Sunday, May 25, 2014

Christmas Waltz – Mad Men Episode Summary 5.10

Harry Crane chants Hare KrishnaSynopsis: The prospect of incarceration for his debt to Inland Revenue drives Lane Pryce to ask the creditor of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce to extend the agency’s credit for his own gain.  Pete Campbell shares thrilling news of Jaguar giving them a chance to pitch their cars.  He urges the reluctant Don Draper to immerse himself with the Jaguar automobile.  Harry Crane finally agrees to meet with his former colleague, Paul Kinsey, who reached nadir and joined Hare Krishna as a result.

Episode Summary: Lane Pryce receives a call early in the morning with news from his lawyer.  Lane is to pay the Inland Revenue two thousand nine hundred pounds by Thursday in order to avoid incarceration.  He finds himself with the unrealistic task of procuring eight thousand dollars in two days.  His piqued phone conversation stirs his wife out of bed oblivious to her husband’s financial problems.  Lane, who is already agitated with his predicament, could not bear the inquiries of his insensible wife that Rebecca becomes the recipient of his ire.Continue reading...

The following day, Lane meets with Walt Jarvis of Chemical Bank to speak to him about extending Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s credit to fifty thousand dollars.  Fortunately, Walt agrees to the request despite the lack of commitments from clients whom Lane notes have not been paying their bills on time.  Moreover, Walt agreed to have the money ready that day.  Lane arrives at the office and calls a partners’ meeting deliberately excluding Joan in order to announce that the agency has incurred a surplus of fifty thousand dollars.  He proposes the immediate distribution of Christmas bonuses as the result of such good fortune.  All agree except for Don, who asks that they hold the distribution of the bonuses until the Christmas party.  Pete agrees with Don’s request and goes on to share his announcement.  Earlier that day, Pete Campbell already informed Don and Roger Sterling that they have another chance at getting the Jaguar account.  Ostensibly, a man named Hugh Hibbert recently replaced Edwin Baker, at the luxury automobile company after Lane’s contact heaved on to the lap of the head of the dealers association.  Don Draper is not keen on the Herculean effort to win over Jaguar hearing that they will be competing with similar sized agencies that have yet to get an automaker as a client and it appears that the other partners are indifferent to the news.  Lane returns to the matter of the deferment of Christmas bonuses and displays an outburst after Pete recommends holding the bonuses to supplement the money required for the Jaguar pitch.  Pete is annoyed at the apathy towards his announcement citing that only Roger showed enthusiasm, but his reaction remains questionable knowing that the man is heavily inebriated.

Roger uses Pearl Harbor Day as an excuse for his intoxication annoying Joan Holloway Harris.  He relates her annoyance to his recent divorce thinking that Joan is upset with Jane Siegel draining Roger of money.  This only added to Joan’s exasperation for she in fact has been declining the gifts Roger sends their son including his proposal to pay for the child’s education.  Joan warns that his continued imposition might cause him to lose the privilege afforded to a family friend.  Lane, who unlike the filthy rich Roger Sterling, returns to the office later that evening when everyone had left and forges Don’s signature on a check made out to him for seven thousand five hundred dollars.
Don, an ad man, curiously watches America Hurrah, a play that does not only disapprove of the American involvement in the Vietnam War, but of consumerism as well.  He returns home with his wife after a night in the theater with little to say about the play they just watched.  Megan Draper whose idea it was to watch the play finds his reticence uncharacteristic and goads him into expressing his genuine opinion.  Don is obviously peeved at the play and claims that consumerism is the result of man’s pursuit of happiness.  He had declined having dinner with Megan’s friend, one of which was an understudy, due to his reluctance to foot the bill of those that had insulted his profession.  Megan finds his sensitivity foolish adding that America Hurrah failed to make a strong stand against advertising.  Don retorts that no one has made a stronger stand against advertising as her.

Harry Crane finally agrees to meet with Paul Kinsey after repeatedly refusing his calls.  He finds that Kinsey has shaved his head and joined Hare Krishna.  Harry becomes completely absorbed with the chanting just like Kinsey, a woman called Mother Lakshmi, and other followers.  He learns that Kinsey is in a relationship with Janet, the woman who goes by the name Mother Lakshmi.  Janet endured a life of promiscuity and corruption, one that ended after joining Hare Krishna.  Moreover, Kinsey, who joined Hare Krishna after reaching rock bottom, remains in the cult, because he has fallen deeply in love with Janet.  He, however, would want to make a life with her outside the cult, which is why he has been pestering Harry.  Kinsey is in need of a job in order to show Janet that they can live a normal and stable life outside of Hare Krishna.  He has written a speculative episode of the hit television show, Star Trek, with the hope that Harry can pass his work to the executives at NBC or even Gene Roddenberry, the show’s creator.  Harry is doubtful even about the show’s tenure, but agrees to read the script after hearing Kinsey’s desperation.  The man who has reached rock bottom could not even find happiness in Hare Krishna.  Harry found the script for the episode called “The Negron Complex” unsatisfactory, but asks Peggy Olson for a second opinion.  Peggy hearing that the story revolves around the white Negrons whom the Caucasons enslaved to pick katahns sees no future in the script.  Unaware of the state Kinsey has fallen into, Peggy becomes curious of Harry’s willingness to help their former colleague.  Nevertheless, she advises that the merciful thing to do is to tell Kinsey the truth.

Pete informs Don of having ridden the Mark II only to learn that the creative director has yet to test-drive a Jaguar.  He remains incredulous of Don’s lack of enthusiasm at a chance at signing an automobile account.  Don responds with sarcasm instead of providing Pete an honest explanation, a response he later regrets having said.  Later, Don becomes witness to an inappropriate scene at reception.  Joan receives divorce papers and takes her anger at the asinine receptionist who let the process server inside the office after claiming to have a surprise for Joan.  Don without prodding Joan of the reason for her outburst persuades the woman to accompany him to a Jaguar dealership.  They arrive at the dealership to find it devoid of customers and of service as well.  It required a look at the watch to get a salesman to entertain them.  The red, sleek XKE or the E-Type two-seater catches Joan’s attention, but obviously, the salesman is required to be at the test drive.  Don writes a check for six thousand dollars, four hundred dollars more than the price of the sports car, to convince the man to let them test-drive the car.  Don and Joan drive to a hotel and have drinks at the bar.  He learns that Joan’s husband, Dr. Captain Greg Harris, served her divorce papers.  Moreover, Greg deliberately had it served at the office, the one place he has no control over her, in order to spite her.  How times have changed.  There was a time when Joan used to be called to reception to receive flowers from her admirers.  Curiously, Don Draper never attempted to woo her for he learned early on that Joan is the one person in the agency he should not cross.  Instead of feeling sorry for Joan, Don congratulates her for going through a divorce.  He finds that the divorce gives Joan a chance to move on from a marriage that has gravely fallen apart.  He is optimistic that Joan despite having a child will find somebody better just as he did.  He asks her to dance with him to the Christmas Waltz that Joan had played on the jukebox, but the woman refuses in spite of her claim of Don being irresistible.  Don notices another man at the bar ogling Joan that he decides to give her the opportunity to have her ego stroked.  He pays for their drinks and leaves Joan money for carfare, while he test-drives the Jaguar before returning home.  He arrives at home drunk to a livid wife who mistook him for having an affair.  Don explains where he truly spent the hours he was away.  Learning that her husband played hooky, Megan begins to see herself as the reason for Don’s disinterest with work.  Nonetheless, she continues to be upset with him for not thinking to inform her of his whereabouts and orders him to have dinner with her.  Don may not be thoughtful of his wife, but he is with Joan.  He sends Joan flowers for the very first time.

Lane phones his lawyer with news of having procured the money required to pay the Inland Revenue only to be asked for the remuneration of his services, one Lane considers paying after the holidays.  Rebecca continues to be unwitting of their financial situation and proposes that they spend Christmas in England with her family.  With imminent trouble averted, Lane continues with the charade about his finances that he fabricates a story that exaggerated his importance at the office instead of telling his wife the truth about their financial situation.  Lane avers that Jaguar had come crawling back to him after Edwin’s termination.  Moreover, he inveigles Rebecca into spending Christmas in New York with him citing his desire to spend it with his family.

Mother Lakshmi pays Harry a visit at his office claiming to have a burning desire for him.  After engaging in a sexual intercourse with the woman, he learns that Mother Lakshmi is truly disgusted with Harry.  She had prostituted herself to keep him away from Paul.  Mother Lakshmi is aware that Paul sought Harry’s help believing him to be his way out of Hare Krishna.  Disinclined to lose a member of their congregation, especially one who is adept at recruiting followers, Mother Lakshmi had come to tell Harry to tell Paul the truth about his awful script dashing any hope of leaving Hare Krishna.  Harry does the opposite of Mother Lakshmi’s demands.  He meets with Paul and tells him that the readers at Mike Weinblatt’s office loved his script, but are not interested in purchasing it due to legal reasons.  Harry offers Paul encouragement, five hundred dollars, and a ticket to Los Angeles where he can start a new life, but only if he promises to leave Hare Krishna.  Paul hugs Harry in genuine gratefulness seeing that he is the only one who truly did something to help him.

The partners congregate in preparation for the announcement of distributing Christmas bonuses for everyone.  Pete, however, delivers the unfortunate news of Mohawk’s decision to suspend advertising due to the machinist strike.  Bertram Cooper proposes to forego the Christmas bonuses, but Lane disagrees arguing that it has been the third year in a row that their employees have not received one.  Bert then recommends deferring the bonuses for all partners until January.  Lane acquiesces and announces the financial strain due to the suspension of work on Mohawk airlines and the partners’ decision to defer their bonuses.  The announcement was not received until Roger tells the staff in plain terms that they will be receiving their bonuses and the partners will not.  Given the regrettable news about Mohawk, Pete thought it best to announce that Jaguar gave Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce an opportunity to do an advertising pitch.  The news did not receive any reactions from the employees until Don steps in to tell the staff that the time between now and the pitch will require every ounce of their hard work.  He, however, is certain that their Herculean effort will be worth it, because he believes that they will end up representing Jaguar.  The moment they land Jaguar will announce that Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce has made it.  Don’s announcement received a roaring applause from everyone.


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