Previously: Lane! Megan! Greg (oh NO, he's not back, is he?!)! Joan! Pete! More Lane! I love Lane, don't get me wrong, but this week I'm not in the mood for an all-Lane episode. Unless he's giving out more knuckle sandwiches. In which case, hooray! Let's get into it.
Lane's on a late-night phone call at home. Another way to look at it - an early-morning phone call, as he's on the line with England - he is 8 large deep to Her Majesty for taxes. Uh oh. He's panicked - Lane doesn't have that kind of scratch. Rebecca wants to know what's going on - he screams at her to go back to bed THIS MINUTE. Like she's a child. She knows something serious is up because instead of her usual strenuous objections to anything he wants, off she goes.
Harry's getting ready lunch with PAUL KINSEY! YAY! The only other Sterling Cooper pre-Draper Pryce guy I loved more than Paul was Sal; I live in constant hope they bring him back. Lane pops in on Harry and wants to know if he's done the financial projections he's requested. He has - and Lane needs to know how realistic they are. Having been in both sales and marketing, I know this is a tough position. But Harry doesn't seem too fussed about it. Come on. Agency in the fledgling years? Why isn't Harry more concerned? He casually flips to Lane that the numbers are "hopes and dreams predictions." That vein in Lane's head begins to pulse. He later meets with financiers for a credit extension, and here's why he needed solid numbers - the bank wants it for said extension. Miraculously, the deal is approved. This seems like a good, solid, well thought out plan, Lane. I'm sure it's all going to be fine. So did the guy pictured at left.
It's Pearl Harbor Day, and Roger's showing his respect by getting hammertime and sporting a Hawaiian shirt over his usual spiffy duds. He slurs his way around the office and scores some Joan Alone time, which he uses to hound her about why she's refusing financial support for Kevin, their baby. Sidebar: how is Joan affording to do this on her own? How does Roger afford 20 ex-wives, an ad agency and a party boy lifestyle? Where is all this money coming from? She refuses the dough, plus his advances. Which begs the question WHY NOT?! At last, both of them are single at the same time. They have chemistry. They have a kid together. My guess is that Joan's afraid that if she becomes Mrs. Sterling, she'll just be the future Ex Mrs. Sterling, with the rest of them. Either that or she knows Roger will lose his passion for her once it becomes less of a forbidden fruit. Either way, I'd like to see them make a real go of it.
Harry goes to lunch with Paul and OH MY GOD HE'S A HARE KRISHNA. I'm guessing Michael Gladis actually shaved his head. That's dedication, AMC! Bring him back on the show! Harry acknowledges the obvious homonym name pun and gets roped into a gathering, meeting Paul's inspiration, Mother Lakshmi. Enjoy all your added interwebs goodness today, Padma. He looks uncomfortable but obviously attracted to Lakshmi as she breathily whispers the chant for him in his ear so he learns it. He gets so into it that he misses the cue for the end of the chant and is the only guy chanting as the dude in charge (sorry, I don't know the proper title) begins to speak. She encourages Harry to go out to dinner with Paul, who reluctantly leaves her. Paul acknowledges Harry's obviously smitten by Lakshmi. He said he was at rock bottom, and Harry hilariously interrupts: "At McCann?" Paul continues to say that Lakshmi was saved by Hare Krishna; that she was a drug addict and a prostitute - and he was saved too. Harry doesn't care - he's still not signing on. Paul sees the wall and drops the sales routine - he wants out. But Lakshmi will fall back on her bad habits without a foundation - and that means money. So he needs a job. That's where Harry comes in. Paul wants Harry to...wait for it...give NBC his spec script for STAR TREK. I KNOW! He admits he's not liked, and is so unhappy - "Krishna doesn't even like me," but Lakshmi does.
Megan and Don attend an off-off-off-off Broadway performance about advertising. In particular, about how awful it is. One character laments that he feels he's "going to be sick drinking beer while watching beer ads." Don's disgusted and grumpy, and who can blame him? Megan. She notes his one-word answers after the performance and he explains why. She notes that he's "made worse claims against advertising," and he volleys, "no one's made a stronger stance about it than her." Yow!
Late at night, Lane is solo at SCDP, and decides the best course of action for his financial predicament is embezzlement. Like you do. He makes out a check to himself and forges Don's signature. Oh, Lane. Dude, your name is on the door. Please don't get fired and make the company have to rebrand itself. Sometimes rebranding is a good thing, but this would not be one of those times.
Harry talks to Peggy about Paul. He wants to know why he wasn't considered when they were looking for new talent. Peggy said that Paul went through McCann, Y&R, and finally wound up at the A&P. Harry wants Peggy to read Paul's Star Trek spec, and admits it's really, really bad. Peggy tells Harry the best thing to do is be honest with Paul. Harry looks sad. 'Cause honesty's not fun.
Pete has some potential new business...Jaguar. Looks like the guy running the account when Lane was bringing them in is no longer an issue. He's done a test drive, but couldn't drive it himself because he doesn't know how to drive a stick. Pete wants a return engagement of the Don and Megan show to go do a test drive. Don's not into it - not just the test drive, the whole deal. Pete seethes that six months ago, Don would have "kissed him on the mouth" for bringing in a car account. I would have paid cash money to see that. Don's unaffected.
And now, the SHOWMENT.
Joan gets buzzed to reception where she is SERVED WITH DIVORCE PAPERS. I KNOW! She unleashes a mighty fury on the receptionist, who doesn't seem that bothered by it. She tells Joan not to talk to her like that. Wait, WHAT?! YOU don't talk to JOAN that way! She's JOAN! Apparently the guy acted like he knew Joan, and said it was a surprise. Worst surprise ever. Surprise! You've been served! Joan can't take the added insult to the divorce papers by an insolent minion, and takes the model Mohawk airplane and crashes it into the receptionist's desk with a shriek: "SURPRISE! There's an airplane here to see you!" Don arrives just in time to prevent Joan from killing the receptionist, which is too bad. Don hauls Joan off to lunch despite her objections. They go to the Jaguar dealership - and they do a Don and Joan show. And it is as awesome as you've always dreamed. Is this it? Is this finally going to happen?! Don pays off the dealer so they can go on a test drive together, without him. And they go to a bar. Like you do, with an expensive luxury sports car on a test drive. Joan and Don have a frank and honest conversation, and my hopes dim that this was it for the Joan and Don hookup. I kind of want him to do it, bring back a bit of the Old Don, but at the same time, I like New Don. Joan doesn't know if she can date - when do you bring up your baby to your boyfriend? Don says "after you go all the way." I'm sure Dr. Drew would have something to say about this. Joan says her mom brought her up to be admired. That explains a lot. Don mentions he thought she was raised by Ali Khan. They continue to drink.
Lakshmi visits Harry at SCDP, playing the part of one looking for a nanny job, because wife Jennifer's pregnant. Important to note, because of what's about to happen next. She makes a move, and when he objects because of the religion (not his wife, not his baby, not his old friend Paul), she says they're allowed free love. He then frets about Paul and she says not to worry about it, and then art directs for him exactly how she wants it by bending over the desk. WOW. And he does it. While smoking in the afterglow, Harry gets a Mayor Bloomberg from Lakshmi. She then lays it out for him - she seduced him for the movement. By closing the deal with her, now Harry can't bring him false hope for Paul's awful teleplay, because she'll tell. Paul is 'their best recruiter' and 'really knows how to close.' She says she traded the only thing she has - and then Harry says, "but you already gave it away." WHOA! So Lakshmi really winds up and smacks him with full force, and tells him to stay away from Paul. So much for the peaceful, loving Hare Krishnas.
Don and Joan are now full-on hammertime, and he asks her to dance. He says he likes being bad, and then going home and being good. Now Don, you haven't been really bad in a while now. She politely refuses him, and then he wingmans for her by scoping out the prospects around the bar. They continue the Don and Joan show for their own pleasure, fantasizing a story about what they both want. Don leaves in the Jaguar, and speeds faster and faster. When at last he arrives home, still drunk, Megan is livid. And rightfully so. She called the office - he left at lunch and didn't return. Now he's home, hammered, and she wants answers. She also wants him to sit down and eat dinner with her. He looks confused, aptly reflecting my feelings. She says he used to love his work, long before he met her. He thinks for a moment that this may be another incarnation of her 'touch me/don't touch me' routine from earlier this season, but it's not.
Lane tells Rebecca he wants to have Christmas in New York. He sells it - and she buys it. The Queen's tax men will be waiting on that tarmac a loooong time. Lane looks relieved and worried at the same time. Kind of like pulling down the window shade so you don't see the zombies.
Don sends Joan flowers, the card referencing their conversation about how her mother brought her up, and that she did a good job. He signed it Ali Khan. Roger had to bring the flowers back because NOW the receptionist is scared of her. Mission accomplished, Joanie! She doesn't tell Roger who sent the flowers.
Paul and Harry have dinner. Harry decides Peggy's advice sucks and lies to Paul, saying that NBC loves the script but can't endorse it, ever. Paul pushes and pushes (see? good closer.) until Harry finally admits they're not interested, but he is. He wants Paul to take an envelope with $500, leave Lakshmi and the Krishnas behind and make a go of it as a screenwriter in LA. He says Paul will never get out unless he leaves right that moment, without taking anything with him. "But I have no possessions," Paul says. They hug, and Harry sends him off with a "break a leg." Wonder if that was foreshadowing or just the usual platitude?
Company meeting! Good news and bad news. Good news - they've got a Jaguar pitch. Bad news - Mohawk mechanics are on strike, so there will be no bonuses. Maybe they're mad Joan trashed their model plane. But the partners are so magnanimous that they have deferred their bonuses until later, so that the employees may get them now. Lane delivers this in the Queen's English, so naturally no one understands. Roger translates for him and they all cheer. Don then rallies the troops with a Knute Rocknesque motivational speech about crossing the English Channel and then swimming in champagne. Every agency remembers the moment they got their first car account, and this will be their moment. Even if they have to spend every waking moment at the agency, including Christmas and New Year. Suddenly, that bonus doesn't seem that awesome, does it? Although the SCDP holiday party should be off the hook. I hope they show it. So NOW it's a big deal to Don? Apparently he just flat out hates Pete.
Scenes! Pete says close the door! Joan tells Lane not to be afraid! Trudy says stop playing games! Only a few episodes left...what's gonna happen!?