Roger: “We’re dead, you know that?”
The “Hands and Knees” title of “Mad Men” Season 4 Episode 10 may have to do with Don Draper rubbing his hands on his knees during his panic attack.
It’s more panicked than we’ve ever seen Don — even after Betty found out the truth about him and asked for a divorce. He thought he was having a heart attack.
I didn’t know this because I don’t have kids, but some women give birth on their hands and knees. It doesn’t look like Joan Holloway wants that option. She’s pregnant with Roger Sterling’s baby. (Surprise!) It’s been 7 weeks and her hubby Greg has been away. So did she have an abortion, as it seemed from her visit to the doctor, or did she change her mind?
“Hands and Knees” can also refer to Lane Pryce, who was literally pushed to his hands and knees by his overbearing (or maybe just kinky) father, who told him to get his affairs in order — here or there, meaning New York or London. Lane is in love with a black girl who works as a bunny at a club. He wants to stay in New York, not London, and it looks like a decision is going to have to be made.
By the way, he’s taking two more weeks off. The guy is never in the office anymore.
Then again, “Hands and Knees” could have to do with Roger Sterling begging for life from slimy Lee Garner Jr. After 30 years, Lucky Strike is taking away its business. Remember how Lucky Strike could turn off the lights at Sterling Cooper? Well, not only do they have the power to shut down Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, losing Lucky Strike puts the nail in Roger Sterling’s coffin. (But maybe Salvatore Romano can come back. Please?)
Roger: “We’re dead, you know that?” Lee agrees to give him 30 days before announcing the split so Roger can make arrangements.
Speaking of arrangements, Don also tries to get his own personal affairs in order, launching some kind of trust for the kids.
FBI guys went to the Francis household and questioned Betty for 45 minutes about Don. It launched his panic. And his self-defense. Poor Megan was blamed (and blamed herself) for Don signing a security form he should’ve read himself.
Don: “I signed it without looking, because that’s what I do.” Classic Don! Such an arse.
And poor Pete had to deal with Don’s mess too. He now has to lose North American Aviation, just to protect Don. (Why is Don so valuable to SCDP? Just his looks? Peggy is the better copywriter.)
At least Pete has Trudy. They are the most stable couple on the show and that’s pretty sad, considering Pete’s track record.
Don had his attack in front of Dr. Faye Miller. She saw him vulnerable and, for the first time, Don willingly shared his true Korea story with another person.
Don: “I’m tired of running.”
So Faye knows the truth. Pete knows too, although not because Don ever wanted him to know. Pete is also the first to know about Don + Faye. Pete knows a lot. And Don wants him to lose a lot of money. It really doesn’t make much sense for Pete to do what Don wants.
And yet not only does Pete have to tell the partners he’s lost a major account (during a partners meeting loaded with emotional baggage from everyone in attendance, except maybe oblivious Cooper), he has to pretend it’s his own fault. In front of Don. And then Roger screams at him for losing the account, as if he isn’t hiding a much, much, much bigger loss for the company. Remember, Pete is the one who pointed out how useless Roger would be without Lucky Strike.
We only have three more episodes in Season 4, so all of these personal and professional crises are inevitably going to come to a head.
Check out some of the details on what’s coming up:
Episode 11 “Chinese Wall” — The employees of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce resort to scuttlebutt after an agency wide meeting is called.
Episode 12 “Blowing Smoke” — The partners of the agency wrestle over a critical decision; Don runs into an old friend. (John Slattery, aka Roger Sterling, directed this episode)
Episode 13 “Tomorrowland” — Don takes a trip with his children in tow.
Could this mean the end of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce? We just met it! And Pete hasn’t had time to get his name on the door. (Even though he seems to be one of the only people who actually works there.)
I love the idea of Don traveling with his kids. That has serious season finale potential. And this has probably been the best season of “Mad Men” so far, so I have high expectations for that finale.
By the way, Sally is a major Beatles fan. Nice to hear an instrumental version of “Do You Want To Know A Secret” playing over the credits. Clever.
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