Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mad Men -- What in the Hare Krishna is Goin' on Here?

*Warning: Spoilers ahead from the latest episode of Mad Men.*

Joan and Don flirted in a bar after taking a bright red Jaguar for a spin. And they didn't wind up sleeping together.

Paul Kinsey joined the Hare Krishnas and shaved his head.

Harry Crane had sex in the office with a Hare Krishna leader Lakshmi, a woman for whom Paul not only has feelings but wants to build a life with her. Guilty Harry handed Paul money and urged him to flee to Hollywood to follow his dreams.

Megan channeled Betty Draper as she raged about Don blowing off dinner and not telling her where he was all night.

Lane embezzled thousands of dollars from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and forged Don's signature. (Oh the delicious irony of Don -- who stole his identity from a dead man -- having his signature forged.)

Roger, who sported some hideous attire in this episode, actually told Joan he wanted to be responsible -- Roger Sterling, responsible! -- and pay child support for Kevin.

To quote Liz Lemon . . . What the what? For yet another week in this very different fifth season from the previous four, events seemed out of whack. (At least there were no semi-naked shots of Rory Gilmore.) Characters behaved, well, out of character so much so that I have no idea what to expect from anyone next week. Will Joan burn her bra? Will Roger join the priesthood? Pete join the anti-war movement?

For example, we already knew that there was more to Lane than his all-business, musty British demeanor. He wanted to leave his wife last season. He had an affair with an African-American Playboy bunny. He drunkenly shouted at a movie screen and later a fine restaurant -- remember the slab of steak he held up as his belt buckle? -- with Don before the two of them busied themselves with women of the evening.

Lane isn't a shrinking violet by any means, the man who "sacked" Don, Roger and Burt in order to afford them a head start to launch their new firm with which he'd be a partner. But I never pegged Lane as an embezzler or someone who'd mess with the books for his own personal gain. He's the guy who chastised Joan last year for wanting to spend "too much" on a Christmas party, then had to turn around and throw a pricey shindig because Lee Garner Jr. announced he'd be making an appearance. A commenter on a TV blog posed an interesting query: On what is Lane spending all his money? Why is he suddenly skint?

As for Joan, I'd completely understand if she wants to wash her hands of Roger's immaturity and is fed up with men in general, especially after Greg's self-serving stunt with the divorce papers. But it doesn't seem to make sense for Kevin's future financial well being, that she'd spurn Roger's offer of monetary support. It's short-sighted and Joan's not usually short-sighted. But hey, at least she didn't melt into Don's arms when he asked her to dance. Now THEY would've made an intriguing couple. If Joan had danced with Don and made it clear that she was open to more, I wonder if Don would've slept with her or said, "Thanks but no thanks."

While the light in Don's eyes from having Megan work on his creative team has been extinguished -- severely disappointing Don who'd sloughed his work to the side in favor of doting on his new wife -- Megan is now wading into Betty territory (although when she chucked the dinner plate against the wall it reminded me of when Don hurled Bobby's toy against the wall after Betty urged him to "do something" when Bobby was misbehaving during dinner). However I don't think Don's a fan of this side of Megan, not when she's yelling at him or openly criticizing Don's profession. Was it her rejection of advertising that set the fire under Don's behind again and prompted him to make that rousing speech about the Jaguar account, recommitting himself to his work?

Last, but not least, the Hare Krishna thing. Paul in that get-up. Harry falling for Lakshmi's line that she was "burning" for him. Harry, not known for being generous with anyone, giving his now floundering colleague a whole lot of money and a load of encouraging words. This I did not see coming. At. All. I was glad to see old Paul though, I'd been wondering what had become of him, just like I wonder whether we'll see Sal Romano again, or his wife Kitty who's busy wrecking her medical career over on Grey's Anatomy.

Image credit: Jordin Althaus/AMC.

No comments: