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Mad Men Review: It Turns To Crap

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Well that makes two straight episodes down the stretch of Mad Men's fifth season that gave the audience an absolute bomb.  Last week it was the combination of Joan deciding to sleep her way to partner and Peggy quitting SCDP, and in "Commissions and Fees" it was the death of Lane Pryce.

Wow, did that seriously just happen?  When he failed to get the job done in that brand new Jaguar, I thought it was just a fake out.  I figured it was going to be one of those deals where he made the attempt and then somebody helped him to stop round two.  No, no, no.  Lane was seriously motivated to end it.

Donny D.

His final push to get out of the money trouble, and the embarrassment that would come with losing his job, was a horrific one.  Not only for the man who lost his life, but also for the individuals who found him like that.  That had to be the most tragic moment in each of their lives, and the make-up people did such a good job that I bet it was even pretty troublesome for the viewers.

Am I sad to see Lane part ways with the world like that?  Absolutely.  Will I miss the boring plots he has been giving Mad Men this season?  Not at all.  I enjoyed the Brit last year, but in 2012 he has been lulling me to sleep with all of his troubles.  Although his act may not have been good for anyone on screen, it may have been a positive for those of us watching off screen.

Before Lane ruined everyone's day, over on the other side of the park, things were happening.  Glen made jokes about the animals, he and Sally agreed they didn't like each other in a certain kind of way, and Sally, yes little Sally, became a woman.

As the only Betty Draper fan on the face of the earth, I couldn't have been happier to see her smile, hold her daughter in her arms, and be there for Sally the way she needed to be comforted.  I felt bad for Megan, though, who obviously felt awful about how everything went down.  Darn Mother Nature!  If Sally hadn't gotten her first period right then and there, none of that craziness would have happened!

Not that I expect it out of Don, nor should he have done it, but if he had spent the time with Sally on Monday, she probably would have been better off.  Don had important things to do, though.  How about getting his swag back?  The man, like Lane, was on a mission in "Commissions and Fees."

Fortunately for all, his wasn't also suicidal.  No, he wants to bring SCDP back to the promise land.  He wants to get Dow Chemical.  He wants to steal Firestone.  He wants to land American Airlines.  The man is confident, he's motivated, and he was even getting me all fired up in both his discussion with Roger and his pitch to Ken's father-in-law.

The penultimate Mad Men of the season also had a nice gesture by Don to let Glen drive himself home at the end the hour, and a couple of awesome guest appearances to begin the episode (Ellis Dewald from Beverly Hills Cop 3, and I think the heckler from Happy Gilmore).

What did you all think of "Commissions and Fees," TV Fanatics?  Did it even come close to comparing to last week's outing?  Were you surprised by Lane's success?  Are you handling it well?  What about Sally?  Are you glad she was comforted by Betty?

Check out some of the more memorable lines in the Mad Men Quotes section, and then sound off in the comments!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (88 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Nice scene at the end with Don and Glen poor boy has no great adult role models.Is Don going to have a guilt trip about Lane?
Roger and Don have great scenes together.

Queenbeethegreat

... Bc she's telling Don that she has to do things too and he can't just assume that she is free. I find that selfish on Don's part bc he did exactly what Megan said - he is used to always have a woman who is putting him, his needs and wished before her own. Megan is different. Why aren't you saying that Don is selfish bc he didn't offer to drive Sally to school (then no one would have had to stay at home). He comes and goes at he pleases anyway, so what's the big deal? Yes, he did have a meeting but so did Megan. To say that she puts everything second to it is ridiculous. Almost everyone on this show puts work before everything else - how do you think did last weeks sl work?

Queenbeethegreat

Don doesn't have the standing to 'fire' another partner. Don didn't fire him per se. He gave him an out with his head held high. He gave him the chance to resign instead of telling the other partners about what he did which would have led to a public humiliation for Lane and eventually still in firing him. So no one else had to know and he could just find another job without his embezzlement known - bc then no one would have wanted him anymore. I have to say, I'm starting to slightly dislike Megan, she's so obsessed with becoming an actress, everything else has to come second because of it.
She's been acting more and more selfish lately.
There's more to life than just a career.
As much as I'm not a fan of Megan, are we watching the same show? This is Mad Men. Everyone on SDCP is "obsessed" with their jobs. What is wrong with Megan pursuing her dream too? How does it make her selfish? Bc she's telling Don that she has to do things too and he can't just assume that she is free. I find that selfish on Don's part bc he did exactly what Megan said - he is used to always have a woman who is putting him, his needs and wished before her own. Megan is different. Why aren't you saying that Don is selfish bc he didn't offer to drive Sally to school (then no one would have had to stay at home). He comes and goes at he pleases anyway, so what's the big deal? Yes, he did have a meeting but so did Megan. To say that she puts everything second to it is ridiculous. Almost everyone on this show puts work before everything else - how do you think did last weeks sl work?

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As riveting as the scene between the two men in Don's office was, in reality, just would not have happened. Don doesn't have the standing to 'fire' another partner. this would have had to be put to a vote and even then would be a lengthy legal separation (even supposing the other partners agreed). Lane also had a substantial investment in the company (hence the owed taxes) so a full accounting would have to be done and some kind of financial settlement made before he could be 'ousted' given Lane's fiancial sraits this could have been a positive thing for him. it's a little bit difficult to buy the idea that Lane's character would not be aware of something so obvious (he is the most financially savvy of all the partners, after all). In light of this it makes the 'embezzlement' and financial ruin storyline very unbelievable and therefore the suicide just all the more ridiculous. I think it spoiled the episode a little knowing that. having said all that it was still a brilliant episode. Shocking to see Lane's mask of death. Joan's heartfelt sorrow and Don's need to cut him down. very amusing that the brand new Jaguar didn't start (who said it was an expensive piece of junk? Roger?). I loved Betty and Sally's interaction it was priceless. Sally's character for me is one of the most interesting. I can't help but think of some of my own experiences at that age curious As to what the adults are doing.

Beverly brooks

I going to miss Lane. I was suprised when he forged the check. If only he could have trusted his partners to help him. Kenny doesn't like Pete any more than I do. I miss Peggy but understand why she had to leave. Don did the right thing in firing Lane. How could he trust him with expenses in the future.

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Megan didn't really irritate me this episode. I actually don't think she was selfish. Don drops everything for his career, why can't Megan do the same thing? Why should Megan be responsible for his kids if he won't be? She had something important on Monday morning too. Sally was old enough to be on her own, its not Megan's fault she ran off. Betty is home full time, that's why she takes the kids. Yet every time we turn around she's dumping them on Don and Megan because Sally is too old to put up with her head games. I am a Betty fan but even I know she's not the best mother. When you don't know how to hug your own child, you know something's weird. She was raised to be cold, so she is. Sally and Betty love each other but there was bound to be difficulties, Sally is a lot like Don.

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Ah mothers, love 'em or hate 'em we always seem to run home to their arms. I loved that Sally and Glen got to hang out this episode. They had a moment where they were so happy, only to have it taken from them by Mother Nature.

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Poor Lane indeed. That entire scene was gut wrenching. I thought that he was going to give up after the Jaguar incident too. I was thankful that they did his makeup to be realistic, most people seem to think that hanging yourself isn't as frightening as other suicides but there really is no pretty way to die. Mad Men is very good at shattering illusions. I don't think Don is to blame. Lane did steal from the company. His partners would have lent him the money because they understood that he was fundamental in making SCDP to begin with. They might have grumbled a bit but they would have quietly helped him. In the end, he didn't trust anyone. Its sad, because he was so great. He was really smart and could have been very successful at a different firm if he had taken Don's way out. But the idea of losing something he'd worked so hard for, just finished him. He'd been under so much pressure that this was just the final blow for a very desperate and ultimately, lonely man. Rest in peace, Lane Pryce. I for one was always a fan.

Queenbeethegreat

Yeay Betty! :) I love Don, but I do think he could have handled the discovery of the check differently. I disagree. I think Don handled the situation perfectly. He could have done much "worse". He even said he would pay for it and no one else had to know. That was very noble of him. He didn't want Lane to lose face or for him to be done completely when his embezzlement would have come out. But he couldn't keep him in the firm bc he couldn't trust him again and that I could understand. Yes, ofc he helped building the firm in the first place but that doesn't give him the right to steal. He was putting the entire company in danger with what he did. It wasn't Don's fault that Lane killed himself. That was his decision (and a selfish one at that - leaving behind his wife and son). Ofc it will affect Don strongly next episode and next season but Don was the good one here.

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Love Don + his style...when is his wife going to find out Roger had sex wih her mother??

Mad Men Season 5 Episode 12 Quotes

I already said no, or should I leave so you all can do whatever you want?

Don

This is a big win for your little agency.

Jed