Last night, Mad Men took a break from exploring Judaism to introduce another religion. In a nice surprise, we finally got to see Paul Kinsey, who left the show after season three when he wasn’t brought along to the newly formed Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Turns out Paul has been busy: he joined the Hare Krishnas. He has shaved his head, wears traditional dress, and chants. And now he wants to hang out with his old friend Harry Crane,
I never loved Paul, but it was nice to see that people who leave the company don’t have to leave the show. (Although now I miss Sal more than ever. Bring back Sal!) Paul’s in love with one of the other devotees, Mother Lakshmi. However, his storyline quickly became more complex. He admitted to Harry that despite his devotion to the Krishna way of life, he still hasn’t shaken off his feelings of doubt and insecurity. He wants to get back into writing, and he has written a Star Trek episode that he wants Harry to show to someone at the network.
I won’t ruin the end of the episode, but I loved Paul’s speech. It was bittersweet, but I think it sums up the way a lot of people feel about faith.
Look, you had a vision your first time. Not that I wasn’t in a state of bliss for the first few months, but something happened. I tried to clear my head, but it’s too busy in there. Everybody else looks so happy. You know, I got there and I tried to figure out who [the guru] likes best. Everywhere I go, it’s ‘He doesn’t like me. No one likes me.’ Sometimes I think Krishna doesn’t like me. No one but Lakshmi.
I totally identify with the way that Paul went to a spiritual path looking for answers, only to find himself just as lost as before. At the end of the episode, he and Harry came to a sort of understanding. Paul was never my favorite character on the show, but I really hope it works out for the guy.