.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            But that was months ago. I think if she was going to say anything, she would have already. Unless it was an ongoing thing, constant sexual remarks.

        • Melissa Brogan

          Megan overheard his sexual fantasy about her when he saw her perform Zou Bisou, and Harry being Harry, he’s assumed the news has spread all over the office already. Truth is, it seems neither Megan nor Stan (to whom the fantasy was being recounted) told anyone about it at all. So he’s worried that Megan will tell Don about what she overheard, because he assumes that Don would fire him ASAP for it. Pete’s got no idea what Harry’s worried about, but he knows enough about Harry to make assumptions.

      • Sweetbetty

         I’m still not sure of what Lakshmi’s motive was for that seduction and the slap in the face?  I had just watched an episode of another TV show (Cloudstreet if anyone is watching it) where a young, hot woman blatantly seduces an older, clueless man on her kitchen table and it occurred to me how similar the two scenes were (she used a dish towel to clean up while Lakshmi use tissues from the box on Paul’s desk).  I’m pretty sure the Cloudstreet scene was so the woman had some ammo to blackmail the guy with.  Is that Lakshmi’s motive?  I guess I’d never be good as an evil, scheming woman :-)

        • http://twitter.com/_KarenX Karen Miller

           I figured she can now hold over Harry’s head that he’d (Harry) had sex with the woman that his friend (Paul) had confessed he loved utterly. If she told that to Paul, it would probably keep Paul inside the group forever. That threat seems supported (to me) by the fact that Paul confessed of all the people who have claimed to want to help Paul, Harry is the only one who made good on the promise. I lumped the Krishnas into that group of people.

        • http://twitter.com/_KarenX Karen Miller

           I figured she can now hold over Harry’s head that he’d (Harry) had sex with the woman that his friend (Paul) had confessed he loved utterly. If she told that to Paul, it would probably keep Paul inside the group forever. That threat seems supported (to me) by the fact that Paul confessed of all the people who have claimed to want to help Paul, Harry is the only one who made good on the promise. I lumped the Krishnas into that group of people.

          • Qitkat

            Not my take. If Paul found out, it would not only destroy his friendship with Harry, why on earth would Paul want to stay with the Krishnas near that manipulative bitch?

            • Sweetbetty

              Because she’s a manipulative bitch.  He’s so needy she’ll be able to convince him it was all Harry’s fault.  Paul wouldn’t be the first mant to be blinded by love, or what he percieved as love.

        • ybbed

          I thought that entire scene was RIDICULOUS! None of it made any sense and it was totally gratuitous in context of the relationship with Paul.  When MM throws in stuff like that I just think, huh?  Is it just me?  In my living room I was saying, oh my god, that did not just happened. So incongruous. Just my  opinion.

          • http://twitter.com/noshadejustT Teri

            I can understand not responding to the scene, but I thought it was interesting. I liked that after they were finished (as gross as it was), Harry looked like he felt stupid and confused, and then she slapped him just to drive that feeling home. The traditional gender roles for a brash hook up were switched. Also, as others noted, the sex served to explain the Krishna woman much better than whispering into Harry’s ear or walking around unbathed could have. She’s conniving and she’s using Kinsey too. 

            • ybbed

              who cares if shes conniving? who cares about her at all? it was unbelievable in a bad way

            • http://twitter.com/noshadejustT Teri

              I do. I think its useful to have outsiders pop in and either propel, or arrest the development of the regular characters. 

        • sarahjane1912

          I suspect blackmail myself. She thinks Harry will be so worried that Paul will find out that he’ll be prepared to let Paul go to protect himself.

          That little Lakshmi sure was a nasty piece of work but oh oh oh, perhaps it’s mentioned on a future discussion page, but did no one catch that delicious little comment she made about Paul — as an addendum to her ‘reasoning’ for keeping him in the group — that “he’s the best recruiter we’ve got; he’s such a good closer” [or similar, I'll have to check the exact wording!] … 

          It was just so … so ‘market-speak-y’ or, if you will, something that would be said about a good accounts guy in an ad firm. Maybe Paul should be in accounts rather than creative?! Goodness me, I giggled over that at the time. It was like she viewed Paul as one of her colleagues with a skill set they needed within their own ‘firm’. 

      • bluefish

        I thought the whole plot point was poorly written and patently ridiculous.  I love the show but the Laskhmi office hook-up with Harry and the absurd rationale for it was a total low point.  Sometimes they just take this kind of stuff too far and shark jumping ensues. I love Harry and Paul as characters but if this is the best the writers could come up with for these two I would have much preferred an intelligent return of Sal.

        • ybbed

          I totally agree with you, see above comment

    • Jennifer Coleman

      That scene at the bar was flawless. It was like we were watching Don & Joan when the cameras were not rolling. Hamm & Hendricks blew it out of the park. Everything you guys said is super on-point, I’d add that they know & respect each other too much to have sex, even though they’re wildly attracted to each other.
      I love it that when Joan gets mad, she throws stuff around. That scene after she gets served was hilarious and again, totally in character. 
      While I understand Megan being angry about Don being late, it was a weird scene. Megan never loses control – it’s like she carefully planned to throw that plate against the wall before Don even came home, then demand he sit & eat with her. It’s like she’s prepared to be a lion-tamer, not a wife.
      Also, Jon Hamm OWNS the WTF face. HE did , like 4 variations in that scene alone.

      • Andrea Rossillon

        Did you see him in this week’s SNL’s opening skit with Kristen Wiig? God, he’s hilarious. He’s a total weirdo, and he commits to the scene, totally. I love to watch him act.

        ETA–I kept thinking it was Juliette Lewis, too! Then she would turn and I would realize it wasn’t her. But the next second, I would be confused again.

        • Spicytomato1

          I went through the exact same “she is, she isn’t, she is” process. At first I was fully convinced Lakshmi truly was Juliette Lewis, after Julia Ormond’s recent appearance.

        • dress_up_doll

          Total weirdo, indeed! I love him to death and got a kick out of seeing him dance over to Kristen Wiig during the close of SNL. He’s just incredible!!!

        • Sweetbetty

           Yes, he was a riot.  I love seeing him act so goofy on other shows and know that he doesn’t take himself so deadly seriously.  Though he’s done a killer job on Don Draper I think the man was born to do comedy.  BTW, the entire episode of SNL was great.  For a celebrity of his age and status, Mick Jagger did a *lot* on the show and the send-off to Kristen Wiig was terrific (except I hated that dress she wore during it).

          • Sobaika

            I hate 90% of what she wears. Girl has a serious hard-on for neutrals and she is not the right person for them.

            • ballerinawithagun

              The dress was great, fuchsia would have been the perfect color!

            • Sweetbetty

               It was that funnel dog-collar peplum that drove me nuts.  I did have too laugh affectionately at her attempt to not show the good china when one of her male cast-mates picked her up and twirled her around :-)

          • CarolinLA

            I didn’t get it until after I read it online but his Italian guy on SNL was named Gianni Prosciutto – Italian for Jon Hamm.

            • Sweetbetty

               Oh, fun-NEE.  I didn’t get that either :-)

      • Emily Guillory

         Surprise! There’s an airplane here to see you!!! lolol best line of the night

        • Sweetbetty

          And significant since the airline the company represented was foundering.

        • MK03

          I have no shame in admitting that I really enjoyed Joan’s tantrum. And let’s be honest, that secretary is an idiot.

          • KittenKisses

             I work as a receptionist (aiming for Joanie’s job though) and I would have got fired for doing something that bloody stupid. Your job as receptionist (as well as greeting people) is to act as a buffer the people behind you.

            • 3hares

              I don’t see what she did that would get her fired. A man came for Joan saying he was a friend. She called Joan and said there was a man there to see her who said he was a friend. As a process server the guy’s a master at cover stories to get the person in the same room. There’s no way the receptionist would have gotten the truth on who he really was even if she was a good receptionist.

            • KittenKisses

              But not conveying all of the information given (especially considering it was really weird) could get you fired, she’s put a senior staff member in an awkward legal position. Especially seeing as how she was too chicken to go and tell Joan herself. And Joan’s fired people for much less. As a receptionist you are there to protect the people behind you and she’s clearly incompetant.

              If someone told a receptionits he was a friend of an employee with something for her to sign, but it was a surprise. The incorrect response is to send another secretary to tell that staff member there’s someone to see you.

        • MK03

          I have no shame in admitting that I really enjoyed Joan’s tantrum. And let’s be honest, that secretary is an idiot.

      • Sweetbetty

         And Don’s first reaction to Megan’s anger was that it was a prelude to sex but she told him firmly it wasn’t about that.  Yet when she told him he was going to SIT and EAT with HER is was so reminiscent of when she told him to sit and not help her clean and to not look at her.  The girl’s gotta learn about sending mixed messages.

        • Jennifer Coleman

          Yeah…after seeing him so relaxed with Joan, he arrives back into a non-communicative domestic scene, different but similar to the one with Betty. While Betty, by the time we meet her, was already resigned to her fate of drunk/late/post sexed-up Don, Megan still does not accept it, but seems more interested in dominating him with either sex or violence than working out a solution. I appreciate her wanting to sit with him & eat, to bring the marriage to the forefront, but engaging Don about why he was late (oh, Joan had a bad day & I was cheering her up) versus tossing spaghetti would seem to be a better plan. It can’t really be that Don’s been late a lot, since he’s not working hard or having affairs, so I’m not sure why she flipped out so bad.

        • Jennifer Coleman

          Yeah…after seeing him so relaxed with Joan, he arrives back into a non-communicative domestic scene, different but similar to the one with Betty. While Betty, by the time we meet her, was already resigned to her fate of drunk/late/post sexed-up Don, Megan still does not accept it, but seems more interested in dominating him with either sex or violence than working out a solution. I appreciate her wanting to sit with him & eat, to bring the marriage to the forefront, but engaging Don about why he was late (oh, Joan had a bad day & I was cheering her up) versus tossing spaghetti would seem to be a better plan. It can’t really be that Don’s been late a lot, since he’s not working hard or having affairs, so I’m not sure why she flipped out so bad.

          • Melissa Brogan

             She knows his past. She was freaked out that now that she’s not in the office to keep an eye on him, he might go back to womanizing.

          • KittenKisses

             I agree with an above poster, Megan was incapable of sitting and having that conversation with him, because she’s already decided that’s she’s going to sit and be angry and throw that plate against the wall. Wild horses couldn’t stop that girl once her mind’s up.

      • jeeplibby02

        I agree.  The Don and Joan scenes were perfection (They reminded me of Don and Peggy at the diner the night Anna died.), and I felt like I was watching another show during Paul/Harry and Harry/Krishna-babe scenes.  I thought it played as farce.

    • megohd

      Great analysis, as usual. I so agree about Don and Joan!

      One thing I have a minor quibble with:
      TLo said:  It was a bit distressing to see his actions turn Megan – who is nothing like Betty – into essentially the same person. Then again, Betty would have never had the nerve to throw a plate of spaghetti at the wall in anger.

      I’m not sure Megan is so completely unlike Betty. We met Betty (and Don) when he was well into his philandering. Who knows what kind of food and drink hit the walls in the early days of his cheating. I feel like by the time the series began, Betty had learned to deal with Don’s absence and unfaithfulness more strategically, lest he try to convince her she was unhinged. 

      That’s one of the things I’ve enjoyed about this season. I’ve seen enough parallels between Megan and Betty to get a sense of what Betty might have been like in the early days of the marriage—making Don happy, but ultimately not being “enough” for him and then losing her grip, somewhat.

      • KittenKisses

         I agree with you. I think what Megan is doing is being an actress. Probably for financial reasons she cast herself as a perfect sunny receptionist and then secretary. From there into sex kitten and swinging career girl. I think it’s Megan’s MO, she sees her life, looks at the roles she’s playing and adjusts her performance accordingly.

        Rather than looking at the two women and seeing their differences, their problem may be the common denominator: Don. How can anyone be happy with someone who has no idea what they want?

      • Sweetpea176

        Betty didn’t know about Don’t philandering when we met her.  It took her friend coming to her for advice when she found out her own husband was cheating for Betty to actually see what had been in front of her the whole time.  It was her wanting to know if he was unfaithful that got her to unlock his desk drawer and find Dick Whitman in the first place.

    • rowsella

      I didn’t want Don and Joan to hook up.  They were like good friends who were both in on the joke.  I can totally relate to Joan’s anger at the young receptionist’s failure to find out what the young man’s purpose was and not screening him out.  Who hasn’t felt that way of late? (Maybe it’s my age and declining frustration threshold).  I was surprised at Meghan’s reaction to Don, — damn, she does trend toward the dramatic, doesn’t she?  When Don loved his job, he used to pull shit like this all the time–leave at noon, drink lots, go to movies, etc.  Perhaps she was not at the agency long enough to know how.who he is.  I think you are correct in that Don cannot serve two mistresses– work and wife.  To me, at that last meeting, he was telling his work family that he has made a choice.

       Lane is a doomed character.  He is so insecure that he cannot confide in his wife nor his American friends.  I wonder if this will mean the end of SCDP.  Seriously, we all know this can’t go on forever.  It’s 1967.  Does anyone expect to see Nixon resign?  I think it is always better to end a series on a high note, rather than destroy it by unlikely and unsatisfying storylines to the point of the shark jump.

       OMG on the Hare Krishnas!  I just yelled “NO.. REALLY!” at that scene.  Man, that haircut just made me laugh.  It was really sad tho– I think Harry redeemed himself somewhat.  However, I wonder if he will ever cheat on his wife again.  He had to feel really filthy after that with the Looney Lakshme.  What was interesting to me is that Harry initially relied upon social constructs to prevent him from cheating on his wife and then almost felt dared to do it.  I think Harry is more of an all talk and fantasy kind of man.  But then he was presented with one of those situations he probably only reads about…  He certainly felt guilty about it and thus gave his bonus to his friend to help him get away from the Life -Sucking Lakshme.  (I could spend hours making up names for that crazy bitch).

      Bert farted.  (everyone has to have a story about a boss that farts all the time… I actually had a boss who was uber respected in his field but had a compulsive habit of scratching his balls.  It was disconcerting to say the least.)  I liked this episode because it was more focused on SCDP peeps and not a major MeganDon production.  IRT the conversation Don and Megan had after the play… he was clearly feeling judged and was mighty prickly about the play.  Do you think he feels that Megan is a dilettante or is just turned off by the the pseudo-intellectual self flagellation about consumerism (from a gal who shops like no tomorrow)?

      • Lilithcat

         It’s 1967.  Does anyone expect to see Nixon resign?

        Not for several years yet.  He has to get elected (and re-elected) first.  I wonder if the series will go another seven years?

        • http://profiles.google.com/misslauraschultz Laura Schultz

          Apparently only one more season/year…

          • judybrowni

            Two more, I believe.

        • rowsella

           I was alluding to the fact that this series cannot go on forever.  I’d rather see it go on a high note than after losing half it’s viewers d/t sloppy desperate writing.  I don’t want to see Betty, Don and Joan get old.

        • Jodie_S

          I don’t think I could stand to relive the 70s with the cast going disco.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            But maybe we’d see Sal at Studio 54!

            • Munchkn

               Or we could see him at the Stonewall Riots

          • sarahjane1912

            Lordy, they’d be pretty old by then, esp. since ‘disco’ didn’t hit until 1973-4 nor hit the heights until ’75. That’s a whole eight-nine years away. 

            • Sweetbetty

               I’d still kill to see Roger in a polyester double knit leisure suit busting a John Travolta Saturday Night Fever dance move at the company Christmas party.

        • Sweetbetty

          I don’t know about in Mad Men time but I read somewhere that Matt Wiener has plans to end the series after two or three more seasons.

        • Melissa Brogan

          Matt Weiner said the show is planned around seven seasons. They’ve skipped ahead a bit in time, but seven years in 2.5 seasons seems a bit much.

      • Sweetbetty

         ” I can totally relate to Joan’s anger at the young receptionist’s
        failure to find out what the young man’s purpose was and not screening
        him out.”

        I’m surprised that twit is still working there.  She’s the same one who sat and looked on as Joan struggled through the heavy glass door with her baby buggy, then didn’t even know who she was when she introduced herself.  I’ve gotta believe she’s shown her incompetencies in other ways.  And how is it she can sit there and page through magazines and newspapers (I know, Megan did it too).  In every office I’ve worked in, the receptionist has other duties to keep her busy when she wasn’t actually greeting people or answering the phone.  I’m surprised Lane hasn’t seen the opportunity to cut some costs by assigning her some drudge work to do thus freeing up one of the secretaries for the more skilled work I assume they do.

        “Bert farted.  (everyone has to have a story about a boss that farts all
        the time… I actually had a boss who was uber respected in his field
        but had a compulsive habit of scratching his balls.  It was
        disconcerting to say the least.)”

        Really?  When?  I missed that :-)  I had a boss like yours, highly respected and dignified, but every time he spoke before a group of people he massaged his nipple in a circular motion through his shirt with his right hand.  People who had worked with him for 30+ years said he had always done that.  I found that disconcerting too.

        • Melissa Brogan

           She’s also the same girl who brought in the “artifact,” as Cooper put it, when the reception area was filled with black people waiting to apply to “progressive” SCDP…

          • Sweetbetty

            LOL!  Maybe she’s already slept with Roger and that’s why she’s still there ;->

    • Lilithcat

      it would appear that we are the only two people in the world who don’t pine for a Joan/Don hookup.

      No, you’re not!  It would ruin their relationship.

    • ChiliP

      I am firmly in the no Don/Joan club.  It would ruin a piece of both characters for me.

      Who gave the flowers to Joan? I looked away for a moment, and didn’t catch what the card said.

      • O H

         Don sent the flowers.  The card said, “Your mother was right” I believe.  He had a good time, and so did she. 

        • Damien W

          Yup, they were from Don. He even signed the card ‘Ali Khan’ to reference the joke he made at the bar. (For those who may not know, the Ali Khan was the Middle Eastern prince who married Rita Hayworth).

        • Sweetbetty

          But he cleverly signed the card, “Aly Kahn”, a reference to when Joan had mentioned getting flowers delivered to her at the office and Don saying jokingly that he thought she was dating Aly Kahn.  An explanation of the Aly Kahn reference can be found elsewhere in the comments.

      • http://annequichante.wordpress.com/ Anne

        Don did!  It said “Your mother did a good job.  -Aly Khan.”   1. Joan said that Don never sent her flowers (he said it was because he was so scared of her).  2. Joan told him that her mother had raised her to be desired.  3. Don said that with all of the flowers she received when he first started working there, he thought she was engaged to Aly Khan. :)  I thought that was such a lovely gesture.

        Also, I couldn’t help but thinking, when Don and Joan were at the Jaguar dealership, that they should have taken Joan along to do the Cool Whip pitch.

        • ChiliP

          Thank you, Anne! I admit, I had to google Aly Khan (what can I say, that was a bit before my time), but it all makes sense now.

          You are so right about Joan and the Cool Whip pitch. It reminds me of when Joan read the TV scripts for Harry, and although she really excelled at it, someone else was hired for the job. Peggy said Megan was the kind of girl who is good at everything, but Joan seems to have many under-appreciated talents as well.

        • Sweetbetty

          Good point.  Joan is much more quick on the uptake than Peggy is.  Plus, she looks like a woman who has enjoyed some whipped topping.

    • O H

      Don isn’t drawn to Jaguars, but did you notice how he drove it hard and put it away wet after leaving Joan (drooling) at the bar?  He was drunker arriving home, than when he left the bar.  I think Don knows his course with Joan will someday collide; rolling up his sleeves for her admiring look, working through the holidays to avoid Megan/home time…yeah, it’s going to happen.   PS You don’t send flowers the next day if you had a bad time.

      • asympt

         Sometimes you send flowers to be sweet.  Joan was mourning the day when flowers came all the time–Don recreated that for her.  As someone else who’s relied so much on his charisma, he has to empathize with the fear of it fading.  Just as in the bar, he was reminding her–and everyone in viewing range–that she’s still got it.  (As she showed in spades to the Jaguar dealer!)

      • bluefish

        I did indeed notice Don’s hard driving of the car after the bar — and chuckled.  I agree that, whether I care for it or not, Don and Joan will tumble into bed eventually — if only once.  The whole scene at the bar brought to mind The Front Page.

        • Sweetbetty

           Where would Don have been doing that hard driving?  I’m not familiar with NYC but I’m pretty sure you can’t drive like that there.  I assumed the bar was in the heart of the city.  Would the dealership have been on the outskirts somewhere where Don could put that car through its paces on the way to returning it?

          • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

            My first thought: The Sunrise Highway on Long Island.  Back in the 60s you could go 70 mph. on that road.  Don would have had to travel through Queens to get there, but we don’t know how late he finally arrived home.

    • susu11

      I pretty much agree that a Joan/Don hookup would likely have disastrous consequences for both parties involved, but Goddamn if they don’t look gorgeous together. When Don had his fedora on and Joan was teasing him, I had to keep saying to myself “do not get on this ‘ship’ haha.

      So sad about the Lane developments. I read a post on another site that said the UK tax rate for high-income earners was around 90% in the 60s! Apparently a lot of wealthy brits were investing and trying to move elsewhere to avoid this. (The Beatles song ‘Tax Man’ was a allusion to all this) In that context, it’s easier to better understand Lane’s financial issues and why America continues to be so appealing to him.

      The Hare Krishna/Paul plotline was so surreal. Mother Lakshmi is a friggin’ hypocrite for going on about preserving Paul’s spirituality when she really is using him as a recruitment tool to bring in more followers. I felt like Mad Men was definitely making a statement about how consumerism takes on all forms, and those in the fringes of society are not exempt from it. Desire, whether material or spiritual, is always there.

      • ldancer

        It’s a cult. That’s cult behavior. This is why I avoid Hare Krishnas like the plague. When I was a broke-ass art student I would never go eat the Krishna meal, because they’ve done nefarious things and…they’re a cult. They make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

        • Chaiaiai

          You know how last week, people were saying that the Redi-whip scene wasn’t funny?  That’s how I feel about the Hare Krishna stuff.  Not funny – and I’m not quite convinced that humor was what the writers were intending.  I think that the writers hit the nail on the head about the environment that led Paul to join - the feeling of no stability, not belonging, no “hope” so why not join?    Full disclosure: the Hare Krishas successfully recruited my uncle in 1969 in San Diego.  He’s never been the same, lives in SE Asia and belongs to another cult. 

          • Sweetbetty

            I agree.  The visual of squirting Redi-whip into the mouth was funny but the emotions that drove the behavior were not.  Paul’s appearance was hilarious but the emotions that drove him to join the cult were not.

        • http://twitter.com/flaming_mo Maureen Cox

          Yeah, that Hare Krishna/Lakshmi storyline was pretty surprising. While Lakshmi was pretty vile, I also saw her as a composite character meant to embody the more-sinister aspects of the early Hare Krishna movement. The writers really did their homework with that subplot (presumably they at least read “Monkey On a Stick”), and Harry was very smart to get Paul the hell away from those folks.

        • http://twitter.com/flaming_mo Maureen Cox

          Yeah, that Hare Krishna/Lakshmi storyline was pretty surprising. While Lakshmi was pretty vile, I also saw her as a composite character meant to embody the more-sinister aspects of the early Hare Krishna movement. The writers really did their homework with that subplot (presumably they at least read “Monkey On a Stick”), and Harry was very smart to get Paul the hell away from those folks.

          • http://twitter.com/Selkiechick Selkiechick

             I would be well and truly shocked if Paul does leave the Hare Krishnas.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

              I agree, I don’t think he’ll leave that easily, especially if he’s so ga-ga over Lakshmi, nor do I think they’ll let him leave too easily.

            • http://twitter.com/flaming_mo Maureen Cox

              Actually I can see him leaving if the tie to Lakshmi is broken. It was pretty obvious that the group was using her as a way to bind Paul to the group because of his recruitment talents. However, Paul even mentioned to Harry that he didn’t feel well liked by the other members, including the leader, and that’s what he craves, to be appreciated and cared for. Once Paul’s removed from the sex-and love-bombing, hopefully  he’ll move on, especially since the Hare Krishnas were a brand spanking new cult. However, in all likelihood Paul will just make a lateral move onto another one of the many sects, cults, and counterculture offshoots that were so prevalent in California at the time.

          • CozyCat

            Actually, there was nothing that was overtly played for laughs about the Hari Krishna scenes (except maybe Harry doing the chanting.)  What made if funny was that it was PAUL.  He was always the pretentious sort looking for the next hip thing to be part of.  That he would fall into the eastern “religion” thing (quotes intended to differentiate from real eastern religions) and end up in a cult was too perfect.

            • filmcricket

              Exactly. He had the beard, he smoked pot, he dated the black woman, he moved to Jersey on purpose: as soon as I saw the hair I was like “OF COURSE.” (Then MM had to go and make it poignant.) If he does go to California I suspect he’ll fall in with the Haight-Ashbury crowd.

    • ballerinawithagun

      Friends of the opposite sex was a completely new concept back then. My mother still doesn’t understand this idea. I think Joan is too smart to have an affair with Don. You didn’t mention the roses Don sent to Joan. The note showed that he actually listened to their conversation. The mark of a real friendship. They are still the most attractive people at the firm, so everyone will suspect them of having an affair.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        Don respects Joan too much to sleep with her.

    • mommyca

      Sign me up for those who don’t want a Joan-Don hookup either! It was a wonderful scene (and the way Don was wearing that hat… so hot!!!!)… there was the perfect amount of tension and flirting that made it so fantastic….
      in one interview by Moreen Ryan, Jon Hamm mentioned this story arc with Joan and sort of shoot down the idea of it being romantic… so actually I wasn’t worried about that while watching it…. (ok, maybe a little bit)…
      by the way, I was laughing hard during the play Don and Megan attended and while listening to the actor doing his anti-advertising monologue, all I could think was “TLo are NOT going to be happy with the lack of subtlety on this one!” :-)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527150091 Pat Biswanger

      I think it was interesting that the Krishnas want to hold onto Paul because he’s their best recruiter.  Ever the Mad Man!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527150091 Pat Biswanger

      Lane paid taxes in the USA but not in the UK, and they caught up with him.  The character on the phone was his British attorney, who represented him in the tax proceedings there.

      I don’t remember why Paul left . . .  also wonder!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

        When everyone left to start SCDP, they didn’t take Paul with them – the left him at the old agency.  From what Peggy was saying last night, he seems to have bounced around a few agencies since then.

        • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

          I LOVED Peggy’s delivery of the line that Paul hadn’t worked at A&P but THE A&P (I remember those stores).  I tried to picture the poor guy as a bagger.  The A&P bag on the kitchen table after Betty’s “Dark Shadows” grocery shopping was a nice tie-in/bit of foreshadowing.

      • Sweetbetty

        So could he have paid his UK taxes and no US taxes?  Or did he have to pay both?  If he became a US citizen would he only need to pay US taxes?  The poor guy is turning into such a lying sleaze.  Can you believe the story he told his wife about Jaguar crawling back to him and SCDP begging him to work on the account with them over the holidays!  Nope, things don’t look good for our guy Lane. 

        • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

           I don’t know that he’s turning into a “sleaze” per se. He’s just in over his head and too proud to come clean about it. I think if he goes back to the UK, he could get arrested for tax dodging and he can’t afford to send just the wife and son. So, he lied about his importance to the firm to substantiate why he needed to stay in NY, and he begged her to stay with him over the holidays.

    • VanessaDK

      “Better for both Don and Joan to treat each other just as they did: as a
      temporary Jaguar to drive around for a while, but ultimately something
      to be returned to the showroom, the check uncashed.”

      Beautifully said!  I couldn’t figure out how to say that the last thing I wanted was for Don and Joan’s mutual respect to deteriorate into a night of regrettable sex.

    • Sweetvegan

      I don’t want a Joan/Don hookup either! They are just perfect the way they are, but I think we, the audience, needed the why-haven’t-we-ever-hooked-up talk between them, like the same talk that Don & Peggy had in The Suitcase. I think the real reason is that Don respects both Peggy and Joan professionally, although that time he rejected Peggy, he just didn’t know her and he wasn’t about to sleep with a secretary right after meeting her.

      • Sweetbetty

        Plus she wasn’t nearly hot enough for his standards.

        • Maggie_Mae

          Don did not screw around with secretaries while he was married.  He may have met Midge–a commercial artist–through work; Rachel was a client & Bobbie was also “connected” with the job.  But he kept his relationships discreet around the office. 

          Then Betty divorced him.  Eventually he hooked up with Doctor Faye–but they had to keep the relationship secret as long as she was working for the company.  Then, there was the one disastrous encounter with Alison.  Finally–Megan. 

    • J MN

      The bar scene with Joan and Don was the best of the season so far.  So well done.  After the show, relishing such a great episode, I remember seeing the cast last week on “Inside the Actors Studio” and it being discussed that they only do a read through around a table once before shooting.  Which makes the bar scene so much more brilliant.  They nailed it.

    • Sweetvegan

      Was it Bobbie Barrett who said, “I love being bad and then going home and being good”?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527150091 Pat Biswanger

        That’s who I thought of.

      • J MN

        Yes

    • VanessaDK

      I like Megan more and more (against my earlier instincts).

      I also like the fact that there is a character who does connect the show to the culture of NY at the time (the play she and Don see was of course a real Off Broadway show at the time).  I know it has been part of the ethos of the show that the characters are in a cocoon and only marginally interact with major social changes,  AND I respect the idea that it would be unrealistic to depict everyone as aware of the changes that were going on, but it is more fun to get out of the office/home and see what was happening.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

      I was wincing in anticipation of a kiss between Joan and Don, and I’m really glad it didn’t happen. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527150091 Pat Biswanger

      The card was signed from “Ali Khan” who was a famous playboy at the time, and the ex-husband of actress Rita Hayworth.  Don had said that in the beginning Joan got so many flowers delivered at the office he expected that she was dating Ali Khan, so clearly the flowers were from Don.

    • http://twitter.com/1carmelita 1carmelita

      I don’t want to see Don and Joan hookup either!! They are wonderful together, but that would be a disaster. I think Don misses having an “office wife.” Megan was able to be everything to him, and he misses that. He tried to get Peggy to fill that role at work, and it was a disaster during the Cool Whip pitch. Joan can fill the work side of that role, but isn’t going to be able to relate to him personally except as a close friend. You could go so far as to say he was “test driving” the idea of a relationship with Joan, but realized that wasn’t going to work. That was some pretty angry, frustrated gear changing in the Jaguar!

    • http://twitter.com/applebite Lisa

       Remember when Lane told Joan, ‘You could do my job”? There’s no other character so primed to figure out what Lane did.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        Ooh, that’s good. It’s gotta come crashing down somehow. Maybe Joan will be the one to figure it out.

        • TheDivineMissAnn

           I’m with you, Joan will be the one to figure it out.  It would be interesting to see what she does with it, as I think she has a soft spot for him.

        • Sweetbetty

          Yes, and it will be gut-wrenching for her because she does like and respect Lane but there’s no way she can let this pass.  That just may be the last straw for him; knowing that he’s lost Joan.

        • larrythesandboy

          No doubt – remember that when Lane had the meeting with the partners where he tried to get them to agree to the bonuses, someone asked whether Joan should be there and Lane said no.

      • CatherineRhodes

         Good point, Lisa. As we’ve all been talking about death hanging over this season…what if Lane ends his life over the embezzlement and Joan gets promoted to his position?

        • MissusBee

          Interesting! The moment Joan came back and saved the day when they set up SCDP is my all-time MM high moment. Don would back her promotion because he believes in her, Roger would back it as the only form of financial help she’ll take. Bert and Pete are both sexist and might not be hugely supportive, although equal pay is still decades away so Bert might like the fact they can get a COO without paying a man’s salary.

      • makeityourself

        Hey Miss Lisa, that’s pretty good. You are probably right.

        • MissusBee

          Yes – also how will Don react to being forged, when he forged his whole life? If Don and Joan find out before the others, they might be able to help Lane. The worst would be if Pete gets involved as he is a vindictive little sh*t, and after Lane’s whupping, he’ll want to see Lane suffer.

      • HeatherD9

         Good catch!

        Also, didn’t Lane send Joan roses?  Albeit he intended to send something simpler.  I think Joan fired that secretary for such an egregious mistake.  Maybe we should start taking bets on the receptionist. Then again, as Joan noted — most of the girls at that desk end up married to the boss.

      • HeatherD9

         Good catch!

        Also, didn’t Lane send Joan roses?  Albeit he intended to send something simpler.  I think Joan fired that secretary for such an egregious mistake.  Maybe we should start taking bets on the receptionist. Then again, as Joan noted — most of the girls at that desk end up married to the boss.

    • http://profiles.google.com/misslauraschultz Laura Schultz

      Well I totally agree with your read this week except for a slight tweak on the last paragraph. 

      It may have been a bit desperate for Don to make that speech but it was also Don being the only one reading the room and the only one capable of upping the energy of the room for a goddamned Christmas party that’s supposed to help people end the year on a hopeful note.  

      “Still, it seems clear to us that Don can have a fulfilling professional life or he can have a semi-fulfilling home life, but he’s incapable of doing both at the same time.”

      I don’t know if it’s that cut and dry as that he’s incapable of “doing” both because I’m not sure he’s totally the source of his own lack of fulfillment at work. I mean, he is clearly questioning his fulfillment at work because Megan is no longer there, but as she herself pointed out he was fulfilled in his job before she got there. But she also pointed out that he also talks the business down like the guy in the play.  I think he is TORN between his personal and professional life and part of him just wants to ditch it like Megan did. 

      LLLOVED the Joan/Don scenes and I totally agree with your assessment of it.  I don’t want to see them as a couple either. 

      • Sarah Crandall

        Also, about that last scene…Pete makes his declaration about Jaguar to yet another audience, hoping for a spectacular reaction, yet again, only to be met with silence…and then Don finally comes to his rescue, as you said, both sensing the need for something to give the office hope, but also giving Pete the backing he has so long-desired from Don.  That moment (along with all the other Lane drama) confirmed for me that it will not be Pete if there is indeed an office suicide.  (Was that a Don’s personal growth moment?  Purely selfish, get me out of the house?  Or both?)

    • Le_Sigh

      Agreed on the Don/Joan tip – it just doesn’t work.  Its MUCH more delicious to watch them possibly toy with the idea.  And really, Don is not the man for our Joanie.

      (Speaking of women who know Don too well – just saw a VERY young Carla Buono (the actress who played Dr. Faye Miller) in Kicking and Screaming over the weekend.  Her 80s/90s hair was utterly hilarious!)

      • Le_Sigh

         Also – cannot WAIT for your Mad Style post on this one!

        • http://profiles.google.com/misslauraschultz Laura Schultz

          style didn’t stand out for me in this one as much as other weeks. 

          • Sweetbetty

            Well, I, for one, am *dying* for an analysis of Paul’s look ;->

      • Andrea Rossillon

        Who was she in K&S? Chris Eigeman’s townie girlfriend? I’ve got it saved on DVR but I haven’t watched it yet–I haven’t seen it since about 1999.

        • Le_Sigh

           Yup – the 16 going-on-17 townie – its a hoot!

    • NoNeinNyet

      I want to see a Don/Joan hookup even less than I want to see a Don/Peggy hookup. It should never happen. I would very much like to see Hamm and Hendricks play opposite each other in another project. Dear Lord do they have chemistry. On a lesser show, the writers, producers and/or network execs would decide that they’re way too pretty and compatible and would get them together no matter how little it made sense for the characters.

    • Browsery

      “He is literally willing to destroy his life just to find someone who likes him.”  Paul believes he has no life.  He’s come undone.  Harry’s attempt to save him from the Hare Krishna was hilarious and touching.  Paul’s observation that of all the people who had promised, Harry was the only one who actually had done something for him was one of the best lines in the episode.

      Lane’s forging of the check could have many repercussions, not just for the firm, but for Don.  He forged Don’s name, and if there’s an investigation, the truth of Don’s situation may be revealed.  This kind of corporate crime probably happens all the time, but I couldn’t help thinking of David Begelman, the movie studio exec who forged a check using the name of Cliff Robertson, an actor.

      • HeatherD9

         Hey Browsery,

        Great reference!  I had to hit wiki to get the back story on the Begelman / Roberston scandal.  Embezzlement, forged chks, gambling sprees in Vegas, stealing a car from Judy Garland…
        Whew! 

        My fav was the line regarding Begelman’s claim of being a Yale alum :
        New West said “Although Begelman was indicted for forgery and grand
        theft, the Hollywood types were more outraged that he had listed Yale in
        Who’s Who. Apparently they figured that everybody steals money. It was the fact that he lied about Yale that drove them crazy.”

        Amazing stuff… I’m sure it is much more fun to read about it than to live it tho’

        H:D

    • Browsery

      The figure “8,000″ was mentioned.  I assumed it that pounds.  Am I correct.  That’s a lot of money.  Although 8,000 in dollars would have been a tidy sum in 1966 dollars, too.

      • VanessaDK

        The solicitor in UK said £2900 — Looks like around $8,000 in 1966 (and then he asked for his fee!)

      • Andrea Rossillon

         it was £2900, but $8000.

      • Melissa Brogan

         $8000 in 1966 was just north of $53,000 in 2010 dollars.

    • StelledelMare

      I’ve always been more or less indifferent about a romantic relationship for Don and Joan. Yes, I too can see why people would want it but then I just stop and think that Don would absolutely ruin her and everything would just be a big mess. I thought that bar scene was by far one of the best moments in the show’s history because of the ease they felt around each other. That is a deep platonic friendship and I really don’t think it should ever go anywhere further than that.  Don needs people like that in his life. More people like Joan and Anna. But my goodness this episode was full of so many “omg” moments. Bitch seriously was cray cray though. And the scene with Joan yelling at the receptionist was kind of amazing. And as much as Megan urks me, I did like that she didn’t let Don turn that situation into more angry sex.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        I think their angry sex days are over.

    • VanessaDK

      I have to say — although Harry’s goodwill gesture to Paul Kinsey did reflect a sincere desire to save Paul from sliding into oblivion, it also had a lot to do with his being angry about being “played” by Lakshmi and was a clever way to get the upper hand and  steal her best salesman.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        On the upside, maybe that whole incident will keep him from sleeping around again.

    • Browsery

      Although I was shocked by this subplot, and I liked pairing of the serene music with Lane’s acts as he forged the check, I enjoyed the understanding that a person can be competent in his job and make a mess of his personal affairs even though one is using the same skills.

      I still don’t understand how a financial person for a UK firm could end up not paying his taxes, although I think UK taxes were/are quite high.

      • Sweetbetty

         The taxes are high in all the European countries that pay for the people’s health care and a lot of other benefits.  One reason for all the trouble they’re in now.

        • judybrowni

          No, definitely NOT the reason they’re “all” in trouble now.

          The socialist countries that haven’t let their banks and oligarchy loot the country are still in good shape, despite taking care of their citizens. 

          • http://twitter.com/TigerLaverada TigerLaverada

            No, it’s not the social net system that has Europe in trouble, it’s the huge banks gambling and keeping inadequate cash reserves, plus housing bubbles. They’re going through really tough times now because they adopted super-tight austerity measures, slashing government spending like crazy in an effort to control their debt, but (predictably) it’s having the opposite effect as such actions utterly stifle an economy. 

            Believe it or not, when a lot of the world’s economy went off the rails in 2008, Australia (a country that pays for people’s healthcare and a lot of other benefits) didn’t even have a recession. But they regulate their banks like crazy, and don’t let them act like casinos.

            Back on topic! I think Lane had tax trouble — I remember a line about them wanting to make an example out of him, an Englishman earning money in another country. I need to watch it again.

            • sarahjane1912

              Well said, esp. the bit about Australia not having a recession despite paying for healthcare etc. The conservative government from late ’90s-early ’00s introduced ‘austerity measures’ on its citizens well before the bubble burst which is why the country’s only moderately affected by the world credit crisis now.

            • Sweetbetty

               Just curious, did the top government guys make sacrifices too?  Do the citizens appreciate what was done or are they bitter about sacrifices they had to make?  I’m just thinking in terms of the US government that wants to cut so much from the 99% while the top officials are making no sacrifices  and we’re finding out about all the money spent on good times by government employees.

      • MissusBee

        In the UK they refer to this era as the ‘brain drain’ because taxes were so high on top salaries that successful people left the country in droves.

        However, if Lane had been honest with his wife (and himself) and cut down on his expenses earlier (e.g. fancy apartment, private school), it might not have come to this. I seem to remember Rebecca didn’t want to move to the US at first, and his father forbade him from getting divorced, so he’s probably been spending to keep his wife comfortable.

        • sarahjane1912

          You think their apartment is fancy? Hmm. Must watch the scene with Lane/Rebecca again, because I remember thinking that their apartment looked like quite the sad little place, almost mid-price-hotel-ish [suggesting to me that Rebecca doesn't feel settled, hasn't made it a real 'home', wants to leave etc, and that Lane can't afford anything better]. Not unhappy to be proved wrong though! :-)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-TallGirl-Freeman/1043623567 Jessica TallGirl Freeman

      I’m with you TLo…I love Joan and Don’s friendship and it’s nice to see that.  I was glad they didn’t cross that line, but honestly I didn’t expect them to.  It would have crossed the line into soap opera territory and that’s not the kind of drama this show thrives on.  I was also ecstatic to see Lane back in the picture and the embezzling is sure to create the kind of Mad Men drama we crave.

    • PaulaBerman

      Can we talk about Megan’s reaction? I am not a Megan hater, but it seems to me she was being totally hypocritical. Didn’t she do the EXACT same thing to him when she snuck out to do her audition? She didn’t come home, Don didn’t know where she was, and then she waltzed in and lied her ass off. At least Don told her the truth about where he’d been. I wish he had thrown that in her face, because her tantrum seemed to stem from total paranoia about his fidelity, and she has to know her reaction isn’t going to have the desired effect. At all.

      • susu11

        That’s a great point PaulaBerman. I think Don did deserve to get chewed out, especially considering his past ways will always raise doubts and insecurities within the woman he’s with, but Megan’s reaction felt so off base to me in light of her past actions. I really did think for a minute it was going to be like that ‘I’m so mad’ game they played in the Season Premiere, with Megan cleaning in her underwear. It just all seemed a bit irrational on her part, even though I understood that Don should have called and been considerate.

        Also did anybody else cringe at Jessica Pare’s acting during that blow-up? She came off like a pouty brat rather than righteously angry. The way she flung that dish was just ugh…

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/EICGS3ZJZ2P5NYMR5ND55IACUQ Tara

           Think the pouty brat thing was on purpose.  It has yet to be mentioned that she made spaghetti for dinner, which her mom made for her when she was upset as a child.  Having plain spaghetti for dinner seemed to point to the fact that, although her anger is warranted, she took it to a childish level.  The plate of spaghetti being launched at the wall was a straight up tantrum.

          • CatherineRhodes

             That’s a really good point, Tara. It was a tantrum, as a way to show their age difference and cast her as the child in the relationship.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            Plus as I guessed, she is not much of a cook. Plain spaghetti for dinner is L-A-M-E.

            • Maggie_Mae

              Plain spaghetti that has been sitting for a while….

              The whole thing about pasta is that it cooks quickly.  So there’s no excuse for not serving it fresh.

            • Sweetbetty

               It would have made a much bigger impact when she threw the dish against the wall if the spaghetti had been covered with tomato sauce. 

            • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

              LOL!

            • Melissa Brogan

               She made boeuf bourguignon in another episode. I think she just likes plain spaghetti, or spaghetti with cheese, which is a pretty common dressing for it.

            • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

              But there were comments that the kitchen was suspiciously tidy, that maybe it came from a box.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            Plus as I guessed, she is not much of a cook. Plain spaghetti for dinner is L-A-M-E.

          • susu11

            That’s very true. It was a childish act. Though sometimes certain circumstance warrant a smash item-i.e. Joan demolishing that model airplane, Megan’s action were not justifiable. Thinking about it now, Jessica Pare couldn’t even sell that child tantrum aspect that well. She pouted and was bratty sure but it still came off stiff as hell. (sigh)

          • makeityourself

            All I could think of for that moment was “The Odd Couple.” Now THAT’S how one throws a plate of spaghetti.

        • Sweetbetty

           “Also did anybody else cringe at Jessica Pare’s acting during that
          blow-up? She came off like a pouty brat rather than righteously angry.
          The way she flung that dish was just ugh…”

          Truly cringeworthy.  It was like she had sat there and ran the scene through her mind and decided what she was going to do.

          • tallgirl1204

            But isn’t that the point?  She’s ACTING.  It’s not Jessica Pare acting badly, it’s Jessica Pare portraying Megan who is calculating her behavior to manipulate Don.  It’s bad acting because Megan is acting badly– not Jessica Pare.  Crazymaking behavior. 

          • deedeegee

            Well whether it was on purpose or not i thought it was a weak scene on her end. There are a lot of people that aren’t big fans or January Jones’ acting in the show but one area where she never fell short were scenes where she was truly mad at Don.  I still remember that moment where chewed out Don for not wanting to sign a contract at the old firm. She said something like “Why not? Is it because you don’t know where you’re going to be in 3 years?”  Don’t remember the conversation exactly but she was SO GOOD.  I tend to think she’s pretty good overall though…

    • Frank_821

      The whole Hare Krishna thing was, after the hilarious site of Paul, really sad. I always recall Paul being kind of a phony and struggling at the ad game. But now you see how desperate he really always has been. His speech about he knows the krishnas are not doing it for him is beyond pitiable. This is especially striking when he remarks how Harry was able to respond to the chanting on his first try. (note it was of his child not his wife). My first response to Laksme was she is indeed a crazy bitch. But I kind of see a kindred desperation on her part. The krishnas give her security but that is it. They haven’t actually helped her. She’s still a damaged person who couldn’t even just ask Harry not to encourage Paul in his pipedream. You can tell she considered herself no better than a whore and a junkie after the way she slapped Harry and his too close to home comment. Sad that sending Paul off on a hopeless dream is better than where he’s at.

      The scene with Joan and Don was beautiful and well played. Full of nuances that we like about the show. The following scene with Megan felt forced though and part of me didn’t like that she was the one who forced the issue. I would have preferred it to come from Peggy especially since she’s the one who has been most personally affected by Don’s malaise. Don’s really neglected her

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

      oooh, there was an Inside the Actors Studio with the cast of Mad Men? I need to find that….

      • Sweetbetty

         I believe there has been more than one.  I caught the one about a week ago and from some things that were said got the feeling that it was about a year old, but James Lipton made some references to previous appearances that let me to believe this wasn’t the first time he’s had them on.

      • Sweetbetty

         I believe there has been more than one.  I caught the one about a week ago and from some things that were said got the feeling that it was about a year old, but James Lipton made some references to previous appearances that let me to believe this wasn’t the first time he’s had them on.

      • sweetlilvoice

        It was great and was on last week I think. You could probably watch it on you tube or catch a re-run on TV. My sis watched it and said she didn’t learn anything she didn’t already know by watching the commentary tracks.

        I learned lots though. And they all looked great, especially John Slattery. Meow!

    • crash1212

      I’m with you – no Don and Joan hookup for me! I love their scenes together – no two people in that office get each other more than those two…but an actual hookup? No way. Much better to see their relationship deepen without the sexual shenanigans.

    • Sweetvegan

      Lakshmi should’ve told Harry “If you don’t stay away from Paul, I’ll tell your wife about us.” She had the perfect bargaining chip.

      • Sweetbetty

        I was confused about that whole scene too.  I kind of decided that was her unsaid message but it wasn’t that much of a bargaining chip.  I mean, what did she have?  One visit to his office that doesn’t even have a sofa? It would have been his word against her’s and if his wife asked others at the office I doubt they would have suspected any hanky-panky occurred.   If it was today she could have taken the tissues with her and had a DNA sample to prove it, but that’s not the case.  And why did she slap him?  If she was trying to get his cooperation she would have been better off to leave on a pleasant note with the implication that they could have more such episodes if he plays along.  I just didn’t understand that whole bit.

        • Sweetvegan

          But  Harry told the receptionist that Lakshmi was there to interview for a nanny job – a blatant lie. So the receptionist would know that Harry was lying, but she might lie to Jennifer to help Harry cover his tracks.

        • Frank_821

          It is vaguely edited. The most logical suggestion would be that she would tell his wife and the man has cheated before. I interpreted that very nasty slap due to Harry pushing a very sensitive button. For us, Harry was making one of his thoughtless slips of the tongue responses. Harry being Harry. But for her, he perhaps struck a major nerve with her own issues. Before the krishnas, she use to do drugs and prostitute herself. Harry’s remark basically labeled her as still being nothing more than a whore. The force with which she slapped him suggests that it’s something she has not resolved. I see it as how she still perceives herself and her behavour in the office seems to underscore that.

    • ldancer

      I TOTALLY do not want to see a Joan-Don affair; it would be cheap of the writers to do that. It wouldn’t serve the story. But the scenes between them were delicious. Their relationship exists on a different level. I’ve had male friends like that – a popular cad known for dating hot girls and treating them like crap, but somehow never paying a price; we have no romantic interest and are only friends, which is MUCH better. Also, those two actors together are just a dream.

      God, I don’t even know where to start with last night. The very sight of Kinsey in a Krishna outfit was comedy gold and I think the actor knew it. I loved the mention of Star Trek and I wondered when they were going to drop it in there. And my jaw kind of dropped when Don used the term “Great Leap Forward”. That’s pretty loaded. Though, did people in the US know, in 1966, what it really referred to, and more to the point, what actually happened during the Great Leap Forward?

      • Munchkn

         Wasn’t the Great Leap Forward occur in the 50s before China underwent the Cultural Revolution in the 60s?  Millions of Chinese died due to starvation and other causes.  Man, that hurts to type that out.

    • bellesprit

      Resounding NO! to a Don/Joan hookup. But an enthusiastic Yes! for their scenes last night. The chemistry was electric and fun. It seems like the kind of comfortable, flirty chemistry in a long term genuine friendship when there’s the unspoken agreement that it will never be consummated. I enjoyed it immensely but would not enjoy a “hookup” between these characters. That would cheapen Mad Men, taking it on the easy route so often followed by lesser shows.

    • bxbourgie

      Don’t want or NEED a Joan/Don hookup.  No one needs that.  As you stated I would hate to see Joan passed around the office like that.  She’s too good for that.  

      • Sweetbetty

        Someone else made a comment about Joan being passed around the office.  Who else has she hooked up with besides Roger?

        • judybrowni

          Paul.

          Which in the pilot, Joan mentioned as a mistake. Because Paul had a big mouth and blabbed about it, and so she broke it  off with him, but fast.

          • Sweetbetty

             Paul?  Why would she ever have been attracted to him?  He’s not good-looking, wasn’t high-ranking in the company, didn’t seem to have an especially charming personality; I just can’t imagine her with him.

            • sweetlilvoice

              He’s very charming in those early seasons and sweet. Love the scene during the JFK/Nixon election where they are dancing together…

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

          There are only 4 partners; sleeping with 2 of them would be a high percentage.

          Joan was also involved with Kinsey back at the old Sterling Cooper office, I think, and it seems like it was implied that he wasn’t the only one.

    • miagain

      Plate of spaghetti on the wall… I haven’t even seen this episode yet.. but all I could think of was The Odd Couple, when Oscar flings the spaghetti… I MEAN FETTUCINE at the wall .

      • NurseEllen

         One of Neil Simon’s best lines!  Felix: That’s not spaghetti, it’s fettucini.  Oscar (throws plate at wall, and watches mess ooze down to the floor): Now it’s garbage.  HAH!

        • judybrowni

          The line is “it’s linguini.”

          • NurseEllen

            Of course! Serves me right for relying on memory and not IMDB. But the laugh, naturally, comes with “Now, it’s garbage.” Matthau delivered it masterfully–his tone dripped as much as the tomato sauce.

    • P M

      OMG moments so far (I’m still watching):

      Oh Lane. Oh Lane. Oh. Lane. 

    • Jane_Lane

      I laughed pretty hard at that Star Trek script. It’s exactly the kind of heavy handed allegory original Trek would have laid on us without a drop of irony.

    • P M

      And true OMG moment: Kinsey is a Hare Krisha-ite!!! I just about fell out of my chair!!

    • http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/lastbutnotleast janinedm

      Two quibbles:

      Faced with a woman who knows his inner workings better than he does, he high-tailed it out of there to burn off some middle-age frustration in his temporary Jaguar.

      Who knows what Don would have done in the long term, but it was Betty who did the high-tailing. She does not like dirty things and the revelations sullied Don. I think that to make it all his decision removes some of her agency. Two, Paul Kinsey’s always been a slave to fashion. Sometimes in good ways (being a freedom rider/fake Beat.) So this rings true to me.

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        We’re talking about the scene in the bar; not his marriage, in that sentence.

        • http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/lastbutnotleast janinedm

          Ah. That’s fair. I thought you were saying Megan was the Jaguar, but the Jaguar is the Jaguar…

    • NurseEllen

      I’m completely on the “NO NO NO Don & Joan” bandwagon, it would be an error of judgment with huge, negative repercussions.  I’m also very impressed by the scene in the bar between Don & Joan–the interplay, the timing, the looks were all brilliant and showed two actors at the top of their form, taking dialogue and making it an emotionally revealing conversation.  And Don in the fedora was drool-worthy!

      I thought the “theme” of this episode had to do with money.  Everything seemed to revolve around it: Lane’s money worries and subsequent embezzlement; Don writing a check for the car; Christmas bonuses; Harry’s gift to Paul; Mohawk cutting back on its expenditures; Roger’s mention of child support checks and paying for Kevin’s future college education.  The references were everywhere.

      A couple of random thoughts/questions.  1) did anyone make out what the guru/swamee/whatever leader of the Hare Krishna group was saying during his speech/sermon?  I was trying to hear it but obviously it was an underscore to the interchange between Harry, Paul, and Lakshmi.  2)  Frank Sinatra (who was referenced in the bar) did a the first recording of “The Christmas Waltz” in 1954…..any ideas why it was not used?  And is anyone else totally aggravated that AMC runs the ads & previews over the closing credits so we can’t hear the music or actually read the credits?  I hate that.  I think the first time, the singer might have been Doris Day, but I couldn’t hear enough of the closing recording to make a guess on that singer, although it seemed to be a different version. 

      I think Lane is the one headed for a fall & possible suicide.  I know the buzz has been all about Pete but I never thought he had balls enough to actually kill himself.  For all that it’s the action of a maladjusted and desperate person, it also requires some amount of courage, and Pete is the most cowardly character on the show.

      Again, a spot-on and thoughtful wrap up, TLo.  Thank you for consistently making your recap posts a joy to read and discuss!

    • DaringMiss

      Can we just have a moment of reverence for that beautiful car?

      I want one.  Badly.

      • barbarasingleterry

        OH yes! The XKE was the first car I fell in love with.  Wonderful lines and a dream to drive….

    • http://asskickingadviser.com/ Ass Kicking Adviser

      I’m with ya’ TLo. I don’t want Joan and Don to hook up anymore than I want Don and Peggy to hook up…ewww. But as you said, watching the two of them in the Jaguar showroom and in the bar was fabulous. Don so reveled in cheering her up and she just reveled in a little male attention that wasn’t complicated or inappropriate. I loved that whole scene and the flowers afterwards.

      And re Lane and workplace drama:  yup, yup and yup. Someone is going down either by jail or by death and  I am enjoying the build up and intrigue tremendously.  I keep thinking about the elevator shaft though. I have to stop that.

    • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

      I’m the first one to appreciate the fact that MM doesn’t usually involve its characters too much in what now seem like totemic events/groups of the 60s. That’s one of the show’s charms, and part of what makes it more realistic than almost any other period drama. Kudos to them for not having Betty read “The Feminine Mystique,” for example, because as nice as that would have been from our vantage point, it would have also been wildly unrealistic. And notice that even in this episode, Don and Megan went to a play that I doubt any of us had ever heard of (maybe it never even existed), instead of, say, an early workshopping of “Hair.”

      That being said, sometimes it just makes sense that characters might find themselves involved in things that still resonate strongly today as being of that era. Particularly so since the characters live in New York, incubator of the free world. The Hare Krishna movement DID set roots down in NYC in 1966, and it’s entirely possible someone like Paul (a bit too old and broody to be a proto-hippie) would find himself there. He could have gone down a lot of countercultural branches, but the Hare Krishna route is certainly plausible for someone as insecure and in need of external validation as he is.

      Even more so, “Star Trek”– although it was beaten in the ratings by “My Three Sons” at the time, almost never renewed by NBC, and was only broadly popular a full decade later, after syndication  — would have resonated with someone like Paul. Although small, it DID have a fan base during its initial run. In an era of three networks, if you were creative and looking for something unique and unusual on television, then you gravitated toward “Star Trek.”

      All this is a long way of saying that these storylines did make sense to me.

      On another note, I happened to watch an episode of “Green Acres” this weekend. There’s a brief shot in the opening credits of the Douglases’ Manhattan apartment. It’s so similar, in a broad sense (not down to the artwork or anything), to Don and Megan’s place! You must check it out.

      • DaringMiss

        Betty didn’t read the “Feminine Mystique” — she read “The Group”.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Group_(novel)

      • BayTampaBay

        I noticed this too, the resemblance between the Green Acres and Mad Men apartment.

      • baxterbaby

        The play was “America Hurrah”, (actually it was three one act plays), and it made a big noise off-Broadway at that time.  My university did a student production of it in 1971 (in NYC) so the rights were available rather quickly.  It’s doesn’t wear well;  I doubt if you’d see it done now.

    • formerlyAnon

      You guys are ON FIRE today. Or, at least, are cogently making all the points I might make if I put all the work into it that you do, which, after all, seems like the same thing, here inside my head.

      Don & Joan? NO! NO! NO! Frankly, Joanie deserves better.

      And, on the tragedy of Don’s serious relationships, which I think a lot of us thought might be coming:

      “It was a bit distressing to see his actions turn Megan – who is nothing like Betty – into essentially the same person.”

      It might be fun though, to see where Megan takes it from here.

      I don’t want bad things to happen in Lane’s life. I still cling to hope that however rocky things get, he’s being maneuvered into a position where he’ll be desperate enough to take actions and make changes that will leave him in a happier and less burdened place. Even if he has to be at the center of a scandal to get there.

    • nosniveling

      One of Don’s saving graces is his ability to be friends with women (Anna, Peggy, Joan).  It keeps me rooting for him despite his faults.  There was a glimmer of hope for his marriage, too- he assumed Megan wanted anger sex when he came home late, but allowed himself to be slapped down about that.  So maybe he can learn to be friends with her as well.

      • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

         I agree Don is capable of having good friendships with women, but they are all women he’s never slept with. I think once that line is crossed, there is no developing a friendship.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/toodleskitty79?feature=guide AWS

      I don’t pine for a Don/Joan hookup!  However, I don’t think it’s a terrible idea.  Let these two be friends with flirting benefits.
      I so enjoy their chemistry.  They are DELICIOUS together.  

      As far as Don not wanting to or avoiding women who KNOW him, I think Megan knows him pretty well and that is why she threw that plate of spaghetti at the wall.  She is also letting him know he better call home and check in with her because she’s not taking any of his shit.

      Harry is such a coward.  He’s like Pete if Pete were ugly.  The Lakshmi chick is a classic sociopath, Type B Personality.  SCARY.  And Paul the teleplay writer is doomed to be rejected in L.A..  Now the joke will be on me if Paul ends up a famous TV director or (gulp) TV actor…

      I did feel the “Mad Men”‘s writers hands all over that “Star Trek” mention.  But they have to acknowledge Pop and social culture at the time because this is NOT The Mad Men Universe.  This show IS supposed to be a reflection of those times.

      Lane didn’t embezzle $50,000.  He owed $10,000 to the London guy (plus that guy’s fee) and embezzled $7500 from SCDP.  WHY did he owe this money?  I could not figure it out except I though it had to do with gambling…

      In conclusion, thank GODDESS for TLo’s reviews which make “Mad Men” fans THINK!
       

      • Laylalola

        I too was unclear on why Lane owed the money and will have to rewatch, but I thought I did catch a very general statement about making an example of an expatriate — he did basically screw the original U.K. company that briefly owned Sterling Cooper, if it’s a private vendetta, and if it’s a government thing then it could be something more akin to a tax avoidance issue (think the Facebook cofounder who renounced his citizenship last fall).  

        • sweetlilvoice

          It’s pretty ironic to me that the first song on Revolver is Taxman…it’s about how the British government always has to have a piece of the wages. The more you earn, the worse it is.

    • http://twitter.com/marji80 Mary Donovan

      Hands-down the best commentary I’ve seen on this episode. you are absolutely right about Don and Joan, and I think you’re right about poor Lane’s likely end. You guys really nail this show.

    • http://viridianpostcard.blogspot.com/ viridian61

      If Paul Kinsey can come back, can Sal Romano come back too?  We can hope.

      • DaringMiss

        Please! Please! Please!

      • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

        It is noteworthy that the agency has two copywriters, but only one art director. If they get Jaguar, they may need to get another one.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

          Unfortunately, I think Don may have burned the bridge with Sal.  That last scene between them was pretty harsh.

        • fnarf

          In the scene last week, when Don was going through the ad proofs, you could read the credits at the bottom, and there were two names used — Stan and another one (whose name I can’t remember at the moment). Not all SCDP employees get to come on stage!

          • Sweetbetty

             Wasn’t the other name Ginsberg’s?  But I agree, there are other people milling around in the background who never get any face time; I thought they were all low-level secretaries and other workers, though.  Is there only one creative team?  Peggy, Stan, and Ginsberg?  If so, I don’t see the need for another art guy (and I doubt Stan has the title of art director, though if he’s the only artist there’s no reason why he couldn’t :-)   )

            • fnarf

              No, Ginsberg was one of the writer’s names — the main one, actually — but there was a box for art as well, and S. Rizzo was only one of them. I’ll have to go back and check.

            • fnarf

              I just checked — one of the ads is credited “Writer: M. Ginsberg” and “Art Director: J. Gillis”.

              Who is this mysterious J. Gillis person?

            • Sweetbetty

               Hmmm…..  And if they have an Art Director one would believe there is more than one artist (S. Rizzo) to direct.

            • fnarf

              No, it’s just a box on the form. An “Art Director” directs the art on a particular project, not a department.

            • Sweetbetty

               So help me understand the structure of SCDP.  Don is head of “Creative”.  Under him is the Creative Team of Peggy, Stan, and Ginsberg.  Are there any other Creative Teams?  Lane is CFO and under him is probably some accountant types that we never see or hear from.  What’s Roger’s title and who is under him (I know, I know, half the women in Manhattan :-)  )?  What’s Burt’s title and who reports to him, the guy who doesn’t even have an office?  If there are no other creative teams and Peggy & Co. work on all the projects I still don’t understand the need for an Art Director.

            • http://twitter.com/TigerLaverada TigerLaverada

              Art Director is the job title for the lead graphics person on a project. The hierarchy in an ad agency goes: Creative Director, then Copywriters and Art Directors, then junior positions like graphic designers, illustrators (if they don’t freelance that out) and, back in those days, mechanical artists. In some agencies (and SCDP, like many agencies of that day, seems like one of these), copywriters were the creative heavyweights, with Art Directors just charged with visualizing the writer’s concept. These days it’s more common for copy and art to be co-creators.

      • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

         Just not as a Hare Krishna, please!

      • juliamargaret

        That’s what I was hoping, too. I really miss Sal and want to know what’s happened to him.

    • http://twitter.com/1carmelita 1carmelita

      Can you imagine being able to buy a Jaguar for less than $6000? 

      • jeeplibby02

        In the currency of the day, it would have been just as expensive as it is now. I didn’t fully appreciate what a large tax bill Lane was facing until it became clear that he owed more than the price of a new Jaguar.  No wonder he’s panicking!

    • filmcricket

      It’s got one or two more seasons and then they’re done, per Weiner and AMC.

    • filmcricket

      Especially since I’m fairly sure that was Joan’s office he was breaking into to get the cheques, no? I could be wrong about that, but it didn’t look like his office to me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tracy-Alexander/3234141 Tracy Alexander

      Don and Joan would be a HORRIBLE idea. I would be so disappointed in the writers. I feel that anyone who would want that really doesn’t understand the complexity of the show or the history of the characters– i.e. the people still watching it for the scenery. I STILL see people advocating for Don and Betty to get back together. Are you kidding me? Two beautiful people in beautiful clothes does not a good relationship make.

    • filmcricket

      Oooh, I didn’t even think of the implications for Don. The Dick Whitman thing has been such a non-issue this year (despite Betty’s attempt to make it one) that I’d kind of forgotten he’s still basically hiding in plain sight. Interesting.

    • Denise Robinson

      “Still, it seems clear to us that Don can have a fulfilling professional life or he can have a semi-fulfilling home life, but he’s incapable of doing both at the same time.”  That has been my opinion, from watching the scene after he gives that amazing pitch in “The Wheel”, the season one finale. The scene of him, coming home to a pretty wife and two gorgeous kids, greeting him back after such an amazing day at work, to realise that it was a fantasy. Betty took the kids to her parents house for Thanksgiving in Pennslyvania, while he choose to say in NY and work.  

    • LuLusLemons

      Is Kinsey now in place for the Summer of Love? Because if that is the hipster scene of the time, you can bet he’s going to try to get in on it.

      • not_Bridget

        That happened up on San Francisco–not in Los Angeles, where the screenwriting jobs are.  Besides, the “hipsters” were looking askance at the Hippies…. 
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Death_of_hippie.jpg

      • Melissa Brogan

         If he actually takes the flight to LA and hitches up to San Francisco like he mentioned in this episode, then yeah he could be there for the summer of love. We’re at the end of 1966 now.

    • mom2ab

      I think the theme was no matter how we act and how the world changes around us we are still at our core the child our parents raised.  Don is a motherless boy who recognizes the madonna when he sees her, Joan is the smart woman who knows how to use what her mama gave her to get what she wants , Megan is the pretty girl raised by dramatic parents who uses her looks and temper to get what she wants, Lane is the upper class british kid who was bullied by his father and everyone else in his crowd so he became a coward, Paul was rased to aspire to something more so he is looking for love in all the wrong places  and Harry is the child of the middle class who for all his affectations still carries the values of home, honesty and loyalty.

      • judybrowni

        Home, honesty and loyalty, while Harry was sport-fucking Paul’s intended wife? 

        Even if that intention was ludicrous, it wasn’t until Laksme revealed herself as still the prostitute, did Harry revert to being a loyal friend, although he had to lie to do so.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

          It’s almost like they threw that in there so people wouldn’t forget the slimy image of Harry completely.  Because otherwise he was a pretty decent, likeable guy in this episode.

    • http://twitter.com/monapily monapily

      Don just needs to stop marrying spoiled, monied women who throw tantrums. Or not. He *really* seems to dig that. 

      I loved the return of Kinsey, although, I also couldn’t help snort-laughing a few times at Kinsey’s Krishna drag. I think they’d mentioned he’d been on acid at Cosgrove’s engagement or bachelor party. Bottom line: drugs are bad. And it was nice to see Harry get a storyline. I always liked him.

      • Sweetbetty

        I snorted at his outfit too.  I usually think of the Krishna’s wearing only the one-shouldered robe with nothing under it but it was December in NY and Paul’s physique probably isn’t something he wants to put on display so he had a flesh-colored turtleneck on under it.  And could anyone tell if his haircut was for real or a bald-cap?  I couldn’t get a good enough look.

    • filmcricket

      Don and Joan in a room full of vintage Jaguars might be the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen. My mouth actually filled with water. Agreed on not wanting them to hook up, but I could do with a few more scenes like that just for the eye candy.

      • Sweetbetty

         Did anyone else think that car salesman role was extremely awkward?  I can’t remember his exact words but they just didn’t sound right when he responded to Don saying they couldn’t get a cab so decided to get a car.  And why wouldn’t he let Don take the car out for a test drive by himself but he said he could let Joan do it?  And even if Don did leave the $6K check (wouldn’t it have galled Lane to know Don could do that?), I can’t believe the salesman would have let them take off in the car with no paperwork being done (of course it could have been done but just not shown).

      • makeityourself

        You’re right. That was a lot of gorgeousness.

    • fauxhawk

      How about Harry getting the shit slapped out of him?!?

      Also, I have never really wanted Don and Joan to hook up, but I’ve certainly enjoyed imagining it. You’re right, it’s much hotter to watch them flirt. And Joan is no idiot.

      • Jane_Lane

        Not gonna lie, he deserved it. But she asked for it.

      • Sweetbetty

         And what was the reason for the slap?

        • Melissa Brogan

           She said she was giving the only thing she had (sex) to keep Harry away from Paul. So when Harry says she “gave it away free” (i.e. he’s already gotten the sex, so why does he have to agree to anything now?) she slapped him.

          • Sweetbetty

             She didn’t realize that beforehand?  No wonder I didn’t get it; it doesn’t make sense for a reasonable person to do that.  But, hey, she’s a Krishna, right…..

          • sweetlilvoice

            I thought that was a little dig at her former profession-prostitution. 

            • Melissa Brogan

               Joan was never a prostitute. Jane’s making a dig because she knows Joan had an affair with Roger and received a lot of expensive gifts, dinners, etc. So she’s calling her a whore in so many words, but she isn’t saying  Joan actually was one.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=606900854 Camille Tessa Thomas

              Huh? We’re talking about Lakshmi, not Joan.

    • CatherineRhodes

      Thanks for the recap. You two are maestros.

      The Don & Joan piece reminded me of the Don & Peggy interlude in the office a few seasons back: two professionals who already know where the bodies are buried further deepening their relationship. Your metaphor of the borrowed Jag with the uncashed check was spot on.

      Did I miss something regarding Lane’s financial problems? Why are all the partners rolling in dough but he’s struggling to pay school tuition? Seeing him at the light table forging Don’s signature was truly chilling.

      The Hare Krishna scenes worked for me, especially as an ironic counterpoint to the “Christmas Waltz” title of the episode. However, I rolled my eyes at Paul’s Star Trek script. It feels like the writers are pandering to the audience of today, beating us over the head with relevant pop culture references, especially after Dark Shadows last week. But Harry’s generosity was lovely to see.

      Don’s plight is sympathic. He finally has a soulmate wife to whom he can confide his most deeply-held secrets and he now feels betrayed by her. “Nobody’s made a stronger statement against advertising than you.” I find myself feeling disdainful towards Megan because the work at SCDP seems so much more engaging than the experimental theater group. How could she give that up? But there is also a generational pull — advertising represented the old guard, whereas theater belonged to the youth movement. Remember that she is 14 years younger than Don, but as long as they are united as a power couple at the SCDP office, the age difference disappears. When she is playing the Beatles and doing theater, she and Don are a generation apart.

      I believed Don’s rousing “St. Crispin’s Day Speech.” He knows he has been neglecting his work, the source of his true being, to pursue his relationship with Megan, which seems to be slipping away. He built himself from nothing with his talent for advertising, he is a partner in the agency, an Emmy winner, a superstar. Hunkering down to win the Jaguar account allows him to return to his roots.

      Math games:

      Jaguar that cost $5,600 in 1966 = $39,741 today.
      Lane’s tax bill of $8,000 = $56,773.
      Harry’s gift of $500 = $3,548.
      Lane’s credit advance of $50,000 = $354,730.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

        Roger, Bert & Don were already wealthy – especially after SC was bought by the Brits.  Pete is rather comfortable, but not super rich.  Remember last year when the bank required each of the partners to chip in to help keep the company afloat?  He wouldn’t have been able to pay his share if Don hadn’t covered it.  I’d guess that Lane putting in his share probably ate up most of his savings.

      • greenwich_matron

        The least expensive Jag on their website starts $53,000, and their fastest convertible starts at $138,000. $39,741 seems like a bargain! 

        I’m really hoping that Lane’s problem is mostly cash-flow, he’ll sell something and return the money, he won’t be caught and he’ll learn his lesson and never embezzle again. I can hope…

    • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

      What I love about the Don-Joan relationship is that they’re TRUE friends. They make joke and flirt, but they’re not really trying to get into each others’ pants. I think they “get” each other, which is why they’re allowed to be comfortable and relaxed and a little more open and honest with each other. 

      SO, count me among the people who DON’T want a Don-Joan relationship. I think they’re really great for each other the way that they are. A relationship or a hook-up would destroy what they have going now.

    • Sally3000

      After hearing an interview with Matt Weiner, I am almost definitely
      completely wrong about this, but I have always perceived Megan as a
      mirror for Don, a female version of Dick Whitman. In that sense, it
      makes sense to me that Megan would not be comfortable sitting at home
      with Don’s dinner, wondering where he is. That would require willingness
      to be vulnerable. And at the same time, she didn’t think twice about
      sneaking out of SCDP to head off to an audition (if that’s really where
      she went), leaving Don at home to wonder where she was. She strikes me
      as the type who could run away and disappear at any moment, not the type
      to sit at home waiting around.

      Speaking of suicide imagery, the night of Don’s surprise party, I felt
      that vibe when Megan wandered out to the balcony and looked out into the
      street. It reminded me of Don in his car by the railroad tracks.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Curefreak Daniel Wheeler

       I think Don and Joan would be perfect for each other mostly cause they are so similar in so many ways.

    • MilaXX

      I for one have never ‘shipped Don/Joan. Up until last night I never thought it would happen simply because game recognizes game. I still think that applies to a certain degree, but Don’s confession that Joan intimidates him tips the scales slightly in Joan favor for me. Joan reading him and telling him about himself just confirmed that for me.

      Lane became shifted from tragic to pitiful when his father came to NYC and literally whipped him. So if there is to be a suicide I definitely see Lane as being the one, although I’m not 100% convinced that we’ll see a suicide this season.

      As to the obviousness of the themes this season, I’ve been watching and reading the whole Community/Dan Harmon firing thing. One thing that stands out is the claim that the network wanted the show to be more “assessable”. I can helped but wonder if during the negotiations that Weiner had with AMC about bringing back Mad Men if this was also something the network was concerned about. I mean it’s all well and good to have critical acclaim and fan loyalty, but for the networks I think assesability = increased viewers = more money. I’m not professing to be an expert on the Dan Harmon thing or the slight shift we’re seeing in Mad Men this season. I just wonder if what we are seeing is Weiner’s attempt to walk the fine line of pleasing  the network and staying true to his show.

      Don’s speech at the end felt to me Don continuing to head Cooper’s advise to pay attention to the company and also Don turning to his job for satisfaction in his life.

      Oh forgot to mention. You hit the nail on the head in describing Laskhmi; That bitch KRAZY with a capital K.

      • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

        “Don’s speech at the end…” I’m curious to see what happens to the Don/Pete dynamic.  On the one hand, Don’s 180 on Jaguar (granted, coming after the bad news about Mohawk) seemed to me a reflexive move following his confrontations with Megan and then the insights from Joan.  On the other hand, seeing Pete’s blue suit in Don’s blue-themed office and then how similarly the two men were dressed during Don’s ending pitch makes me wonder.

    • Susan Crawford

      Joan and Don have always had a very special relationship because despite their obvious chemistry, each knows that taking things to the next level would be really, really bad.

      At the bar, Joan made it clear that she knows herself, she knows men, and she knows life in such depth and with such frankness and honesty that it takes a HUGE curveball to strike her out. And soon-to-be-ex-hubby’s process serving minion was the curve ball that broke Joanie’s office cool. Throwing the airplane model was a brilliant touch, in terms of the revelation that Mohawk was on strike and would be suspending operations. Yep, Joanie picked exactly the right symbol to smash, didn’t she?

      (Personal note: I used to fly Mohawk a LOT back in those days, to and from college. We used to call it Slowhawk, and every flight was an adventure in uncertainty.)

      I think Joan was not only blindsided by being served – in public, in her office domain – she was heartbroken that the man who tried to beat her down, who changed her life, who took her for granted was suing HER for divorce. Her scene with Roger was also wonderful – turning his efforts to support his child away was telling him, as TLo pointed out, that he was also a child. But I felt Roger revealed that he had a kind of reverence for their child, and this story is far from being over.

      Don’s “test drive” and drinks with Joanie was exactly what she needed. And he really listened to her, really got what she was saying, and most of all, he really empathized with her. Two enormously attractive titans of sexual attraction, now just a bit past their prime came to a deep understanding, and a mutual respect. No, they do NOT ever need to be together as a couple, but they are definitely together as something far deeper. (And I loved the bouquet from “Ali Khan” delivered by Roger in his jaunty red scarf – perfection.)

      Megan took Don to see one of the many anti-consumerist plays of the era, and his expression as he sat beside her was absolutely hilarious. And it gave him a kind of kick in the ass to defend his career, something that he has not done in a while. He has seemed so detached from the very source of his identity for a long, long time. (Can’t wait for the fashion re-cap to talk about Megan’s red dress – yummy!)

      Lane is not only heading for the precipice (elevator shaft/suicide clause) he is teetering on the edge. Poor sap that he is, every word he says is getting him in deeper and deeper. The forgery scene, with his face under-lit by the light box was so beautifully photographed that I literally gasped – God, the technical work on this show is incredible, isn’t it?

      Paul and Harry – it would have been hilarious if it hadn’t been so pathetic. And more than a little scary, too. Yes, Lakshmi is one cray-zee gal, all right. (Just look at that tangle of dirty hair – that said it ALL!)

      I think one reason why there are more references to actual occurrences of the era is that it was getting harder and harder to separate the personal from the political and cultural events. The old boundary lines were fading out. Fashion, music, celebrity, fad and art – - – there was no escape, even at SCDP.

      As for Megan’s plate throwing – well, good for her. She bit her tongue when Don lectured her after the play, but when he came home drunk, late and without a call, she let him know he crossed a line. And he sat down like a repentant child. This is a VERY interesting relationship, and getting more so with each episode.

      Thank you, T and Lo for yet another great, thoughtful re-cap. You are treasures!

      • rowsella

         In looking back at previous episodes, I am wondering if Meghan’s anger wasn’t more because Don voiced his displeasure about the play and the dig about the advertising foray she seemed not to value rather than being late and a little drunk.  I mean, how late was he?

      • http://twitter.com/Selkiechick Selkiechick

         “I think Joan was not only blindsided by being served – in public, in her
        office domain – she was heartbroken that the man who tried to beat her
        down, who changed her life, who took her for granted was suing HER for
        divorce.”
        That’s twice now he has destroyed her confidence at work. He knew exactly what he was doing.

      • makeityourself

        I too felt that the scene with Lane working (rather, embezzling ) over the light box was beautifully shot. Glad I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. It touched me too.

        It also reminded me of my old paste-up days, and looking at negatives and transparencies and all of those ancient things.

        • Susan Crawford

          I so agree, makeityourself! Going digital has saved tons of time, and it can enable us to do so many incredible things, but I will always pine a little for the days when putting a layout together was truly hands-on.

          I have long thought of Lane as a sort of refugee from a Kingsley Amis novel: the ex-pat who cannot let go of his native land, but never truly fits in his adopted country. A character who is always ill at ease, who cannot ever relax, and who becomes easy prey for more calculating types. And the episode where his father beats him down – literally – when Lane dares to fall in love with a black woman, and this week’s embezzlement scene made my  heart break a little for him.

          I can only imagine the explosion if Pete discovers Lane’s forgery. Poor Lane – I fear his days at SCDP (and possibly on earth) are limited at best.

          Note to Lane: Take the Stairs.

          • Sweetbetty

             “I can only imagine the explosion if Pete discovers Lane’s forgery.”
            Now there is one more option; Pete shooting Lane with the rifle he keeps in his office.

    • AutumnInNY

      Great summation as always.

      The Don-Joan scenes were wonderful. I love the way he swept in and got her out of the office and they had quite a nice day of it.
      I think it was good for both characters. I’m with you Tlo. I would not like to see them get together. They are much better suited to a warm, mutually respected friendship. They so enjoy each other, the chemistry is unmistakable. That tender moment he put his coat around her was priceless.

      I’ve been on the fence with the new Mrs. Draper and this far into the season, and after last night have decided I just can’t with her. I don’t care for the character or actress who plays her. I dread seeing her walk into a scene. She’s a spoiled child living in a grown-up penthouse.
      I’m tired of her temper tantrums and her ever-increasing and almost constant petulant expression. Joan was right when she said something about Megan should have been left at reception. Joan’s got her number as has since day one. I’m almost relieved to see Don in scenes without her.

      I’m probably in the minority here but I’m hoping to not see another season with this Mrs. Draper.

    • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

      Loved the Joan/Don scene along with everyone else, and agree, they should stick with mutual admiration and intellectual stimulation. I can’t help but think though, that MM has developed too many characters/plotlines to handle in such short seasons. There are too many story lines that are picked up and dropped, characters in and out. What was the underlying point to bringing Paul Kinsey back? To show that Harry is a nice guy and give him some tv time? To bring in the cultural references to the Hare Krishnes and Star Trek? The same with the play that Don and Megan went to see – was it just to give Megan screen time, or throw anti-advertising sentiment in Don’t face, thus increasing the tension between the two? It feels there’s a lot of surface tension to the show this season, but its beginning to look a tad shallow.

      • cleep1000

        Last night’s show felt like a bunch of different stories, edited down to a few minutes each and slapped together. That’s the first time it felt that way to me. I did not enjoy it.

        • bluefish

          I thought it was the weakest episode of the season by far and among the weakest of the series.  Can’t all be gems. 

      • MilaXX

         I agree we could have done without the Paul story, but I think the Megan and the play shows more cracks in the Megan/Don marriage. Megan is in many ways as much of a contradiction as Don is. She wants to be an actress, but also likes the amenities of being a wealthy man’s wife. She appears to dislike the advertising world that is not only her husband’s bread and butter, but something he loves doing.

        • P M

           Oh, mais non, I disagree: I think Paul is just a pretext for ‘Westward Ho!’ or something.
          Also, It occured to me that hey, SF just *might* be the place where a certain *Sal Romano* may be currently residing. Showing off that Italian tan (yes, I know Bratt’s not Italian by heritage – is he??), starting a new life, FAR far away from the people he once knew, etc etc

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Laurie-Keig-Morrell/1084317001 Laurie Keig-Morrell

      the scene with Don and Joan was one of the best; toying with each other (and with the viewers!) but walking away: the two sexiest people in the cast being pragmatic about the disaster of a tryst – loved it!!

    • http://twitter.com/conleylyons Conley Lyons

      You know what, thinking back, it makes sense that Lane’s in financial straits. IIRC, around the time the partners had to chip in lump sums to keep SCDP afloat (right after Lucky left), the junior partners had to put up $50 grand apiece. Pete got his share paid by Don, but Lane probably had to dive deep into his savings to get that. Between that, the tax expenses of being a non-citizen, and the way his wife wants to keep up a certain image, he’s probably been in trouble for a long time.

      Also, TLo – can we please talk about the costumes in the Lane/Rebecca scene for Mad Style? It was like a freaking funhouse mirror of his scene with Joan from Signal 30. Rebecca’s robe is the same bright blue as Joan’s dress was, and of course Lane was sporting office wear. Only this time, both parties are buttoned up to a T, even when they’re trying to connect.

      • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

        “[T]he junior partners had to put up $50 grand apiece” — echoed in Lane’s securing a $50K loan from Chemical Bank.

        • Sweetbetty

           I wonder, was business really conducted so casually at that time?  The bank guy took Lane totally at his word, didn’t ask to see any paperwork to back up the company’s standing.  Can you see that happening today?  Or perhaps the problem is that things like that are happening today, thus the big financial debacles we’ve seen in recent years.

          • P M

             Heh. Madoff, and some of the bigger frauds of the past couple years come to mind.

    • shopgirl716

      I would be bitterly disappointed with this show if Joan and Don ever hooked up.  She is way past all of his BS.

    • shopgirl716

      I would be bitterly disappointed with this show if Joan and Don ever hooked up.  She is way past all of his BS.

    • http://profiles.google.com/valencia.lucia87 Lucía Valencia

      The amount of laughter Paul caused me is directly proportional to the amount of cringing I did with that psycho bitch, Jesus. 
      I LOVED LOVED LOVED the scenes with Don and Joan, I’ve never seen him that relaxed or in tune with Megan, who I’m officially over with. That tantrum? Please, not even Sally would pull that one. And I finally figured out why I dislike her so much, it’s the perfomance, that scene when they returned home from the theater seemed so forced on her part, I didn’t believe her dialog for a second, so I guess it’s just that Jessica Paré just doesn’t cut it for me.

    • http://profiles.google.com/valencia.lucia87 Lucía Valencia

      The amount of laughter Paul caused me is directly proportional to the amount of cringing I did with that psycho bitch, Jesus. 
      I LOVED LOVED LOVED the scenes with Don and Joan, I’ve never seen him that relaxed or in tune with Megan, who I’m officially over with. That tantrum? Please, not even Sally would pull that one. And I finally figured out why I dislike her so much, it’s the perfomance, that scene when they returned home from the theater seemed so forced on her part, I didn’t believe her dialog for a second, so I guess it’s just that Jessica Paré just doesn’t cut it for me.

    • MarinaCat

      You mean linguini…   ;P

    • MarinaCat

      You mean linguini…   ;P

    • baxterbaby

      I just want to call back to TLo’s insight that Joan would take Elizabeth Taylor as her style model going forward.  When Joan was screaming at Miss Incompetence 1966, at one point she sounded exactly like Taylor.  CH’s voice has that smae high-pitched, girlish quality which can tip over into shrill when she’s playing very angry.

      • sweetlilvoice

        She threw a plane! And didn’t get fired. The power of the Joan+Liz!

      • LuLusLemons

         That is the one thing I wish reporters would talk to CH about — how she developed her “Joan” voice.

        • golden_valley

          I saw CH and much of the cast interviewed on Inside the Actor’s Studio.  That is her voice in real life, or she just used it for the interview.

          • LuLusLemons

             I feel like maybe she deepened it a bit in the earlier seasons? I feel like she made it harder or something. I remember being surprised the first few times I heard her speak outside the role.

            Joan’s softened up, though. Most of her armor’s gone, she’s wearing the equivalent of her heart on her sleeve with her blue/purple bleeding roses dress…

    • baxterbaby

      I just want to call back to TLo’s insight that Joan would take Elizabeth Taylor as her style model going forward.  When Joan was screaming at Miss Incompetence 1966, at one point she sounded exactly like Taylor.  CH’s voice has that smae high-pitched, girlish quality which can tip over into shrill when she’s playing very angry.

    • http://twitter.com/HotMessHousWife Sammi M

      I understand that story-wise it would be a terrible idea for Joan and Don to get together – they’d never work, she deserves better, etc.

      But can we all agree that a fantasy sequence of them getting it on would solve all our problems? ;D It wouldn’t be canon, but we get to watch those two melt our TVs with their burning hotness. *fans self*

      Oh, who am I kidding, their mere bar conversation was more titillating than 99% of actual love scenes on TV. I’m fine as long as they keep flirting!

    • http://twitter.com/HotMessHousWife Sammi M

      I understand that story-wise it would be a terrible idea for Joan and Don to get together – they’d never work, she deserves better, etc.

      But can we all agree that a fantasy sequence of them getting it on would solve all our problems? ;D It wouldn’t be canon, but we get to watch those two melt our TVs with their burning hotness. *fans self*

      Oh, who am I kidding, their mere bar conversation was more titillating than 99% of actual love scenes on TV. I’m fine as long as they keep flirting!

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      1. I don’t think back taxes is the extent of Lane’s money woes. I bet there is more to this story.

      2. The play is not just about advertising, but the cult of consumerism… says the lady with the gaudy beaded dress, standing in the expensive apartment with the latest amenities.

      • Melissa Brogan

        I’m sure there’s more to it, but Lane also spent a while trying to maintain two households — Rebecca back in London and him in NY. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn they’ve still got a flat in London or something.

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          Good point.

      • Daniel E Prieto

        Remember episodes 1 and 2 (ancient history, I know) when Lane found that missing wallet with “Delores’s” phone number? He had an awkward sexual conversation with her? Then her surly “husband” came to Lane to collect the wallet but Lane kept Delores’s phone number to himself? Maybe he pursued Delores, they eventually had sex, and now she is blackmailing him so that she doesn’t reveal their affair. Or maybe she was a prostitute involved in a sting operation, he was arrested (which this episode alluded to) and now he has to pay a kickback in order to get the charges dropped. They may be implausible theories, but there’s no way the wallet subplot in the season premiere has nothing to do with Lane’s current problems.

      • http://twitter.com/yellowhannah33 yellowhannah33

        School fees spring to mind. His wife obviously expects their children to go to a top British public school [confusingly, the name for a private fee-paying school over here in Blighty] as befitting their class – I think it was earlier this season where Mrs Lane said he needed to pay to confirm their son’s place. Their son would have to board because they’re based primarily in the states. I don’t know how much that would set you back in the ’60s but nowadays you’re looking at £25,000 per child, per year.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      1. I don’t think back taxes is the extent of Lane’s money woes. I bet there is more to this story.

      2. The play is not just about advertising, but the cult of consumerism… says the lady with the gaudy beaded dress, standing in the expensive apartment with the latest amenities.

    • bluefish

      I want a Joan-Lane hook-up.  I’m so sad that Lane is in such distress.  I love him — and love them in scenes together.  What I would like to see is a hot crazy Jane and angry Don  hook-up.  I’ve been hoping for that one for awhile.

      • MilaXX

         I don’t think Joan needs another weak man in her life. Lane is far too needy for Joan.

        • bluefish

          Oh, I dunno.  There’s more to being lovable and capable of loving than being strong.  And Joan has her own significant areas of weakness and distress.  I don’t think it’s going to happen but I wouldn’t mind if it did.  He has shown repeatedly that he desires her, respects her, and knows how to comfort her.  He’s obviously in some kind of serious trouble regarding finances but I don’t see him as being weak.  He was strong enough to make a new ife for himself in New York — I hope he gets his act together as I love the character.

          • MilaXX

            I used to think Lane was bold for making a life for himself in NYC but really it appears as if he just ran away. He would never have made it that high in the ranks at his old company which was ready to drop him when they dropped Sterling Cooper. I also think NYC allows him to distance himself from what I imagine to be a rather toxic family. There’s reinventing oneself to be better and there’s running. lane appears to be a runner and I don’t see that as a strength. Then there’s the embezzling. I just don’t see him as a man Joan could respect. Sure his crush on her is sweet, but I think they’d make and awful couple.

          • Sweetbetty

             And strong enough to beat the shit out of Pete Campbell.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ali.sharpe.6 Ali Sharpe

      No, Joan and Don would’ve been TERRIBLE. I don’t often sit in front of the TV, watching two incredibly attractive characters get drunk, and think, “DON’T KISS. DON’T YOU DARE KISS,” but, Jesus, the two of them really just need a friendship. Besides whih Joan’s too good for him. 

      Also, SUBTLE death foreshadowing?! The car-crash imagery alone has gotten as close to bashing-you-over-the-head-with-it territory as Mad Men ever gets. Not that that’s bad: it’s building suspense nicely. But, Christ. I wonder who it’s gonna be?

    • jeloya

      I did see an episode theme of sorts revolving around money — and money not being able to buy happiness. When Harry tells Kinsey that he can’t give him money, Kinsey says he knows money won’t help and that’s when he brings up the script; Joan rejects Roger’s money and had some sort of retort about that theme; and then of course all that stuff with Lane. Plus the subtext of the check Don writes to the Jaguar guy, and I feel like there was something else — all of which I only noticed because of what you’ve said all season long of them hitting us over the head with the theme.

      Also, I just loved the scenes of Don and Joan together… no need for them to ruin THAT awesomeness.

    • Lisa_Cop

      I thought the theme of the episode was lies and deception. Lane lies to everyone – his wife, the bank (about SCDP commitments) and the partners. Harry lies to Paul about his Star Trek script. Lakshmi lies to Harry initially about being attracted to him. I thought it was notable that Don, Joan and Megan didn’t lie about their feelings or, in Don’s case, where he was all day.

    • Marian O’Brien

      I loved how relaxed Don was with Joan. I would like to see them become better friends. I don’t think Joan would be dumb enough to go for him, except that he’s so damn Adorable! (as she said)…maybe she wouldn’t be able to resist.

    • 3hares

      I would never ever want Don and Joan to get together either. But they make great quasi-siblings.

      It seemed significant in this ep that Harry decided that false hope was better than no hope for Harry, maybe echoing Don’s explanation of advertising not being so bad to Megan–is it so bad if people buy things because it makes them feel good? A particularly good line when delivered to a woman talking about rampant consumerism while wearing an expensive dress…

    • PeggyOlsonIsMyHomegirl

      Lane Pryce stole $8000 from SCDP right? $8000 was the amount that Mr. Potter took in ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’, which is what led to George Bailey wanting to kill himself. There’s been speculation all season that somebody is going to kill themselves, and I wonder if this is a clue. Plus, it’s a Christmas movie and this episode took place at Christmas time. Given the history of abuse from his
      father, I wouldn’t find it totally unbelievable if he couldn’t live with the shame of what he had done.

      **Edited to acknowledge that in total he needed much more money but
      to get out of his immediate predicament I believe he needed $8000.

      • sweetlilvoice

        Great catch…..interesting foreshadowing.

      • juliamargaret

        Oooh, very interesting!!

      • CatherineRhodes

         Excellent observation. I wonder if his friends will rally to help?

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          Maybe if he’d asked them outright, rather than lying and putting the company in jeopardy. :)

      • bluefish

        There was definitely a It’s A Wonderful Life feeling about it.  His cry of despair in telling his wife to leave him as he was sweating it on the phone was so Jimmy Stewart in his moments of despair and panic in that film.

    • Martha Garcia

      Can someone please help me understand the Ali Kahn reference? That signature was on the card that came w/the flowers for Joan. Did I miss something? 

      • Sweetbetty

        I’ll assume that by now you’ve gotten the answer to your question since it’s been discussed several times.  If not, ask again.

    • buddy100

      There is logic behind Don and Joan’s chemistry. Both are the epitome of class, allure, and beauty – in the previous decade. They’re slowly fading into obscurity, and it shows. Notice how content they were listening to a song that defined their era; overwhelmed by nostalgia. They understand each other better than Don and Megan ever will. With that chilling married couple, it looks like I’m watching a father bang his daughter. Seriously, there’s such a creepy paternalistic vibe. At least with Don and Joan, they may be horrible for each other, but it’d watching equals. Dance of the dinosaurs.

      • baxterbaby

        “There is logic behind Don and Joan’s chemistry. Both are the epitome of
        class, allure, and beauty – in the previous decade. They’re slowly
        fading into obscurity, and it shows. Notice how content they were
        listening to a song that defined their era; overwhelmed by nostalgia.”

        My thoughts exactly during this scene.  Even the bar, which has been used before, has the look of an old established place, where someone over 40 would find comforting in the turbulent 60′s.  The heydays of Don and Joan are past;  he may reclaim some of his power if he becomes a force to be reckoned with in his field again, but he will never be as relevant as he once was.  Joan has even fewer options;  for all her ultra competence,  she wasn’t raised to be anything but the jewel in a (preferably) rich man’s crown.  And, for all her insight, she’s proven to be a bad judge of character when it comes to the men she has chosen.    I love the character, but she has her fatal flaws too.
         

    • sweetlilvoice

      Can’t wait to read the comments! I think this was a very complex episode….the type of episode that you need to watch several times. I don’t want Joan and Don to hook up either, it would be hot but very very wrong for both of them. So many great scenes during this episode-Don sitting down after Megan yelled at him, all the Jaguar scenes, Joan turning Roger down again, Harry getting slapped, Pete being smarmy again….all the great Christmas decorations.

      • lauraq99

        I loved watching two charmers, enjoying flirting in a bar with each other, and felt like they both knew it was just a fun exercise.  They know each other too well, and care about each other to much, for a real affair to happen.

    • Lattis

      I LOVE watching those two actors (Jon Hamm & Christina Hendricks) working off each other. I would see any movie that paired the two of them . . . . please make that movie someone!

    • 3hares

      I thought she just poisoned the relationship between Harry and Paul. She wanted Harry to tell Paul the script sucked and then cut him off. Sleeping with him was a way of showing Paul Harry wasn’t his friend–Harry couldn’t lie about it since he’d feel guilty. She got something on him.

    • UsedtobeEP

      Speaking of noodles (and sorry if anyone else said this), but did Megan once again fix plain noodles with butter? Good thing there was no red sauce. : ) Although, yuck, oil on the wall.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584364405 Sabrina Abhyankar

        I never knew so many people said ‘red sauce” until I read online feedback for this episode. 

        • UsedtobeEP

          Do you call it gravy? Or just sauce? I usually just call it “sauce,” and call white sauce “Alfredo.” My MIL is first gen Italian but she raised her family in the South, so they don’t call it gravy down here anymore.

          • Sweetbetty

             Once, a long time ago, a woman I worked with who had Italian in-laws told me they always called spaghetti sauce gravy.  I had never heard such a thing and thought that her in-laws must have made that up on their own.  Then when I watched The Sopranos I heard the sauce referred to as gravy all the time.  This made me wonder what they call the brown stuff made from pan drippings mixed with flour and water that they put on mashed potatoes.

            • Aurumgirl

              I think it’s only a small section of Italians who emigrated to the US who use the term “gravy”…the immigrants from Italy up here in Toronto called tomato sauce tomato sauce.  Or, if it had veal, pork, and chicken livers, “Bolognese”.  If it was just butter or cream, then it was called “with butter” or with a white sauce.  Italian mothers rarely felt the need to choose an “english” word for their food but up here no one was pressuring immigrants to forget their mother tongues.  I think I was 45 before I heard of anyone calling tomato sauce “gravy”, that’s how odd that was.  But, around the same time, I realized that Italian immigrants who settled in New Jersey probably held on to a lot of traditions that just didn’t last or didn’t find their way into the Italo-Canadian experience–like pignoli cookies, cookies made with toasted pine nuts and almond paste.  I am sorry I missed out on that!

            • greenwich_matron

              I noticed a lot of differences between American and Canadian versions of Italian, Greek, and Polish foods too (mosaic v. melting pot, I guess), but I don’t think Italian-Americans in Chicago called red sauce “gravy” either. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584364405 Sabrina Abhyankar

            tomato sauce! ew, if someone said gravy on spaghetti I wouldn’t eat it. “Sauce” is acceptable. 

      • sweetlilvoice

        I noticed that too….wonder if it’s her comfort food?

    • http://profiles.google.com/valencia.lucia87 Lucía Valencia

      Oh, I almost forgot to mention the DELICIOUS scene with Joan and the receptionist. That little twat, who does she think she is talking back at Joan? 

      • Laylalola

        Maybe the theme this week was Out of Character. Joan and Megan both literally threw things in their fits, Harry had sex with a Krishna in his office during work hours, Paul became a Krishna, Roger wearing that shirt at the beginning and going on a bender at 7:45 a.m., Lane forging Don’s signature… all that’s just off the top of my head, I’m sure I’ve overlooked several things.

      • Lilithcat

        She had every damn right to talk back to Joan.  Joan behaved abysmally to her.   You do not treat staff that way, even if you have just been served with divorce papers.  (And may I add here that Greg had legal grounds for divorce – it’s not apparent that Joan did.)   It was over the top and completely uncalled for.  

        • http://profiles.google.com/valencia.lucia87 Lucía Valencia

          Well yes, I am completely on board with you, but that scene would have been very boring if Joan had just said thank you and left. As Laylalola pointed out, it showed Joan’s vulnerable state. And may I add, if we’re taking seriously the whole “You do not treat staff that way” then where’s the fun? We all know it was over the top, but that’s what was so great about it. 

        • Sweetbetty

          I totally agree that Joan throwing that airplane, though understandable, was totally inappropriate and in today’s litigious world any judge or jury would have awarded damages to the twit receptionist.  I don’t, however, see where Greg has grounds for a divorce; what am I missing (assuming that he doesn’t realize the baby isn’t his)?

          • Lilithcat

            Well, I wasn’t assuming that he doesn’t realize the baby isn’t his.  

            Oh, wait!  I just checked.  We’re in ’67, right?   So adultery was no longer the only ground.  It appears that Joan kicking him out would constitute constructive abandonment on her part, giving him grounds.

            • Sweetbetty

               As of last night’s episode it was still 1966; December 2nd I believe since Roger referenced Pearl Harbor.

            • asympt

               You mean the 7th.

            • Sweetbetty

               D’oh!  Of course I did.  A date that will live in infamy.

            • judybrowni

              The 1966 New York Divorce Reform Law: 

              When the legislature in 1966 created additional grounds for divorce it selected from among the most popular American grounds for divorce and also considered the statute (Domestic Relations Law, 200) and case law which had evolved in New York regarding legal separation. It was logical to accept abandonment as a ground for divorce since “desertion” existed as a ground in every other state but North Carolina. 

              In addition to the “fault” grounds for divorce, the legislative scheme was to add two “no-fault” grounds based upon separation or living apart. The legislative compromise was to accept the “no-fault” theory of separation as a ground for divorce but to add requirements which would vouch for its authenticity.

              http://www.brandeslaw.com/grounds_for_divorce/history.htm 

        • Frank_821

          Oh yes Joan went way overboard and unfairly vented all her rage on the little twit of a receptionist. Sadly though, I have to say, that girl is a little twit of thing that seriously needs to be better at her job. She’s not terrible at it but we all know Joan would have never hired her for that position. Knowing how Joan likes the office to be managed and how she makes a point of mitigating potentially ugly situations, she’d want a girl who is really adept at protocol and knows how to read people sitting at that desk. Basically someone who can function as the first line of defense.

          • sarahjane1912

            .. which is why I personally can’t understand why the little oxygen thief is still there. 

            Joan in her position as head ‘secretary’ [in charge of the pool of girls] could certainly fire people when she wanted to [eg Jane, even if that particular move was countermanded by Roger] so I would have thought that after Joan came back to work [and she'd locked horns with the receptionist before, when Joan had come to look for a role for herself] she would have given the twit her marching papers fairly swiftly. After all, she has even more power in the office now, no?

    • 3hares

      Ali Kahn was a famous playboy. Don had said to Joan that when he started working there she received so many flowers he thought she was dating AK. She explained her mother raised her to be admired. So Don sent her flowers that said her mother raised her right (she was admirable) and signed it Ali Kahn.

      • sweetlilvoice

        Thank you!

    • JMEL

      I also never wish for a Don/Joan hookup.  They both know it would ruin their relationship and the respect they hold for each other.   If they wanted to have sex, they would have done it a long time ago.  I cringe whenever I read someone wanting them to hookup.  This isn’t Ross and Rachel!

    • j_anson

      Star Trek was a terribly-rated show that got canceled after three seasons of declining viewership and only became a cult classic with the cultural impact it has today significantly later on. I suspect it’s actually somewhat poor cultural history for Mad Men to be making much of it at all.

      • lauraq99

        They kind of referenced the terrible ratings and unlikely chance it has at success, up against hit shows like My 3 Sons.

        • Sweetbetty

           I was rather surprised that Star Trek was up against My Three Sons.  I’d have assumed 3 Sons was long off the air since I remember watching that as a kid but I guess it had a good long run and was still going strong when Star Trek came on the scene.

          • sweetlilvoice

            I didn’t watch My Three Sons but I watched a lot of Brady Bunch during the summer in the 80s, the joy of re-runs! And Happy Days! Star Trek I only discovered with my husband and his love of Shatner. And my love of Nimoy…..

        • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

          The only off note I heard (or thought I heard) was the reference to Trek as a “hit” during its first season, because I remembered a letter-writing campaign to keep it on the air following low ratings.  But further examination (thank you, Wikipedia) shows that Trek had “initially enjoyed high ratings.”  Trek had premiered on September 8, 1966 (I started watching it religiously shortly thereafter), so it may well still have been a “hit” by the time of “Christmas Waltz.”

      • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

         Still, it WAS on television and people DID watch it (it was renewed for three seasons).

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        Seeing that Ken is a budding Ray Bradbury, why Harry didn’t give the script to him for review? I truly think this was a “Let’s give Peggy a few more lines” situation. :-/

        • judybrowni

          Harry wasn’t in on the dinner at Pete’s house where the info came out about Ken’s science fiction short stories.

          So he may not be aware.

        • asympt

           Even if he knew Ken wrote sf, Ken doesn’t have Hollywood connections.  And even back then it was almost impossible to get a spec script seen without a Hollywood agent.  (As a short-story writer, Ken probably doesn’t even have a literary agent–he doesn’t need one.)  Harry was absolutely the logical choice.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            No, why didn’t Harry show the script to Ken, instead of Peggy? 

            • asympt

               Oh, that’s a good question.  Was Harry in on Ken’s secret sf writing life?

              It could always simply be that Ken wasn’t in the office right then.  Peggy’s not an sf writer, but she’s a writer, and she knows good work when she reads it.

            • terekirkland

               Eh. Peggy is CREATIVE. Ken is ACCOUNTS (I think). Even knowing Cosgrove’s writing habits, Peggy would be my choice to beta a script, too.

            • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

              That’s true. He knew Ken was a writer, but maybe not sci-fi. Plus now I remember Harry saying something about Paul being an ass at Ken’s bachelor party, so it makes sense to not involve him.

      • aaron soames

        Another point is that STAR TREK had fabulous demographics; it was watched by precisely the kind of people that advertisers want nowadays (young, well-educated, urban, etc). The only reason why the show was cancelled was because people were still largely thinking in terms of audience share, not in terms of audience composition. Indeed, analysts in the 70s used the cancellation of STAR TREK as an example of what not to do.

      • 3hares

        They didn’t make much of it. They had Paul, who was already known as a sci-fi guy, be one of the few people who liked it. It was right up his alley with the ham-handed allegories. For all they laughed at his script that is the type of metaphor they sometimes went for.

        • asympt

           Don’t forget Peggy liked the allegory in Ken’s stories–much less hamfisted than Paul’s.

        • greenwich_matron

          When I heard the plot, I immediately thought of the episode where they meet the half white and half black aliens. I think Paul’s script would fit right in.

    • EEKstl

      I, too, never hoped for a Don/Joan hookup.  Much better to have them be attracted to one another but intrinsically understand that they could if they wanted to, but this is much better.  LOVED Don’s note with the flowers the next day – pitch perfect. (And while I’m jumping the gun for Mad Style, notice Joanie’s roses again?).

      • http://parisiennelauren.wordpress.com/ Lauren

        Dead rose dress making its encore appearance when the papers are served; when the red roses are delivered, she’s wearing a new dress patterned with fresh greens. Praise TLo for teaching me to recognize this brilliance.

      • rowsella

         I wonder if he sent roses to Meghan too.

    • Qitkat

      *The social upheaval of the sixties, coupled with the drastic changes in
      the lives of these characters, has resulted in a status quo that is
      louder, cruder, and more obvious than the smokey, moody, more subtle
      Mid-Century vibe of the show’s earliest episodes.*

      EXACTLY. And because the sixties were much less subtle than the fifties, in every possible way, Weiner is right on point, I think, in presenting the show, just like this.

      • Qitkat

        And I loved the smokey, moody vibes of the early seasons.
        It would have been fantastic if that could have continued.
        But there’s a reason Film Noir is set in the Thirties, Forties and Fifties. Rarely works in later decades.

      • http://twitter.com/BobbiNJ Bobbi

        I was going to say essentially the same thing. The second half of the 60′s and the beginning of the 70′s did change people and all their assumptions concerning their lives in major ways. The ones that couldn’t or wouldn’t change were left by the wayside in very real ways. This show is mirroring what actually took place in a very real manner. 

      • asympt

         And on that recent Inside the Actors Studio, Weiner specifically said that the 70s, when he was a kid, was the “wreckage” of the late 50s, when his parents were married (and which was specifically what interested him about starting the series there).

    • Chickadeep

      TLo wrote: “If there’s one kind of woman Don can’t abide in his life, it’s one who knows him well.” I’d actually amend this statement slightly. While I agree that Don can’t abide women who know him well in his *romantic* life, I don’t think this entirely true of his life overall. He has a notable history of forging very strong bonds with a select few women who seem to know him (Anna Draper, Peggy, Joan)  — and I mean *really* know him, know who and what he is, versus know the persona he puts out there to the rest of the world — and he seems to both rely on that and to draw strength or resolve from those relationships.

      Joan is a character that breaks my heart on a lot of levels, not the least of which is that she’s just insanely competent, and equally undervalued. I know it was exceedingly difficult to reach the top of an organization back then, no matter how good you were at something, or even to be rewarded for skills that WERE recognized (see: Joan doing Harry’s script-reading better than Harry, then having to train her own replacement; Joan stepping in to save the day during the clandestine mass exodus from the original Sterling Cooper; Lane telling Joan matter-of-factly that she could do his job; Joan’s pitch-perfect responses at the Jaguar dealership, something Peggy Olson couldn’t have accomplished on her best day). I wonder if, with Lane’s downfall being so strongly foreshadowed, this might be the set-up for a scenario where Joan really DOES step up and grab the professional brass ring at last?

    • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

      And…. that’s what I said: “Kudos to them for not having Betty read ‘The Feminine Mystique,’ for
      example, because as nice as that would have been from our vantage point,
      it would have also been wildly unrealistic.”

      There were lots of MM viewers clamoring for her to read it, simply because it was in existence in 1963, even though there’s no way she would have done so. Instead, she read “The Group,” much less well-remembered today, but much more in keeping with her character, and a book that was actually popular at the time.

      • CozyCat

        “The Group” is also the story of a group of women who after graduating from a Seven Sisters college go off to their “glamorous” futures in Manhattan with various triumphs and disappointments.  Betty would have identified with the characters.  (It’s actually a pretty good book and movie.)

      • sweetlilvoice

        It’s an amazing book and I recommend it!

    • Vodeeodoe

      Oh my god, I missed Kinsey! His transformation was perfect. I hope he stays around for a while and gets his shit together.

    • Vodeeodoe

      I would have bet on a Peter suicide by the end of the season, but Lane just threw his hat into that pool.

    • Groucho_Marks

      My son is home from college for a few weeks.  His phone started buzzing last night, and he said, “Must be a good episode of ‘Mad Men” on tonight.”  I almost shrieked with delight — my boy loves MM, too.  LOL.

      My son asked me why there were two signatures on the check Lane was forging.  I explained to him it was a common internal control, intended to prevent one person from doing what Lane was attempting to do — pay a personal expense on the company’s dime.  My son then asked me how Lane would get caught.  My best guess is that the person who reconciles the checking account,  will discover Lane’s defalcation of funds, and that person is probably Joan.  I also realized that to my twenty-one year old son, paper checks are the rotary phone of the banking world — still usable, but kind of outdated.  Yet another reason to feel old…

      • VanessaDK

        Is there a digital equivalent of 2 signatures now?

        • Groucho_Marks

          In a digital world, a password is the rough equivalent of a signature.  In a large, well-run company, thepayment process is sliced into multiple sub-processes, each of which requires a separate password.In addition, there is an emphasis on “separation of duties” — no one person is allowed to have accessto enough pieces of the sub-process to commit a fraud. 
           
          In the MM episode, Lane simply had to get a blank check and fill it out.  Where I work, it takes almost a dozendifferent sub-processes, each with different approvers, to get someone paid.  Sometimes I wish we were back in the sixties…LOL…

        • CatherineRhodes

          Yes, a double-password protected online account.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Melissa-Janes/1307910218 Melissa Janes

      To the people who want Joan and Don together: why do you hate Joan? Hasn’t she been through enough without shacking up with Don “I chase my wife around my apartment after abandoning her in a parking lot” Draper? I’ll pass!

    • A Reeves

      Thank you for the recap. I usually wait until Tuesday night to watch MM, but I watched it much earlier this eek, just so I could read your recap.

      The season is feeling quite episodic. 

    • Logo Girl

      I don’t know the full extent of Lakshmi’s motivations, but I remember women like that. They were usually found running ashrams in Marin County, CA, and has a lot of people doing their bidding. They were really only found sometime between 1966 to 1976, any time after that becoming these modified and established new age businesswomen. 

    • http://twitter.com/suryasnair suryasnair

      Don has money, Harry gave money, Paul and Lane needs money, Lane stole money. And Pauls loony girlfriend is named after the Hindu Goddess of Wealth.

      Well played.

    • CarolinLA

      It’s the age old question:  can you be truly creative if you’re happy?  It’s generally believed that true bursts of creativity come from being extremely dissatisfied and the fight to overcome that obstacle.  Angst is part of so many creatives process that Don feels part of him is missing.  Don’s standing on the precipice:  does he fuck up his marriage in order to save his work life because he thinks the two cannot co-exist?

      • ldancer

        As a person who has devoted my entire life and made a job out of being creative, I find that question very easy to answer: Of course you can. It’s a red herring, that question. It’s mythology. But, I’m a real human being, and Don Draper is a character. So the more the writers torment him (and everyone else), the more interesting the story will be, because healthy people don’t make interesting characters. I suspect tyhe conflicts will be even more fun than work vs. marriage.

    • CarolinLA

      When Joan said to Don that’s the man he is, I think of lot of that came from jealousy over Megan.  Deep down, I don’t think Joan wants Don to be happy because, if he is, it means he’s happy with Megan and that means Megan gets what Joan wanted:  a fairly stable man who lets her create a blissful home life.  

    • http://twitter.com/lanalana Lana

      I think I might defer to Joan’s wisdom here: Megan is exactly like Betty. I don’t understand how the many audience members see her through Peggy’s glasses (“She’s good at everything!”) rather than Joan’s (“Oh pleeeeease, she’ll be failed actress with a rich husband. That’s just the kind of woman he marries”)  Instead of being raised to be a pretty accoutrement of conformity-through-consumerism, she’s been raised to be a pretty accoutrement of individualism-through-consumerism. I guess there is another difference: She’s less passive aggressive than Betty and more tantrumy. Don is terrible, but he didn’t “turn” Megan into anything.

      I am have never been a fan of the Don/Joan pairing. I still want Roger to grow up and be a man who deserves her! I just love them together. (Alternatively though it seems distant after this episode, I’d like to see Lane get his act together emotionally and financially treat Joan like the goddess she is.) But in this episode, I was actually warming to the Don/Joan idea. Both Joan and Don were actually being themselves and having a great time. They both try to be people they’re not in relationships. I think Don loved being back in the Land of the Grownups, flirting slyly with an adult woman who genuinely laughs at his dated his pop culture references. I bet Megan wouldn’t even know who Aly Kahn, who died in 1960, was… She’s probably roll her eyes at Rita Hayworth and call her movies “crap.”   Notice also that it was Joan who loved the sleek, modern, foreign Jaguar– basically Megan in car form– whereas Don was really into the maximalist curvy Cadillac we saw him buy a few years back. Nevertheless, I don’t think Don thinks he’s good enough for Joan, and I think Joan sort of knows that he’s right.

      • quietmim

        Wow. I really like this post. I think you are right.

    • MichaelStrangeways

      The Joan/Don scene was beautifully written, directed and acted…I doubt they’ll ever go beyond the mutual respect and liking they have for one another.

      And, they were BOTH incredibly sexy in that scene….tv screens across America began to melt last night. Jon Hamm, flirting, with a tilted hat and that profile of his…so. gawdamned. hot. 

      And/And: Lane is doomed, I think. Suicide or jail. One or the other. I know AMC wanted Weiner to cast trim as part of the new deal for the show. It would make sense to get rid of Lane…I like the character and the actor but the show could survive without him.

      • Glammie

        Unfortunately, I think it’s suicide.  I think Lane has overspent keeping up appearances, trying to seem successful–and thought he could get away with the tax bill.  He’s afraid to tell his wife the truth–that they can’t live in the style to which she’s accustomed.

        I think Lane will check out before the truth comes out.  There is a darkness this season–a sense that nothing’s quite stable–and Lane as the one exiting makes a lot of sense.  Not to mention, he’s pretty superfluous at SCDP–he’s not creative, he doesn’t have contacts and he doesn’t bring in business.  Joan seems to manage traffic and staff, but she could also manage the nuts and bolts of financials.  She seems like the one who will uncover the forged checks.  

        • Laylalola

          I don’t know about superfluous — he’s been critical to moving the storyline forward in three major ways, and maybe four. SCDP literally wouldn’t exist without him and his machinations (firing the partners so they could start the new firm). The only reason the Jaguar account ever was within SCDP’s grasp was because of him — and appears poised to come in after all, being SCDP’s first car account and taking the agency to an entirely different level. And he’s just embezzled from the firm. And of course … he beat Pete to a pulp. 

          • Glammie

            I meant specifically in an ad agency.  Yes, he’s been integral to the plot, but it’s actually a little forced–i.e. there was a British takeover and then a rebellion.  But a moderate-sized ad agency doesn’t need a CFO.  If he jumps out a window, SCDP won’t need a Lane replacement.  He did bring in Jaguar, but the rainmakers would be Bert and Roger–who know everyone in society and Pete who’s also socially connected and just goes for it.  

      • sweetlilvoice

        I think that Weiner refused to agree to that clause…hence all the negotiations. I’ll have to do some checking.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=4947783 Diana Perez

      I wouldn’t read so much into Pete’s suicide insurance clause as something just specifically for Pete but more so for all the partners at SCDP. Remember Train-Insurance-Man said it was probably an insurance clause for any partner at a company like SCDP. So $20 says Lane is gone by the end of this season.

      • Sweetbetty

         And won’t his wife be surprised to find the deep financial doo-doo he was in.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=537565462 Michelle Gennari

      Great analysis – as always, guys.  I loved how Don sent Joan the flowers – just a very sweet moment when she read the card.  And no, I don’t want them to hookup – it would certainly spoil the dynamic between them. 

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      Oh, and how could we forget about this week’s “Roger-ism”: Bazooka Joe??

      • UsedtobeEP

        That was hilarious. And icky.

      • Sweetbetty

         Refresh my memory, please?  I don’t recall that.

        • judybrowni

          “Bubble gum on his pubis!”

          Don’t think I’ll ever forget that.

          • Sweetbetty

             I remember that but it was several episodes back.  Was it brought up again in last night’s episode?  I live for Roger’s witticisms and hate to think I missed a good one.

            • asympt

               Yes–that’s what he called Lane’s idiot friend when Pete gleefully informed them he’d been canned.

            • Sweetbetty

               Guess I’ll have to try to catch that again.

            • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

              It’s at the beginning- about 4 or 5 minutes in. 

    • emcat8

      I soooo missed the Mad Men recaps while I was on vacation — caught up on them last night and then had this to look forward to this morning. Not to mention all the bitter kitten commentaries.

    • emcat8

      My favorite thing about how stupid that receptionist is is that when Joan’s calling her an idiot, she’s all “you’re not allowed to do that!” I just love that she’s so hung up on the rules because by god, she *learned* them and she’s going to make use of them.

      • Sweetbetty

         What number is the rule that states you can’t smash a model airplane on a receptionist’s desk? ;->

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

        It was kind of cool to she Joan loose it and throw that plane.

      • 3hares

        I don’t think that had anything to do with rules. It was just shock and Joan’s behavior. As ditzy as that receptionist is, she didn’t really do much wrong in that scene. No receptionist would have kept out that guy. At best Joan would have come to reception and gotten served there. But the “you can’t do that” was more about regular office interaction than the rules saying Joan wasn’t allowed to throw model airplanes at her.

    • KaiLing90

      I hope they don’t let her drive a lawn mower, LOL!!

    • buddy100

      Well, I’m going to stray from the high road here and express my hopes for a good solid bang. You could tell Joan appreciated being the pampered princess, and Don was savoring the battle of wits. Reminiscing the chase, Would it be a night they’d regret? Certainly. But both are impulsive, no matter the personal growth. Therefore, I disagree that it would be a betrayal to their characters. Would they regret it? Definitely. But I’ll be honest and say that steamy but unfortunate encounters practically define the show. I would much rather watch the magnificent dinosaurs’ chemistry explode than Don alternating between maternal glorification and intense infantilization.

      • Sweetbetty

         Just please don’t let us see Joan wrapping her legs around Don while rolling around on the floor or bending over a desk and telling Don to “take me like this”.  And I also don’t want to see Don rolling out of bed, pulling on his pants, and zipping his fly without a quick trip to the loo.

      • avidreader02

        I have to say I agree.  I while I also think it would be a horrible idea…. wasn’t it great to see Don with a woman who could match up to him? Wasn’t that the appeal of Dr. Faye? And wasn’t it great for Joan to have a man who treated her well instead of those little boys like Roger or the Dr. Captain? It was sexy and sweet and …..just FUN.  There was a joy to those scenes.   
        I know, I know.  It would be a mess.  And I think it would be better for them to have a deep friendship; and it would be more interesting.
        But this is episode just had such steamy chemistry deliciousness.  I should be happy with just this taste, but I want to be bad and have more. 

      • judybrowni

        No, no, no.

        Joan outlined why she’d never contemplate Don as a partner, and Don has already done in one marriage with his adulteries, and not ready to blow up another.

        Besides, they’re friends, and equals. Don doesn’t do equals, and Joan has had her fill of married men. (As well as her fill of Roger.)

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

          I agree. Don is not looking for a “partner”.

    • Daniel E Prieto

      General question, what’s everybody theory on Lane? I don’t believe for a second that his problems are merely tax related. Remember in the season premiere, when he returned that missing wallet, but kept Delores’s phone number? My theory is that his pursuit of her somehow led to his current predicament.

      • 3hares

        Lane owes 8,000 in taxes and he seems to have been stretching his finances to the limit to begin with. Why would he need someone else to pay off too? He was sweating bullets talking to his lawyer about the tax bill.

    • LuLusLemons

      Paul accidentally set the whole Greg thing in motion by posting up a copy of Joan’s driver’s license (in retaliation for her behavior at the party, I think), making her feel old and like she needed to nab a husband pronto. He reappeared right when the divorce papers are served …

      • sweetlilvoice

        I thought it was Juliette Lewis too!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SYQ2DMG6JBSNLMENXQ7TVJBFQ4 Lee

        “Paul accidentally set the whole Greg thing in motion by posting up a copy of Joan’s driver’s license (in retaliation for her behavior at the party, I think), making her feel old and like she needed to nab a husband pronto. He reappeared right when the divorce papers are served …”

        Actually, it was Joan who set the whole thing in motion, when she insulted Sheila White.

        • LuLusLemons

           Yes, she ultimately brought it on herself (and it’s not like Paul forced her to marry Greg; she chose to go through with it even after his bad behavior), but it was the form his prank took that spurred her on, so it makes a sort of sense he would show up when it all ended.

    • http://twitter.com/wafa1024 Wafa Hakim Orman

      There was a theme….it was Christmas presents, in one form or another.

    • jeeplibby02

      Who is Bert Peterson, who told Don not to eff with Joan, and argued with Freddie Rumsen over whether Joan was a lesbian?  Was he ever a character on the show?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/W7A5N4G7FDTV5U2KOHBVSB55XI Basket

         If you remember, he was head of accounts, the guy who went beserk when he was fired. His wife had cancer.  I don’t recall him having a foreground story of his own, just a background like story.

    • jeeplibby02

      MW & Co certainly get a lot of mileage out of that car dealership set.  The Jaguar dealership was the same as the one where Don bought his Cadillac, and recalled the first time Anna confronted him for stealing her husband’s identity, while he was working as a car salesman.

      • Laylalola

        Great catch! If it’s true that every ad agency comes into its own when it lands a car account, maybe they knew all along they’d use that set over and over (and for the eventual account, even if they didn’t know which account it would be). 

    • http://twitter.com/sarahohmygod Sarah Oleksyk

      I’m gonna put my prediction out there, Clue-style:

      Mr. Price, in the office, with Pete’s shotgun.

      • judybrowni

        Not if the windows may open. (Did Joan throw her divorce papers out the window?)

        Usually, in the more modern buildings they didn’t.

        And let’s hope Lane outlives the suicide clause in his life insurance.

        • Tasterspoon

          Since we saw Don whisk Joan out of there, I assumed she threw her papers out the car window.

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          “Our windows don’t open.”
          She threw them somewhere else…

          • Sweetbetty

             I got the feeling that she tossed them out the window of the Jag as she and Don were test-driving it.

      • makeityourself

        If it’s to be a suicide, I agree.

        Otherwise, I stand by my original guess of Mr. Sterling, in his office, with a heart attack.

    • Joanie Hunt

      I wouldn’t want Don and Joanie together for just a one nighter, but it COULD make sense if they ended up together as the couple. She bringing her baby drama along with her while Don brings two failed marriages drama with him. It could get very get interesting and it could bring out the best in the both of them. However, that’s dream world. I like them just as they are.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SYQ2DMG6JBSNLMENXQ7TVJBFQ4 Lee

      Why did Joan get angry over the divorce papers?  I thought she wanted to end her marriage to Greg.

      • Sweetbetty

         Because *she* wanted to be the person to initiate the divorce.  For him to file against her implies that *he* is the injured party.  If he hadn’t been on the other side of the world she probably would have filed by now but probably felt no hurry with things the way they are, plus she was receiving her dependents’ allowance from the military and wasn’t in a hurry to cut off that bit of income.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

          Getting served at work is crappy too, and that is still how it is done.

      • http://victoriapavlova.com Victoria Pavlova

        because he seized control. Now it would look to the public like he wanted to divorce her, not the other way around.

    • michelle shields

      I wish I could buy a Jag for $6,000.

    • http://twitter.com/frabjuosity Iris Leikanger

      I jumped when the Krishnas came on, since I currently live with two people who are part of the Hare Krishna Movement. I can understand why Harry got so into the chanting – it’s really fun! When they start talking about the cosmic soul etc I tend to check out, though.

      I liked this episode – for me it’s not a stand-out of the season, but they seem to be building up to a lot of interesting things so I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

    • http://twitter.com/yellowhannah33 yellowhannah33

      Ah, Lane, poor, poor Lane. Literally poor, apparently. I would imagine he was a victim of the UK’s high 1960s income tax rates but the tax regime as a whole was not sympathetic to high net-worth individuals or businessmen, so there are a number of taxes that could have bitten him in the backside. As with his playboy bunny dalliance I can imagine he thought being in the States meant he could forget his old life and become a fully blown Mets supporting American, but it doesn’t work that way, the British taxman will find you. Always, particularly in the 1960s and 70s – when one Chancellor (Healey) said ‘we’re going to squeeze the rich until the pips squeak.’ I think I heard Lane squeak in that first scene. His money troubles presumably go deeper than just his tax bill. He hasn’t paid the school fees judging from an earlier episode and the Mrs obviously expects them to go to a good school.

      A couple of people have talked about the beautiful, haunting lighting of the cheque film – it was great. It also reminded me of catch me if you can – the careful copying of Don’s signature. That episode in history reminds us that people who do that sort of thing almost *never* do it just once. He’s broken through the barrier now, it’ll be easier next time.Kind of funny to me seeing someone forging Don’s signature. Technically Don (or, Dick, really) is always forging Don’s signature. 

      In regard to the death fore-shadowing, Lane’s situation reminds me of The Beatles ‘Taxman’ ‘-Now my advice for those who die/ Declare the pennies on your eyes’. If Lane does find his way into Pete’s desk drawer or off a balcony or out of a window – the British government will want its cut of what he owns – inheritance tax was also very high at this time.

    • Glammie

      I love the way Joan and Don sort of let their hair down with one another, but I’ve never seen them as a potential couple because I actually think they’re a bit too much alike.  Both of them are expert at making other people want them–two people who rely on a seductive charm in intimate relationships.  I don’t even know that it’s that Joan needs a stable guy as much as she doesn’t want someone who’s playing the same game she is.  

    • http://victoriapavlova.com Victoria Pavlova

      So this is why there was a promo shot of Lane and Joan in one frame but distanced: she’s going to find out about his money tricks. Ouch.

      As for Joan/Don: thank God, they didn’t go there. But watching them together relaxed like that was awesome.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        ((going back to look at those stills now))

    • Susan Crawford

      I am thinking that when Rapist Greg really turns up the heat on Joan, Roger is going to find out about it, and I look forward to the confrontation between the two men. Roger would be able to crush Greg like a cockroach on linoleum and not turn even one of those gorgeous silver hairs in doing it. And he would do it without Joan ever really knowing. At least, that’s what I’m hoping. Or else that Don will beat the poo-poo out of Dr. Horrible.

      • Sweetbetty

         Lane is also in her corner so if the three of them gang up on Greg he’ll be just like Don’s Sno-ball, no chance in hell.

      • sweetlilvoice

        Mmmm….my mouth waters at the thought of such a smack down!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SYQ2DMG6JBSNLMENXQ7TVJBFQ4 Lee

        “confrontation between the two men. Roger would be able to crush Greg like a cockroach on linoleum and not turn even one of those gorgeous silver hairs in doing it. And he would do it without Joan ever really knowing. At least, that’s what I’m hoping. Or else that Don will beat the poo-poo out of Dr. Horrible.”

        Isn’t that a bit of a fantasy?

      • sarahjane1912

        Or maybe he’ll do us all a favour and not come back from Vietnam. ;-)

    • MsKitty

      Very late to the party so I only have this to add: I would totally watch an episode that had nothing but Don and Joan sitting at the bar shooting the shit for 64 minutes. Make it happen TPTB.

    • denkimofu

      I disagree that the episode had no theme. As you pointed out in previous episodes, characters this season have a habit of stating the theme out loud. Paul says that money solves today, not tomorrow. Joan says that Roger’s offer to support her baby through college is a temporary solution. The characters in this show are adrift and do not know where they belong, and this is not a problem money can fix. By contrast, Lans has a problem that money CAN solve, and he is the only one who cannot get it. Harry’s sending Paul to LA is a temporary solution, Paul will disappear into the abyss of Hollywood. That is not a place for lost souls. Joan knows that Don, however irresistible, is not a solution, as men like him always want something new. The parallel Joan-Paul stories are interesting, considering their romantic past. The Lane story,while adding complexity to the theme, was poorly presented I think. His financial troubles and moral shortcuts came out of nowhere, they did not really ring true to me.

    • Groucho_Marks

      In a digital world, a password is the rough equivalent of a signature.  In a large, well-run company, thepayment process is sliced into multiple sub-processes, each of which requires a separate password.In addition, there is an emphasis on “separation of duties” — no one person is allowed to have accessto enough pieces of the sub-process to commit a fraud. 
       
      In the MM episode, Lane simply had to get a blank check and fill it out.  Where I work, it takes almost a dozendifferent sub-processes, each with different approvers, to get someone paid.  Sometimes I wish we were back in the sixties…LOL…

      • Groucho_Marks

        Sorry folks.  Posted in the wrong place.

    • Lorena B

      I think we’re going to lose both Lane and Cooper. Cooper maybe just shooting Lane and then expiring, or Campbell aiming for Lane but hitting Cooper :(. 

      Though it’s hard to shake that imagery of the falling man; but Don is the only one left with a balcony, and the windows at SCDP don’t open (unless you can blow someone through a window hard enough or wrestle them out the window enough).

      Whoever mentioned Campbell taking out Lane was right; lot of resentment on Campbell’s part. 

      As for life insurance, would all of it be taxed away? Wouldn’t it be enough to at least cover Lane’s debts or future schooling? I don’t expect Lane to kill himself. I really don’t. Killed or accidental death, but not suicide. Death by suicide might still leave his family out to dry; his father might feel obligated to care for Lane’s family should he die any other way than by “disgraceful” suicide.

      • Lorena B

        Meant to add, the “Bazooka Joe” comment was made in “Cooper’s Office” – the hallway outside the men’s room. I perked up when they mentioned the adjournment there, and laughed when I realized where it was.

      • Lorena B

        Meant to add, the “Bazooka Joe” comment was made in “Cooper’s Office” – the hallway outside the men’s room. I perked up when they mentioned the adjournment there, and laughed when I realized where it was.

      • Sweetbetty

        ” Though it’s hard to shake that imagery of the falling man; but Don is
        the only one left with a balcony, and the windows at SCDP don’t open”

        There’s always that elevator shaft….

        Back to the insurance policy; didn’t Pete tell Train Guy that he checked and the company was the beneficiary of the policy?  So  suicide or not, the family wouldn’t get any benefit from it.  Of course, Pete could have lied about that just to get invited to Train Guy’s house so he could see the lovely Beth again. 

        And if the family is the beneficiary, we have no way of knowing what Lane’s debts and the cost of his son’s schooling is nor do we know the amount of the payout of the policy, so his wife could end up sitting pretty or she could end up destitute; we just don’t know.  Tax laws are too complicated for me to even think about in relation to insurance benefits on a British citizen living and working in the US in 1966 so I wouldn’t even hazard a guess.

        • Vodeeodoe

           Wasn’t there a time in GB when folks paid about 90 percent of their income to taxes? Also, what Lane was paying off seemed to be just the interest on what he actually owed. His lawyer or whatever that guy was, got him your typical one-percenter deal and that’s all he owed in the end.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        The falling man may have jumped from the roof.

      • greenwich_matron

        Death benefits from a life insurance policy are generally not included in taxable income (both for the US and the UK). Per Pete’s train conversation with his very good friend the insurance salesman/cuckold, the face amount is six times salary and the beneficiary is the partnership.

        Partnerships generally have insurance on their principals because an untimely death causes a lot of expenses and loss of income (loss of business and pipeline, signing bonus for a new hire, general havoc) and the partnership charter usually requires that the firm buys back the partner’s share from his estate. I would expect the share to have a floor at the initial investment, but it could increase if the firm is successful and grew (not likely here). This would be a return of capital and not taxable (any amount over the investment would be taxable).So Lane’s family would get back the amount that he put into the firm (the initial amount and the $50,000 that junior partners put in at the end of last season). My guess is that this is $150,000 (assuming that the cash infusion was 50% of the initial investment), which I think is about $1,000,000 in today’s dollars. This should be enough to clean up his financial mess, educate his son, and allow his wife to live decently but modestly, assuming little inflation.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RHLSUVX3NCPB4OSS5BM7GZIXUE P. Capet

      i understand the reason for the malaise hanging over this season and can’t wait for it to be over.  i am hoping they get the jaguar account and also that conrad hilton, that old ace in the hole, pops in to see don as well.

      i think it had to be a weird season because he’s marrying younger and smack in the middle of an enormous cultural shift.  i was nine when the beatles showed up and it was like the big bang or the sun becoming a supernova, the light of it blotted out everything else and suddenly everything that was cool and hip was gray and old.  ring-a-ding-ding was OVER.  it was so huge that we’re still getting ripples from the explosion.  i remember feeling sorry for everyone else.  i think it’s just gonna take time for don to find his sea legs again.

      he has been neglecting his office wife, peggy, who also seems to have thrown in with an artistic but childlike mate who doesn’t quite get or appreciate what they do.  i am waiting for them to reconnect at work and get out of their funk.

    • Scott Hester-Johnson

      One thing has been bugging me all season; spaghetti being served with no sauce. What gives with that?

      • greenwich_matron

        Especially when you consider that the first post SCDP meal we saw her make was beef bourguignon! The “I kept dinner warm for you!” line has more resonance when dinner involved more than boiling water.

        • Logo Girl

          I have a feeling, based on some of the comments here about the unusual cleanliness of the kitchen, and based on the fact that the dish goes in a dutch oven, not a saucepan, and the fact that she has displayed no particular cooking skills, and that the stew was overly hot,that her beef bourguignon was likely some kind of 60s-style “easy” version, such as mixing a can of Dinty Moore with a bottle of wine. 

      • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

        it makes it easier to clean up when you throw it against the wall.

    • http://www.wordydoodles.com WordyDoodles

      “now it just seems like a bit of stagecraft that he falls back on because he knows it looks good.” YES- this is exactly what I felt when I heard the speech. Not roused, but deflated. It was as if Don was putting on a show because he knew it was expected and because it had a chance of actually inspiring some folks. At some level, I think he believed it too– that his place really was there, that he could muscle his way back into creative heaven. At another level, though, there seemed to be a hint of doubt.

    • http://twitter.com/Athenabast Athena Bast

      I can’t see Don and Joan ever together. While HOT as that would be, she is too much woman for him and not just in the physical sense.

    • http://twitter.com/ndpndntfilm Susan Velazquez

      I can’t wait for your costume analysis! I noticed Joan was wearing the “dead roses” dress when she was served.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kate-Thomas/1061191356 Kate Thomas

      I disagree with you re: Megan’s reaction to Don coming home late. My first reaction when I saw this was, “Whoa, she’s not Betty.” Unlike Betty, Megan actually confronted him about the fact that he was late, that she had made him dinner and he hadn’t shown up, and forbade him from doing it again.

    • http://twitter.com/OneManLaughing One Man Laughing

      Don did used to love advertising, which is (may I be cynical?) convincing people that things that aren’t true are, and what’s important isn’t and what isn’t important is. Dick Whitman trying to hide his real self would love that profession. Don Draper trying to seduce women would love that profession. But a man who’s integrated his two identities as far as he can without going to the stockade, may come to hate it. I think that this is really why he resents Megan leaving the agency, and the play criticizing advertising and consumerism.

    • lifetime_student

      Don and Joan hooking up would be catastrophic. They would never be able to have the kind of mutually respective and honestly affectionate friendship that, in my opinion, is a crucial brick in the foundation of the show. 
      Poor Lane is a hot mess under that stiff-upper-lip British facade. A suicide is a strong possibility, but I think he is also a good candidate for becoming a family annihilator, killing wife and son so they would not suffer from his disgrace.
      Finally, I have to brag a bit. Crazy Hare Krishna girl actress is Anna Wood of Mt. Airy, NC. Yes, that Mt. Airy, birthplace of Andy Griffith and Donna Fargo. I have known her since she was a pre-teen, all legs and smile. I have actually worked with her in community theatre, a fact I intend to state incessantly when she gets her first Emmy or Oscar. You go Mayberry girl!

    • Praja07

      “Going by online reactions, it would appear that we are the only two people in the world who don’t pine for a Joan/Don hookup… because an actual affair would feel like a betrayal of the characters, to us.”

      I couldn’t agree more and anyone who says otherwise must be playing into some weird fantasy fanfiction without actually seeing the show for its true worth. Seeing Joan and Don ‘hook up’ would be almost embarrassing to watch. It would be like two people you know from work who’ve been at the company for many years, who’ve been through it all and who know each other well – may not always deal with each other, aren’t necessarily the best of friends, but know each other well enough. For them to suddenly, randomly hook up would just be unrealistic.

      I discovered this site earlier this week and the style recaps are unlike anything I’ve read! I love them so much, I’m addicted.

    • 3hares

      What should she have done, then? I agree she’s obviously incompetent no matter what the job, but Joan was told there was “someone” waiting for her in reception who needed her signature and came out. I just can’t imagine what information Meredith would have given Joan that would have kept her from coming out or warned her what this guy was. His ability to lie was a stronger force than Meredith’s ditziness.

    • Jennie Santeler

      Really? I definitely picked up on a theme in this episode. All the sub-plots were about money: asking for money (Paul/Harry), owing money (Lane), offering money (Roger), embezzling money, putting up money as collateral (Don at the car dealership), spending money (Don at the bar), etc.