Mad Men Episode Recap: "Hands and Knees"

"I don't want any secrets." - Betty Draper

Betty doesn't want any new secrets in her new marriage, because she knows all too well how they destroyed her last one. Unfortunately, many other characters in the Mad Men universe - Betty's ex-husband included - haven't yet learned that lesson. Joan and Roger sweep Joan's pregnancy under the rug with a quickie abortion. Roger loses a client that could end Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, but doesn't tell anyone. Meanwhile, Don's past as Dick Whitman costs SCDP another client and forces Pete to take a beating from Roger that he doesn't deserve.

Conversely, Lane lets his secret out of the bag when he tells his father that he's dating Toni, a Playboy Club cocktail waitress who is black. But when that announcement doesn't go over well, Lane is unable to tell anyone the real reason he's taking a leave of absence to return to London. Similarly, Don brings Faye into his circle of trust, but almost instantly regrets it.

For three-and-a-half seasons, secrets (especially Don's) have been Mad Men's stock in trade. As such, this episode borders on feeling repetitive, or at least less impactful than the show's past revelations. If anything, this episode is less about what's being hidden and more about why the characters are hiding it. The question for Don (and everyone else): Isn't honesty always the best policy?

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