While Paul Kinsey was not necessarily a major character during his three season stay on Mad Men, it was evident that he marched to the beat of his own drum, especially compared to the other Sterling Cooper employees. For that reason, his transformation in season five was not all that shocking. ‘Death is My Client’ is Paul’s unpublished one-act play that his coworkers find while snooping on election night 1960 (and drunkenly act out with Joan and Sal leading). It seems this pipe-smoking, mohair enthusiast carries himself a bit surreptitiously. He may have the right idea though; candidness about one’s endeavors outside of Sterling Cooper makes for one jealous, whiny Pete Campbell.
Paul wears many hats throughout the series: Sterling Cooper copywriter, civil rights activist, not-so-secret playwright, Orson Welles lookalike, and most recently, reluctant Hare Krishna. When he meets up with Harry Crane in season five, he explains his transformation and woefully speaks of his unrequited love interest, Lakshmi. Revealing some continuity from his season one writing endeavors, Paul explains that he actually wants to be a screenwriter and he gives his Star Trek speculative script to Harry. Sadly it’s an unfortunate script, but Harry doesn’t have the heart to tell Paul (who is either at rock bottom or finding himself, or both). So like any good friend, married man, and under-appreciated employee of SCDP, he boinks polyamorous Lakshmi in his office over lunch and lies to Paul to spare his feelings. Harry, what’s wrong with you? But wait! Harry gives Paul money to go to Los Angeles and pursue his dreams, so all is karmically balanced.
In honor of Paul’s short stint as a Hare Krishna, it seemed appropriate to make an Indian meal while he’s off in LA writing Star Trek specs and making ends meet. While not much to look at, curry is delicious. My go to Indian recipes are from Kittee on pakupaku.info. I made her Aloo Gobi and Chickpea Flour Pancakes with tomatoes and onions. I also had an eggplant, so I made an eggplant tomato curry with tofu paneer (recipe here). I used this recipe for tofu paneer in place of the cheese.
Hopefully Paul makes it and comes back to visit in season seven, perhaps transformed again, channeling Orson Welles beyond his facial hair. What do you think he’s up to? Optimism tends to be futile in Mad Men so this may be the end of Paul Kinsey’s story within the show.