Mad Men Review: Merry Krishna

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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.

Don at Christmas

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!


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (61 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


@niks4u its called Don is a flaming pile of dung this season, if the main character reeks, how can you possibly expect a successful season. I think Lane is going to commit suicide, he has the perfect set-up to be the corpse this year, but not sure who else will die. Hasn't someone died every season, Don's brother the first season, didnt someone jump out of their hotel window in the season 2, Gene the third season, Anna and Miss Blakenship the fourth season.


This season Mad Men just hasn't clicked. Even less Megan didn't save it. What has happened to the show we loved for 4 years? I miss it.


i loved the episode. I lived through the ER as an adult and enjoyed the hare Krshna scenes because they took me back to a part of that era I dont think about much anymore, but which along with all of the Indian influences was very transformational. not just here but on most of the boards, characters are criticized for immaturity.Im not sure I understand the point.


Joan is one of my favorite characters. Along with Roger, Peggy and Betty. Don and Megan have been been so-so this season for me. I hear that there are going to be some surprises this season. Too short season I should say.


That Krishna storyline jumped the shark. Lame. No point. I have been a huge Mad Men fan since the beginning, but this season disappoints. No consitent storyline except Megan, and they have runined Don. He's a shell this season. I hope they can bring it back next season.


if you don't like joan, you don't like mad men. pretty simple.


Seriously, you started paragraph two with the beaten to death cliche 'Seriously'?


Megan is just immature. It's as simple as that. As for the Kinsey scenes, I think that was just Weiner saying, "here's what Kinsey's been up to." Then he gave us some closure on the character that we never got. I thought it was a great addition to the episode. Because of budget cuts, Weiner was forced to cut six characters after the first season. Kinsey was one of those characters and we never got closure. I hope he gives similar treatment to other fallen characters. I feel like Cosgrove might be cut from the show, and that would suck because he truly is a great addition to the office. And I meant office, not show.


Oh Dan, you're done with puberty and have entered adulthood, I am so proud you are finally able to bask in Joan's enchanting presence, ha.
I knew I was right about Megan, but I'm not sure if the writers are going the mental illness route with her character. Sometimes, I get this BPD vibe from Megan, which would explain her flip-a-switch moods and interests. And yes, Meganites, I know her reaction stemmed from her fear Don was cheating on her, but come on, that outburst wasn't the least bit "mature".
I didn't get the point of Harry and Paul's interaction, except to show how the Kirshnas invaded California. I was under the impression the American movement started in California, because don't Kirshnas hate the cold, so it was weird seeing them in New York. And I agree, Lane's bit was dreadfully boring; I wished he got caught.


Ehhhh. I think Don and Joan are good as buddies, but I didn't get the sexual tension there. I feel it more with Peggy than I do Joan. She's just too...obvious. Plus, Joan hooking up with Don would cause massive problems with Roger. I do think they have great chemistry as pals. This wasn't the strongest episode, but it definitely sets up some major drama. I can't stand Megan and couldn't from the get-go.

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Mad Men Season 5 Episode 10 Quotes

Pete: Ya know, if I had 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.

Joan: But no flowers from you.
Don: You scared the shit out of me.