Mad Men
Christmas Waltz

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | 2 USERS: C+
YOU GRADE IT
You Got Served!

...whereupon we cross-fade to a rather nicer set of cars, as we're in a Jaguar showroom and from the appreciative look in Joan's eye I think we have a clue as to what Greg's alimony checks are going to go toward. Don coaches Joan to look at her watch and after she obliges, a salesman appears and asks what he can do for them. Don: "We got tired of waiting for a cab. Thought we'd buy a car." I have the feeling he didn't hear lines that suave on the used-car lot. He asks about one model and the salesman tells him it's nice and sporty but still can accommodate kids going on to inquire if they have any. Don pauses and deferentially looks at Joan, but she's up for the performance and brightly says that "altogether," they have four. The salesman tells them the car is for the American road as it has "too much power for England" and having witnessed firsthand how people drive across the pond, I'm going to have to disagree. Don pointedly adds that he hears England's "dampness is murder on the electrical system" but the salesman evenly tells him they've worked that problem out. Joan then draws a breath as she catches sight of a bright red two-door the salesman describes as "the most beautiful car ever made, the XK-E" and given how the thing is obviously the automobile equivalent of Joan herself you'd think they could give it a more feminine name. The guy is up for taking them out for test drives, but one at a time as there's not enough room for three. Joan playfully but pointedly asks why she and Don would want the guy along, but that's kind of the guy's point as that beautiful interior leather really doesn't do so well with stains. Don, however, has places to be and upon finding out the asking price is $5,600, he forks over a check for six grand. "If we don't come back, consider it paid for." Nice, but for that price aren't you going to ask for floor mats?

Cut to a hotel bar, where Don confesses that the car actually does nothing for him. Joan: "It's because you're happy. You don't need it." Aw. Interesting that Don is the only man she can talk to completely honestly; it's like their shared mystique has created a consciousness of kind between them that precludes the need for ceremony or beating around the bush. Joan goes on that she's tried so hard to keep her personal problems away from work and then "Dr. Captain Harris served me with papers in the office. He's divorcing me, like he has the moral high ground." She goes on to chuckle bitterly that she's sorry about "that girl," but when people summoned her to Reception it used to be to deliver her flowers. Don remembers that, adding that during his first week at SC "I thought you were dating Aly Khan" and Joan admits that her mother raised her to be admired. She adds that she never got flowers from Don to which Don baldly confesses, "You scared the shit out of me." Hee. He goes on that Burt Peterson told him she was the one person in the agency he shouldn't cross and that Burt and Freddy Rumsen had a standing argument whether Joan was a lesbian. Joan: "You think they never brought that up with me?" Ha, but honestly, I am amazed that Roger managed to keep his affair with Joan a secret all that time. It's true she would have had his guts for garters if he'd blabbed, but still: It's Roger. Don congratulates her on the end of her marriage, musing that nobody realizes how bad it had to get for it to come to that and now she'll be able to move on. Joan isn't particularly sanguine about her prospects of finding someone with a baby in tow, which suggests to me that her mirrors at home need polishing and Don agrees, saying she'll find someone better. Joan turns to face him as she notes that he did just that didn't he and he agrees, but thinks perhaps "the office" misses Megan. Joan: "Maybe I should have kept her at Reception." Hee. Don wonders if maybe it wasn't the best idea for Joan to have thrown the divorce papers out the window and I don't know why we didn't get to see that, but Joan's over the subject and asks Don for some change for the jukebox. I'm not much for anachronistic musical choices, but I wouldn't he displeased if she put on "Little Red Corvette."

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