Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hands and Knees – Mad Men Episode Summary 4.10

Don Draper heart attackSynopsis: Don Draper learns that the US government is conducting background checks on him as a result of their agency being in business with a defense contractor.  Lane Pryce receives a surprise visit from his father who has come to bring him home to London to set his family affairs in order.  Meanwhile, Roger Sterling learns that his brief moment of lust with Joan Harris bore fruit.

Episode Summary: Joan Harris comes to Roger Sterling with startling news; their impromptu tryst appears to bear fruit that can prove to be scandalous.  Don Draper also has a surprise for his daughter; he is bringing Sally to The Beatles concert at the Shea Stadium that Sunday.  The young girl gets a bout of Beatlemania at the news generating earsplitting screams causing alarm to her mother, but Betty becomes delighted at learning the reason for her reaction.  Meanwhile, Lane Pryce receives an unexpected visit from his father who has come to bring him back to London, a plan Lane is never going to accept despite his wife’s insistence.  Lane pleads with Don to accompany him and his father to dinner at the Playboy Club, and it becomes clear that Lane is attracted to an African American waitress.Continue reading...

North American Aviation arrives at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce to present a product they want the agency to advertise.  The NAA wants the agency to promote their technology to attract business from airline companies.  Moreover, Senator Murphy appears to have some interest on the success of the manufacturer.  However, the documents they have brought in are severely redacted leaving Don and his team not much to work with.  Soon after, two agents from the Department of Defense pays a visit to Betty for a routine background check; the result of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce having engaged in business with the United States government, and Don filing an application for a security clearance.  Having been made aware of Don’s past, Betty finds the interview quite intimidating.  She informs Don only to learn that her ex-husband is unaware of the background check, and that news of this terrified him so.  Soon, Don learns that he, in fact, had signed the application form that was sent to the Department of Defense.  His secretary had filled out the application for him ignorant of the fact that Don is using another man’s identity.  Extremely troubled with the fact that the US government is running background checks on him, Don confronts Pete Campbell about it.  Blinded by the billings they are to receive from their client, it did not occur to Pete that doing business with the US government would result in an investigation of everyone on the project.  Pete comes to a realization of the intensity of Don’s problem when the man hints of having to abscond when things get out of hand.

Roger and Joan meet with a doctor Roger is acquainted with, and gets a referral for the man who can help them with their problem, but not without the doctor expressing his utter disgust at Roger for using and ruining Joan.  It becomes very clear to Joan that Roger does not want the child, and so decides that she will take care of their problem.  She goes to the doctor’s office on her own not wanting to be seen with Roger, and encounters a woman whose teenage child has become pregnant.  While Joan is at the doctor’s office, Roger is with Lee Garner, Jr. for what he thought was a routine client meeting.  Soon he learns that Lucky Strike, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s biggest client has decided to drop them after thirty years for doing business with them.  Ostensibly, the board would like BBDO to handle all ads for all their brands, and Lee is incapable of dissuading them from doing so.  Roger begs Lee Garner, Jr. to postpone pulling the plug on SCDP for thirty days to give him enough time to get his affairs in order.

Pete has spoken to his friend at the Department of Defense and is awaiting word, but Don is not satisfied and so orders Pete to throw away millions of dollars of billings for his sake.  Don has taken the government doing background checks on him very seriously that he has even summoned his lawyer to discuss setting up a trust fund for his children.  The whole matter has terrified the man to the core that his fright has manifested into a fever.  Faye convinces Don to go home and get some rest, and becomes witness to the man’s panic attack when two men confronts them only to learn that they were merely lost.

Lane returns to the Playboy Club during off hours, and speaks to the African American waitress only to be revealed that the two are engaged in a serious relationship.  In fact, she is the reason why Lane has brought his genteel father in a disreputable place for dinner.  The man has fallen in love with the African American waitress so much so that he declares her to be the reason for his refusal to return to London.  Soon he invites his father to his home where he formally introduces the waitress as Toni Charles; they are to have dinner together, one Lane’s father politely turns down.  Lane sends Toni off while he deals with his father, but he gets a beating from him.  With a whack of a cane, Lane agrees to put his affairs in order.

Faye stays with Don who is still recovering from an imagined frightful encounter with the FBI, and learns that the man has been using another man’s identity since he returned from the Korean War.  With the government on to him, Don believes that it is only matter of time before the truth is revealed, and punishment is enacted.  Faye though shocked at the revelation did not think any less of the man, and urges Don who seems to be on the verge of capitulating to ask the government for clemency that he may continue living his life as he has.  However, Pete’s news the next morning provides him with another lease on life.  He has received word from his trusted friend in the government that the background check on Don has not turned up anything, and that walking away from the $4 million deal with the NAA will completely stop the investigation.  So it seems that Pete along with the agency will have to make the sacrifice for Don.

Pete makes the announcement at the partner’s meeting that they have lost the account with the North American Aviation much to the disbelief and dismay of the partners.  Moreover, his loyalty to Don has prevented him to divulge the true reason as to why they are no longer in business with the NAA, thus taking the brunt of the blame for having lost a major client.  Only Roger knows that the loss came at the worst of times for he has not informed the partners that Lucky Strike has left them as well, which is most likely the reason why the strongest reproach came from him.  Optimism surprisingly came from the penny pinching Lane whose thoughts are consumed with problems surrounding his family.  Moreover, Lane makes it known that he has to take a leave of absence to attend to family matters.  He believes that his absence will not have a disastrous effect on the agency given that the company’s finances are stable despite the loss of a multimillion dollar account.

Don is quite relieved at having averted a catastrophic blunder that could have ruined him.  Seeing the change in her boss’ demeanor, Megan believes that things simply fell into place unaware that she had almost put Don’s life in shambles.  Ignorant of the consequences of what she had done, Megan finds that getting the tickets for The Beatles concert was enough to make up for her mess.

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