Mad Men: The Five Stages of Loss

Mad Men S05E12: “Commissions and Fees”

It was really only a matter of time before someone at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce discovered Lane’s forged check. A debate over Jaguar’s payment structure prompted Bert Cooper to look over the company’s financial statements, where he stumbled across the Christmas bonus check made out to Lane Pryce from Don Draper.

Supposedly.

As we all know, Don’s signature was a forgery born out of desperation when Lane’s portfolio in England was taxed beyond his means, but like a string of dominoes that the writers spent the entirety of this season lining up, Bert confronted Don about the bonus check and set in motion the complete collapse of Lane’s carefully stacked lies.

All of the little clues dropped throughout the season, from the uneasy tone to the hints at death, contemplations on the true nature of individuals, both real—Charles Whitman, Richard Starkey—and fictional, like Don and Pete, finally came to a head with Lane’s suicide. Lane lost so much more than his job when Don fired him. He lost his sense of purpose and I’m certain that his decision was made before he even left the office. The subsequent weekend between the request for Lane's resignation on Friday and the discovery of his body on Monday was a whirlwind trip through Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s well-known Five Stages of Grief (or Loss). Though the stages are often applied to any type of traumatic event, such as a divorce, a rejection, or the death of a loved one, they were originally created to guide and understand the thought processes of terminally ill patients. Lane Pryce has struggled with feelings of inadequacy and failure for his entire life, illustrated in the strained relationship we observed between Lane and his father, as well as his regret that during World War II, his poor eyesight forced him into a desk job far from any combat zone, a “soft” job that he never felt was as heroic, noble, or important, as those on the front lines. On the Friday that Don asked him to resign, Lane’s disappointment in himself went terminal.

Denial:

When first confronted with the forged check, Lane’s first instinct was to deny it. He didn’t forge it. Don signed it and forgot about it. It happened all the time. They were busy, important men and sometimes they signed things without looking at them, thinking about them, or remembering them. Right, Don? Right?

Unfortunately, Don very clearly remembered never signing the check. He held firm to his decision to remove Lane from the company, but offered to let him resign, to make “an elegant exit,” in order to save face.

Bargaining:

Still desperate to save his livelihood and honor, Lane pleaded with Don to spare him. He would never do it again. He was trustworthy. He promised.

Maybe he wouldn’t have done it again. Maybe the embezzlement really was a one-time thing, an unfortunate necessity for survival. But later, when Don told Megan about what had happened, they both shared disbelief that Lane was capable of such an action. Megan said, “He seemed so honest,” and truthfully, for much of his tenure on the series Lane Pryce had always been just a little higher on the morality scale than his fellow partners. His attempts at philandering always felt forced and awkward, like he was trying to fit some ideal that appealed to him, but ultimately wasn’t his to embody.

He SEEMED so honest was an important line to have spoken, because Don, more than anybody, knows the lengths to which people can go to hide their true identities. Once Don Draper’s trust is shaken, it’s very difficult to win back, if it’s even possible at all. Don is a lie personified and he’s not delusional enough to think that he is the sole human on the planet capable of such a feat. Despite all of Lane’s promises, Don was firm: Lane had to go. He simply couldn’t trust him anymore.

Anger:

Sensing that he had lost, that there was no way to save himself, Lane lashed out with perhaps his first honest feeling in the entire exchange—anger. How DARE Don ask him to resign? He'd sacrificed more than anyone to start Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and time after time, felt disrespected, unwanted, and taken advantage of by his fellow partners. He'd liquidated his assets to keep the company floating after Lucky Strike pulled out and never fully recovered. He'd operated on a loss for the previous three years. In a way, his financial mess was due to his dedication to the company, so again, how DARE they ask him to leave?

Depression:

But Don didn’t budge. Lane walked out of Don’s office devastated and slid into the depression stage of Kubler-Ross’s cycle. He began to accept his fate and retreated to his office, secluding himself from his colleagues. The shot of Lane drinking at his desk—he was dwarfed by the huge window, the endless city outside, and the patches of the cold, gray sky of a Northeast winter—was stunning. It silently illustrated just how far Lane had fallen in a matter of minutes. He was once a very “big” man, a partner, an important man, like he always wanted to be. One poor decision suddenly made him very very small. He was overwhelmed. He had always been overwhelmed. And he no longer had it in him to fight against that anymore.

His exchange with Joan just prior to retreating to his office was also indicative of his depressed state. At first I thought it was illustrative of his anger, in the face of everything that she had done to win her partnership, and even a call back to that lewd cartoon that Joey drew of the two of them in a compromising position, but it was a hurtful comment Lane made about imagining her in a bikini. Lane had always been nothing short of gentlemanly and respectful to Joan. His decision to forego the formalities in the wake of his disastrous meeting with Don betrayed his thought process. He just didn’t care anymore. He knew he would never have to interact with Joan again, so why bother being polite? He had always considered himself something of an honorable man, but honorable men weren’t asked to resign from their prestigious positions.

Lane’s depression encompassed the majority of his final days. He drank himself sick twice and could barely muster even a false sense of joy when his wife gave him a new Jaguar. Ignorant of his sudden unemployment, she wanted to congratulate him for helping SCDP land the new account and thank him for everything he did for their family. She said that he never bought anything for himself, always thought of others. Her efforts were too-little-too-late to change Lane’s mind and only served to increase his depression.

Acceptance:

It became apparent that Lane accepted his death, having appropriately mourned his own loss, when he sobered up and settled down to “work” on “errands.” He put his affairs in order. He was ready. Perhaps attempting to show everyone the “elegant exit” that Don encouraged (though Don certainly didn't intend for Lane to take the actions that he did), Lane first tried to asphyxiate himself with carbon monoxide in the shiny new Jaguar that his wife bought him. He snapped his glasses in two as a final act of destruction against the undesirable parts of himself...but the infamously defective Jaguar wouldn’t start. It would have been hilarious if it wasn’t so heartbreaking. Fate or God or whomever couldn’t even see fit to let Lane die the way he planned. Instead, he was forced to make do with hanging himself in the office. There is nothing elegant about death by hanging, nothing dignified about a body decomposing in an office for possibly an entire day before being discovered. It was poignant that Pete Campbell was ultimately given the task of physically cutting Lane down after repeatedly cutting him down with words throughout this season.

However, despite being forced to improvise his own demise, Lane Pryce still managed to capture a modicum of elegance and grace in his grand exit. When Roger, Don, and Pete moved Lane’s body to the sofa in his office, an envelope fluttered out of his coat. Thinking it to be a sort of suicide note, Roger retrieved it and opened it in the hallway, looking for answers. Rather than offer a long explanation, personal message, or perhaps an absolution for those who he believed to have failed him, Lane left a simple, boilerplate letter of resignation. A boilerplate letter being a sort of template, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the letter opened with the phrase, “To whom it may concern.”

“To whom it may concern” has always been one of my least favorite phrases in the English language. I’ve personally always hated using it because to me, it implies that I don’t know who I’m writing to, that his or her name is unimportant. It’s very formal language and I’ve always thought stiff, formal language only serves to separate individuals from one another. It’s impersonal, intimidating, and often very cold. When I use “To whom it may concern,” I feel like I’m writing into a vacuum, shouting into a void, and all of that fun existential stuff.

Likewise, I’m not a big fan of receiving letters with that salutation, largely for the same reasons that I hate writing it. It makes me feel very small and unimportant. The writer of such a letter didn’t write the letter to me, he or she wrote it to a vague, nebulous idea of me. I, me, a person, is largely irrelevant in the equation.

By opening with “To whom it may concern” if Lane did, in fact, use it (and I’m leaning toward probably since it’s the standard boilerplate introduction) Lane effectively distanced himself from his peers not just in life, but in their thoughts. When I write “To whom it may concern,” I typically have very little faith that the person on the receiving end of such a letter will actually care what the letter says. Similarly, Lane knew, or rather, THOUGHT, that his co-workers held him in very low esteem, that they disrespected him and cared very little for his well-being. The use of a boilerplate resignation letter illustrated that Lane wanted the world to know that he quit—at both the firm, and at life—but he didn’t know who would find him or, more pressingly, who would even care.


Elsewhere, Sally’s storyline ran parallel to Lane’s and on a smaller scale, she also experienced the five stages. In her case, she lost her childhood. As Betty called it, “She became a woman,” by getting her first period and oh my god, Betty, could you pick a more awkward way to describe it? My OWN mother called it that and I just wanted to die. It was pretty traumatic. We were at a diner and she TOLD OUR FREAKING WAITRESS. I felt Sally’s pain. Anyway, knowing that something is coming doesn’t always make it easier to accept and Sally’s storyline this season has been largely concerned with her transition from Little Girl to Teenager. She has previously struggled with denial, by clinging to her spaghetti dinner in the beginning of “At the Codfish Ball,” and this week the "adult" boots she wasn't allowed to wear to Don's award dinner made a reappearance. There's been anger—a lot of anger—in Sally's rebellion against Betty and Henry and generally just being, well, an angry tween. She's taken after her father with the bargaining, exchanging good grades and behavior for TV time, where she tends, if you look closely, to watch some pretty adult subject matter, especially news reports about Vietnam. She has been depressed in the past, most notably illustrated by the end of “At the Codfish Ball” where she was disgusted by the more unsavory aspects of adulthood, but the onset of her monthly visitor, though initially frightening, seemed to push her closer to acceptance. I mean, it’s pure biology. There’s no point in fighting it.

Don was clearly devastated by Lane’s suicide and certainly blames himself on some level. We only saw the beginning of his own loss cycle, but he definitely aimed for denial by offering to drive Glen back to school after his not-date with Sally. He needed those few hours to process what he'd experienced before talking about it with Megan. However, Don didn’t completely ignore the guilt he felt over Lane’s death, though he definitely understood that there were more factors that contributed to it than just their meeting about the forged check. Perhaps seeing some of Lane’s disillusionment in Glen, a young man who we’ve watched grow from a confused child into a generally cynical young man, Don tried to give him at least one small piece of joy. He asked Glen what one thing would make him happy, which, apparently, was something as simple as driving. Glen looked so happy, and while Don didn’t exactly look HAPPY, he at least looked to be momentarily at peace.


What were your thoughts on Lane’s death? What do you think it means for the company? For the other partners?

Comments (55)
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This is my favorite series but Sally and Glen really detract from it. Sally is a mouthy selfish b*tch and Glen is downright creepy. He's ugly, fat, and can't act to save his life. He got that part only because he's Weiner's son.
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Wow, finally an episode with about as much plot development as a trailer for Breaking Bad.

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While I thought it was done 'ok', Lane's end was nothing that hadn't been done before many times in many other movies or tv shows. I don't understand how people RAVE that this is the best show ever? It's done well, but not 'that' well.



It was believable enough that Lane just chose to off himself, but really, he could've just asked the other partners for the money as a loan. Between all of them, it wouldn't have even been a big deal -as noted by Don saying he could've just given it to him himself. Also that the money owed was a relatively tiny amount in back taxes to England? That didn't exactly lend itself to seeing someone fall into a state of complete desperation.



So the drama of it was pretty weakly set-up. They really should have done something to escalate his predicament. All he did was write one forged check he was going to pay back later on. It was one weak crime he was honestly going to repay before anyone hopefully saw it. I think they tossed in the wife giving him the Jag after he got caught with the check/forced to resign, just because he REALLY needed something 'more' to push him that far.

I barely give the plot a 'pass', and note far better examples of 'tragic falls' from shows like The Shield, The Wire, even the brand new Homeland, lots more...
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You forget Lane is British. His pride and need to "keep up appearances" prevented him from asking for the money as a loan. He really had no choice but to do it the way he did.
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The point of Mad Men is subtlety.
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'Subtley' isn't a 'point'. And neither was what you wrote.
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I disagree, the point was that Lane has been struggling finacially ever since he poured his money in to start the new firm. However being the good sport he is he soldiered on knowing that eventually his work would bear fruit.



Then he is suddenley hit with this new expense which was more than 'a tiny amount in back taxes'. Now as you said he could've probably asked the other partners for a loan, but thats not Lane, he is too proud to accept that shame so he panicked and made a bad decision. Not unbelievable in my opinion, especially as he expected the christmas bonus in the new year.

From there it spiralled out of control, the bonuses being cut completley and his wife continuing to live in ignorace of their new finiacil situation.

Then the killer blow, he is caught and basically let go, suddenley all his money/work at SCDP is ruined and wasted. Not only that but his wife has added a Jag to the bills.



Now the key here is Lane's pride, he would rather end it all than come clean to his wife and be forced to reutrn to England in shame and with nothing. Also there is the little note of life insurance for his wife to help her, at this point the best way he can provide finacially for her.



So this is how he comes to his decision, hardly 'weakly set up'.



Also Lane's death was obviously only a small part of what makes this show worth 'RAVE'ing about. Many people (myself obviously included) think it is currently one of the best written shows on TV.



However i don't completley disagree, The Wire did indeed do some excellent 'tragic falls', but then again in my opinion The Wire is the best show i've watched, and surely any show which can draw comparitive discussion to that is doing pretty dam well.
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Mostly you just explain what happened on the show, which wasn't needed. Your point that he was 'struggling financially' was really just about those taxes.

Other than that, he was 'getting by' as far as they told us. If I'm wrong, then tell me how much money he actually owed and to whom? If you have no real idea then you realize it's because it wasn't explained as anything more than those taxes being 'critical'.

He was told he was actually getting a BIG break on that tax deal he got.



Those back taxes were 'tiny' because one bonus he earned and 'almost got' would've covered it. I think they said $8K. For a top Madison Ave. partner in a major ad agency, he wasn't in crazy debt or in so deep into anything so tragic that he couldn't see any possible way out. He just 'gave up'.

And people do that sure, but it was a weak 'push'.



If he was 'that proud', then he would have solved the problem some other way. It was just 'giving up' at the end that was the big change, not 'pride'. And as I wrote, it was really just due to being fired for the one bogus bonus check. Don was right, Lane could've gotten another job, or couldn've been lent the money 'easily' once he'd LOST that pride and 'given up'.

But 'some back taxes' just wasn't enough of a push, so they tossed in the wife buying him a Jag for a pretty not-subtle-at-all 'final push'.



And just because I compared this to The Wire or The Shield doesn't mean that it makes this show 'any' better. You must not understand logic. You can compare things that are very over-rated to things that aren't and it doesn't make the over-rated things better because of the comparison. There are dozens and dozens of shows that are better than Mad Men.
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Yea I did re-cap what happened quite a bit, but I was trying to give my opinion of the thought process of Lane as his situation worsened, it seemed to me that your initial post ignored how his character would (and did) handle things and was more based on a general person's approach to everything, not Lane's.



"Those back taxes....... He just 'gave up'." (<-in the interests of space)

Fair point, the taxes may not have been huge, however this debt wasn't what made him choose suicide, the debt combined with his pride made him forge the cheque "why suffer the humiliation for a 13 day loan?!".

Not until he loses his job is he financially broken "I owe taxes on my portfolio, which I liquidated to put $50,000 into this firm when we lost lucky strike.......I have never been compensated for my contributions to this company". So the assertion that "it was really just due to being fired for the one bogus bonus check" isn't correct. He is not just jobless and stuck with a $8000 debt, he has lost it all, his investment which was his worth.



Fair enough, he could've got another job (of course in England as he said "I'll lose my visa") but he would have had to start lower once again and build back up.



However the financial implications at this point aren't so important, losing his partnership and therefore his worth he would never be able to face his family, and I know I've laboured the point but that is due to his pride.



The options you suggest he take just aren't available to him, that's his character and for me that was completley believable.





In regards to my comments about The Wire and comparisons, they were somewhat joking in nature and weren't meant to be analysed too hard.

I'm pretty certain I understand logic fine.

"or The Shield doesn't mean that it makes this show 'any' better"

"And people do that sure, but it was a weak 'push'."

"because he REALLY needed something 'more' to push him"

I'm not so certain you understand when to use apostrophes though.
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"-it seemed to me that your initial post ignored how his character would (and did) handle things and was more based on a general person's approach to everything-"



Well it didn't do that at all. What Lane did, as I wrote, was 'realistic enough' (for what his character might do), but that's not a really well written character.



Also, you must think this is an English assignment to not understand that I'm using apostrophes to HIGHLIGHT key words without using ALL CAPS like people hate. This is a casual blog post. You were taking a really silly shot there and again proving you're not terribly logical.



Lane's road to ruin was so heavily based on his own stupidity (which you keep calling the far more honorable sounding 'pride'), that it WEAKENED his tragic ending a great deal. It made sense he killed himself, but his character arc was cheap and forced. And all to lead to the 'big shocking season finish'. It was too 'rigged up' and obvious.



As I wrote, it was ok, but not great. I actually just read a Huff Post review writing much the same thing, so I may be in the minority, but I'm not the only one and 'pop opinion' is often wrong.



Ironically, there was also a link to a list of tragic deaths on TV shows there, and there were so many better than Lane's, plus so many that didn't make it to the list, that it really illustrated just how gimmicky and forced Lane's demise really was compared to dozen and dozen before it.

In pretty much every case the set-up to many other tragic deaths on a series were far better than this one.



Again, my overall point is that this show is good, but more style over substance and over-rated. People are reading more into it than it's really presenting. The Joan's a big whore/full partner thing, dropping the Black Girl/Peggy/race issue elements, dropping the new Jewish guy's story they started to 'hint' at, Fat Betty's annoying silliness, Peggy was never seen talking to her new live-in b-friend about the change she was considering, so he just vanished at a point when it finally made sense for him to show up. The show just does tons of 'stuff' and throws it at all the walls.
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This episode was very powerful and this review was well written as always. As others have said below I think the 'to whom it may concern' thing is a bit off point. I also think that the whole five stages of grief motif is way off. Sure Pryce's talk with Don had elements of Denial, Anger and Bargaining but this was clear not Pryce's stages of grief, this was his desperate tactics for self-preservation, he was duplicitous and manipulative of Don. Pryce may very well have had well defined stages of grief but we didn't really see them in the episode and Sally had even less to do with the stages of grief so that was off point too. And Don's actions were not dictated by the stages of grief, his moment with Glen was nothing to do with denial over Lane's death, that suggestion was silly, it was however a lovely moment ; it's always great to see Don's tender side. It's strange to read a review around the five stages of grief when just a few weeks ago there was a Community episode that actually was specifically structured around the five stages, it's kind of surreal.
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I agree. She obviously just chose to use it as a framing device for an article. She thought it sounded clever, and no doubt a lot of people thought it really was.

But these same people think Mad Men is tremendously clever as well..when it's often not.
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I think your paragraph about "To whom it may concern" is pretty needless as we don't know that is what it said, in fact we only know that the envelope said "To my fellow partners", hardly uncourteous. I think the letter was most to do with him not wanting to cause any fuss for anyone, the theory that it was a personal 'up yours' at Don is not Lane at all in my opinion.



Great episode, incredibly impactful and top writing as always.



I enjoyed your exploration of Don and Lane's conversation as showing the 5 signs of loss, but far too much of this article is just repeating what happened.



More reviewing less recapping.
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"Richard Starkey?" As in Ringo Starr? Don't you mean Richard Speck?
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Poor Lane, I liked him...and poor Joan who I know will feel guilt that her sharp rebuke of him somehow pushed him to commit suicide.



Also, anyone else think Glen is creepy? That kid freaks me out, not just his looks but his awkward stiff movements...he just gives me the wiggins.
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Ok, I have to take a moment to recognize @ramoniia for totally predicting Lane Price hanging himself in the office, last week in "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" comments. I was still clinging to the hope that Pete Campbell would be put out of my misery.
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Sad to see Lane go. But his death may affect Don's work in a positive way for the company. We know that Don does a better job when he's not happy. Since he married Megan he's been happy and not contributed too much at SCDP, but Lane's death may spiral Don into some state of unhappiness which can lead him back to his old self in regards to work.
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It was a great episode and great season, but one question , is peggy olsen still on the show next year ?
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I thought the resignation letter was basically a letter saying "DON - YOU DID THIS - I HOPE YOU FEEL GUILTY"
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BTW the boilerplate resignation letter was not just Price being his bureaucratic self, it also (primarily?) was a last 'F- YOU' to the agency.

All of the partners were insured, and Pete had mentioned a suicide clause in the company's life insurance policy in a previous episode.

Resigning pre-mortem means no extra money for SCDP. I like that he went out of his way to make sure they didn't profit from his death.
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Yeah, but the insurance company doesn't have to know about the letter. Only the partners know and why would they tell if it would hurt them?
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It's the gesture that counts. Even if they hide the resignation letter, the partners will always know that he didn't want them to have the money.

Also, I may be overthinking this, but they can't be sure whether or not he left his wife or somebody else a letter that made clear he had resigned before committing suicide.

And I have a hard time believing that all of them are ruthless enough to agree on ignoring his last wish, but then again Pete is involved, so...
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'ignoring his last wish'?? You mean you think his 'last wish' was to see that no one at SCDP profit from his death? I wouldn't phrase it that way at all. I'd say that it was just 'maybe' an added element of how he ended it. Remember, he was just gonna do it in the Jag, so they would've profited if that would've worked.

And, technically he killed himself BEFORE he resigned, so they'll probably legally get the insurance money either way.



But all they'd have to do is toss out the letter and agree that 'no one saw it' -which is almost exactly the same thing as when they quick made Joan a whore for all of them to profit. So, totally in character.



Either way, they'll all get their bonuses now I suppose. And they're all about getting what they want.

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it was sad to see Lane's slow downfall this season. He kind of lost purpose in the office, but i think the biggest thing that led to all of this was the fact that he never talked about his problems with anyone. If he told someone what was going on he might have gotten the help and none of this would have happened. At least he was appart of one of the best scenes this season (him beating up Pete :P). Also loved the scene with him and the Jag, it went to show that they arnt relyable for anything :P (anyone else think he was going to take that as a sign to continue with his life? cuz b4 the scene with him typing in his office i thought that might be where he was heading)

Aslo have a feeling Sally won't be talking to Glen as much anymore. I think her fantasy about their relationship kind of crumbled this last episode
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I personally though the 'Jag not starting' was a lousy joke that I was hoping they wouldn't do...and then they did. They made the note so many times about Jags are awful cars that don't start, it was just too silly and obvious for what was suppose to be sad and tragic.

Plus, the fact that the car was literally, Day One, brand new. Jags aren't THAT lousy. If anything, I would've suggested that they'd have Lane look like he flooded it, and give him the blame for it not starting. That'd make a LOT more sense and would add more 'I'm completely pathetic' to him.



I'd also like to know how he got back to work? He broke his glasses and it looked like he didn't have a 'slight' prescription. Just nit-picking, but you'd have to imagine at best he was walking around nearly blind, and had to take the train or something and cross streets he couldn't really see. That's just something a good writer would try to avoid or clean-up beforehand.

They could've had someone pick up his broken 'monocle' and look at it strangely when they all found him in his office. It may seem like nothing, but that's what really clever writing is. You really notice it when it isn't there.
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I love the part when Sally said " I can eat anything I want with dad" to Betty.
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Someone said they hoped it won't be SCDC next season, but I think it will be. Just not the "C" that was referenced (Campbell). After his over-drinks deal with Roger, Cosgrove has set himself up to usurp Pete at SCDP, if Don did indeed win over Ed Baxter and Dow Chemical. By itself, the Dow account would dwarf all of Pete's rinky-dink business deals put together, making Ken the top account man at the firm.



As for Lane, since the day he forged the check many of us have been counting down to his untimely death. I'd like to reiterate (from previous weeks) that I don't understand why he didn't just ask for a loan from Don or the partners in general, explaining the urgency of the situation, especially since he knew he'd be able to pay it back by Easter. Second, if Don was allowing him to resign to save face, couldn't he have asked the partners to buy him out of his junior partnership (refunding his $50K investment minus the amount of the bonus check, of course)? It seemed to me this situation was entirely avoidable and completely out of character for Lane - implausible forced writing, if you will.



I'm interested to see what kind of toll this will all take on Don. He pushed Peggy until she walked out on him last week. He pushed Lane until he took his own life this week. I can't even imagine what worse thing could happen to him next week....?! Megan was pretty fed up with his crap and looked about ready to walk until Don told her of Lane's betrayal. I'm sure his death will earn Don a reprieve from Megan taking any rash action for the time being, but how long before reality sets back in and Megan realizes she doesn't want to be married to Don any longer?



It was slow going for a while, but this season has picked up in a hurry!
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Pete is a junior partner - it is more likely they will keep the name "in memoriam" for Price. For the time period, they will wish to diminish the scandal as much as possible, and removing his name would only make matters worse at a time when they are striving to look as strong as possible.



To your comments on Price's actions, I know from experience the immense power of the British "stiff upper lip" in this day and age and was not surprised in the least by his refusal to discuss his hardships with anyone, including his family (his wife's family could have floated them as well). Given the nature of his relationship with his father, it comes as little surprise he chose "seppuku" over a more rational, healthy solutions. He was a weak, cowardly man, which he proved time and again. When Don confronted him, he sacrificed an opportunity to save himself and potentially his position at SCDP by whinging and hiding behind his pride. He dug his own grave.
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Always enjoy your insight and perspective! Good stuff!
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Thank you!
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well you never know the partners might just want to keep the name as it is (in memory/respect of Lane?) plus Pete is only a junior partner wouldnt Joan be higher rank that him (being a full partner and all) so her last name could be added instead? cuz i could see Roger and Don supporting that idea rather than letting Petes name get added
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Entirely possible, but I thought Joan was a Jr. Partner as well, with only a 5% stake in the company.
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Is she? hmm maybe I missed that
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Poor sad Lane( I felt for him( I liked him his englishness he was indeed stranger amongst others in company. And nobody ever got him so sad. But he had last word in form of this boilerplate I guess. Last sarcastic bitter joke from lonely brit( And Jared Harris was great in that role (also liked him in Fringe)) Scene of discovery of Lane's death was very strong and dark and shocking. I thought he was gonna jump out of window somehow but that was more horrific. So sad
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I think you're reading into his resignation letter 'what you want to'. It was just a resignation letter. To 'know' that he was being sarcastic/bitter, it would have had to've said something like how 'everyone had always been so great to him' -otherwise you can't take it as anything more than what it was. A simple letter. "I resign".

He wasn't 'sarcastic' or 'bitter' when he killed himself as far as what the show presented.
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I just want to add a WOOHOO for the old-school Don Draper shocking the socks off Ed Baxter and Dow Chemicals in that meeting with Roger. Roger wanted to see the old Don and he received his wish:: "I'll buy you a drink if you wipe the blood off your mouth." Just awesomeness.
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Should have been Pete.
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i agree,although we love to hate Pete. Maybe at next season's start,they will make out like it was just Don's nightmare caused by guilt.
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Seconded, and move for a vote. All in favor?
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Great job picking up on the little details throughout the season but last week there was barely a mention of Peggy's resignation (followed by a second piece, far too long in my opinion, that amended that but still) and this week yet again no mention of important scenes like how Don got his groove back and Betty and Sally's moment together. Instead there is yet another far too long breakdown of one scene (significant as it may be) and a 3 paragraph bit about the phrase "To Whom It May Concern" which was never even part of the episode. That said this episode was incredible, this season was so so for me up until last week when all of a sudden the season switched into high gear. Hopefully the final two episodes will be just as strong.
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How about SCDH?
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It would be amazing if they found a way to snub Pete in favor of Joan.
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Awesome review is awesome. I thought this was the best episode of the season. Very depressing, but perfect nonetheless. I knew something bad was going to happen to Lane, this is Mad Men, there was no way he'd be able to get out of this mess he created. I'll miss him.
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Great review as always! Thanks for all the insight on details I had missed out on, there's just so many layers to this show.....wow, second best episode of the season after last week's episode! I must say I really felt for Lane for some reason....and Don's moral attitude kind of annoyed me because he lived a lie for so long and still is (although of a different kind)...well his treatment of Lane came back and bit him in the rear end....I just don't like Don at all this season, he's a complete ass most of the time...

Also, I must add that I'm in advertising and the the ad world in the show hasn't changed much today in terms of how clients treat agencies (if anything it's even worse now) and the stress and strain of winning and losing accounts is perfectly portrayed....
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I have to say this was the most depressing episode of Mad Men ever! I loved Sally and Glen together, but I could not enjoy their storyline at all! I was hoping that they would not show Lane's body, and was very disturbed when they did. I knew someone was gonna die this season but would not have guessed it would be Lane... but when I think about it I guess it's better that it is him instead of someone really important to the show.
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I hate the word tween more than I hate the phrase to whom it may concern.



As great as this last episode was I was a little disappointed not to see Peggy. I have a feeling she will not be in the finale either. She will probably make a grand entrance in Season 6 as this huge force of nature.
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well either they wont show her at all or they might show a some sort of teaser of her at her new job.

and yes I hate it when people use the word tween too
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I was thinking the same thing, though the message was a little bit mixed this season re: Peggy's talent.



For a while it seemed like they were also portraying her as past her creative prime with the boring dancing Heinz beans campaign (saved at the last minute by the younger, more in-touch Megan's idea).



But then she pulled out that followup ad idea for Chevalier Blanc on the spot... so maybe it's feasible that she's ready to take the lead on something impressive at the new agency.
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Staff
1. Lanes meeting with Don, 2. Don/Roger's meeting with Dow Chemical 3. Betty's interaction with her daughter. All great scenes with fantastic dialog. Seems like Don Draper grew tired of Don Draper persona and wants to be more like Dick Whitman. Caring, thoughtful and a raging ball of motivational fire. "What is happiness? It's a moment before you need more happiness."
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"Name another raincoat!"
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Really eager to see how this week's event affects Don going forward. He was just getting his confidence back at work - his aggressive sales pitch this week even pumped Roger up. And he's been relatively well behaved this season - he didn't cheat on Megan at the whore house, he was upset by Joan's bargain with the partners and he stood by his principles re: Lane's theft. But there's no telling what an event like this could do to his psyche.
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Loved all the Catcher in the Rye references in this ep. Mad Men: The Catcher in the Whiskey http://wp.me/p1xVI5-12C
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Lane's death means nothing for the partners. 6 of them were too many anyway. Hope SCDP doesn't turn into SCDC... One of the best parts of the episode is missing, Don going after the big fish..............."To whom it may concern".....It wasn't even mentioned, and your write a bunch about it.
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great review indeed, excellent elaborated!!! this one was for me the best episode of this season and I honestly couldn't have put it in better words myslef!
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great review Maryann... mad men is all about picking up subtle, small things (like pete cutting down lane, both figuratively & literally) and u do a great job of picking those things up

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