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Gone But Not Forgotten: Remembering Mad Men's Lane Pryce

It's been exactly four weeks since Lane Pryce hung himself, and now that Mad Men's fifth season is over and the excitement and nail-biting over the season finale has long passed, we can take the time to mourn the dearly departed Lane Pryce properly. He was called in to clean house when Puttnam, Powell, and Lowe bought Sterling Cooper, tasked with trimming expenses and serving as the eyes and ears of Sterling Cooper’s new British owners. He did such a good job that he was almost transferred to India to do it all over again with a different company, but luckily, that unfortunate lawn mower incident saved his butt and he went on to become a founding partner of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

I always liked Lane. He walked the fine line between being a gentleman and being a completely depraved pig, not always successfully, but he tried and that always counts for something with me. Often overlooked by his co-workers, and increasingly belittled in the episodes leading up to his death, I think it’s only appropriate that we take the time to reflect on some of Lane’s more memorable moments. Sometimes silly, sometimes calculating, and sometimes surprisingly badass; Lane Pryce will be missed when Mad Men returns for Season 6.


5. Playboy Bunny Hop (Season 4, Episode 10, “Hands and Knees”)

Okay, so Lane’s relationship with Toni, “the finest waitress” at the Playboy Club, ultimately ended in disaster, but still, the man dated a Playboy Bunny. It was such an awkward couple and I’m not entirely convinced that either party was wholeheartedly invested in it, but HE DATED A PLAYBOY BUNNY. I think even Pete Campbell could have mustered up some kudos for that.


4. Puppetmaster (Season 3, Episode 1, “Out of Town”)

The first time we saw Lane, he unceremoniously fired the former head of accounts, Burt Peterson, as part of his sweeping cost-cutting measures at Sterling Cooper. In his place, he appointed Pete. Later, he appointed Ken Cosgrove to the same position, intending the two rivals to compete for Master Pryce’s favor. The competitive aspect of their promotions revealed Lane’s manipulative side, sure, but it also showed off his fun side, turning the whole business into a sort of game. And of course he picked the two account guys whose mutual animosity toward one another bordered on pathological.


3. Birth of an Ad Agency (Season 3, Episode 13, “Shut the Door, Have a Seat”)

After Puttnam, Powell, and Lowe was purchased by McCann Erickson, Don, Roger, Bert, and Pete decided to totally blow that blow Popsicle stand and start their own firm. Unfortunately, tied into contracts with PPL, they couldn’t just refuse to show up to the office. They approached Lane with their great master plan and insisted that he fire them so that they could move on to greener pastures and taller skyscrapers. They offered to make him a partner. Lane agreed and masterminded the recruitment of accounts from SC’s portfolio, conveniently pointing out that news of their Friday coup wouldn’t reach their superiors in London until Monday, giving them time to pull everything together. When said bosses called Lane on Monday to fire HIM, Lane responded, “Very good. Happy Christmas!”


2. Dinner with the Don (Season 4, Episode 3, “The Good News”)

Don and Lane’s bachelorific night on the town was, and always will be, legendary. Don was depressed over learning of Anna Draper’s terminal cancer and Lane was unsuccessfully attempting to mend his marriage, further complicated by his secretary mixing up flowers intended for Joan and his wife. Don and Lane sneaked a flask into a movie theater and debated how many handjobs taking place around them. Don took Lane to dinner, where a drunk and silly Lane played with his food, slapping his steak against his belt and announcing to fellow diners “I got a big Texas belt buckle. Yee haw!” Then they hit up a comedy show and slept with some high-end call girls. Lane thanked Don for the “welcome distraction.”


1. Knock Out (Season 5, Episode 5, “Signal 30”)

Possibly Lane’s proudest moment, and certainly the most likely Lane moment to go down in Mad Men history as “AWESOME,” was Lane’s fistfight with Pete Campbell. Not even halfway through the fifth season, we all wanted to smack Pete, but Lane did it for us. Not gonna lie, I was half-expecting him to be the one getting punched in the face, especially when he raised his fists like something out of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out and engaged in some painfully formal trash-talking. Lane’s victory was a victory for everyone (who wasn’t named Pete Campbell) and it was sweet, so so sweet.


What were your favorite Lane Pryce moments?

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Before saying how much I liked Lane, let's get the big problem out of the way. " Lane Pryce hung himself," wrong. Lane Pryce HANGED himself. Pictures are hung, people are hanged. Normally the quantity of errors doesn't bother me, but when it's in bold on the first line get it right!!



Pryce was a great character, but they made the right move. There were too many people at the top, especially with Pete moving up and now having Peggy's story line from seeming from outside the office, for now. One can't carry on a program with only 13 episode seasons and that many secondary characters and succeed. It's was Lane's best season for sure, culminated by the proper way of writing off his character.
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1. Roger Sterling

2. Lane Pryce

3. Don



Pryce was great. Think it was his accent that let him get away with a lot of bizarre things. Cleaning out Pete Campbell's clock with the fighting Irish boxing stance will be written into his obit. Well done good sir.
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I can't complain with any of these picks. He was belittled in Season Five, yes, but his character was AWOL for a substantial part of the season.
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I have to say Lane certainly went out on top this year; it was probably his best season. The fight, the attraction to Joan, the embezzling, and the intriguingly sad suicide complete with the guys pulling him down. All memorable and a great way to go out. And always a very likeable character that you could root for (most of the time). I'll miss Lane.
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Vicbjones (aka grammar police) -I do watch the show and I believe the term is "Mad Men" since it is presumably about men in advertising, not a guy who went postal and is now being referred to on the 6 o'clock news.
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Lol, I love when grammar Nazi's make mistakes.
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My getting the title of the show wrong doesn't my point any less valid, and appending "LOL" to the beginning of your post doesn't make you sound any wittier.
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Poor dead bastard. The short thesis of Mad Men has always been "Sh*t Happened," but I really wish none of this had happened with him. He had a lot left in the tank. Hell, I was even looking forward to something with him and Joan. He left that on a sour, drunken note, and it was a shame. Just a shame.
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That's David Robert Jones! I don't trust him.
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It's a shame he was also killed off on Fringe. What a great actor.
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All of those moments were great. I personally loved the scene were Joan comes in crying and worried that she was being replaced at SCDP. Of course Lane comforts her and assures her that she is crucial to the operation. It could be argued that is was more of a Joan scene, but it was a great scene anyway.
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Never watched Mad Man, but I believe the term is "hanged himself," not "hung himself," since Lane presumably was an animate object.
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Why read the article if you don't watch the show? Just to comment on unimportant grammar?
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