Rampant consumerism! Experimental Off-Broadway theatre! Furious women throwing things! Depressing adventures with British men! Don having adventures with co-workers!
It was such a refreshing episode to see some old friends, and some new dangers hang over the season start to bubble up. So, let’s shave our heads and hop into the Jag and get going; the curtain’s going up on this little collection of playlets…
- I so do not know where they’re going with Lane this season. If one of the over-riding themes of the show (and this episode in particular) is people having an image of themselves and society trying to undermine that, then in Lane’s case it’s him trying to present himself as the very model of Britishness (attractive house, son in boarding school) yet his attempts are hamstrung (the earlier part of the Jaguar storyline). I’m so concerned that the embezzling is going to bite him in the ass.
- Speaking of people’s image of themselves, who was shocked by the return of Paul Kinsey? The fact that he has hooked up with the Hare Krishnas was an odd and unexpected turn that I couldn’t have ever predicted. But the whole maneuvers of Lakshimi was rather odd (“I don’t want you to take away our best recruiter so I’m going to sleep with you.”). Once again, Paul needs someone to validate him, but the fact that he went to such lengths to get some validation was scary. And I like that they kept with the idea that Paul’s a bad writer, which makes Harry’s gesture all the more confusing; was he trying to help a friend get out of a cult, or was he setting him up for failure?
- Speaking of that script, how hilarious was it to see Peggy’s face recoil in horror over it?
- And speaking of recoiling in horror; who didn’t recoil in horror at the unbridled fury of one Joan Harris (can we call her Holloway again now that Greg has served her divorce papers?). And if there is one thing that she can’t stand (aside from being in control), is when secretaries and/or receptionists aren’t flawless in their job. Meredith was hilarious in her cluelessness but she obviously doesn’t know that the first rule of being a receptionist is that you are a roadblock for all the crazies that come in the office.
- So Joan has an epically bad day, and just like last season, Don Draper comes in with what is needed: a joyride in a Jaguar and wingman-ing for her at a bar. And we finally got a definite answer as to why Joan and Don have never hooked up: he’s turned off by women who know too much about him, and she can’t stand men that are sloppy. That said, that scene in the bar was one of the sexiest things ever seen on television.
- Speaking of Joan, it speaks volumes to her that she’s been rejecting Roger’s financial assistance with their son (and who knew Roger could count)
- Meanwhile, we get a peak into the booming experimental theatre movement of the late 60s with a performance of American Hurrah. And it was interesting to clock Don and Megan’s reactions to it; she loved it, he hated it (in particular the “TV” section for it’s attacks on his industry.
- So it looks like the second Draper marriage is slowly morphing into the first one, but Betty would have never have ordered Don to sit down and eat with her. Like everyone else has commented on, it’s interesting to see Megan going for what she wants, but at the cost of subtly rebuking Don’s profession (and in a way everything he stands for). If anything, Megan’s comment about Don not loving his job anymore has ended his love vacation, so here’s hoping that he has snapped out of it to pull off the promises that he made during his speech about Jaguar.