Mad Men: Season 4, Episode 10

Hands and Knees (26 Sep. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
8.7
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Don becomes frightened that his lie will be exposed when government agents question Betty about him, Lane has shocking news for his father when he comes to bring him home, and Joan is forced to have an abortion.

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Peggy Olson (credit only)
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Ken Cosgrove (credit only)
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Storyline

SCDP's fortune's are on the upswing and Don is buoyed by that fact. Harry is getting him tickets to a Beatles concert, to which he is taking an excited Sally. And SCDP are in final negotiations with North American Aviation, whose marketing budget has been substantially increased. However, the contract with North America Aviation has some unforeseen consequences, the results which unnerve Betty, concern Pete who does whatever he can to handle the situation within his means albeit with some reservations, but most importantly threaten Don's entire future. As Don prepares for his family's security if he is taken down, the reality of the situation begins truly to sink in. With others in the office, Lane receives an unexpected visit from his father. The purpose of the visit is to bring Lane home to deal with his marital issues. But Lane has a particular reason for wanting to stay permanently in New York, which he has to decide whether to tell his father. And Roger and Joan's sexual ... Written by Huggo

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Drama

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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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26 September 2010 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Elisabeth Moss (Peggy Olsen) does not appear in this episode, the first of Season 4 in which she is absent. See more »

Goofs

The Beatles tickets are not adjacent seats. They were marked 3 and 5. See more »

Quotes

Pete Campbell: [Pete and Don are in the elevator discussing the fact that two FBI men have initiated a background check on Don] If you're asking me if he knows how to keep a secret - he works for the Department of Defense.
Don Draper: But he talks to you.
Pete Campbell: It's going to be OK. I was thinking about this. And I know it'll be uncomfortable, but if we have to, we can ride it out.
Don Draper: Are you crazy?
Pete Campbell: This many years later? It must be past the statute of limitations.
Don Draper: It's desertion. There's no statute of limitations.
Pete Campbell: I thought nobody...
[...]
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References The Beverly Hillbillies (1962) See more »

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The lie
8 June 2011 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

SCDP, the new agency, is not doing as well as expected. Roger Sterling receives a bad piece of news from Lee Garner Jr. at a dinner where the two men are sharing. As the check arrives, Lee pulls money to pay and mentions that Lucky Strike will no longer be represented by the agency. Naturally, Roger is shocked to learn the desertion of the biggest account. He pleads with Garner to give him one more month.

Back at the agency, Don is told by Harry about the possibility of getting tickets for the Beatles concert at Shea Stadium. He decides to call his daughter Sally, who goes completely berserk at the possibility. Megan, Don's new secretary tells Don she had filled an application for security clearance from the US government as the agency is about to start a relation with North American Aviation. Don panics as he hears the news.

Don Draper goes to see Pete Campbell, who has been in charge of the transaction with the aviation giant. He refreshes Campbell's mind about what Pete learned about his past. Don begs Pete to try to cancel the agency involvement as he cannot deal with the consequences of having assumed another's man identity. It appears things have moved forward as two FBI men had gone to speak with his former wife Betty, questioning her about certain details Don is not ready to reveal.

Don, visibly shaken, is a bundle of nerves at the office. Faye Miller comes in to talk to him, but she notices he is clearly sick. Dr. Miller wants to take him home because he is no condition to be in the office. As they arrive at Don's apartment, there are two strange men in the hallway. Don takes them to be G-men, as he is opening the door. The men make an excuse and leave. Don runs to the bathroom where he throws up. Talking with Faye, Don tells her the sad story of his life. Next morning, Pete Campbell comes to the apartment to inform Don he has canceled the agency's involvement with NAA. Pete watches as Faye emerges from the bedroom.

The partners have gathered for a meeting. Roger gets to know about the cancellation of the negotiations with NAA and goes ballistic on Pete Campbell. Don comes to his defense. Lane, under a lot of pressure with his father to return to London, advises the board he is taking two weeks leave of absence. His father has been instrumental in his decision to try to mend the situation. The older Pryce has witnessed his son with the black Playboy bunny with whom he has been having a torrid affair.

Roger has another surprise coming to him. Joan tells him she is pregnant. She is late and it is going on seven weeks. Roger takes Joan to a doctor, who is upset to hear what has resulted from their extra marital affair and offers the address of a man in New Jersey to perform a procedure on Joan. We watch Joan waiting at the doctor she was referred to, as she looks at a mother and teenager daughter, obviously going to have an abortion. When the girl is called, the mother breaks down. Joan expresses her support, trying to calm the woman.

The episode was directed by Lynn Shelton. The screenplay was written by the creator of the series, Matthew Weiner and Jonathan Abrahams. This installment touches on several issues. One of the strongest is abortion, something that has already been covered in the series, but a big deal in those years, and its effects on Joan Harris, her third, according to our count. The other issue deals with the affair of Lane Pryce with a young black woman, another taboo that was not quite the norm in those years. Don's lies have come to haunt him once again, threatening the new life he created for himself.


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