Spoiler Alert Thursday: Mad Men, Christmas Waltz

Wait, what?

Lakshmi’s explanation that she seduced Harry in order to keep Paul from leaving the Hare Krishnas seriously made no sense at all.  Hanging a lantern on it by having Harry voice his confusion didn’t help either.  I know that the casual availability of attractive women on this show is a running theme, but come on.  Was this some kind of joke?

And honestly, the whole subplot about Paul joining the Hare Krishnas kind of grated.  I could buy Roger taking LSD, but the introduction of hippie religionists hit the whole “welcome to the late 60s” button a little too hard.  (Plus there was Harry’s prediction that Star Trek was doomed to fail, which, wink nudge ha ha.)  Although, if someone had to join the Hare Krishnas, I guess it makes sense that it would be Paul.

I did really enjoy watching Joan and Don buddy up in the bar.  And the scene where Joan screams at the receptionist was totally delicious to me, which probably just means I’m a bad person.

I’d be interested to hear others’ reactions to Don’s St. Crispin’s Day speech.  To me it felt a little forced and unconvinced (although not unconvincing, as it was met, unlike Pete’s speech preceding it, with applause from the staff).  As far as I can tell, Don decides he needs to care more about his work after Joan makes him realize that his marital problems are caused, in part, by him just being the way he is; and when he then goes home to a scene with Megan that almost achieves the level of unhappiness and suspicion that characterized his marriage with Betty.  Megan then points out that his lack of interest in his work is not actually her fault.  But is this really enough to turn Don’s professional malaise around?  I’m not sure I believe it.

Okay, and now my dumb questions:  What does S&C and E&C mean?  Lane says that S&C personnel will get 2% bonuses and E&C personnel will get 4%.  And who is the woman Don refers to, who will be unhappy about the bonuses?

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11 Responses to “Spoiler Alert Thursday: Mad Men, Christmas Waltz”

  1. Adam Kotsko Says:

    S&C is perhaps “support” and something, while E&C might be “editorial and creative”?

    The Joan and Don pairing (which is surprisingly rare looking back on the show — I joked with The Girlfriend that this would be the episode that launched a thousand fan fictions) continued the theme of Don needing a substitute “work wife,” like when Peggy had to pinch-hit in the Cool Whip presentation. I note this time that Don again drove off without his “wife” after taking a drive for a potential client.

    The speech did seem half-hearted, not up to his normal level. Maybe everyone was just glad to see him taking the lead again, though.

  2. Adam Kotsko Says:

    Another point to discuss: Lane is technically kind of embezzling from the firm, right?

  3. ben Says:

    Technically kind of?

  4. ben Says:

    Is it known what kind of trouble Lane is in, by the way? Something to do with taxes, but I can’t remember any of this from before—but Lane hasn’t been a big presence so far and I could just have forgotten about it from a previous season.

  5. Brad Johnson Says:

    I suspect Lane is in debt due to betting on & participating in New York’s old timey boxing scene.

  6. dbarber Says:

    Regarding Lane: “Lane’s plot line concerning his tax debt was a little thin. The underlying current event is the high British progressive tax levied by Labour leader Harold Wilson that inspired George Harrison to write “Taxman.” Never mind that by 1966 The Beatles were in England’s top tax bracket, as Lane probably is as well, which is why they had to pay a supertax of up to 95 percent. Lane should have moved his money to a Swiss bank account — but more to the point, he could have just told Don. Why didn’t he just tell Don? Don is a master secret keeper who could potentially have figured out how to make the problem go away. That guy can sit on a secret for decades. Now Lane is an embezzler, which will either blow up and pay off in the next three episodes or never be mentioned again.” from here: http://www.grantland.com/blog/hollywood-prospectus/post/_/id/49913/mad-men-rama-rama-hare-hare

  7. ben Says:

    My first thought on seeing Lakshmi was, “ah! temple prostitution!”, so when she showed up at Harry’s office, it made perfect sense to me, at first.

  8. ben Says:

    (I take it that throughout the second paragraph “Harry” should be “Paul”?)

  9. Brennan Breed Says:

    Lane wouldn’t ever tell Don, though. He’s already worried enough about his stature at the firm, and the last thing he (and his English stiff upper lip) needs is to be seen by another partner as weak.

    About Lakshmi — was it so Lakshmi could blackmail Harry (by threatening to tell his wife) should Harry contact Paul?

  10. Adam Kotsko Says:

    “was it so Lakshmi could blackmail Harry (by threatening to tell his wife) should Harry contact Paul?”

    That makes the most sense, but I got the sense she was offering him a kind of quid pro quo — though as Harry pointed out, that whole aspect made no sense since he didn’t realize it was a quid pro quo going in. Perhaps the message is that Hare Krishna types aren’t very strategic thinkers?

  11. jms Says:

    ben, thanks for point out the error of my ways. Fixed now.


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