First, Don goes out to California to see Anna. He's in classic Don cad mode, affectionate to Anna but all too quick to hit on her niece, a surfer-girl co-ed. But she tells Don that Anna is dying of cancer, but doesn't know it, and this jump-starts Don into the caring, loving guy we see with him towards his children. So we now have a somewhat bigger, more clear picture of Don: he is what he is, happy to sleep with any woman he can, whatever the consequences. But he harbors a generous soul, which comes out for his children and when people he cares about are in grave danger.
Back in New York, it's Don and Lane on New Year's Eve. Lane loves America. He wife does not, and apparently doesn't care much for him either. The result is she's in England and he's in New York, and in the office with Don the day before the New Year.
They two dine out, and Don offers Lane a night with a friend of Don's call girl, with whom Don will be ringing in the New Year. Lane agrees, and the two couples spend a satisfying night at Don's place. This is an important step both for Lane, and his relationship with Don. The two now have a bond that Don likely has only with Roger at this point.
Meanwhile, Joan has an oddly compelling New Year's Eve with her surgeon husband, who mends the gash on her hand. Unable to relate to each other in most other ways, this scene shows them about as close together as we've seen. The two may have finally found an intense, common ground. But the ground is small, and may not be enough.
The next work day finds Don, Lane, Joan, and the gang seated around the conference table that the firm did buy, at the office. It's a great final scene. I'm always been a sucker for scenes that show life and work go on as usual, with the participants having all kinds of secrets and knowledge that the others don't know about.
PS - Jan and Dean's "Sidewalk Surfin" playing when Don was out in California was my favorite music in last night's episode. Here's a taste.
See also Mad Men 4.1: Chicken Kiev, Lethal Interview, Ham Fight ... 4.2: "Good Time, Bad Time?" "Yes."
And from Season 3: Mad Men Back for 3 and 3.2: Carvel, Penn Station, and Diet Soda and 3.3: Gibbon, Blackface, and Eliot and 3.4: Caned Seats and a Multiple Choice about Sal's Patio Furniture and 3.5: Admiral TV, MLK, and a Baby Boy and 3.6: A Saving John Deere and 3.7: Brutal Edges ... August Flights in 3.8 ... Unlucky Strikes and To the Moon Don in 3.9 ... 3.10: The Faintest Ink, The Strongest Television ... Don's Day of Reckoning in Mad Men 3.11 ... Mad Men 3.12: The End of the World in Mad Men ... Mad Men Season 3 Finale: The End of the World
And from Season Two: Mad Men Returns with a Xerox and a Call Girl ... 2.2: The Advertising Devil and the Deep Blue Sea ... 2.3 Double-Barreled Power ... 2.4: Betty and Don's Son ... 2.5: Best Montage Since Hitchcock ... 2.6: Jackie, Marilyn, and Liberty Valance ... 2.7: Double Dons ... 2.8: Did Don Get What He Deserved? ... 2.9: Don and Roger ... 2.10: Between Ray Bradbury and Telstar ... 2.11: Welcome to the Hotel California ... 2.12 The Day the Earth Stood Still on Mad Men ... 2.13 Saving the Best for Last on Mad Men
And from Season One: Mad Men Debuts on AMC: Cigarette Companies and Nixon ... Mad Men 2: Smoke and Television ... Mad Men 3: Hot 1960 Kiss ... Mad Men 4 and 5: Double Mad Men ... Mad Men 6: The Medium is the Message! ... Mad Men 7: Revenge of the Mollusk ... Mad Men 8: Weed, Twist, Hobo ... Mad Man 9: Betty Grace Kelly ... Mad men 10: Life, Death, and Politics ... Mad Men 11: Heat! ... Mad Men 12: Admirable Don ... Mad 13: Double-Endings, Lascaux, and Holes
20-minute interview with Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) at Light On Light Through
Special Discount Coupons for Angie's List, Avis, Budget Car, eHarmony, eMusic, Mozy, Zazzle
The Plot to Save Socrates
"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News
"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book