There are a lot of women on Mad Men who use sex as a weapon. Some more successfully than others. But last night on the show, we learned how much show creator Matthew Weiner thinks the sexual revolution must have confused the women of the 1960s. Why?
Because we met a woman named Lakshmi (Anna Wood) who eschewed marriage and monogamy for free love and a life in the Hare Krishna movement. But then she tried to ply Harry Crane (Rich Sommer) with her hot sex moves and it totally backfired.
We met Lakshmi through Harry Crane’s former colleague Paul Kinsey (Michael Gladis), who reappeared last night in the garb of a Hare Krishna. Man do bad things happen to characters on Mad Men who pop onto the screen out of nowhere this season. Remember when Don Draper’s old conquest showed up and he killed her in a fever dream and shoved her body under the bed? Well, a similar fate befell Paul Kinsey when he turned up last night.
The late ’60s really were unkind to some people. Remember what Paul looked like the last season he was on the show? Here’s a reminder:
This is what he looked like last night:
Here’s a close up (and an argument for why all the actors on Mad Men should be praying that Mathew Weiner doesn’t write them off the show and then call them up again for a guest spot):
Poor hapless Paul has gone from chasing after chics who are into civil rights to traipsing all over the country in the hopes of turning a hippie chic into his wife some day. Even more sadly, he desperately wants to start a career as a script writer for Star Trek. And he is TERRIBLE at Sci Fi writing.
At first it looks like Paul has reappeared in Harry Crane’s life to turn him into a Hare Krishna. But in fact, his motives are much more convoluted than that. He thinks that if he can successfully get paid by Star Trek for an amazing script, Lakshmi will leave all her open relationships behind her and sign up for the white picket fence life with him.
Harry being Harry finds all of this silly, but is highly attracted to Lakshmi. Considering actress Anna Wood kind of looks like Juliette Lewis‘ little sister, it’s not hard to see why. So he decides to help his friend with his terrible script, in the off chance that helping will involve getting to have sex with Lakshmi.
And Harry is in luck! Because Lakshmi shows up one morning to make Harry have sex with her on his desktop in the offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.
(PS: Matthew Weiner is basically making me think that cubicles were created to curb all the random sex people were having in closed offices in the 1960s.)
This is all well and good until Lakshmi informs Harry that she only had sex with him to get him to stop encouraging Paul to write terrible scripts and leave the Hare Krishna movement. As Harry points out, she kind of screwed this up, by having sex with him before trying to blackmail him. Oh well. Using sex as blackmail is hard!
Unfortunately for Lakshmi, Harry takes the opposite approach and gives Paul enough money to go to Los Angeles, abandon her and the movement and pursue his terrible script writing dreams. Even if Paul Kinsey falls flat on his face because of this plan, I think we can all agree that Harry Crane did an amazing thing by saving the world from seeing this image anymore:
As for Lakshmi, she’s got the rest of the ’60s and ’70s to hone her sex skills. And to learn that hair as thin as hers really needs to be washed more often. Free love and communal showers really aren’t for everyone.