So THAT’s what happened to Kinsey. Wow. (Now where are Sal Romano and Lois the tractor-driving foot-slicer?)
I’m pretty sure the last time we saw the grasping, pretentious, always scrambling, but somehow still endearing Paul Kinsey (Michael Gladis), he was on the losing tribe in the “Survivor: Sterling Cooper” episode that was the “Mad Men” Season 3 finale. Don Draper’s (Jon Hamm) only Creative Dept. alliance mate was Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss), leaving Kinsey behind as the new crew formed Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.
Apparently Kinsey went on to McCann and a bunch of other places — including the A&P — and then became a Hare Krishna in love with a girl named Lakshmi. Then he wrote a bad speculative episode of “Star Trek” called “The Negron Complex” and gave it to Harry Crane (Rich Sommer) to pass on to someone at NBC. So Kinsey was unraveling (again) and Harry stepped in to help,
The return of Kinsey was the biggest (WTF) revelation of “Mad Men” Season 5, Episode 10, “Christmas Waltz,” but there was more. Harry also got, ahem, close with Lakshmi himself — hey, she was “burning” … to use him — and I got the Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks)/Roger Sterling (John Slattery) scene I’d been waiting for all season, with a bonus Joan/Don scene I didn’t even know I had been wanting for five seasons.
I wanted further acknowledgement of Joan’s son Kevin as Roger’s baby. I didn’t figure Joan and Roger would fall back in lust now that they are both single for the first time — the affair part was probably what made it work, and it’s not like this is “Downton Abbey” or a real soap opera — but I wanted something from them. I got something. A scene with Roger looking like a pathetic drunk back hitting on secretaries and Joan the stern, disapproving mama bear who rejected his money for Kevin. (I’m disappointed that even the “experienced” post-LSD Roger is still the same Roger.)
Then Joan got served with divorce papers from her husband Greg and, to make her feel better, Don took her out for a spin in a Jaguar and a drink at a bar. He also did it to use her, since Don always needs a wife for his Mr. & Mrs. Draper ad act. (Megan is out. Peggy is out. Joan is in?) Don should be there whenever anyone has bad news — not that anyone should have to be consoled after getting out of a relationship with Joan’s awful husband.
The Don/Joan bonding reminded me of Roger buying Joan a fur coat when they were first having an affair. Remember that? It’s when Don was working as a salesman; that’s how Don first met Roger, back when Roger was spending $$ on Joan, not trying to spend it on their baby. It also reminded me of when Don got his new blue car and it charmed the pants off Betty Draper. And when Don and Joan had a brief bonding moment/hint of “something” there in the hospital after Lois ran over that guy Guy’s foot. (Seriously. They need to bring Lois back. She was gold.) It also reminded me of last season, when Don and Peggy had their own bar scene moment in that amazing episode, “The Suitcase.”
To me, Don and Joan are the most attractive, charismatic people on the show and their distance from each other has always seemed strange. Not necessarily that they should ever be romantic, but it’s clear they never had a real conversation in all the years we’ve known them and the further years they’ve known each other. It was revealing to hear him talk about how she scared the sh-t out of him and hear her say she noticed that he was the only one who never sent her flowers. That scene was five seasons in the making and it just kind of snuck up on me. And then he sent her flowers with that swoon-worthy note. When Don is good, he is very, very good.
“Christmas Waltz” was also about Lane Pryce (Jared Harris) needing money to pay off the tax man. So he did something that I find to be very un-Lane like — he stole money from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. (Or he lied and fudged; getting a new loan for $50K.) He said he magically found a surplus of $50,000 in the books — that anyone bought that is amazing — so they could give out Christmas bonuses. Then he started forging checks and did it so calmly he was like a seasoned cat burglar. Then it all sort of fell apart when Mohawk (there’s always a problem with Mohawk) went on strike and they decided to save money by denying the partners bonuses.
I don’t know. I feel like I don’t get Lane. I could do without Lane scenes (other than when he’s punching Pete). Lane scenes slow everything down (except when he’s punching Pete).
Other than Lane stealing — and Harry giving Kinsey $500 to leave the Krishnas and go to L.A. — there was an anti-materialistic message. Just in time for Christmas! Megan and Don saw an anti-consumerist play and Lakshmi gave a vague anti-materialistic message. And there was a lot of yelling, throwing things and being slapped, but that may not be directly related to money or Christmas.
And Megan and Don fought again. Not an angry-sexy fight, either. They are moving farther and farther apart, literally and idealistically. As Don noted to Joan, “It’s hard on a marriage when you’re apart.” I don’t really want Don to keep following Roger’s path and end up filing for divorce. I don’t really know what I want for Don. But I’m wanting! I’m wanting something other than what he has now.
By the way, Christina Hendricks needs an Emmy. Everyone is at their best in scenes with her. That’s worth rewarding.
Here are some of the most notable quotes, in order of their appearance in the episode:
1. Harry: “They’re projections. They’re derived from reality, but they’re hopes and dreams.”
2. Don [on trying to land Jaguar account]: “That’s a lot of work.”
Pete Campbell: “Yes, you may have to stay past 5:30.”
Don: “I’d live here if I thought it was more than a pipe dream.”
3. Harry [on Kinsey as a Hare Krishna]: “Don’t pretend this isn’t strange.”
4. Pete [to Lane]: “What ghost visited you, Ebenezer?”
5. Pete: “Other than Roger, who started drinking at exactly 7:55 this morning, no one has given me the reaction I desire from this blessed event.”
6. Cooper [on Jaguar]: “They’re lemons. They never start.”
7. Roger: “You know it’s sacrilege to say this, but Pearl Harbor was an act of genius. The only thing they didn’t plan for was success.”
8. Joan: “Mr. Sterling, seeing as you’re dressed for fishing, you’ll have more success if you’re quiet.”
9. Roger: “We made a baby.”
Joan: “Yes. And now it’s some other lucky girl’s turn.”
10. Megan: “‘Yep.’ ‘Nope.’ Should’ve been our wedding vows.”
11. Don: “People buy things because it makes them feel better.”
12. Don: “I don’t mind picking up the check for your friends but not if they insult me first.”
13. Megan: “I didn’t think it was such a strong stand against advertising as much as the emptiness of consumerism.”
Don: “Well, no one’s made a stronger stand against advertising than you.”
14. Kinsey: “He doesn’t like me. No one likes me. Sometimes I think Krishna doesn’t even like me.”
15. Pete: “You know, if I’d told you last December that we’d be in the running for a car you would’ve kissed me on the mouth.”
Don: “Maybe you and I should go as a couple.”
16. Receptionist: “I don’t remember everything everybody says.”
Joan: “Because you’re an idiot!”
17. Jaguar guy [to Joan]: “I’m thinking about paying to have you drive around in this.”
Don: “Go give me the keys. I’ll drive her around for free.”
18. Don: “I don’t know what it is, that care does nothing for me.”
Joan: “It’s because you’re happy, you don’t need it.”
19. Don: “It’s hard on a marriage when you’re apart.”
Joan: “Really? He loves it.”
20. Joan: “My mother raised me to be admired.”
21. Don: “You scared the sh-t out of me. Bert Peterson told me you were the one person in the agency I shouldn’t cross. He and Freddy had a standing argumen that you were a lesbian.”
Joan: “You think they never brought that up with me?”
22. Don: “Congratulations.”
Joan: “For what?”
Don: “For getting divorced. Nobody realizes how bad it has to get for that to happen. Now you get to move on.”
23. Don: “You’ll find somebody better.”
Joan: “You did, didn’t you. You found someone perfect.”
Don: “I did. I feel like the office misses her.”
24. Lakshmi [to Harry]: “I don’t know what it is, but when you were chanting I felt this intensity, you know, everywhere on my body — especially one place.”
25. Lakshmi: “I’m burning for you. Does your wife burn for you?”
26. Joan: “You and me in mid-town — you with that look on your face?”
Don: “What look, baby?”
Joan: “God, you’re irresistible.”
Don: “You know what this woman said to me once? ‘I like being bad and going home and being good.'”
27. Joan [on guy at a bar]: “Who do you think’s waiting at home? I bet she’s not ugly. The only sin she’s committed is being familiar.”
Don: “But you think it’s all him?”
Joan: “Because she can’t give him what he wants?”
Don: “Because he doesn’t know what he wants. But he’s wanting.”
Joan: “He knows. That’s just the way he is. And maybe it’s just the way she is.”
28. Don: “Good night, sweetheart. Stand over by the jukebox. That looked pretty good before.”
29. Lakshmi: “You’re disgusting. I’m only here because I don’t want you shaking his devotion.”
Harry: “What? How does that work? You’re the worst girlfriend in the world.”
30. Lakshmi: “You thought I was some confused little girl? I’m trading the only thing I have.”
Harry: “But you already gave it away.”
31. Lakshmi: “Tell him the truth. That always works.”
32. Don: “You like to get mad.”
Megan: “No, I don’t.”
Don: “That’s what gets you going.”
Megan: “That is not what this is. Now sit down! You are going to eat dinner with me.”
33. Joan [after Roger delivers flowers to her]: “Do you want a tip too?”
Roger: “How many times have I left you alone with a card from another man?”
34. Don’s note to Joan: “You’re mother did a good job. – Ali Khan.”
35. Kinsey [hugging Harry]: “All these people said they’d do something for me and you’re the first one who did.”
36. Don [to the SCDP staff]: “Prepare to take a great leap forward. Prepare to swim the English Channel and then drown in champagne.”
37. Don: “When we land Jaguar, the world will know we’ve arrived.”
PREVIOUS RECAPS AND QUOTES:
Week 8: ‘Mad Men’ Season 5 Episode 9 ‘Dark Shadows’ Recap & Quotes: Happy Envy Day?
Week 7: ‘Mad Men’ Season 5 Episode 8 ‘Lady Lazarus’ Recap & Quotes: Megan Quits! Yay?
Week 6: ‘Mad Men’ Season 5 Episode 7 ‘At the Codfish Ball’ Recap & Quotes: Daddy’s Girls
Week 5: ‘Mad Men’ Season 5 Episode 6 ‘Far Away Places’ recap & quotes: ‘Love Leave’ ends
Week 4: ‘Mad Men’ Season 5 Episode 5, ‘Signal 30’ Recap & Quotes: Lane Fights Pete!
Week 3: ‘Mad Men’ Season 5 Episode 4, ‘Mystery Date’ Recap and Quotes: ‘Dazzle Me!’
Week 2: Quotes from ‘Mad Men’ Season 5 Episode 3, ‘Tea Leaves’: ‘Who Smells Like Pee?’
Week 1: Top 21 quotes from ‘Mad Men’ Season 5 premiere: ‘You’re all so cynical. You don’t smile, you smirk’
Week 1: ‘Mad Men’ Season 5 premiere recap: Don DID marry Megan and promoted her to copywriter, but even the happy couple isn’t all that happy
Catch up on my “Mad Men” stories in this nifty archive.