'Mad Men' examines the Hare Krishna movement
'Mad Men' brought back an old character who has found new faith in its newest episode.
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Like the deadly smog keeping Don from opening his patio door on Thanksgiving in ‘Dark Shadows,’ there is a cost for what they’ve built. Whether it’s a company, a reputation or a relationship, the taxes are coming due – so to speak – and it’s becoming clear that not everyone is going to have what it takes when the time comes to get square.Skip to next paragraph
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Poor Paul Kinsey has to be made the example in this case. Since being left behind following the slapdash formation of SCDP, Kinsey apparently fell down the advertising ladder and was spit out to become a Hare Krishna with dreams of settling down with a woman going by the name Lakshmi (Anna Wood) and writing for Star Trek. Paul wrangles Harry Crane (Rich Sommer) into attending a group chant, so that afterward, he can ask his friend to pass along his spec script to NBC.
Unfortunately for Paul, his writing’s no good, and worse yet, Lakshmi shows up at Harry’s office, seduces him, then tells him to stay away from Paul – the group’s best recruiter – so as to not turn Kinsey into a “gross materialist.” Following that encounter, Harry decides it best to pay Paul’s way to Los Angeles, where he can fail thousands of miles away from him and the Hare Krishnas.
Joan (Christina Hendricks) is served divorce papers at the office, and following a semi-violent outburst, is taken to test drive a Jaguar with Don. If Don found it easy to get what he wanted from people before, with Joan on his arm, the world is definitely his oyster. The two whittle away the afternoon in a bar, where Don reveals he doesn’t get a thrill out of the Jag, and Joan tells him it’s because he’s happy. On the other hand, Joan is terrified that she’s destined to be a single mother now that she’s being delivered divorce papers at work when she’s so used to getting flowers.
Amidst a discussion of the struggle that comes with starting over, Joan wonders why Don never put the moves on her, explaining, “My mother raised me to be admired.” Don tells her he was afraid of her, and jokingly thought she was dating Ali Kahn. Don deflects Joan’s attention toward a guy sitting by himself at the bar. The pair does a good job psychoanalyzing the man, assuming he’s married, but bored – his wife having committed the sin of familiarity. Don opts out at that point, giving Joan some “Mad Money” in case the guy at the bar doesn’t work out.
Taking the Jaguar back to the dealer, Don drives it rather furiously, suggesting he may need a thrill more than he thought. He arrives home drunk to find Megan itching for a fight – a state she seems in more and more, lately – and she reminds him he loved his job and had it long before he ever met her.
At the office the next day, Roger delivers Joan some flowers with a card that reads: “Your mother did a good job. Ali Kahn.” Don’s not done there; he rallies his troops, telling them they’ll be working non-stop until they land Jaguar – as an agency’s first car is how they tell the world they’ve arrived. It looks as though Don may finally be ready to start over.
Kevin Yeoman blogs at Screen Rant.
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