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'Mad Men' examines the Hare Krishna movement

'Mad Men' brought back an old character who has found new faith in its newest episode.

By Kevin YeomanScreen Rant / May 21, 2012

'Mad Men' protagonist Don Draper (Jon Hamm) shopped for a Jaguar in the newest episode.

Ron Jaffe/AMC/AP

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Considering how defined the characters on Mad Men are by their pursuit of achievement, it’s not hard to imagine any of them being done near irreparable harm by the realization that perhaps they’re not fit – or no longer fit – for the world of advertising. Given the effort the likes of Don (Jon Hamm), and especially, Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) have put in to attain such a career, seeing them stumble, as they have of late, is particularly worrisome when the end result of consistent failure is so dreadfully realized in the return of Paul Kinsey (Michael Gladis).

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Thankfully, the more fragile personalities of SCDP are largely spared the vision of a Hare Krishna Kinsey – which is a good thing, taking into account that the ego-battering of work of Michael Ginsberg (Ben Feldman), and the effortless, drifting success of Megan Draper (Jessica Paré) have already taken a rather sizeable toll.

‘Christmas Waltz’ moves Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce a little closer to the end of 1966, but with little to show for it. Mohawk is ceasing its advertising in the wake of a mechanics strike, and the agency’s only claim to fame is Don’s letter to Lucky Strike – which inadvertently steered most of the really big fish away from the agency. In addition, none of their work is seen as revolutionary enough to warrant mention in a New York Times Sunday Magazine piece. In essence, the company’s creative side has a stagnation problem – which would normally mean no Christmas bonuses, but since Lane Pryce (Jared Harris) owes some back taxes to England, he figures passing off a new line of credit as a surplus will justify the bonus he uses to pay the sum off.

Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) seems to be the only one finding success – in work, anyway – and manages to get the agency another shot at Jaguar, following the dismissal of the poorly behaved Edwin Baker. As is the case with Pete, the response to his achievement isn’t what he’s looking for, and so he barks at Don, “Yes, you may have to stay past 5:30,” after Don mentions landing Jaguar will be a lot of work.

Bert Cooper (Robert Morse) isn’t the only one who’s noticed Don’s lack of productivity. It seems work just isn’t what it used to be for Don, and his performance on Sno Ball proves it. Making matters worse, Don and Megan attend the play American Hurrah, where a character goes on about the evils of advertising – which later causes a row between the couple, ending with Don telling Megan, “No one’s made a stronger stand against advertising than you.”

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