Christmas Waltz opens with the audience learning of Lane Pyrce’s (Jared Harris) money troubles: he owes almost $3000 in back taxes, and must wire the money to England in two days. Lane concocts a scheme to borrow $50,000 for the firm, and then announces at a partner meeting that SCDP has a surplus and thus everyone will receive Christmas bonuses. This is not the first time Lane Pryce has gotten in and out of money problems, but embezzling money from SCDP takes him to a new level of low. Lane wants to announce the bonuses but the other partners wants to defer. In a scene straight from a mid-90’s X-files episode, Lane forges Don’s signature on a $7,500 check for a partner bonus. Lane is so broke, he even convinces his wife not to return home to his native England for the holidays to save money. At the end of the episode, Mohawk goes on strike indefinitely, causing all the Christmas bonuses to be deferred including the partner bonuses. It is announced during a company wide meeting that the bonuses will be distributed to regular employees and that the company will work very very hard to land Jaguar. Meanwhile, Lane now has to figure out what to do about that check.

Paul Kinsey (Michael Gladis) returns to ‘Mad Men’ desperate to meet with Harry Crane (Rich Sommer). Crane find him at a Hare Krishna meeting, baffled at what has happened to his friend, as is the audience. Paul’s girlfriend Lackshmi is an attractive, spiritual young woman, who intrigues Harry. When Harry and Paul leave the meeting for dinner, Harry learns that Paul isn’t as crazy about the Krishnas as he is about getting back into screen writing. He even produces a script for Harry to read. He talks about wanting to start a life with Lackshmi and needing Harry’s help. Harry is skeptical but open to the possibility of Paul’s integrity.

Lackshmi comes to SCDP and seduces Harry. We knew Harry was cheating on Jennifer, but now we actually see it. Lackshmi later reveals she slept with him to keep him away from “true devotee” Paul. Lackshmi is clearly full of it. Is Harry a good guy or a bad guy? Do we care? I want to root for Harry, but all this talk about women and philandering leaves me with a bad taste. Still, in the end, Harry does the right thing, giving $500 to Kinsey to leave the Krishnas and Lackshmi and go to Los Angeles, despite lying about the bad script.

Meanwhile, we learn that Roger (John Slattery) wants to help out with Joan’s (Christina Hendricks) baby Kevin until college But Joan won’t hear of it. She is determined to raise Kevin on her own. Roger assures Joan that Jane won’t get half in their divorce. Personally I would love to see Roger and Joan give it more college try. They are perfect for each other and I would love to see happy Joan instead of depressed Joan around SCDP. But Matthew Weiner won’t make it quite that easy on us, will he?

Don (Jon Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Pare) attend a play and end up fight about advertising. Megan accuses Don of conspiring with empty American consumerism instead of just enjoying a night out at the theater with friends. Megan claims that Don can freely make fun of actors and the theater but Don can’t take a joke about his precious advertising, which is definitely true. Later in the episode, after Don has spent the day with Joan, Don comes home nice and buzzed and Megan who had prepared dinner, is beside herself. She smashes a plate against a wall when Don tells her where he’s been as if its nothing. To her, he’s inconsiderate, aloof, and hate his work. She demands that he eat dinner by her side. Don and Megan usually would have makeup sex after a fight, but this time is different. Something has changed between them; Megan has finally become an annoying needy housewife more than a hotblooded Canadian sex pot.

Earlier in the day, Joan was served her divorce papers in the SCDP office and was livid. Don takes her aside and they go together to a Jaguar dealer to buy a car, pretending to be a couple. After the buy-a-car-on-the-spot fantasy moment, Don and Joan drink away their troubles at a swanky Manhattan bar, flirting and laughing and listening to music. Joan confesses her insecurity of being a single woman with a child, but Don reassures her she can do better than Dr. Harris. It’s so satisfying to see Don and Joan interacting this way, but it doesn’t occur to me to continue this thought as a possible romantic plotline until Don and Megan’s fight. After the plate smash, Joan receives flowers from Don at SCDP. What does rendez-vous in mid-town mean? Probably nothing. Or possibly something. Three way love triangle with Roger anyone?