In “Mad Men” Season 4 Episode 10 “Hands and Knees,” it looks like the firm is going to get a big, fat contract with North American Aviation. Unfortunately, along with the contract comes mortal peril for Don Draper.
The first hint of trouble comes when a couple of gentlemen from the FBI pay Betty a visit to ask questions about Don. It seems that a background check is required for any ad exec who will be working closely with a defense and space contractor. While Betty is a good sport and lies to cover up Don’s true identity, Don is sent into full-blown panic.
Don Draper will not survive an FBI background check. They will find out that he is not Don Draper, but Dick Whitman and a deserter from the United States Army. His career and life will be over. At one point, Don almost collapses in a full-fledged panic attack, something that is brand new for him.
In the meantime, Roger Sterling has two problems. First is that he has made Joan pregnant. This is a big deal in 1965. Joan’s husband has been seven weeks away in the boonies of Vietnam, so they can’t fob it off as his. Getting an abortion is a big deal in that era and involves accusations, lectures, and a bus trip to Morristown. Whether it will involve lasting guilt remains to be seen.
The second problem is that Lucky Strike is about to drop the company as its ad agency. This is Roger’s account and still represents the bulk of the company’s billable hours.
Meanwhile Lane Pryce gets a visit from his father from the Mother Country. It is not an altogether social call. Lane has to return home to England to settle his family affairs one way or another. There is, however, a complication. Lane has a new love of his life and she is black, another big deal in 1965. Lane’s father, an old man, certainly believes in the spare the rod and spoil the child maxim, which proves very humiliating indeed for the middle-aged child.
Peter Campbell, who knows Don’s secret, agrees to punt the North American contract so that the investigation stops and Don’s secret remains safe. Peter takes a big hit for this, but now Don owes Peter big time. And one suspects Peter will want to collect.
But one thing does go right in the episode. Don has scored some Beatles tickets and will take his dear daughter Susan to the concert. All the drama and angst from the last episode is forgotten. Susan is in ecstasy and Daddy is a hero. A couple of hours of rock and roll at Shea Stadium is a small price to pay for that.
Source: Mad Men, Hands and Knees, TV.Rage