'Mad Men' Season 5, Episode 10 Recap - 'Christmas Waltz' or 'There's An Airplane Here to See You!'
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Truly desperate times call for Hare Krishna and forged checks.
The former is the work of Paul Kinsey, who gets in contact with Harry at long last. When Harry finds him, though, he makes a shocking discovery: Kinsey is now a Hare Krishna, complete with bald head and tiny ponytail. And he has a sort-of girlfriend named Lakshmi.
The most fun thing to do with Harry as a character seems to be putting him in situations where he is completely befuddled, and this one causes the maximum level of befuddlement. Seeing him reluctantly sitting in the midst of a bunch of chanting Hare Krishnas is a delight.
But Kinsey isn't out to recruit Harry; he just wants a little help. He wants to run away with Lakshmi and start a farm, but lacks the funds... so he's hoping to sell the "Star Trek" script he wrote ("yeah, if it's there next season," says Harry... oh, hindsight). It's terrible, but Harry doesn't have the heart to tell him. So instead, he sends Kinsey off to Los Angeles with $500 and a promise that the execs at NBC absolutely loved it and he has a great shot at being a TV writer.
Oh, but that's only after Lakshmi seduced Harry in his office in exchange for doing exactly the opposite of that. So hopefully she doesn't come back with a vengeance or anything.
Lane has problems of his own, as he owes quite a bit in back taxes overseas. But drumming up $8,000 in two days is a bit out of his reach (to say the least), so he comes up with a simple plan: extend the company's credit, fudge the books a bit and tell everyone that they're getting bonuses.
Only problem there is that Don wants to hand out said bonuses at the Christmas party later, which puts Lane in a bind. His solution? Forge Don's signature on a bonus check for himself right now. Yikes.
Things take another turn when Mohawk goes on strike, giving SCDP a bit financial punch in the gut. The reaction of the execs is to forego their bonuses, but still give them out to the rest of the staff. But with Lane already having pocketed his... well, you can see how that could get ugly pretty easily.
Fortunately for Lane, Joan seems a bit distracted. She gets served papers for divorce at the office by her now even more awful husband, causing a spectacular freak-out at the horrendously inept girl at the front desk, and quite possibly Joan's best line in recent memory: "Surprise! There's an airplane here to see you!" What?
Don takes her out to calm her down, testing out a Jaguar for the potential new account and getting a few (or more) drinks at the bar. Their heart to heart is sweet in an oddly damaged way: Don turns on the charm and, when that stops working, plays wingman to Joan. Perhaps the most important exchange is this one:
Don: "I don't get it, that car does nothing for me."
Joan: "That's because you're happy. You don't need it."
And then, ten minutes later, Don aggressively shifts gears as he drives it back, clearly not happy and clearly needing it.
When he gets home, we get the third overblown Megan fight of the season, as she throws a plate of spaghetti thanks to Don carousing all night and not calling. It's certainly a different approach from the one Betty would have taken (i.e. quiet passive-agression), and it works: she tells Don to sit down and eat dinner with her, as if he were a child, and he obeys.
She's even nice enough to help kick him out of his career funk, reminding him that he loved his job long before she worked there, so it's not her fault that he's being a bummer now. Armed with that, Don gives an impassioned speech about working to land Jaguar at the Christmas party, the kind of speech we used to expect from him but haven't seen in a long time. "When we land Jaguar, the world will know we've arrived," he says, removing his jacket and literally rolling up his sleeves for the work ahead. Is Don really back now?