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Christmas Waltz
Season 5 Episode 10
Air date 20 May 2012
Written by Victor Levin
Matthew Weiner
Directed by Michael Uppendahl

Dark Shadows
The Other Woman


Christmas wishes come true. Harry helps out a friend.


Lane Pryce's attorney abroad instructs him to wire £2,900 (8,000 dollars) to England to cover back taxes within 2 days. Lane worries he cannot come up with the money. Harry schedules coffee with Paul Kinsey (Michael Gladis), then reports a strong yearly outlook to Lane but warns the future is uncertain. Lane visits the firm’s bank manager and convinces him to authorize a 50,000 dollars credit extension.

Lakshmi, Harry and Paul, in Christmas Waltz.

Pete tells Don and Roger that Edwin Baker has been fired from Jaguar and their firm is back in contention for the account. Presentations will be in mid-January. Don comments on it being a lot of work, to which Pete replies that Don may have to work over. Paul, wearing a robe and sporting a shaved head, greets Harry at a Hare Krishna gathering. He introduces his friend Lakshmi, who convinces Harry to join them in a group chant. In a taxi after the gathering, Paul admits to Harry that he loves Lakshmi but the Krishna movement does not make him happy. Paul later hands Harry a spec script he wrote for Star Trek and asks Harry to pass it along to NBC. Hesitant, Harry agrees and later asks Peggy for her opinion on Paul’s script, admitting his displeasure. She advises him to tell Paul the truth.

Lane calls a partners meeting to announce they can hand out Christmas bonuses thanks to a 50,000 dollar surplus, however Don recommends waiting until the Christmas party. Pete agrees, explaining the Jaguar announcement will be a sufficient morale boost until then. In Joan's office, Roger says he wants to financially support her and Kevin. She refuses, claiming the child would be better off without Roger’s involvement. Megan and Don watch the play America Hurrah, in which a character rants against TV advertisements. After the play, they fight about its negative portrayal of advertising.

Lane sneaks into the office after hours and forges Don's signature on a 7,500 dollar check written out to himself. The next day, he assures his attorney that the funds are available, but hangs up when the attorney mentions his fee.

Pete asks Don to test drive a Jaguar for research purposes. Don agrees but declines Pete’s suggestion to bring Megan.

Joan rejecting Roger's offer to financially support her and Kevin, in Christmas Waltz.

Joan is summoned to reception for a signature, but instead gets served divorce papers. She becomes irate with the receptionist and smashes the model Mohawk airplane. Don leads her out of the office and takes to a Jaguar showroom where they pretend to be a couple looking for a new car. Don offers the salesman a 6,000 dollar deposit to let them test-drive an XK-E alone. At a bar, Joan reminisces about the days when suitors constantly sent her flowers. He admits that, upon sight of her, he thought she was dating Aly Khan. She replies that her mother raised her to be admired, and then asks why Don never showed interest in her. He admits he was afraid of her. They discuss starting over and flirt. He points out a man who seems interested in Joan and she guesses the man has a wife. Don offers to return the Jaguar by himself, slipping her some “mad money” in case it doesn’t work out. Alone later in the Jaguar, Don furiously shifts gears and accelerates. The next day, Joan is delivered flowers from "Ali Khan".

Lakshmi shows up at the firm and propositions Harry in his office. He resists, citing the fact that he is married and she is with Paul. She denies being with Paul, saying that there are no such relationships in the movement, and asking Harry "Does your wife burn for you?" They proceed to have sex on his desk. She later reveals that Paul is the movement's best recruiter and tells Harry to stay away or he might turn Paul into a "gross materialist." She tells him she slept with him to keep him away from Harry, trading "the only thing I have." Harry responds that she "already gave it away" and she smacks him in the face.

Harry and Paul, in Christmas Waltz.

Joan throws a model airplane at Meredith, in Christmas Waltz.

Don and Joan flirt over drinks. Episode: Christmas Waltz.

Don arrives home drunk and finds an angry Megan at the dinner table. She throws her plate against the wall and asks where he’s been. She yells that she has sat waiting for someone who does not care about anybody. She orders him to sit at the table and eat.

Rebecca tells Lane she wants to visit England for Christmas. He claims the office needs him after Jaguar has renewed interest in the firm and he does not want to spend another Christmas alone.

Harry tells Paul that his business connection liked the script but passed on it. He gives Paul 500 dollar and a ticket to Los Angeles, urging him to leave the Krishnas and start over. Paul hugs him, saying that Harry was the rare person to do anything for him.

At the office, Pete informs the partners that Mohawk Airlines is suspending their advertising budget due to a machinist strike. When Lane suggests cutting the bonuses entirely, the partners agree to give bonuses only to the staff and defer their own. In the conference room, the partners inform the employees about Mohawk, Jaguar and the bonuses. Don ends the meeting with a rally, saying that every Madison Avenue agency is defined by their automobile clients, and that when they obtain the Jaguar account, the world will know about SCDP. The room erupts in applause.


  • This episode takes place in December of 1966, beginning on Pearl Harbor Day (December 7).
  • Paul Kinsey appears for the first time since the Season 3 finale "Shut the Door. Have a Seat". This would be his final appearance on the show.
  • The "Star Trek" script that Paul wrote has some similarities to the actual third season episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", leading to many fans jokingly speculating that Paul tried to sell the script to NBC against Harry's advice, and against all odds actually succeeded.
  • The 4 agencies against which Pete believes SCDP is competing are all real-life companies: Foote, Cone, Ted Bates, and D'Arcy.


Main Star

Guest Star


  • Beth Hall as Caroline
  • Sadie Alexandru as Scarlett
  • Stephanie Drake as Meredith
  • Wajid as Swami
  • Eli Bildner as Kid
  • David Crane as Man
  • Christopher Devlin as Actor
  • Aimée Deshayes as Actress
  • Elisha Yaffe as Stewart


Process Server: "Are you Joan Harris?"
Joan: "Yes, that's me."
Process Server: "You're served."
Joan: "What? Damn it. Why'd you let him in?"
Meredith: "He said he needed to talk to you."
Joan: "About what?"
Meredith: "I don't remember everything that everybody says."
Joan: "Because you're an idiot!"
Meredith: "Don't talk to me like that."
Joan: "Do you understand, having you out here is the same as having NO ONE?!"
Meredith: "He said he knew you, he said it was a surprise."
Joan: "A surprise?! Well, thank you! Here's a surprise..."
Don: "JOAN!?"
-- Joan expressing her anger, after Greg Harris serves her with divorce papers.

Joan: "Look at all these people, dancing to my music."
Don: "You wanna dance?"
Joan: "I don't think we should."
Don: "You sure look like you wanna dance."
Joan: "You and me, in midtown? You with that look on your face."
Don: "What look, baby?"
Joan: "God, you're irrestable!"
Don: "You know what this woman said to me once, I like being bad, then going home and being good."
Joan: "I bet that stuck to your ribs."
Don: "It was a disaster."
Joan: "And you enjoyed every minute of it, God, I miss that."
Don: "Well, there's a gentleman over at 7:30, who looks like he wants to dance,"
Joan: "Who do you think he is? Advertising? Insurance? Lawyer? And who do you think's waiting at home? I bet she's not ugly, the only sin she's committed is being familiar."
Don: "So you think it's all him."
Joan: "Because she can't give him what he wants."
Don: "Because he doesn't know what he wants, but he's wanting."
Joan: "He knows, its just the way he is. And maybe its just the way she is."
Don: "I'm gonna go."
Joan: "I can still drive, I think."
Don: "I can drive, you can stay..."
Joan: "I've been sitting with you, since you walked in."
Don: "Poor me, I struck out."
Joan: "Who's going to believe that."
Don: "...Car fair. In case he doesn't work out."
Joan: "Mad money?... Thank you."
Don: "Goodnight, sweetheart."
-- Joan and Don flirtatously talking about starting over in a bar.

Seasons of Mad Men
Season 1 • "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" • "Ladies Room" • "Marriage of Figaro" • "New Amsterdam" • "5G" • "Babylon" • "Red in the Face" • "The Hobo Code" • "Shoot" • "Long Weekend" • "Indian Summer" • "Nixon vs. Kennedy" • "The Wheel" •
Season 2 • "For Those Who Think Young" • "Flight 1" • "The Benefactor" • "Three Sundays" • "The New Girl" • "Maidenform" • "The Gold Violin" • "A Night to Remember" • "Six Month Leave" • "The Inheritance" • "The Jet Set" • "The Mountain King" • "Meditations in an Emergency" •
Season 3 • "Out of Town" • "Love Among the Ruins" • "My Old Kentucky Home" • "The Arrangements" • "The Fog" • "Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency" • "Seven Twenty Three" • "Souvenir" • "Wee Small Hours" • "The Color Blue" • "The Gypsy and the Hobo" • "The Grown-Ups" • "Shut the Door. Have a Seat" •
Season 4 • "Public Relations" • "Christmas Comes But Once a Year" • "The Good News" • "The Rejected" • "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword" • "Waldorf Stories" • "The Suitcase" • "The Summer Man" • "The Beautiful Girls" • "Hands and Knees" • "Chinese Wall" • "Blowing Smoke" • "Tomorrowland" •
Season 5 • "A Little Kiss, Part 1" • "A Little Kiss, Part 2" • "Tea Leaves" • "Mystery Date" • "Signal 30" • "Far Away Places" • "At the Codfish Ball" • "Lady Lazarus" • "Dark Shadows" • "Christmas Waltz" • "The Other Woman" • "Commissions and Fees" • "The Phantom" •
Season 6 • "The Doorway, Part 1" • "The Doorway, Part 2" • "The Collaborators" • "To Have and To Hold" • "The Flood" • "For Immediate Release" • "Man With a Plan" • "The Crash" • "The Better Half" • "A Tale of Two Cities" • "Favors" • "The Quality of Mercy" • "In Care Of" •
Season 7 • "Time Zones" • "A Day's Work" • "Field Trip" • "The Monolith" • "The Runaways" • "The Strategy" • "Waterloo" • "Severance" • "New Business" • "The Forecast" • "Time & Life" • "Lost Horizon" • "The Milk and Honey Route" • "Person to Person" •