One thing I love about Mad Men is its ability to tell stories that I never would have been able to come up with myself. In this week's episode, "Hands and Knees," the show failed to do so on two different occasions.
As soon as we found out that Greg was going to be going off to Vietnam, we all realized that Joan was going to get knocked up after he left. So when Joanie and Roger had their moment of indiscretion, it became obvious that we'd soon be getting the "I'm late" speech from the red headed beauty. And that we did this week.
Does it make for some good plot? Yup. Will it bring about good stories in the future? Most likely. But was it a little too on the nose for my liking? Very much so.
The same can be said for Roger and Lucky Strike. During the Christmas episode, when it became oh so clear that Lucky Strike was all that Roger had left at SCDP, we could see the writing on the wall: Lee Garner Jr. would be cutting ties with the agency in the near future.
Because of the way Roger has been acting, it would only be fitting that the only stake he had left in this company would take a walk and leave him with absolutely nothing to do at SCDP. Again, was it enjoyable to watch? Yes (especially that nervous laughter by Roger in the final meeting). But it was also a bit too obvious.Back we go to Joanie and her pregnancy. Did she terminate it? She sure was embarrassed to be at that doctor's office, as her lying to that stranger proved. If she was that embarrassed, don't you think she would think twice, or three times about going through with this? My money says she never got it done. Or maybe, like Charlie Kelly's mom on It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, she had the abortion but it didn't take and she has the baby anyway.
On we move to something I definitely did not see coming: Lane got smacked upside the head by his father's cane! Apparently Old Man Pryce is not okay with Lane's progressive social habits. Although I enjoyed watching the Pryces and Don socialize at the Playboy Club, this entire storyline was basically just a great way to help set up the final meeting. That is where Lane explained that he was leaving for a few weeks to get his family life sorted out, and it was okay because the company was in good standing.
Then came Roger's nervous laughter, because SCDP is certainly not in good shape without Lucky Strike.
Oh yeah, Jon Hamm was fantastic this week! Don Draper went from cool, calm, and collected to out of his mind paranoid in about zero to 60. So apparently SCDP's client, NAA, needed the agency to gain clearance. Of course, Don doesn't read any of the paper work his secretary has him sign, so long story short, the government is interested in finding out who Don really is.
How about Betty not selling him out to the feds, though? I would not have been surprised if she was like "yeah he told me he was Don Draper, but then I found this box full of stuff..." But no, she lied for him, and then told Henry about the government officials coming to the house. I feel like that conversation in bed should put to rest the theory that Betty still wants Don. Her confiding in Henry was her way of convincing herself that she was now in a healthy, happy relationship.
Meanwhile, Don is sweating through his shirts like he's Hugo Reyes staring down a bucket of ranch dressing. After finding out from Betty about what is going on, he starts to panic. When two guys in suits approach him in his apartment, he goes bonkers. The guy has a complete panic attack and thinks he's having a heart attack. Luckily Faye is a doctor, not a real doctor according to Don, but a doctor at any rate. She's there to comfort him and Don is appreciative.
He's so appreciative that when she asks him what's going on, he actually tells her the truth! Don Draper, or should we stop calling him that, has truly changed. He went a decade without telling Betty about this, but he tells Faye after a few months? I guess he is a different man. That doesn't stop him from keeping it from his partners, though. He forces Pete to give up the NAA account so that they stop the investigation. Mr. Campbell then lies to the partners about what happened so that they don't find out what actually happened.
How long can Don go telling some people but keeping it from others? What is going to happen at SCDP now that Lucky Strike has taken its business elsewhere? Did Joan get the abortion? A lot of action to look forward to in the final three episodes of season four. What did you think of the episode?
- I smiled just as aggressively as Sally screamed when she found out Don was taking her to see the Beatles.
- I didn't see Lane with an African-American Playboy Bunny. I didn't think that was in his wheelhouse.
- "Greg dying is not a solution to this." There are a lot of viewers out here that would disagree with you, Joan.
- Was that an entire episode with no Peggy Olsen? What is the world coming to?
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.