It's that time of year, when the world falls in love...or maybe it's just that time of year when the world pretends to be in love because her better half is a really good recruiter for her religion.
Seriously, between Harry's trip down Krishna lane, and Lane's money problems, there was a lot going on in "Christmas Waltz" that couldn't have cared less about.
As Harry's plot continued to get stranger and stranger as it went, I started wondering what the point was of adding this arc to the series. Was it just to show that audience how caring Harry was? Was it to add some religious elements to the mix? Whatever the reasoning, I found myself not caring in the least what happened to the new Paul, and his lovely friend.
Similarly, I was bored out of my mind whenever Lane was by himself worrying about his money situation. I understand that this certainly creates major issues for the company, but either the idea wasn't fleshed out that well, or I just can't handle Jared Harris as Lane after watching him as David Robert Jones during my recent Fringe catch-up binge.
Thankfully for the episode's sake, and our viewing pleasure, everything between Don and Joan made up for the hour's other issues. If you've been reading my reviews for the past two seasons, you know I've never been a big fan of Joan as a character. I think she has been highly overrated for what she has actually brought to the table in five years.
This episode, as her charm finally came through the screen like a 1980s Mike Tyson hook, Joan might have finally won me over. Between the way she handled the Jaguar dealership, to every single mannerism with Don at the bar, Joan was a joy to watch.
It was just nice to see her happy. It has been difficult to see her so down all the time, which is what I think my issue has been. Some people do sad well, and Joan was not one of those people. She does do "tired of it all" well, though, which is a bit of what was coming out here.
The divorce papers were the final straw, and the relaxed Joan that came out at the bar with Don, was thanks to the fact that she seemed to just be "tired of it all." She wasn't putting on airs around Don, which was obvious when she admitted to him being "irresistible." She was enjoying life, and that's a Joan I haven't seen in a long time. It was refreshing.
Don was also reveling in the moment, a moment he wasn't spending getting yelled at by Megan. He was having fun, trying to do Sinatra, and staying out as long as he could so that he wouldn't get a plate of spaghetti thrown in his face.
As a huge advocate of the Don/Megan relationship in the past, I'm not so sure how I'm feeling about it now. It almost seems like some of the normal issues from the past are coming up, but the roles are reversed. Megan's yelling and talking down to Don like he used to do to Betty. When she ordered him to eat dinner with him, I wondered if that was going cause him to do anything differently.
Only a little while later, Don proclaimed that SCDP would be working every single day, weekends, and all hours of the night to get the Jaguar deal. It was inspirational to his staff, and I'm sure he meant it, but a good chunk of my brain was thinking that this may be another way to get out of the house without taking a 10 hour lunch with Joan.
The Jaguars, the drinks, and the laughs between Don and Joan were great, and they almost made up for the wrong turns down Harry and Lane Lanes. What did you all think of "Christmas Waltz?" Was it one of your favorite outings? Or did you think it had problems? Sound off in the comments!
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.Tags: Mad Men, Reviews