Mad Men: Commissions and Fees

Posted on June 04, 2012

As every season of Mad Men unfolds, we watch and wait for the nay-sayers to come out of the woodwork. With each passing season, as people like us spend embarrassing amounts of time parsing out themes and writing about color theory in costuming, and sites turn over an enormous amount of pixels and bandwidth to dissecting the show, someone somewhere (actually a lot of someones) thinks this is too much time to devote to a show that has, to use a phrase we never use, “jumped the shark.”

No one ever accused us of being magnanimous, which means we usually smirk and roll our eyes at these like-clockwork pronouncements every season, because they tend to come at exactly the same time each season: right around the 9th, 10th or 11th episode. This isn’t because there’s some systemic flaw in the Mad Men scripting process that causes it to break down ten hours into the season. It’s because the slow burn that characterizes the Mad Men writing style gets to be too much for some people and they start getting annoyed with it. This is a perfectly understandable reaction and we’re not dismissing these complaints (after we smirk and roll our eyes, that is). It’s perfectly fine to be bored or frustrated by the show. What gets us to smirking is the oft-expressed idea that the particular moment when portions of fandom get bored is also the exact moment the quality of the show declined. The show didn’t decline; you just hit the wall on how much metaphor and how many pregnant pauses you can take out of one TV show. When you sit and watch a Mad Men season back-to-back, one episode after another, you’ll see that in every season, the arc was finely constructed and the pacing was deliberate. It’s a feature, not a bug – and it usually requires either a lull right around the penultimate episode or a series of quick events that stun us with their unlikelihood and somewhat rushed quality. Mad Men has always constructed its seasons this way and we have yet to reach the end of one without breathlessly opining on how great it all was. There has yet to be a moment for us when we feel the show has declined in quality to the point where it becomes notable. We have yet to sight a shark on the horizon.

Having said all that, this was easily our least favorite episode of the season. Many viewers had real problems coming to terms with the developments of last week’s “The Other Woman,” but, as occasionally puzzling as they were to us, we sat through that whole episode with our mouths open, trying to process the events depicted. It kept us on the edges of our seats. There were no such feelings of shock and impatience this time around. Instead, events unfolded naturally, one right after another, building to a conclusion that we not only saw coming at the start of the episode, but that many people had predicted early in the season. The death foreshadowing was heavy this season in a way that was disconcerting to the long-time viewer, demonstrating a willingness on the parts of the writers to be terribly obvious, instead of the normally obtuse method of writing they tend to employ. In other words, we all saw this coming – and that’s not something one normally says about Mad Men.

Much has been made about the show’s turn away from obtuseness to embrace obviousness, but we think perhaps some of these complaints have been overstated, even as we admit that we were right there making those complaints. When you take the events of this episode and pair them with the events of the previous one, there’s this sense of things speeding up and out of control; of things coming to their natural conclusions because hiding behind subtlety and silence was not going to cut it any longer. Joan spends a decade using her looks to maintain her position at SCDP, the end result of which is the partners asking her to prostitute herself. After a lifetime of obsequiousness and bitter obedience, Lane faces a problem in the worst manner possible, and, lacking any sorts of survival or coping tools, destroys himself. There is a feeling of inevitability at work in these stories.

But we’re not going to blindly defend this episode, this season, or Mad Men as a whole. Whether by design or not, the tendency this season to announce themes with the sound of a gong (or some occasionally clumsy dialogue) hasn’t really been to the show’s benefit. We were almost entirely ready to excuse the whole thing, but then last night the plotting became as obvious as the dialogue had occasionally become. Because is there really anything more of a cliche than “one life ends and another begins?” If we have to see Lane’s swollen, purple death mask, then by god, we’re gonna get a shot of Sally Draper’s bloody panties. If you thought the extreme closeup of baby taint in episode 1 was jarring, you must’ve fallen out of your seats at the visual representation of Sally’s womanhood.

The Sally story felt very forced and disjointed; like it belonged in another episode (that is, of course, if you pretend not to notice the “one life ends and another begins” theme). We’re just gonna say it: Any episode that requires Glen Bishop to say anything is inevitably going to be a weak episode. Matt Weiner clearly has a blind spot when it comes to his son (who plays Glen) and has convinced himself that the character is somehow vital enough to the story of Mad Men that we need to keep checking in on this kid, long after more engrossing characters exited stage right. It doesn’t help that he can’t act to save his life; a fact that becomes embarrassingly obvious when you place him in scenes with Kiernan Shipka, who can run rings around him. And it really doesn’t help that the character is something of a creep towards whom we’re supposed to feel warm. This goes beyond a socially awkward charm; Glen is inserted into situations designed to seem really creepy to the viewer, whether it’s wearing Don’s undershirt while he holds hands with Betty on her couch or standing as witness to Sally’s first period right after telling her he let his friends believe he was having sex with her. This goes beyond awkward adolescence. It’s just plain weird. And while we enjoyed pretty much the entire episode (if indeed “enjoy” is the right word to use at all), we felt the exact moment the precarious house of cards fell apart came when (no surprise at all) Glen opened his mouth in order to precociously intone upon Tonight’s Theme. “Why does everything turn to crap?” To which we yelled at our TV, “Not everything, Glen! Just everything you’re involved with!”

Two figures saved this episode for us: Don and Betty. And they did it because the writers drew on their histories and their well-established personalities. It’s a bit petty of us, but we did love that Betty got a moment to assert her superiority over Megan.  Of course Betty would use this moment of maternal bonding as a weapon to wield against Don’s “child bride.” She was a good mother to her daughter this episode, but she couldn’t resist calling up the new wife and slipping the knife in. Interesting to note that Betty’s first reaction to Sally’s news was to be authoritative and helpful, but not particularly concerned with her emotions. When Sally ran into her arms, it was so unexpected that Betty actually hesitated before hugging her back, with a slightly confused look on her face. Empathy simply doesn’t come easy to Betty, if it comes at all. Proving that she’s not quite the bitch fandom (and the show) sometimes paints her as, she came around for Sally and did right by her, explaining this change in her life by invoking not just her womanhood, but the future in general. It was a surprisingly heartfelt speech coming from her.

Don’s reaction to the news of Lane’s suicide – and the fact that his body was still hanging in his office – brought back all the guilt he felt when he drove his half brother to suicide by hanging back in Season 1. To be fair to Don, we don’t think he really has anything to feel guilty about. Knowing what we know about Lane’s life, Don’s firing looked terribly cruel, but from a business perspective, he was absolutely in the right to not accept his pleas for leniency. When the man you put in charge of your finances steals them by forging your name, there’s not an apology in the world that can smooth that one over. Don doesn’t like being lied to and he really doesn’t like it when someone uses his identity to do it. It wasn’t the money that got Lane fired; it was the forgery. That was something Don could simply never forgive. He did try to give him advice in the “it will shock you how much this never happened” mode, but Lane simply isn’t the kind of person who’s going to be stirred by Don’s hobo code philosophy. Peggy took that advice and ran with it, but Lane couldn’t bear the thought of facing the world after this.

But what’s more interesting was his reaction to Lane’s embezzlement in the first place: he stormed into Roger’s office, fired up with plans to land the biggest accounts available because he’s tired of this “piddly shit.” “You really don’t know when to be happy, do you?” Peggy pointedly asked him last week, and maybe that’s true, but in this instance, we can see why he’s frustrated. SCDP kicked ass on the Jaguar account but they’re still, as Don’s barber shop acquaintance characterized them, a “little” agency; where partners are forced to forge checks in order to cover their tax bills. In other words, Lane’s crime was a reflection on Don’s failure to forge the Cadillac of agencies. Had Don not written that Lucky Strike letter, SCDP might have been able to hand out bonuses to its employees instead of going through yet another round of belt-tightening. And while it was thrilling to see Don get all fired up (“I missed that guy,” said Roger, voicing the feelings of the audience), it bears noting that when Don is fired up, he can be an even bigger asshole than he normally is. He was ready to fire Kenny without a second thought. What he hadn’t counted on was the fact that Kenny has become a bit hardened during his time at SCDP and after watching Joan become a partner via prostitution and Peggy skipping out on him after they shared a pact with each other, it seems the happy-go-lucky accounts man with common sense is a lot more cutthroat than anyone realized. In fact, of all the developments last night, ruthless Kenny cutting Pete off at the knees while preserving his spot in the company may just be our favorite. Ken’s been the nice guy for too long and Pete’s just a shithead. Lane may have bowed out of the rat race, having succumbed to its ruthlessness, but life – and the race itself – goes ever on.

Much more to come in our Mad Style post later this week.

 

[Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/AMC]

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  • Sobaika

    As telegraphed as Lane’s death was, it was still so utterly heartbreaking to watch.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1084733830 Kate Andrews

      Exactly. And the attempt in the Jaguar was so pathetic. I’m so sad that Lane’s gone.

      • ccinnc

        I wonder if Joan would be considered as a replacement?

        • gsk241

          That’s what I was discussing with my husband – she’s not a silent partner.  Sterling Cooper Draper Harris has a nice ring to it.

          • http://twitter.com/jennawaterford Jennifer Ford

            Though I’d prefer Sterling Cooper Draper Holloway.

          • KateWo

            I doubt Pete will let her name on the building before his!

          • tallgirl1204

            My long-term scenario for the show is that Roger dies and leaves his shares to Joan… (maybe in the last episode).  I do hope she gets the promotion.  I can see the other partners just having her step into the role without a formal promotion (and of course, without the formal salary boost that goes with it).

          • snarkmeister

            In the “scenes from the next” – did you notice Joan mention that she got a letter (and she looked all freaked out about it too)?  My guess is that Lane sent her a letter before he died, and is leaving his shares to her, perhaps as atonement for his part in the pimping.  Although that little scene between the two of them in her office last night was nasty — he’s always admired and respected her before, but he talked to her like she was a cheap piece of ass. I’ll bet he felt bad about it, and about his role in her prostitution for Jaguar.

          • VanessaDK

             Lane always had this cluelessly crude side to him that came out periodically in comments and actions (playboy bunny girlfriend whom he took home to Dad; the girl with the wallet earlier this season, etc.)

            Why did his wife come back to him?  Staying in NY was based on his successful career, wasn’t it?  I can see his feeling he would nbever live it down.

          • Browsery

            Rachel’s character actually became more sympathetic as the series went on.  She didn’t want to be uprooted, and finally she made the move and was trying to support him.  Before this series it might have been hard for me to understand why a man would rather kill himself than tell his wife.

            And don’t forget the reaction of his father, who was a monster and who still had a bizarre influence over Lane.

          • Thundar99

            I suppose hearing, “You, bouncing on a beach in a Vulgar bikini.” in Lane’s ’60s English accent seems tame to my 2012 ears. But clearly Joan’s character was in agreement with you guys. That said,I think she was more apt to laugh a comment like that off and even taken it as an “admiration” compliment  before her Jaguar gambit.  Lane only said that though because he was a dead man walking and because while he may have been the only man to see Joan as a thinking individual as opposed to just a bombshell I can’t fault him for his expressing his dying crush for the complete package. 

            When she told him that she was planning a vacation, the way he responded with “Where are we going?” with such a tone of  wistful, romantic tenderness that it summed his feelings for her all up for me, Joan was his ideal (American) woman personified: whip-smart, strong, capable, pliant to male authority but not obsequious and, of course, drop-dead gorgeous. 

            As a big believer in two things can be the truth at the same time; i continue to believe that while Lane talked her into a partnership so as not to have to ask for another credit extension, he had already told her on more than one occasion that she was just as talented/qualified to be a partner as he was. In many ways he was the professional mentor that Joan never had which i think is why Lane was the only partner she kissed when they got the Jaguar account and why she was so affected by his death.  She knows that were it not for him and his belief in her that she might just be 50K richer but without her self-respect.

          • mr_apollo

            Yes, one of the things that makes me saddest about Lane’s death is that the scenes between he and Joan were my favorites this season (and last).

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PBXHSY5Q7EWYWGHNYDTM67ZPUA Alexander

             never paid too much attention to this show but i think i get whats going on. Lane deserves all the credit for what J did, even when J thought he was done because Lane gave him CPR (i remember one episode where Lane gave another guy CPR too). Adam Kithe, the producer i think, should have been on stage directing because he was a great actor behind the scenes.

          • sarahjane1912

            Lane, and his ‘cluelessly crude side’: brought to you by the great tradition of English Public Schools [by which, I obviously mean the private boys' schools to which one was sent at the tender age of 5 or thereabouts in Lane's era].

            Unlike many, I didn’t find Lane’s crudeness to be all that confronting; I have met — and dated — too many products of the British private school ‘system’ to assume that their gauche ineptitude with the opposite sex is down to the individual. Put 700 boys into a closed-door setting with bromide for breakfast and then unleash them on an unwitting public post-university, and the phrase ‘more than inappropriate in certain social situations’ has new meaning. It’s quite likely that Lane has NEVER come across a B-52 like Joanie, and indeed, his behaviour towards his ‘chocolate bunny’ and potential sex interest [in photograph girl] are indicative of that.

            And it’s not even exclusively a ‘class’ thing; Brit men are still fighting off the legacy of an age of intrinsically-male zones from the Smithfield meat markets to the board room. Lane is just one more example of that, imho.

          • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

            Reminds me of “If,” an excellent British film from 1968 that showed how brutal those schools can be.

          • sarahjane1912

            Oh gosh yes. Malcolm MacDowell. Memories flooding back. Gave me the chills that film.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PBXHSY5Q7EWYWGHNYDTM67ZPUA Alexander

             the wallet thing was so that it would stop hurting the persons ass. i know because i was there on the scene and the guy was literally say when he sat down first with it, owe, i cant sit with this thing riding my ass for 4 hours (or was it 3)? and he left. So that’s that.

            My advice to you is to not read TOO deep into things. I have a tendency to read into things too deep too. But the difference is I’m actually good at it, meaning I know what’s a realistic assumption that could be true and just a realistic assumption.

            I hoped you longtime watchers wouldnt think and see that its been a longtime trend that the guy doesnt sit with a wallet on his ass, and didnt think it was meant as a prop or tool to distract the truth that the viewers already know.

          • Browsery

            I think Lane would want his capital contribution to go to his wife and son.  

          • formerlyAnon

            Yes. In large part his suicide was because he failed them (male identity =  successful provider). He might want Joan to have more power in the partnership, and think she is capable of it, but I suspect anything with monetary value would go to his family.

          • http://twitter.com/sarahohmygod Sarah Oleksyk

             Lane and Joan did have a deeper connection than she had with any of the other partners – even Roger, whose capacity for deep connection is severely stunted. I bet her last words to Lane will ring in her ears later on – that the last interaction she had with him was so unpleasant (though perfectly warranted and understandable, as she was on high defensive alert to being treated like an object after her “arrangement” to make partner).

          • Browsery

            I got the impression that he was deliberately being vulgar to Joan.  It was another form of punishing himself as well as taking himself out of the mainstream of life as he prepared to kill himself.  He knew the reaction would be a rebuff from Joan.

          • Sweetbetty

             Plus he had just gulped down an entire glass of booze and had another one in his hand, so his judgement was undoubtedly a bit impaired.

          • Glammie

            He’s left a wife and child, it would be incredibly heartless to exclude them from his estate.  

            Though SCDP still has a shock coming–no one knows about Lane’s $50K loan.

          • Sarah Michaels

            I could see Lane doing that. Unless there was a smell in the room, Joan looked too freaked out when she couldn’t get the door open for her to not know something was going on.
            As much as I would love that for Joan, I hope he didn’t… Rebecca (his wife) is now a single mother…

          • JosephLamour

            Sterling Cooper Draper Campbell Holloway? Sterling Cooper Draper Campbell Harris? Maybe they should just change the name completely. LOL

          • joything

            My thought exactly.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PBXHSY5Q7EWYWGHNYDTM67ZPUA Alexander

             Sterline Cooper has a nice ring to it I give him that

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            No Campbell? Hmm… 

          • Chickadeep

            I would enjoy this for Joan, of course…but it would be even sweeter because you KNOW it would drive “I want my name on the door” Pete Campbell absolutely *insane*.

          • MilaXX

             But Pete would have a stroke if someone got their name added  before him.

          • formerlyAnon

            I’d watch that.

          • KittenKisses

             Couldn’t happen to a nicer git, frankly.

          • MilaXX

            True but I don’t see it happening unless Don does it just to piss Pete off and even then he’d have to rope the others into going along with it.

        • Jessi03

          That was my thought, too.  They wouldn’t have to pay a full extra person, so it would be cheaper.

        • jessicasac

          That’s what I said last week! I hope so!

        • Redlanta

           Maybe Don offers it to Peggy instead.  That would really teach Pete!!!

          • Sweetbetty

             Peggy couldn’t, and wouldn’t want to, take on Lane’s position.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/PBXHSY5Q7EWYWGHNYDTM67ZPUA Alexander

           is joan gone?

      • http://twitter.com/closetcoach Heidi/Closet Coach

        It was completely black gallows humor, too, after all of the previous episode jokes about how Jaguars don’t run (or start) very well.

        • filmcricket

          That was my thought as well. I must admit I chuckled.

        • filmcricket

          That was my thought as well. I must admit I chuckled.

        • MK03

          I must admit,  I laughed much too hard at that. Probably from the tension, but still…

        • http://asskickingadviser.com/ Ass Kicking Adviser

           I am so glad you mentioned that. I guffawed. I guess Mad Men won’t be getting any sponsorship dollars from Jaguar anytime soon. As soon as the scene was over a Mercedes commercial came on. ha!

          • JasmineAM

            Saw on Twitter last night that Jaguar is actually having fun with it. After Lane’s failed attempt the company’s account tweeted something like “At least it didn’t happen in the E-Type!”. Handled very well, in my opinion.

          • MilaXX

             They were tweeting last week as well.

          • Shelley K.

             We’re watching the show in the UK, where it airs a couple of days after the US, and to our amused surprise, Jaguar was a sponsor!

        • Sweetbetty

           And I’m sure it was going through Lane’s head that “I’m such a failure, I can’t even kill myself correctly”.

          • sarahjane1912

            .. which is why he made sure he ‘got it right’ the second time. The poor poor dear. And he probably wouldn’t have even blamed the car; he would definitely had blamed himself.

        • aesteve212

           I really found that scene hammy, not in a good way. If they are going to have Lane commit suicide this episode, why telegraph a joke in a meaningless scene. I know it makes Lane look bumbling, but we know that about him. We know jaguars are unreliable. It just felt cheap, and then he doesn’t even succeed at that moment? But maybe I’m just reacting at how sad I was at Lane’s downfall and subsequent death.

          • http://twitter.com/Neomeris Meredith M

            I agree. I’m glad I’m not the only one who found this humorous enough to laugh out loud. I tried to kill myself this spring. There’s really nothing fun about any of it, especially how trapped Lane must have felt by his failures.

          • carpediva

            I so hesitate to respond here as this is such extremely sensitive ground and I’m so sorry about whatever you went through that you arrived at that point, and so very glad that you’re still here to hang out and talk amongst us Bitter Kittens!

            But with any kind of fiction, writers are always at risk of offending real-life people with real-life experience of almost any situation, played for comic effect or otherwise.  There is probably someone out there whose loved one had a foot amputated in an accident and found that iconic scene incredibly painful.  Or maybe someone whose life was scarred by cults who took offense to the lightness of the Hare Krishna scenes recently. Or someone whose family was destroyed by infidelity finds it incredibly distasteful as we chuckle along with naughty Roger each week.
            I didn’t laugh in that scene with Lane and I can’t really imagine having that reaction personally; to me it just increased the pathos and I agonized for him. But I hope you might see that people who did laugh were still having a totally acceptable reaction to a piece of TV fiction, but that doesn’t mean that they would ever laugh at that pain in real life.

          • Chantelle James

            Meredith, I’m so sorry that you were at a point where suicide was the only option for you. I have been suicidal and it’s a terrible place to be. I am happy to see you here with us bitter kittens and I hope that things are getting better for you. 

            I saw the black humour in the car not starting and I also saw Lane’s interpretation that he failed at suicide attempts just as he (perceived himself to have) failed at everything else.

        • http://twitter.com/maschultz Margaret Schultz

          Ditto. As soon as he pressed the starter button, I knew the car wasn’t going to start.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

        I wonder if anyone will know that he tried to kill himself in the jaguar

        • suzq

          I suspect his tinkering with the engine rendered it unreturnable.  Poor Mrs. Price!

      • Megan Patterson

        I know! I was like “Noooo” and then two seconds later laughing because he couldn’t even kill himself right. I agree that Joan is probably going to take over his role.

        • boleyn28

          Pete’s name will be on the door before Joans. In my opinion anyway. In the recap of next week when Joan is in the elevator with Harry, and he asks if its true, I think he was asking if her partnership is true since he was in L.A. or something during the last couple of episodes.

          • harlowish

            Harry was back this episode.  He was one of the men in Pete’s office who looked over the partition to discover Lane’s body.

          • UsedtobeEP

            Or is he asking if HOW she got her partnership is true. Hope not.

          • boleyn28

            yes, thats even a better theory, i agree with yours : )

          • Browsery

            He would never ask her that directly.  It’s way more embarrassing than what he said about Megan behind her back and Joan is a partner.

      • librarygrrl64

        Pathetic and ironic. Jaguars really ARE crap cars. ;-)

        • TxMom2011

          I had to go yesterday and rescue my godson whose Jaguar was stalled on the side of the road.  I guess some things never change.

      • Browsery

        The scene with the Jaguar was such a deliciously sick joke.

      • Glammie

        Oh, okay, I admit it, I laughed when the Jaguar failed to work.  But I’ve always had a sense of gallows humor.  I suppose it’s because it’s been clear to me for weeks that Lane was the likely suicide, I wasn’t that emotionally engaged by it, sad though it was.  To me, the best scenes were the aftermath–the cutting down and the reactions of the partners.  Beautiful acting there. 

        • sarahjane1912

          Agree with the gallows humour of the failed-suicide-Jag-scene, but beg to differ on the aftermath. To me, it was a sop to the makeup artists. Not sure I needed to see Lane’s purple physog’ and still think it might have played better had we only had the suggestion of what had happened in his office. In fact, I would have liked to imagine How Lane Did It — was it slashed wrists? A hanging? An overdose of pills? What?! — which could have lead to all sorts of BK assumptions!! *GRIN*

          • Glammie

            To me the aftermath was less about the corpose than the range of emotional reactions we saw.  

            Also, I think by seeing the body, there’s something concrete to which everyone’s reacting.  I don’t think the reactions would register the way they did if we didn’t see the three men trying to handle getting Lane down.  And I think it’s very, very interesting that Don finally bit the bullet in a sense and looked Lane’s death straight in the eye in a way he never did with Adam’s (in which he was more culpable–Don’s cowardice led to Adam’s despair.)

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/PBXHSY5Q7EWYWGHNYDTM67ZPUA Alexander

        same. just saw some strawmans on the way home and it mad me feel sick

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/4KLZGI7NMQE2LQDYYSMPFXANW4 Uche

      I never suspected Lane of being the one to die until last week. Before that, I figured it’d be Betty (Make an interesting plotline.Don would obviously have to take the children in and become a larger part of their lives.And besides that she barely appears anymore). Or even Roger, who’s been utterly useless anyway. He’d probably end up leaving his fortune to Joan or something.)

      Lane’s death was sad, but it didn’t grip me in the same way it would with a character we really knew about. It never felt like we delved into his character enough. 

      • 3boysful

         I simply will not allow them to off Roger–he has all the best quips!

      • jessicasac

        It was really clear. Any attempt to make it seem like Pete just didn’t work.

        • Browsery

          I didn’t think it was obvious.

      • Browsery

        Lane was one of my favorite characters and I was very moved by his death.  He wasn’t exactly an Everyman, but he didn’t have the advantages of great looks, charisma, or background that the other partners had and yet he managed to be essential to the firm and seemed really to be developing as a person because he was freed from the restraints of his English upbringing.  He also could be quite charming and caring, but he had his flaws, too (obviously).  

        A well-written character.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=655662987 LElizabeth CheyenneAgain

         Betty has barely appeared this season due to January Jones’ pregnancy.  There was some talk earlier about how the writers had to come up with a new story line to accommodate Jones’ changing body and voila Weight Watchers entered the scene.

    • Spicytomato1

      I agree. The fact that he couldn’t even get it right the first time, in the car, just added to the heartbreak for me.

      • Sobaika

        That we were watching his entire attempt from start to finish was really brutal. And his initial attempt was so… pathetic. 

        Whatever. I choose to remember Lane as the man who punched out Pete Campbell. No one can take that away from him!

        • MissAnnieRN

          Haha! Agreed. When he was begging for his job and sniveling with Don, I was totally wanting him to say “but I’m the one who had the balls to punch that grimy little bastard! Who will keep him in check now?”

          • suzq

            Trudy!

          • CozyCat

            Ken

        • MissAnnieRN

          I was also surprised we didn’t see Lane parsing through insurance documents to see whether or not he had a suicide clause. So I guess I was surprised by some things last night!

          • terekirkland

             If he had the same insurance benefits as Pete, then I think we the audience can assume he did.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

            But didn’t the insurance agent tell Pete, “That pays the company, not your family?”

          • CozyCat

            But he resigned.  Would that invalidate the insurance contract?  (since he’s no longer with the firm).  Or is the insurance for particular people, and not just insuring “the partners.”

          • VanessaDK

            Maybe that is WHY he resigned first. So the company wouldn’t benefit. In fact, maybe he sold the whole company to Ted Chauogh before he died…..that’s a legacy!

          • http://profiles.google.com/ameliaheartsu Amelia Logan

            I’m not so sure his resignation will be accepted out of respect. If not he is still covered by the insurance.

          • MK03

            Well, he was leafing through some papers at home before he tried to kill himself in the Jag. Perhaps they were insurance papers?

          • ballerinawithagun

            I think Lane was going through insurance papers when his wife kept bothering him about taking the Jag out for a spin.

          • Browsery

            1) Pete bought personal life insurance in the earlier episode.
            2) Most policies have suicide clauses of two year.  Lane has probably had his insurance for over two years.
            3) Resigning his position wouldn’t necessarily invalidate his firm insurance, if he has it.  It would depend on how the policy is written.

            I assumed that whatever paperwork he prepared was to protect his wife and son’s financial futures.

          • Glammie

            Pete actually mentions the suicide clause–so, yes, Lane’s tenure was over it.  (I think it was three years.)

            I wonder if we’ll see more of Lane’s wife.  She’s a well-known actress, so it’s quite possible we’ll see a little more of her.

        • ballerinawithagun

          I loved the punching out of Pete also. I thought that would be the end of Lane’s suicidal tendencies and he would come forth as a man. I would have preferred that story as this seemed rather predictable, but who knows what they have in store for us. 

          • http://profiles.google.com/ameliaheartsu Amelia Logan

            Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Zombie Lane!

        • jessicasac

          Agreed! Lane had so much dignity, Pete will always be a grimy little pimp who loves himself too much to kill himself.

      • AuntieAnonny

        I think there was a lot more to the first attempt failing than “can’t even get that right”. In the last few episodes they’ve always made a point of mentioning that Jags are unreliable, and the tagline “At last, something beautiful you can truly own.” Life isn’t always a beauty, and Lane wanted a refund.

        Lane, like a Jaguar, is unreliable, or something.

        • Spicytomato1

          Yes, I agree. It wasn’t just that he couldn’t get it right, he ironically couldn’t even rely on the Jaguar to help him get it right.

          • boleyn28

            the Jaguar had already been refered to as a lemon and that it should come with a tool kit cause they never start, so that was funny that the account that fucked him over financially also fucked him over personally (at least in his mind).

          • jessicasac

            So true

      • VanessaDK

        Probably solidified his determination to die rather than return to England, where Jaguar was the “best of British engineering”

    • siriuslover

      It really was tragic.

    • MK03

      It was gutting. Yes, even though they’ve been telegraphing a death all season and it was clear that it would be Lane from the start of the episode, it was still heartwrenching. I don’t feel this is a failure on the show’s part at all. It didn’t feel forced or contrived; they’ve been setting up Lane’s misery at home since last season, and he’s never really been happy at work. I still would have preferred to see Pete get thrown out a window, but they’ve been going in this direction for a long time. 

      • Glammie

        Well, Pete is slime, but Pete is plot-moving, entertaining slime.  Lane just isn’t as useful a character as Pete.  There was really nowhere for him to go, so they offed him–and Jared Harris got not just a death scene, but multiple death scenes.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PBXHSY5Q7EWYWGHNYDTM67ZPUA Alexander

       hey noticed your name means gold. not sure if it says that because you married into a name and got one or if you’re referring to your daddy’s name meaning gold probably for having such a cutie like you. I am confused, but I can’t imagine a situation where a guy dating or not dating you adopts that usage afterwards. i had a friend like that and felt like sharing sorry

  • http://twitter.com/pollatadana dana fields

    I believe you mean “opaque” not “obtuse”…

  • luciaphile

    Great review as usual. One incredibly minor nit, Adam was Don’s half-brother. Not his stepbrother. Adam’s father was Archie, same as Don’s was. 

  • Ruth Poulsen

    Great analysis, as always. I too was cheering for Betty’s redeeming moment–after her tirade against Sally at the beginning of the episode, I was thinking, “oh no, not another “evil Betty” episode to get the internet abuzz.

    Your thinking is great, but it’s your writing that’s pitch-perfect! I’ll keep checking back till you post the Mad-Style for the week.

    • VanessaDK

       Maybe it is me, but I thought her call to Don asking permission to strangle Sally, was a great,funny,  human, interlude between the two of them as parents of a budding teenager.  I didn’t see that as Evil Betty at all.

      • Jessi03

        Me, too.  I thought it was pretty hilarious, actually, and I wondered if Sally was sitting right there to hear it.

        • slubird

           Pretty heavy-handed that she mentioned strangling Sally and Don asked if that would actually solve her problems…

          • mousetomato

            Interesting, that the episode revolved around strangulation, both as an idea, and in actual fact.

      • emcat8

        I can’t even count how many times I overheard conversations like that with my mom and neighbor moms, or to my dad, when I was growing up. I just loved it. It reminded me of the more human Betty we got in the earliest episodes.

      • Redlanta

         Now she realizes sally has viscous PMS!  If they sync up there will be terror in that household!  LOL!  I do find it fascinating that, no matter how much Sally adores Don, she really is taking on a lot of Betty’s traits.  The snobbishness of hand-me-downs, to her trying to manipulate poor gay Glenn!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lindsay-Maki/100003637687787 Lindsay Maki

      I liked that Betty being a good mother was more shocking to the audience than Lane killing himself. 

    • JulieTy

      I was happy about “Betty’s redeeming moment” too, but couldn’t help thinking how different it would have been/will be when she finds out Sally was alone with Glen.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/W7A5N4G7FDTV5U2KOHBVSB55XI Basket

    Ken is the man. 

    • AudreysMom

       Great review. I needed some help with this episode -searching for connections from three obviously powerful stories. I just hope Roger keeps his promise to Ken. It was a great bit of Kenny being a player for once (and within his character’s development) but Roger never shook his hand and well, business as SCDP is business.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        Roger hates Pete, he’ll keep his word.

        • Glammie

          Plus, Kenny’s FIL is involved, so once Kenny’s on the account, there will no kicking him off.  

          I loved just how efficient Kenny was about Pete off at the knees.  Quiet payback for Pete’s treatment of him last season.  

          But, damn, representing Dow is the deal with the devil in the middle of the Vietnam War.

          • formerlyAnon

             Peggy’s Abe (but for how long?) would say that advertising is a deal with the devil, period. ;-)

      • Christy Moravitz

        I just really love Kenny this season. Always have, really, but especially lately.

        • girliecue

          Me too! Ken has always had an innate decency and ethical code, even back in the days when he was trying to get secretaries to show their underwear (hey, he was fresh-out-of-college young back then). This season he has superbly demonstrated how a decent man acts when not allowed to be decent. He still adhered to his own code of ethics; he just stopped being nice when Roger and Pete weren’t playing nice with him. Hurray, Kenny Cosgrove for letting the world know just because someone is nice doesn’t make them a doormat!

    • Jennifer Coleman

      I actually thought Ken was not being cutthroat in a business sense, but just not wanting to be associated with Pete, who he now despises due to the Joan business. Although, Ken has historically had more business success than Pete when they were equals and if Ken wants to go toe to toe with Pete now because of that disgust, I’d put my money on Ken.

      • filmcricket

        Yes, I think his attitude has mostly to do with Pete. Roger wanted to screw Pete earlier in the season, but he really doesn’t have the stick-to-itiveness to do that long-term. Ken’s clearly good at his job and has more potential to do better at it than Pete does (although he may be hampered by not being one of the bosses).

        • Glammie

          If Ken has deep hooks into SCDP’s biggest account, which he would if it were Dow, he doesn’t need to be partner to have clout.  

          Ken’s never been as emotionally needy as Pete, which means he can stand back and be objective about a sitauation.  He’s also good at negotiating around possible pitfalls–i.e. building a successful, pseudonymous writing career–and being sharp enough not to rub it anyone’s face.  He’s good at reading people without letting people know it.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

        oh I think he hated Pete long before the Joan business….

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1084733830 Kate Andrews

          Yes. When Ken came to SCDP, Pete had that little “sit-down” with him about who exactly was the boss — even someone as mild-mannered as Ken would dislike that. I think Peggy’s leaving also made him realize that  he had to look out for himself. 

          • grouchywif

             Not to mention, Ken thinks Pete blabbed about his writing at the office, getting him that reprimand to stop doing it. Ken has despised Pete for a long time.

          • Redlanta

             I was wondering why he so despised Pete.  Thank you for reminding me!

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

            Pete’s been a dick to Ken even back in Sterling Cooper days.  Remember how pissy he was when they split the Head of Accounts job between them?  He wanted to start a bitter rivalry, and Ken was like, ‘whatever, this is a great opportunity for both of us.’

        • Jennifer Coleman

          I think he thought Pete was a jerk and saw his insecurity for what it was, but he didn’t feel the necessity of engaging with him. Now, however, he feels Pete crossed a line and will either totally avoid working with him or aggressively compete with or sabotage him at work. We’ll see which one!

      • http://twitter.com/latxcvi LaT

        I think it was a little of both: Ken asserting himself (and being smart enough to recognize that he could be treated like a liability – and thus canned – if he didn’t play along) professionally while *also* sticking it to Pete.  If it was just about Pete, he wouldn’t have thrown in that comment about letting something slip to Cynthia; he was taking care of himself professionally as well.

      • Sweetpea176

        Does Ken know about the Joan business?  I don’t imagine that any of the partners would be talking about it.

        • Sweetpea176

          Oh, nevermind. Downthread they’ve reminded me that Ken was in the original meeting w/the Jaguar exec.

      • Redlanta

         I wasn’t aware he knew about the Joan deal.  But with office gossip it makes sense…

        • Jennifer Coleman

          Plus he was there when the guy made the request/demand & Pete waffled on it. He thought the deal was dead, then SDCP gets the account at the same time Joan is promoted to partner. He can put 1+1+1+1 together….

    • Snarky_Amber

      I had to immediately rewind that scene and watch it again. I was not expecting Ken to roll in so gangsta because he’s usually such a nice guy, but I’m glad to see him play hardball. That line about not wanting to be a partner because he knows what it entails was fantastic.

      • Sweetbetty

         And it wasn’t lost on Roger either.

      • sweetlilvoice

        The concept of gangsta and Ken fills me with giggles. Love that image!

      • http://twitter.com/latxcvi LaT

        Agreed 100%.  That little scene between Ken and Roger was probably my favorite moment in the whole episode.  The utter hard, coldness with which Ken said “Pete doesn’t sit in on any of the meetings,” absolutely *thrilled* me.

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      It’s interesting that both Ken and Pete have father-in-laws with connections to big accounts, yet the way they have gone after these accounts is so different.

    • baxterbaby

      The Ken and Roger scene garnered a little standing ovation of two in my house last night.  Little Kenny Cosgrove is our palate cleanser; while he may not be a perfect Sir Galahad, he offers the much welcome relief of decency.

      • JulieTy

        Amen!!

    • Chaiaiai

      You know, I wonder if Ken knows about Pete and Peggy?  He’s smart enough to put it together…..

  • http://twitter.com/jennawaterford Jennifer Ford

    My mom and I were talking about Lane’s death, and it seemed so pathetic even for Lane — he was determined to hurt *someone*, first by using the car his wife proudly gifted him which would have been extra-devastating for her and then by rubbing it in the office’s face and forcing them to deal with the clean-up. He used his suicide to be spiteful — very much like how he was treating Joan after she rejected his advances. Lane was someone who seemed nice until you dared to let him know you thought he was, and then he seemed as determined to prove you wrong.

    You’re in New York, Lane. Do everyone a favor and jump off a bridge.

    • http://twitter.com/AbbottRabbit AbbottRabbit

      And doing it in the car would’ve been a screwgie to the firm, too, since it was a Jaguar. 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UCLO5V2YD36T7QMPKOC7YXPOFU Erica

        Yeah, but did no one else laugh when the Jaguar wouldn’t start?  My husband and I fell out, since this was Bert’s complaint about the car from the beginning.  And I was then a little surprised after the hanging.  I thought it was kinda clever, since I thought maybe after the 1st attempt failed, he had had time to reflect and change his mind.

        • http://twitter.com/closetcoach Heidi/Closet Coach

          Yes! Just made a comment above re: the gallows humor of it.

        • http://twitter.com/AbbottRabbit AbbottRabbit

          Oh, I cracked up — especially since so much of the chat leading up to the pitch was about how unreliable they were. 

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          Yes and yes.

        • Mefein

           Yes, I let out an involuntary chuckle, too, and also at Don’s, “I don’t want Jaguar, I want Chevy!”  That car had such a reputation for crappy electronics basically until Ford bought them out.  My son is an auto mechanic, and he loves to get old cars and fix them up.  He put his first new engine in a car when he was 16, and he’s always scouring junkyards.  Well, anyway, he recently bought for next to nothing an old Jaguar from the eighties.  And the thing is in really great shape and absolutely stunning, burgundy leather, wood paneling.  Gorgeous.  But it’s like I think Roger said, you don’t want to have it as your only car.  He takes it for short trips around town, but when he really wants to go somewhere pulls out his equally old BMW!

        • http://www.facebook.com/lenoradody Lenora Dody

           Oh, I totally laughed at that because it’s such a thing about how unreliable Jaguar’s used to be. As soon as he started to go to all of the trouble to set it up, I knew the car wouldn’t start.

      • suzq

        It turned out to be impossible, because it was a Jaguar.

    • sarahjane1912

      Oh wow … have to disagree [with apologies]. I don’t think Lane was trying to hurt anyone by using the Jag as his exit strategy; he just wanted out. And hurting Rebecca? For all Lane’s issues [not to mention his sexual incontinence, and his lies to his wife during their marriage] at the end, I thought he was as accommodating as he could be under the circumstances. 

      And it speaks highly of their relationship, to my mind, that she doesn’t recoil from him when he throws up in the carpark; while she’s disgusted, I thought she seemed more sympathetic than anything else. Lane, too, rather than lashing out at her when she informs him he is taking her out, gives in to her. That’s the action of a broken man, certainly, but one who is still trying to please his wife.

      I saw no spite in Lane’s suicide or the way in which he did it. I saw his death as the actions of a desperate man who had no out-clause. None whatsoever. His pride his battered, his life — as he sees it, despite Don’s assurance to contrary — is over. In a series replete with — especially this series, as TLo have pointed out — heavy-handed symbolism [or something like it!] it’s nevertheless somewhat facile to interpret the Jag as something more than it is and Lane’s appropriation of it as some sort of F-U to his wife and the world … but it’s just a car. A car that doesn’t work well. A car that didn’t do the job. So Lane did the next best thing and chose hanging. Had he really wished to hurt Rebecca, he could have done the deed at home but at least he saved her that much. 

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        It also seems like a relatively painless way to do it, as opposed to jumping out of a window or hanging yourself.
        Or as I expected, crashing the Jaguar.

      • Snarky_Amber

        You don’t think the boilerplate resignation as a suicide note was a direct and giant Fuck You to Don Draper? Because I sure as hell do. The way he did it basically said, “This is on YOU, Don.”

        • ccinnc

           Exactly how I saw it.

        • MK03

          Yeah, doing it in the office and leaving a letter of resignation was a huge “Fuck you” to Don and the company as a whole. Lane was the consummate company man, after all. The thing is, I don’t think he necessarily intended it to be that way. I think he was mostly looking for a place where he wouldn’t be disturbed (the parking garage, the empty office). Now, if he had really intended to tell the office to fuck right off, I think he would have chosen Don’s office.

          • LesYeuxHiboux

             I think it’s worth noting that he was hanging on the back of the door, inoffensive as a coat, out of the way. Not in the center, even in his own office. Was he hung by his own tie, too?

          • MK03

            I don’t think so. It looked like a rope. But yes, even in death he was unobtrusive. 

          • MImi Taylor

            His deliberate staging spoke volumes of how much he thought about dying.  He also locked the door, knowing that someone would have to take the added step of finding the keys to discover him.  I wonder if he meant for it to be Joan – whom he arguably cared about the most in the office.  As the operations manager, she has the key-keeper in the office.

          • Sweetbetty

             I assumed he locked the door so it would be one of the high-ranking members of the agency that found him and not a lowly secretary or other person on that level.

            What exactly was he hanging from?  It wasn’t just a coat hook on the back of the door, was it?

          • MImi Taylor

            He popped a ceiling tile from the grid and tied a rope to the bracing above…that’s the only way his weight would have been supported. In an interview, Jarred Harris stated that the 3 actors – Pete, Roger, and Don – had never seen him hanging until they shot the scene so that the shock on their faces would be more genuine.

          • Sweetbetty

             Ah, thank you for that info.  So in theory Lane could have hung himself almost anywhere in his office but chose to do it where it would interfere with opening the door.  Unlocking the door and walking unsuspectingly into the office to find him hanging from the center of the ceiling would have been much more shocking and traumatic for the finder than the way Lane did set it up.

          • MissusBee

            Two words: ‘elegant exit’. As soon as Don said them, I knew Lane was done for. The E-type was his idea of an elegant plan A. But it was denied Lane, as other elegant things in life, and his exit was both banal and ugly.

          • LesYeuxHiboux

             I think it’s worth noting that he was hanging on the back of the door, inoffensive as a coat, out of the way. Not in the center, even in his own office. Was he hung by his own tie, too?

        • sarahjane1912

          I don’t think Lane thinks that way. Of course, he completely lost it, begging for redemption — which Don rejected — but in fact, nothing about Lane’s suicide could be pinned on Don [in the eyes of the office]. And if Lane wanted Don to ‘own’ the guilt over his [Lane's] suicide, then there were far more obvious ways to do so. 

          I also don’t think that Lane is in a position to think that Don COULD feel guilty about it — he doesn’t know about the Dick/Don backstory for starters; Don, despite having dropped the ball in the office of late, is still the ultimate American success story to the Englishman — and Lane is so broken by this stage, I don’t know that he has an agenda to pursue post-suicide. That’s just my take on it, of course!

          • formerlyAnon

              “and Lane is so broken by this stage, I don’t know that he has an agenda to pursue post-suicide”

            This.

        • greenwich_matron

          I think he may have written the resignation to cause problems with the company receiving the death benefit from his insurance. The company was the beneficiary, so they may have trouble collecting it if he wasn’t an employee at the time of his death. That way the partners have to come up with the cash to buy his share from his estate.

          • Snarky_Amber

            But don’t most life insurance policies have a clause preventing payment in the event of a suicide anyway?

          • greenwich_matron

            It expires after two years. Pete mentioned that it had expired to his train buddy before he hooked up with his wife.

          • Snarky_Amber

            Ohhhh, good catch. I can’t wait for w rainy day when this season wraps where I can curl up and watch it all the way through again and pick up on stuff like that I missed.

          • Sweetbetty

             I just asked a question about that very thing and the fact that Don, Roger, Pete, and Ken (was Ken there?) are the only ones who know about the letter and could very easily act as if it never existed.  Another horrid secret to bind them together.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

             Ken wasn’t there – it was the partners, Don, Roger, Pete, Cooper, and Joan.

          • sopranomom

            Yes, yes, thank-you for this explanation.  I thought there was some connection with the timing of his death by suicide and the date on the resignation letter.  His life insurance policy had a clause about suicide after two years of employment but the benefit would go to the company, not him as pointed out by Beth’s husband to Pete in an earlier episode.

        • CozyCat

          Everything he did was a big F-you to someone.

          –he insults Joan over her sexuality

          –his first attempt utilizes the expensive car that his wife just bought him

          –his successful attempt is in the office–and he leaves a resignation rather than a suicide note.

          His story was tragic, but he ended his life in a way determined to get back at the people that he saw as responsible.

          • Glammie

            Yep.  He resents being caught embezzling.  He never really takes responsibility for his bad judgment.  He kind of blames everybody else.  And he never confesses to the $50K having been borrowed.

          • JulieTy

            Excellent point, and very important in assessing Lane’s state of mind/motives, I think.

          • Glammie

            Yep.  I mean the whole tragedy could have been avoided if he’d just ‘fessed up to his wife that they didn’t have the money for private school and they’d have to make do for a while.  He never is honest with his wife.

          • asympt

            Or, as Don said, if he hadn’t been too proud to tell Don about his straits, Don could have floated him the money.  But either prospect read as “humiliation” to him.

          • formerlyAnon

             Maybe because I’ve wanted Lane to pull his life together and be happy (or at least content) dammit! for a long time, I saw most of that as simply emotional lashing out, born of his unrelenting misery, rather than a series of carefully thought out gestures.

          • Glammie

            But Lane’s never honest enough with himself or anyone else to be able to do that.  He embezzled because he lied to his wife about their financial situation.  He’s always lied about how he felt to himself and others–he was timid thanks to his abusive father.

            Bizarrely, he’s actually *less* honest than Don and Roger.  Don is capable of a certain amount of emotional truth–it’s never complete–but enough so that he knew enough to be more honest with Megan about his past than he was with Betty.  

            Roger, meanwhile, is weirdly honest.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to give a damn about anything, but he can just come out with it.

          • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

            I read his insult to Joan as a liquor-fueled knee-jerk reaction.  Here he’s just been told to resign and Joan, perky, is talking about her upcoming trip to Hawaii or the Bahamas.  Lane’s in financial straits and Joan’s had a windfall (granted, at great personal cost), as a direct result of Lane’s advice.  That’s got to sting.

        • rainwood1

          I thought the resignation note (assuming there aren’t other notes to other people spelling out what actually happened) was Lane trusting Don with the secret of his embezzlement, and leaving on the terms Don requested and with some of his reputation still intact.  I saw it as s a posthumous quid pro quo, Lane did what Don asked and is now counting on Don to do what he promised.   

          • Snarky_Amber

            I guess that’s another way to interpret it – well supported. :)

          • Sweetpea176

             That’s how I read it.

          • sarahjane1912

            That’s … a fantastic view of it. Thanks, rainwood1. :-)

      • Girl_With_a_Pearl

        Agree sarahjane1912 and just want to add that Lane’s action was all very British:  the stiff upper lip, man of honor, take the gentlemanly way out.  It was a complete contrast to Don’s very American advice of starting over and re-inventing yourself, which is of course exactly what Don did himself.  

        • sopranomom

          Yes, exactly.

      • Sweetbetty

         I can go along with some of that but his first choice was to kill himself in the car and who would have been most likely to find him?  Perhaps it would have been by some early-riser going to the garage for his own car but I suspect it would have been his wife.  She’d awake to find him gone and go to check if he finally drove the car, her gift to him.  When that didn’t work out and he chose the office he knew it would be one of the management members that found him since he had locked the door and only one of them would have the key.  I do believe he wanted to get the message across to them that it was the business that drove him to it.  Otherwise he could have jumped off a bridge or in front of a subway train or any number of other ways that wouldn’t have been at home, in his car, or in his office.

        • Qitkat

          I thought that the whole suicide scenario was where the writers could have been a little more subtle. Even though it was telegraphed heavily exactly what was happening, after the failed Jaguar attempt, they could have shown him walking away from the garage, and leaving it there. Not showing him come in early to the office. Then we as viewers wouldn’t have known where he had gone until the office was unlocked, well, tried to be opened by Joan. I assume that it was normal to lock an office at the end of every day.

        • http://twitter.com/latxcvi LaT

          Agree with all of this. If Lane hadn’t wanted to lash out after-the-fact, he would’ve committed suicide somewhere that none of the people in his daily life (his wife, his partners/co-workers) would have had to deal with the literal physical aftermath of it.  He would’ve gone to a hotel or, like you said, jumped off a bridge or in front of a subway train.  He would’ve done it somewhere where the clean-up would’ve been the responsibility of people who were strangers to him rather than what he chose – two places that ensured the people in his life would have to see it/deal with it almost immediately.

          • Michelle Hoppen

             I actually don’t agree. As someone who’s been pretty depressed myself, I think he was just looking for the easiest and least painful way out. Asphyxiation and hanging are two of the least violent ways to do it–if he was scared (like many suicides are) he might not have had the courage for a subway train or bridge. The office and Jag were just the easiest places to go.

          • sarahjane1912

            Yup, I’m with you. He chose what he assumed would be a perfect option and then took his next ‘obvious’ option via hanging-on-his-office-door. To observers, perhaps not the neatest of exits, but to Lane, it was getting the deed done. Moreover, it may not have even occurred to him that a train/bridge was a possibility. He is, after all, an Englishman in New York, still an alien, and the ‘personal’ — regardless of whom it might hurt — was the most likely way possible.

      • VanessaDK

         Ironically, it will have to get out that he hanged himself in his office.  Everyone on Madison Ave. will know, and the firm will have to have a story as to why he did it.  It would have been easier to cover up a simple embezzlement.

      • Libby Rhoman

        But don’t they have another car?  He was complaining about how he’d rather take a cab when she surprised him with the Jag.  If he hadn’t meant it as a reproach to his wife, why did he try it in the car her didn’t even want to drive?

        • Sweetbetty

           I don’t know that they did have another car.  Many people in NYC don’t own cars.  And if they did have one, maybe she used it as a trade-in on the Jag?  Though it seems Lane would have had to sign some paperwork for that.  The whole situation of her buying him a car is bothersome to me, frankly.  Last week we were discussing Megan not talking over with Don the fact that she’d be in Boston for three months and here’s another wife, who earns no money of her own, just going out and buying an expensive car as a surprise to her husband, who has given small hints to her that money is tight.

          • TheDivineMissAnn

             I agree.  The first thing I thought of when Lane’s wife announced she had gotten him a car was, if they are short on money, why would she go out and do that?  She might not have known to what extent they were in financial trouble, but you would think she would have some inkling of it.  A car – at least to me – is a big purchase!

      • Glammie

        I have to disagree.  Killing himself will devastate his wife and son.  No such thing as a considerate suicide–particularly when you’re the family’s sole breadwinner AND you’ve essentially stranded them in a foreign country far from family.  Lane avoided conflict and emotional honesty with his wife.  That’s not niceness, it’s evasion.

        And I’m with Snarky Amber down below–the office suicide with the boilerplate resignation was a big FU to Don and the other partners.

        Fact is, Don really did have to fire Lane–and Lane never did own up to all that he’d done–getting the $50K loan as well as embezzlement and forgery.  Don *did* offer him more of an out than he had to–he was willing to let Lane resign and cover the loan.  Lane was free to make another try without a black mark (or conviction) on his record.

        But for Lane that wasn’t enough.  He isn’t nearly as tough as the other characters–he never knew how, really, to pick up, move on and reinvent himself.  He loved America, but he wasn’t really enough of an American to have that gift for reinvention.  

        • Michelle Le

          EVASION, YES. he evaded his taxes, his wife, his father, the truth, etc. 
          i absolutely agree that there is no such thing as a considerate suicide, nor do i find it “gentlemanly”. while i do feel for Lane, the person i felt the most sorry for in this episode was Don. the way it ended, with Don teaching Creepy Glen how to drive, that kind of made me smile. 

    • filmcricket

      It’s been discussed before exactly what class Lane is from, with some folks thinking he’s upper-crust and others thinking he’s probably more middle class. But either way, there was a time when suicide would have been seen as the honourable way out of a situation like Lane’s for anyone who either had or made claim to a public school code of ethics. Especially given what we know about the suicide clause in his insurance policy, he probably felt this was the best thing he could do for his wife, rather than asking her to return to England with him in disgrace.

      • http://twitter.com/jennawaterford Jennifer Ford

        I think Lane was someone who often did the “right” things for the worst reasons (and the wrong things for self-justifying “right” reasons — for example, the embezzlement). There is plenty of evidence that his relationship with his wife was complicated and that while he may have loved her, he didn’t really like her. I don’t doubt he was priding himself on doing everything right by her as he prepared for his death, but as with his putting the moves on Joan just when she’d confessed to admiring him for his apparent goodness in comparison to the other partners, there was an underlying entitlement and resentment to it all, too.

        • formerlyAnon

           I’d go so far as to say that he’d been so damaged & undermined by his childhood (and continuing) relationship with his father, that there’s a maelstrom of emotional currents pushing him along. He was always going to have a tendency to lose confidence in himself at critical junctures, he was chronically depressed by the time he committed suicide, a lot of the time he has seemed to undermine himself, whether because that’s what he does, or because he doesn’t quite ‘get’ the milieu he’s in, hard to say. 

      • Sweetbetty

         But will his wife receive anything from his insurance policy?  It’s been discussed here before that the partners’ company life insurance benefits would go to the company, not the family, and Lane, of all people, should have known that.  If he didn’t have any private life insurance he may have left his wife and son destitute.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

          Am wondering this as well – it might come out in the finale?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

        His father was a salesman. Given Lane’s many comments about class (“this is the first time no one has asked me what school I went to,”) I suspect he grew up middle-class, aspired for more, and could never achieve it given the strict class system in place in Britain at the time. That was why he found America so liberating – while of course we had (and still have) a class system, it is (arguably) less rigid than what was in place in Britain, at least in the 1960s. In the US, Lane had a sense that he could be anyone and do anything he liked – which was why the prospect of losing his visa was so devastating to him.

      • Libby Rhoman

        Yes, it was quite an old-fashioned British pride thing to do- I immediately thought of some English 20s era detective stories in which the criminal is allowed to off himself after being confronted by the detective.

        • baxterbaby

          And 30′s and 40′s (also in American detective fiction, before the “hard-boiled” school came in).  I’ve immersed myself in Ngaio March, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Margarey Allingham and Elizabeth Daly in the past year, and I was amazed by how many criminals  escaped trial, imprisonment and hanging by being “allowed” to commit suicide by a gentlemen detective (especially if the murderer is a woman).

          • formerlyAnon

             Excellent reading list there!

          • Libby Rhoman

            I was thinking specifically about Peter Wimsey, but no one ever knows who that is, so…yeah.  Glad you knew what I was talking about!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4KLZGI7NMQE2LQDYYSMPFXANW4 Uche

    Glen being Matt’s son explains so, so much. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/W7A5N4G7FDTV5U2KOHBVSB55XI Basket

       I don’t understand why he is not made to do theatre camp.  There is one right there in Malibu, a Shakespeare focused camp.  It would do wonders for one’s acting skills.

      • marishka1

        How do you know he hasn’t? And THIS is the improvement!

        • Sweetbetty

           LOL!  I was thinking the same thing.  He could have years of acting lessons under his belt yet this is the best he can do.  Hate to diss a kid, but Matt, this is your livelihood. 

    • MK03

      Every time Glen’s in an episode, I get this huge creepy vibe from him. And nothing ever really comes of it. I realized last night that the root cause isn’t the character, it’s Marten Weiner’s completely affectless acting. 

      • VanessaDK

         As an exercise — try imagining Fred Savage (from Wonder Years) playing Glen.  Same plots, same lines, …WAY less creepiness…

        • Liverpoolgirl

          I loved the Wonder Years…..Glen is much too dark and creepy a character.  I am always afraid for Sally when he is around.  

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

            I don’t mind the ‘creepy kid’ storyline, but agree about poor Martin Weiner’s acting. A better young actor playing the creepy kid would give said creepy kid more dimension.

          • sopranomom

            I just want to add that I think there is something consistent with the character of Glen Bishop and the acting talents of the young man who has been chosen to play him.  Glen comes off more peculiar, and sweetly/sadly naive this way.  Whether it was done on purpose is probably up for discussion. 

    • http://twitter.com/vickiboardman Vicki Boardman

      Oh dear, maybe mouth-breathing Leo from Smash is Weiner’s other son?? If they’re not related, then I reckon they went to the same theater camp.

  • http://www.deborahwiles.com/ GoodSally

    I read this nodding. So good. Thanks. I agree with every point you make except one. I don’t buy for a minute that Lane would have embezzled from the company. It was a convenient plot point that led to Joan becoming a partner. It wasn’t earned until the scene last night between Don and Lane in Don’s office when Lane’s deepest feelings — and justifications! — about his situation were so passionately revealed, but by then it was too late.

    Still, stellar, stellar show.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

      ? He DID embezzle from the company, and I thought it was completely within character and I thought it was only tangential to the Joan partnership. He is a weasel and always has been. I think his feelings and justifications were well built throughout his storyline in a very British way. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Janice-Bartels/100000059651359 Janice Bartels

         I didn’t have a problem believing that he would embezzle from SCDP. This isn’t the first time he’s screwed over an employer, after all. Harris is an amazing actor, to pull off such a shaded character as sympathetic.

    • Sweetbetty

       But Lane never saw it as embezzling.  As he repeated several times last night, it was a “loan”, a “13-day loan” (does that term have some meaning in the accounting/business world?).  He never expected to not get his Christmas bonus, thus not be able to pay it back.  But then, I believe a lot of embezzling starts that way; “Oh, I’ll just *borrow* some money from the company for a few days (weeks, months) until I can pay it back”, then the hole starts getting dug.

      • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

        The 13 days refers to the time span between his writing the check and the day of the office Christmas party when the bonus checks would be handed out. He expected to be able to put the money back in the company account with no one being the wiser. 

      • librarygrrl64

        And forging Don’s name was the biggie, too, IMO. That’s what really sealed his fate.

        • sweetlilvoice

          As someone said in an excellent post from the previous episode, Don forges his own name everyday. 

          • CozyCat

            Yes!  “How dare you steal that name!  I stole it first!”

          • librarygrrl64

            True, so someone else doing it must be extra aggravating.

      • Melissa Brogan

         No, no special meaning. He was just emphasizing that it was only meant to be a very short term loan that no one would have noticed if it hadn’t gone all awry.

      • CozyCat

        That’s how most embezzlers start.  It’s just a “loan.”  And then, when they get away with it, they do it again…and again and again.  And one day it’s this enormous amount that can’t be hidden.  And people who steal from their employers usually rationalize it with some unfair treatment.

        I realize I’m sounding really unsympathetic to Lane.  But what makes him such a well drawn character is that he had faults as well as many virtues.  Ultimately, his pride did him in–he couldn’t admit to someone like Don that he had financial problems and needed some sort of personal loan or advance from the company. 

        • KittenBritches

          “And people who steal from their employers usually rationalize it with some unfair treatment.”

          God knows that’s what I do when I steal post-its and index cards from mine.  :P

      • http://www.deborahwiles.com/ GoodSally

         I agree with you! The Lane we saw forging Don’s name didn’t see it as embezzling, he saw it as a loan, and as his money, to boot. But the character we’d come to know as Lane would never in a million years have seen the situation this way. He was Mr. Ship-Shape. He was the trusted PPL accountant sent to watch over every penny at Sterling Cooper. He liked that he was trusted (even if not appreciated) and he took that trust very seriously.

        I think he could have turned into the character who didn’t see it as embezzling, and I could have seen his behavior as believable in context, but I don’t think the writers earned that, if that makes sense. But that’s just me and how I saw it.

        • Glammie

          But people like Lane *do* embezzle.  He knew it was embezzling because the rules are really quite clear and he would know them.  What Lane did was *rationalize* his embezzling.  He made excuses, but that’s not the same as not knowing what he was doing.  You can’t forge a check like that and pass it off as a “loan”.

          And, remember, Lane borrowed $50K in order to get a bonus that otherwise wouldn’t be there.  It was not just the forged check.  The $50K debt makes it a pretty big deal.

          • JulieTy

            YES — exactly!

      • aesteve212

         Agreed! As heartbreaking as it was, Don was absolutely in the right. Lane responded with “I’m owed this”. Even if he was owed it metaphorically, he was flat out embezzling and forging signatures. That kind of stuff doesn’t tend to stop. Especially when there is an air of entitlement with it.

    • suzq

      I totally bought Lane’s desperate financial straits story because in the 60′s, the UK’s top level tax rate was 70%.  In 1965, UK introduced a steep “corporate income tax” of an additional 15%.  Lane (much like noted tax scofflaw, John Lennon) was being taxed at 85%.  The fact that this was a recently introduced tax blindsided Lane.  Remember his shock when talking to his accountant?  He didn’t have time to absorb his new situation.  It’s a shame he didn’t talk to the other partners.  A Libertarian such as Bert Cooper would have immediately helped him fill out US citizenship documents.

      • http://www.deborahwiles.com/ GoodSally

         Good points. What I’m saying is that I didn’t buy that Lane would resort to embezzlement, even in these circumstances. It wasn’t in his carefully-plotted character.

        It was clear he had terrible money problems. It wasn’t clear (to me, anyway) that he was the type of character who would choose to compromise his integrity by stealing from the firm. Yes, his choices were narrow, and asking Don for a 13-day loan was distasteful and humiliating, but Lane had to know that the odds of being caught were high, and that this humiliation (and possible prosecution) would be far, far worse.

        We’ve known Lane as an upstanding, honest, faithful-to-the-company man. It didn’t seem likely at all that he would forge Don’s signature on a company check. It’s the only moment this season that I’ve really felt jumped the shark.

        • 3hares

          I doubt the guys at his old firm would describe him as upstanding, honest or faithful to the company. He screwed them over big time.

          • Tasterspoon

            Agree.  Maybe I’m too harsh, but he’s been a sad-sack, self-pitying sleaze to me for a long time.  He thinks he’s entitled to something and I’m not sure why.  Working in Silicon Valley I see a lot of recent arrivals getting dollar signs in their eyes when they see the Instagram and Facebook money flying around and think that cutting corners is a way to get a piece of it – Lane seemed to have the same attitude, not apparently understanding that Don actually worked to get where he is (well, after the initial lie, anyway)..   I’ve seen a lot of commenters excusing him based on his abuse at the hands of his father, and while I’m sure that helped shape him, it doesn’t excuse his creepy behaviour towards women or other self indulgences. 

      • JulieTy

        I was half expecting The Beatles’ (George Harrison’s) “Taxman” to come on over the credits, but getting permission to TWO Beatles songs in one season, is probably too much to wish for.
        ” . . . And my advice for those who’ve died
        Declare the pennies on your eyes.”

    • GypsyHowell

      He absolutely embezzled from the company. First he went to their bank with an exaggerated story about the state of their business in order to get a $50,000 extension on their line of credit. Then he told the partners that in reviewing the books he “discovered” an additional $50,000 (which is actually a loan from the bank, but the partners don’t know about that part yet) that they could use to pay out bonuses, and THEN he forged Don’s name on a check to himself before the partners had even agreed to give out the bonuses. And to top it off, he still didn’t come clean to Don in the end, because he never told him about the company’s $50,000 debt. I loved Lane as a character and I was always rooting for him, but there’s just no way in the world you can paint his actions here as anything but criminal. Poor thing. 

  • http://www.wordydoodles.com WordyDoodles

    Friend of mine predicted in the first season that Glen would be a serial killer based on his creepy interactions with Betty. (Remember that?!) I thought that was spot on– not literally, but there was something about that character that unnecessarily heightened the creepy factor in the show. And I’d always felt that seeing more of Sally’s interactions with a female friend would be interesting and could tell a lot about that time period, the way her interactions with Betty do.

    • ccinnc

      Does he start stalking Megan now? Remembering the preview for next week when she slams down the phone receiver after shouting, “I can hear you!”

      • http://oneblueberry.com/ LaVonne Ellis

         I was thinking the same thing – it had to be Glen on the other end of that call.

        • Sweetbetty

           OK, I thought she said, “I could kill you”, and was talking to Don since the next thing they showed was Don on their bed alone.  Megan was in what I assumed some hotel room in Boston with another actress from the play.  So if she was hollering at Glen, how did he get the phone number?  Those previews can be so puzzling.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YAMNQMUGFM4NNSPAQLZRODSD5I Angela

             All this mention of Boston keeps making me think about the Boston strangler…was this about the same time or no?  OH MY GOD Megan, don’t go to Boston!

          • Munchkn

             The Boston Strangler murders occurred earlier in the 60s -from ’62 to ’64.  Albert DeSalvo was sentenced to prison for the murders in January, 1967.  (I won’t get into whether he was guilty or whether there was a single person who was the “Boston Strangler”.)

          • sweetlilvoice

            Those freaking previews reveal nothing! I usually avoid watching them because they always set you up…of course that’s a good thing-I don’t want to figure something out from the previews.

          • sarahjane1912

            *Agrees wholeheartedly*

            I find the dashed-clip previews more perplexing in MM than in any other show! I can never figure out what’s going on … so I just let them wash over me, happy in the knowledge that all will be revealed in the coming week.

            Only one more. *Sobs*

    • Musicologie

      Well, if there’s one thing we could actually glean from the preview (usually a futile task, I know), it looks as though Glen is going to stalk Megan like he did Megan. I’m pretty sure her angry, “I can hear you breathing!” into the phone was directed at him.

      But she could be talking to Don. Or Peggy. Or Lane’s ghost in a Twilight Zone scenario. It is a Mad Men preview, after all.

      • JulieTy

        Or it could just be a prank — a “phony phone call.” In the days before caller ID, it was rampant. And annoying.

      • Sweetpea176

        Do you mean “stalk Megan like he did Betty”?  I don’t recall him stalking anybody (correct me if I’m wrong). 

        I think Glen’s weirdness sort of works — early on it made him sad in a sweet and naive sort of way, as someone upthread has said.  You could imagine him as a lonely kid who needs attention and who develops a crush on Betty.  It also made it easier for the show to have Sally’s friendship with him forbidden — in other words, it would have been harder to sell to the audience Betty freaking out that Sally was friends with Fred Savage from the Wonder Years, and it added to the whole “otherness” of Helen Bishop.  I don’t necessarily find him all that creepy — just a little awkward and odd. 

        That said, I agree with TLo that his role in the story isn’t quite justified — at least not yet.  I suppose that narratively he functions to allow us to see into Sally’s head.  Maybe we have to see that via Glen vs. a girlfriend for Sally to show her rebelling a little with her continued friendship herself, and maybe a little too awkward and damaged to have girlfriends?

        • MissusBee

          What I like about Glen is the fact he’s creepy and a misfit but to Sally he’s impressive just by being older. If they were the same age, she wouldn’t bother with him, but he satisfies the need for consistency and to feel wanted with all the turmoil in her life. I find this very plausible for the psychology of her character.

          • Sweetpea176

            Glen’s also been her only navigator through her parents’ divorce.

          • Sweetbetty

             But why?  Why does he seem to be her only friend?  We’ve never seen any indication that she has any girl friends her own age, except maybe as the guests at her cake-less birthday party.

          • sarahjane1912

            Very good point.

            I too am perplexed at the absence of little girls in Sally’s life or indeed, any little friends in Sally’s/Bobby’s collective life. They have to be there … right? But where? Am I being too judgmental to think it’s down to MM production staff not wanting the extras on set [or perhaps, there being too much 'going on' with the plot for them to squeeze in a few playdates or something like it!]?

            When I was Sally’s age, I was already in the ‘sleepover’ stage and in fact, my 12th birthday was a ‘slumber party’; 15 girls, sleeping bags in the rumpus room, playing the chocolate game [it's in wiki; look it up lol!], telling ghost stories, blushingly confessing to ‘crushes’ on boys from our ‘brother school’ … I hope Sally is still getting some of that. :-(

          • Sweetbetty

             ”Am I being too judgmental to think it’s down to MM production staff not
            wanting the extras on set [or perhaps, there being too much 'going on'
            with the plot for them to squeeze in a few playdates or something like
            it!]?”

            I’d be happy if they’d just show Sally having phone conversations with a girlfriend or referring to a girlfriend in conversation with someone else, such as, “I was as Mary’s house and such-and-such happened”.  It wouldn’t even have to fit into the plot, just something to show that the poor girl has a friend besides Glen.

  • http://twitter.com/AbbottRabbit AbbottRabbit

    I couldn’t help making two comparisons last night, having watched Game of Thrones & mad Men back-to-back. The first is that 2012 may go down in history as The Year Everyone On Cable Got Their Periods. 

    The second was how much context matters. I’m totally ruthless when watching GOT — lock the traitorous bitch in the vault; kill the children; take no prisoners — but even though I *knew* Don had no choice but to fire Lane, I was begging the universe to let him find a way out of it. (especially because that would’ve put Slimy Pete back in the “most likely to kill himself” chair, which I could really get behind)

    Totally unrelated: when Lane got into the Jaguar and sealed himself in, my cat got up on the TV table and sat right in front of the screen, like she knew I wasn’t going to like anything that happened after that point. 

    • hmariec19

      Hahaha. “The Year Everyone On Cable Got Their Periods.” I was thinking the same thing!

    • Kylara7

      Except that period blood, especially the very first, is never bright red…they probably did that to make it obvious, otherwise the obtuse may have inferred that Sally pooped her panties. :/

    • Kylara7

      Except that period blood, especially the very first, is never bright red…they probably did that to make it obvious, otherwise the obtuse may have inferred that Sally pooped her panties. :/

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

        Mine was!!

        • http://howtofaint.tumblr.com/ How to Faint

          Mine too! It usually is.

  • http://annequichante.wordpress.com/ Anne

    I agree that nothing here was really shocking, and Glen is absurdly awkward (though I did like the visual of the two children in the museum, silhouetted in front of the dioramas), but that didn’t stop me from bawling like a baby when they found Lane’s body.  Heartbreaking.  It is probably a flaw in the writing somewhere–too much death foreshadowing–that we could see it coming from so far away, but to me the fact that I wasn’t surprised made it even more horrible. 

    • filmcricket

      Yeah, to be honest, I didn’t have any problem with the foreshadowing in this particular case. I agree that the writing has been very blunt and “on-the-nose” as they say this year, but a suicide ought to come as a shock to the characters, not the audience. If there’d been no build-up to it, we’d all be complaining that it was out of character and just used for shock value or to get from plot point A to point B. 

      • http://annequichante.wordpress.com/ Anne

        And honestly, I’ve been thinking about it all day.  People don’t commit suicide on television shows very often, do they?  Especially not characters you’ve come to love and care for over a couple of seasons (there’s been the occasional suicide on Law and Order, but only guest stars).  I was thinking that the only other one I can come up with, from a show that I’ve been invested in, is Emily the kitchen maid from the original Upstairs Downstairs, and it’s equally gut-wrenching.  Even though I could see it coming, Lane’s suicide hit me really hard.  Somehow I didn’t believe he–and the writers–would actually do that.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_D25FA7JBTICUMUQRAD3KQJMAEI Carol

          Kutner’s suicide on House was out of the blue, and was never adequately explained.  It marked the beginning of the end of that series, for me. Lane’s suicide, on the other hand, was completely understandable, and the telegraphing throughout the season led to that understanding.

        • jeeplibby02

          Funny that Emily’s suicide is the one you recalled from Up/Down.  I expected that you would have mentioned James’s.  I know someone who has watched that series dozens of times, and she swears that she will never watch the penultimate episode again.  I now know how she feels.

  • http://viridianpostcard.blogspot.com/ viridian61

    To me, the scenes between Don and Layne re: the forgery were very well done. True, in business embezzleent and forgery cannot be condoned.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

      I thought that scene was some of the best acting from both Jared Harris and John Hamm of the whole time they’ve been on the show.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

        Well Jon Hamm – boy, there are a lot of great scenes to choose from for him, so I’m not sure I can say it was the best from him but yeah, it was great. The Peggy scene from last week was pretty spectacular too. 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

        I agree – it would be hard to chose a ‘best’ scene for either of them, but the two of them together were mind-boggling.

    • Sweetbetty

       And isn’t is amazing that doddering old Bert is the one to uncover it; most of us were expecting it to be Joan and things would have played out very differently then.

      • the_archandroid

        I loved that it was Bert that discovered it, because it was just another one of those instances (of which he’s had many this season) that prove that he isn’t just a ficus in the office, that he really does have something important to contribute and that he has a lot to offer. 

        • d_in_denver

          and it explains why the company books were just sitting out in the open on the corner of Scarlett’s desk.  Once Bert found that check, he just abandoned what he was doing.

          • Sweetbetty

             I thought Bert said that he was going through the envelope of canceled checks from the bank when he found the Lane check.  I didn’t get the impression that he went through the books at all.  I sort of assumed that Lane put the books on Scarlett’s desk so they would be sure to be quickly found and that part of his final errands will come to light when someone (Joan?) finally looks through them.

          • d_in_denver

            I’m going to have to watch again because I thought the reason Bert was going through the books was because he was looking into the revenue differential between fees vs. commissions – the follow up item from the meeting of the partners.  No doubt the unopened statement/cancelled checks was with the rest of the books until someone (Joan and/or Lane) had opportunity to reconcile them.

          • Sweetbetty

             OK, let us know what you find out.

          • d_in_denver

            I rewatched last night and Bert definitely references reviewing the books in addition to finding the check in an unopened statement.

          • Sweetbetty

             OK, glad to clear that up.  Bert surprises us so much from week to week; one week he’s a doddering fool in stocking feet and the next he’s the sharp old codger who sees through all the BS.

          • d_in_denver

            I know exactly what you mean.  Thank goodness for Bert!

  • siriuslover

    Kenny’s position was my favorite of the episode as well. I liked the dark humor surrounding Lane’s first attempt at suicide. Of course the Jag wouldn’t start.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/W7A5N4G7FDTV5U2KOHBVSB55XI Basket

       And he broke his glasses, poor man.  Having to use half a pair of glasses to look under the hood.  Not good.

      • Sweetbetty

         Kinda curious about the breaking of the glasses.  Was it that Lane had been so upset about having to wear glasses most of his life that he was looking forward to being set free of them?  I assume he had a spare pair in the apartment that he used to get to the office and type his letter, etc.

        • Eclectic Mayhem

          When he walked back into the office his glasses were taped together.

          • Sweetbetty

             Ah, I didn’t notice that.  Thank you.

  • http://viridianpostcard.blogspot.com/ viridian61

    And, in the attempted suicide scene in the garage, the Jaguar won’t start.  the blackest of black humor.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1183772509 Jen Hughes

       Oh, yes. That was just ugh. I laughed and felt bad about it.

    • cluecat

      I didn’t see that coming but it was so funny!  What a long set up for a joke — Lane’s brit connections with Jaguar, all the stuff about being unreliable yet sexy, his wife buying one to celebrate all led up to the damn car not starting when he was ready to kill himself.  It was the actor’s exasperation that really sold it.

      Jaguar:  becuase sometimes you need your car to fail

  • http://annequichante.wordpress.com/ Anne

    Also, by the time the episode was over I felt odd about having laughed at any of it, but Roger’s “Name another raincoat” in the meeting with Ken’s father-in-law cracked me up for some reason.

    • dbaser

      Am I the only one who thought Don’s presentation to Dow was completely desperate?  There’s a fine line between passionate and unhinged and Don went a little over the top.  I’ll be surprised if SCDP receives any business from Dow; only Kenny’s relationship with them could every swing it in their favor.

      Given that Don bit the hand of big tobacco after their breakup, why would anyone give him the opportunity to moralize against a manufacturer of napalm should their business relationship go south?

      • suzq

        DuPont was the big kahuna after WWII.  Dow was number 2.  A 50% share of the chemical market?  Don was absolutely spot on in his assessment of Dow.  Resting on laurels.  Next October, the company would be protested on the University of Wisconsin at Madison campus for manufacturing napalm.  So the strategy of hoping the subject never comes up will not work for them anymore.  Ultimately, they develop a variation on DuPont’s “Better Living Through Chemistry” For Dow, it was “Living.  Improved daily.”  Kinda lame, in retrospect.  Draper could have done so much better.

    • Sweetbetty

       The, “I’ll buy you a drink if you wipe the blood off your mouth”, comment  got me, especially after the news of that face-eating guy in FL this past week.

      I’m constantly amazed at the relationship between Roger and Don.  Over the years it’s been made very clear that each has a lot of disdain for the other (When Roger was bribing Ginsberg to do work for him and mentioned how much he hated a certain person I was thinking it was Don, not Pete, who was the object of his hate.) but they fall back into true “partner” mode time and time again with their differences complimenting each other rather than pulling them apart.

      • ccinnc

        Their grudging respect for each other seems to grow.

        Honestly, if I had to choose one of them to have a drink with, it’d be Roger. I think he’s hilarious, warts and all.

        • sweetlilvoice

          And he’s damn sexy….
          Don is too…but I know Roger likes the redheads.

        • shopgirl716

          Roger would be a blast.  And he’d probably pick up the check.  

    • Lilithcat

      Burberry!

  • ccinnc

    I can’t bear the wooden Glen any longer. And unfortunately his bad acting brings Sally’s down a few notches. Their conversations are cringe-inducing. Makes me wonder how they get along IRL.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

      WoodenGlen sounds like a twitter meme, like the one about Ellis on SMASH

    • Spicytomato1

      WoodenGlen doesn’t bother me nearly as much as he seems to bother everyone else. I have two middle school sons and the awkwardness of some boys that age and older is indeed cringe-inducing, especially when they interact with the opposite sex. So me to his portrayal is pretty realistic.

      • librarygrrl64

        My problem is not that Glen is wooden (because I don’t think he’s supposed to be, just awkward in an adolescent way), but that Marten Weiner is wooden. There’s a difference.

      • aesteve212

         Yeah, it doesn’t bother me too much. The character is creepy, and the acting does nothing, but it was said up thread – if this was a different actor it would make all the difference. Kids that age are socially awkward, and clearly he is dealing with some pressures at school so the “we are doing it” comment didn’t throw me too much. Remember in 16 Candles when Farmer Ted tells his friends he has Molly Ringwald’s underwear, to prove they are doing it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/evie.michael Evie Michael

    The last scene with Glen would have been so much more effective and sophisticated if, after a long silence in the elevator, Don simply asked him: What would make you happy right now?- And then they could cut to the car shot.
    It would have shown that Don wanted to redeem himself somehow…to give someone else some moments of joy…without that awful on-the-nose commentary from Glen!  
    And is Weiner SO oblivious to his son’s awful acting when almost every critic and overall audience response mentions it?

    • Sobaika

      I remember interviews after the first season where Matthew Weiner said he was really hurt at the fan reaction to Glen (namely that he’s a total creepshow, also other comments about his weight) and couldn’t help but take it personally since it was his child. I really wonder what made him decide to expose his son to that kind of harshness again. It’s not like the show desperately need Glen to put everything in perspective.

      • Melissa Brogan

        I believe Weiner also said that Glen is meant to be some kind of incarnation of himself. So that may be part of the reason he keeps adding him to the story…

        • ballerinawithagun

          I agree with that theory.

        • Kristen Wegener

           okay but this must mean then that Glen is NOT going to rape and murder Sally and leave her body on the subway, or something. good. because every time I get worried.

        • jmw1122

          He is, at the Q&A with Weiner I attended he said as much.  He said he was explaining to Marten that Glenn was based on him, and he said Marten’s response was something along the lines of,  ”Wow dad, you must’ve been a creepy kid.”

        • alula_auburn

          Especially in this last episode, I thought Weiner was clearly attempting some Catcher in the Rye parallels.  (Especially the visuals at the museum, a place which is also very important to Holden Caulfield.)  Since IME Catcher is a text that leads to odd degrees of identification (especially for people who don’t quite outgrow it), there’s something kind of intriguing to me about him making that allusion with his actor-son/authorial self-insert.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I can only imagine how hard that would be for a parent to here…I like Glen still.

      • CozyCat

        Yeah.  Ask Sofia Coppola about the dangers of being cast by your dad when you’re not really an actor.

  • shopgirl716

    At the risk of being pummeled by the commentariat, I found Lane’s selfishness heartbreaking.  He couldn’t bear the humiliation so he shut out his wife, stole from his company and now has taken his own life.  His pride has now jeopardized his wife and son’s future.  What are they supposed to do now?  Go back to England broke, grieving, with no idea what has transpired.  He broke his trust not just with his company but with his entire family.  He could have figured this out – I really believe that – but he didn’t draw on any of the resources available to him and has left his wife and son to face the consequences.  I really don’t understand the complete lack of resilience and grit.  As big of an asshole as Don can be, he is resourceful and gritty.  I’ll give him that.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/W7A5N4G7FDTV5U2KOHBVSB55XI Basket

       It reveals how deeply oppressive Lane’s father’s method of parenting affected Lane.

      • luciaphile

        Yes, definitely. I have to wonder if that would also help make his decision for him. Not only would he have to go back with his tale between his legs, he’d have to deal with dear old Dad.

    • sarahjane1912

      But that’s the thing about suicide. One doesn’t think of those who are ‘left behind’. Lane thought he had absolutely no other options other than to take himself “out of the race” [thanks, TLo!] regardless of what would happen to his wife and son. If people contemplating suicide were more analytical about it, they would probably a la George Bailey, take stock of things and consequently decide that there IS more to live for rather than to die for. Suicide IS selfish in the greater scheme of things, of course it is, but those who manage to complete the deed don’t see it that way.

      • xay

        The thing is, people contemplating suicide are often extremely analytical about it. They just come to a different conclusion.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        I think he did think about the ones he left behind. Assuming he has the same life insurance policy as Pete, his family will be taken care of. He calmly planned everything; I wouldn’t doubt that his final “errands” were making sure all of his paperwork was in order.
        Not that they wouldn’t grieve him. But in the other sense, he did think of them.

        • helenduck

           Don’t forget that he resigned before doing the deed. If the life insurance were predicated on his employment with the company, then that would be lost to his heirs, along with his stake of the partnership.

          • marianne19

            The beneficiaries of the life insurance policy that’s under discussion are the other partners, so they can buy out his share after death.  His estate inherits the equity share; it isn’t lost by his dying.  If there was other insurance tied to his employment, that WOULD be lost.  I think when he’s sitting on the sofa with the legal pad on his lap in the scene with his wife, these are among the things he’s working out.  He’s trying to clean things up for his wife.

          • greenwich_matron

            I wondered if that was the REASON he resigned. I don’t know if the resignation would have had to have been accepted, but I doubt it unless SCDP can argue that they wouldn’t have accepted it.

        • sarahjane1912

          Happy to be proven incorrect, but I’d be really REALLY surprised if Lane’s life insurance policy covered suicide. Surely that would be under some exclusion or other? Especially if it were a newish policy [and Lane hasn't been with the company overly long]. 

          • greenwich_matron

            Most life insurance policies have a suicide exclusion, but it expires after a certain amount of time (it was two years, but that may have changed). Pete said that his life insurance covered suicide, and Lane is probably covered by the same policy. 

          • CozyCat

            I think it’s an important detail that it’s a company policy.  The major players in any corporation are going to be insured because it will hurt the company if they die, whether by their own hand or in some other way.  The insurer included the two year clause to make sure someone with a big emotional stake in the compay doesn’t get himself covered in anticipation of killing himself.

    • Jennifer Coleman

      The truth is, Lane has been a desperate and tragic character from the beginning. He was disrespected by his former company, his father, his wife. His attempts at gaining respect have failed (Playboy Bunny girlfriend, winning accounts, even gaining independence from former job by starting new firm) because he was too weak for a proper follow-through. He was the anti-Don because he let his circumstances get the best of him. I really loved his character, in part because of Jared Harris’ great acting, but he was already partly suicidal when he first came onscreen.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        I think so too. I don’t think being suicidal is a new thing. I wouldn’t doubt that he’d attempted it as a youth. One more thing for his dad to mock him over.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

        exactly. That’s why it wasn’t surprising, not so much because of the death foreshadowing but because as TLO says, it is rather a natural conclusion

      • emcat8

        Yes. I struggled with suicidal ideation a lot when I was younger, and I kind of felt like I recognized a kindred spirit in Lane, especially when the bigwigs took so much pleasure in stomping on him in the early days. I’ve been worried about him pretty much all the time, so when the death foreshadowing began this year, I just knew it was going to be Lane. 

        The minute he took that check with Don’s signature, I knew this would happen, even though I kept hoping I would be wrong.

    • JulieTy

      **applause**

  • Judy_J

    Lane’s death by hanging did indeed bring back Don’s guilt over his brother’s death by hanging in Season 1.  You could see it on Don’s face as soon as Lane’s death was revealed.  It was heartbreaking to watch.  The scene with Betty and Sally was a total contrast.  I was glad to see that Betty still has some maternal feelings for her daughter, and her handling of Sally’s first period was just right.  The moment when Sally ran to Betty’s arms and Betty’s awkward hug reminded me of the scene in “Uncle Buck” when the teenage daughter runs to her mom’s arms at the end of the movie.  Oh, and I’m cutting the Weiner kid some slack on his acting. Glenn is supposed to be socially awkward, and Marten is really, really good at playing socially awkward.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

      I feel the same way about the Wiener kid and Glenn being socially awkward. 

    • http://twitter.com/latxcvi LaT

      This comment reminds me how much I enjoyed many of the performances from the series regulars last night. I was particularly struck, as you mentioned, by the way Hamm played Don’s reaction to the news of Lane’s death, especially the look on his face as he forced the door to the office open.  Equally good was Kartheiser’s handling of Pete right in the moment that Pete looked over the wall and then put his hand to his mouth.  So moving and so *human*; it made me think that Pete isn’t totally lost, that he’s still capable, however minimally, of feeling for another person.  Even the muted way he told Don and Roger what happened; there was no trace of gloating or malice, despite Lane’s having put the beat down on him earlier in the season.  And I loved how … respectfully, for lack of a better word, the way the two of them and Slattery played Don, Roger and Pete handling the body.  It’s hard to put it into words, but their faces so thoroughly conveyed the seriousness and *weight* of the moment.  I was really impressed.  I also loved, loved, loved the way January Jones did that transition from utter surprise to tenderness on Betty’s face when Sally hugged her.

      • JulieTy

        Posted this elsewhere, but I shudder to think what would have happened had Betty known where, and with whom, Sally had been that morning!

        • d_in_denver

          No kidding.  Don’t go there!

  • M N

    Agree!  It was as if I were watching an episode to introduce the “Sally Spinoff.”  Which, actually, I would watch.

  • ChiliP

    Good recap- this episode was difficult for me to watch.  I completely understood why Megan was angry over Sally’s sudden appearance, but I did have to laugh when she said “What if I were busy” when she was, in fact, sitting at home reading a magazine.

    I’m not sure I needed to see Lane’s dead body hanging in his office.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/W7A5N4G7FDTV5U2KOHBVSB55XI Basket

       I totally understood her anger.  No one has the right to expect you to be at their beck and call, even if you are not doing anything. Not having that self-respect is how some unpaid homemakers slowly become doormats.

      • ChiliP

        I think you missed my point. Like I said, I completely understood why she was angry- I would have been too. I do think there was a reason, though, why Sally arrived when Megan was not in fact busy.  The writers have not exactly been subtle about portraying Megan’s acting as more of a hobby than a job, or at least something she pursues at her leisure.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

          I kept waiting for Don to reply, “Were you busy?”

          • ChiliP

             What? Sitting barefoot in your high rise condo reading a magazine doesn’t qualify as being *busy*? :)

          • greenwich_matron

            Of course not, you have to be in your bedroom reading the TLo Mad Men post to qualify as “busy.”

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

          I kept waiting for Don to reply, “Were you busy?”

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

          well she is also completely out of touch with the intense drama that’s happening at the office, with Joan and Lane, while she pursues her fake drama on stage, so there’s that disconnect. Her anger at him for not communicating was a little ridiculous in the face of that, and thankfully she did drop it when he told her. 

          • ChiliP

             I agree. If she had continued to pout after Don told her what was going on I would have held it against her, but to her credit she got over it pretty quickly.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=13953311 Missy Covington

             Agreed. Her anger–with ignorance of everything else–was totally justified. BUT, when we saw that Bert Cooper came into Don’s office while Don was literally still on the phone with Betty about Sally, you can see how the communication line got dropped. That she then dropped the anger was completely appropriate.

            That, and I sensed that Don didn’t *fully* believe that Betty would drop Sally off instead of taking her on vacation. He (at least partially) thought she was having a temper tantrum about it and would get over it and force Sally to go. At least in light of the heavier drama going on around him, that probably seemed pretty ridiculous and unimportant.

          • Sweetbetty

             Glad to see someone else pointed out the sequence of events that led to Don not letting Megan know Sally was coming.  I’m in no way trying to make excuses for Don, or anyone else, being thoughtless about communicating, but sometimes life just gets in the way of doing what should be done.  I’m sure we’ve all had something similar happen.

      • http://twitter.com/LPsometimes LP

        Well, Sally is her stepdaughter.  That’s kind of what you sign up for when you marry someone with kids, I think.

        • Le_Sigh

           Agreed!  She married someone with a lot of baggage and a family.  I think this speaks more to Megan’s lack of “adultness” – she’s not grown up enough yet to weigh selflessly between “busy” reading a magazine doing nothing, vs. your (step)kid’s needs.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

            True in that – yes, she did walk into a complicated situation – yet that doesn’t mean she’s meant to be a babysitter on call, either. Did you see the Look of Death she gave Don when she was taking Sally to lunch?

          • formerlyAnon

             And there weren’t all those self-help books and support groups and therapists for ‘blended families’ at the time that there are now – just a boatload of innocently clashing expectations, at best.

          • asympt

             But she stepped right up to the plate when Sally arrived unannounced, had a nice conversation with her about boys (in which she stressed carefully that “holding hands” is plenty at her age), and even looked after total stranger Glenn when he appeared and she was able to stop being terrified about Sally.  (She would have blamed herself if something had happened, even though it was Don’s idea to leave Sally alone, and she’d even been enough of a disciplinarian to let Sally know the TV had better have been off long enough to cool down by the time she got back.)  (And there’s another detail that won’t make any sense to this generation of kids!)

      • http://twitter.com/LPsometimes LP

        Well, Sally is her stepdaughter.  That’s kind of what you sign up for when you marry someone with kids, I think.

    • sarahjane1912

      *Shudder* Me either.

      That said, re Megan and Sally’s appearance … Well, to me that was just another example of the ‘Don and Megan don’t really communicate about their movements/lives’ which has been prefaced before [not least, in last week's ep when she just assumed Don would be fine about her doing out-of-town-tryouts, and she hadn't even told him that was a possibility before the audition itself! Sheesh!]. I did giggle when I remembered that Megan WAS just lounging around [barefooted as usual!] when Sally arrived. And a magazine! Shouldn’t she have been studying her script?! ;-)

      • ChiliP

        Oh I completely agree. I expanded my thoughts a bit more in my reply above to Basket. Ever since Megan left SCDP, I’ve noticed a big difference in her communication with Don at home. She doesn’t tell him about her out of town previews, he doesn’t tell her about Sally….what a mess.

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          We don’t *really* know that she didn’t tell Don about the Boston previews. We just know that he didn’t know about them. It is more than possible that she’d talked about it previously (either generally or specifically) and he tuned her out.

          • ChiliP

            True, we don’t know for sure, but it seemed clear to me that Don had literally no idea she might have to travel.  I got into this a bit in the Mad Style thread last week, but I would think if Megan had previously told told she might have to go to Boston, she would have brought it up during their argument (“I told you this might be a possibility after the first audition! It’s not my fault you don’t listen to me!”). That’s entirely speculative, but it would have made much more sense from a writing perspective.

  • UsedtobeEP

    Yeah, I can’t really get behind so much Glen time. And the Lane suicide has been so obvious that when Cooper found the check I turned to my husband and said, “Lane is finally going to die this week.” I will miss his character. He was one of my favorites. Maybe Ken will be the next to punch Pete, but I am putting my money on a woman. Hope it’s Joan or Trudy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/evie.michael Evie Michael

    Sorry for a 2nd rant about the acting, but the scene with Glen and Megan was so awful- Pare isn’t always bad, but in the scene both of their acting was so forced and stiff it made me cringe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/evie.michael Evie Michael

    I am too. He was a kind soul. Remembering his abusive father and imagining the way he must have been raised made this episode all the more sad…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1183772509 Jen Hughes

    To me this felt like more of a finale (even though it wasn’t) than the Game of Thrones finale. It was pretty amazing. You’re SO dead on about Glen though. Ew. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/evie.michael Evie Michael

    sorry i meant this as a reply to Kate Andrews below…

  • Frank_821

    I liked that scene with Ken. It always confirmed that he’s isn’t the sweet, nice guy everyone assumes he is. The truth is he probably is as ambitious as Pete and as capable of being as cutthroat. He just isn’t the overt slimeball Pete is

    While we all saw Lane dying, it didn’t take away from how much I gasped seeing his body hanging there. It was pretty horrid. How sad that we finally see his poor deluded wife portrayed in such a loving, supportive way and not realizing she was just making things worse.

    I thought what really drove the creepness factor with Glenn was he still referred to Betty by her first name in front of Megan. I am surprised Megan didn’t respond to that. I still think he harbors some feelings for Betty. He seems like Sally is just a poor sub

    Speaking of the 2 Mrs Drapers, I also was pleased for that little twist of the knife. Not because I hate megan, but to remind the audience, Megan while more mature than Betty, doesn’t want to be Sally’s mom. She was clearly uncomfortable with the weight of that. Not to mention Sally’s at that age where she’s in full brat mode. Part of me yelled, go ahead Betty strangle her a little. she’s asking for it

    In the end though it was a sweet moment and easy to forget that even though she’s not a great mom and she’s got issues, Betty does love Sally and probably does wish they had a better relationship

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      Re: Ken- when I watched that scene, I was thinking “oh, so the writing’s not going so well, huh?”

    • MK03

      You can count the moments Betty has been a good mother on one hand, but last night definitely made up for some of her not-so-great moments. She was comforting, nice, honest but didn’t dump too much info on Sally…my god, she was motherly. Are we seeing a new Betty??

      • Sweetbetty

         I agree with all that, and it looked like she’s lost a bit more weight too.  By next season I predict we’ll see the original trim Betty back.  Whether or not she’s going to be changed emotionally is anybody’s guess.  PS:  I wonder how she’ll react when she finds out Sally was with Glenn.  Or does she already know that?  How quickly I forget.

        • LesYeuxHiboux

           I wonder if Betty’s time being less-than-perfect visually, and her time amongst the Weight Watchers women in a supportive environment, has melted her ice just a bit. 

        • MK03

          Sally would have to be crazy (or in a particularly rebellious mood) to tell her mother that she was out with her archnemesis.

        • sarahjane1912

          Yes! I noticed the weight loss! I do wonder how that will play out into the next series. I kinda like the idea of a trim new Betty. The WW angst was … certainly entertaining, but I prefer Betty at her fighting weight. And of course, in MORE episodes. ;-)

    • Le_Sigh

       I’m not sure I entirely agree with the assessment that Megan is more mature than Betty… yet.  I think she has the advantage of having a more “honest” start with Don – and the benefit of being let in a bit more on his life by working with him, etc.  She still tends to handle a lot of their bigger confrontations like a child – and even more so now, that she doesn’t have to “play” the boss’ wife.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=674300009 Robert Alden

    As much as I love your recaps, I must disagree with the disapproval of the “obviousness” of Lane’s suicide.  ”Mad Men” has been a show that has used misdirection in a masterful way.  To have the show show Lane’s decent into dispair, while foreshadowed, was still clearly enthralling.  We knew all season long where this train was headed and I for one was glad that the writers didn’t throw in a last minute twist.  Knowing where Lane’s story was going to ultimately end didn’t diminish the power of the story in the least.  

    In regards to Kenny, is he in the “know” about how Joan was granted her partnership?  I can’t imagine that Burt, Roger, Don or Lane would let the “how” be known, but I imagine Pete would readily let that bit of information slip.  I would have thought that we would have at least seen Pete telling Kenny about it.  

    • Andrea Rossillon

       He was there when the Jag guy proposed the deal, and argued with Pete when Pete didn’t immediately shut him down. Then the next week, Joan’s a partner. Kenny’s no idiot. That’s why he made the comment, “I’m not interested in partner. I don’t like what you have to do.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=674300009 Robert Alden

        I had completely forgotten that Kenny was in the meeting.  Thanks for the reminder. :-)

      • sarahjane1912

        I LOVED that Ken said that. Really hit home with me.

        • Kylara7

          Yup, I cheered for him at that line too!

        • Kylara7

          Yup, I cheered for him at that line too!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/W7A5N4G7FDTV5U2KOHBVSB55XI Basket

       Kenny is in the know because he was at the dinner in which the client “demanded” Joan and he is clever enough to put two and two together. 

      • SFCaramia

        And remember…in earlier seasons, Kenny was the one who “procured” for Roger and had “lots of numbers.”  He knew EXACTLY what transpired.

    • g_mo

      I doubt anyone has told Ken what transpired, but he was there when the dealers’ association guy brought up a night with Joan, saw how eager Pete was to try to oblige, knows that SCDP landed the account, and knows that Joan was made partner at the exact same time. I don’t think anyone needs to spell it out for him to be pretty sure of how all those pieces are connected.

    • MilaXX

       Pretty sure Ken knows what happened. I think that was part of the reason for him to say “he knows what partners are like”. He was there when Pete initially brought up the idea so I think it’s fair to say he can put 2 and 2 together.

    • http://twitter.com/sarahohmygod Sarah Oleksyk

       I also wouldn’t put it past Pete to make allusions to what happened with Joan to others in the office. He loves having secret knowledge and can’t keep it to himself. I’m sure he’ll find a way to drop enough hints to people like Harry Crane in a boys’-club manner (which would explain Harry asking Joan “Is it true?” in the preview clips).

  • MissAnnieRN

    Glenn cannot act. Period. Nepotism always leaves a sour taste in my mouth, but more than 3/4 of the BK’s could likely act better than Glenn with only HS theater productions under their belt. Like you said – that his scenes are played opposite kiernan shipka only makes it so much more painful to watch.

    I don’t really have much to say about lane’s suicide other than the dark humor of the jaguar, the retching that followed and the brand new car not even starting for him to take his own life. If not for the acting chops of Jon Hamm, don’s guilt at learning the news would have been groan worthy as would the scene with Glenn in the elevator. Count me in as one who is not really feeling the writing this season.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

      I guess in a world of shiny plastic child actors who dispense nonstop wisecracks at the speed of light, Marten Weiner is comparatively a bad actor. But like January Jones, his acting skill level is well-suited to the character he plays in Mad Men. I enjoyed the exchange between Glenn and Sally in the museum. They’ve always had an odd little relationship and their dynamic in this episode was in keeping with that.

      • Le_Sigh

         Yes, but he still creeps the bejesus out of me.

    • http://howtofaint.tumblr.com/ How to Faint

      Sorry, what does BK stand for? Acronyms always throw me for a loop.

      • sarahjane1912

        Bitter Kittens!

        That’s us. And you, How to Faint. Followers and afficionados of all things Tom & Lorenzo. :-)

        • http://howtofaint.tumblr.com/ How to Faint

          Ahhhhhh. Of course. Since there was mention of high school drama, I thought the K stood for kids and couldn’t figure out what the hell the B was supposed to stand for.

          As I said, these things always throw me for a loop. :)

  • Andrea Rossillon

    What? No comment on the incredibly macabre joke that Jaguar’s such a shitty car, that it can’t even be depended on when you’re attempting suicide by asphyxiation?

    Also, that’s takes care of how Joan’s going to contribute to the firm–she takes over what Lane did. Easy peasy. But yes, long announced by the dialogue this season.

    Speaking of Joan, while I am sorry that such a choice was placed before her last week, I don’t think she needs to be ashamed. She is super competent and will run the agency brilliantly, and if she so chooses, she can turn it around as an accusation of anyone who tries to goad her– “This is what I was willing to do, are you tough enough for that? No? Then quit wasting my time pretending to be someone worth talking to.” This isn’t right or good, maybe, but it is a way to turn her choice into a powerful position. (Honestly, I have found that it doesn’t matter how you get the job, as long as you do it well once it’s yours. For example, nepotism isn’t bad if the uncle you hired is an incredible worker and brilliant manager.)

    No, the onus is on the men (and the patriarchy in general) for being such shits that she had to prostitute herself in order to get something that should’ve been hers, anyway. But now Lane’s gone and she’s gonna be brilliant. And she’ll be paid what she’s worth and they’ll thank their lucky stars that they have her.

    • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

      “What? No comment on blahblahblah?”

      This kind of shit is beyond obnoxious.

      • Maggie_Mae

        Some people are so anxious to add their own opinions that they don’t bother to read anybody else’s…..

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        If TLo said everything that everyone was thinking, then we wouldn’t need the comments section. And I happen to love the comments section.

  • http://twitter.com/lazyiggy Lazy Iguana

    I am a horrible person who laughed when the Jaguar didn’t start.
    Deep down, I was hoping that Lane would keep attempting and failing at suicide, that he figured he might as well live . . . but that would have been out of Mad Men and Lane’s character.

    • AliciaChamisa

      Your comment reminded me of the fabulous Dorothy Parker poem, “Resumé”:
      Razors pain you;
      Rivers are damp;
      Acids stain you;
      And drugs cause cramp.
      Guns aren’t lawful;
      Nooses give;
      Gas smells awful;
      You might as well live.

      • Munchkn

         That was my favorite poem during my high school years.  I guess that says something about me.

      • boomchicabowwow

        Thank you for reminding me of this much beloved poem.  I just went and posted as my FB status.  I hope it doesn’t freak people out….

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YAMNQMUGFM4NNSPAQLZRODSD5I Angela

      Please don’t say that, because that would mean I’m horrible too! I laughed at his Drinky-the-Drunk-Guy barfing, then things got Very Serious, with his death preparations, then the damed thing wouldn’t even start! I thought, oh those tricky guys, making us think somebody would die, now it’s going to be played off for humor. Sadly, no.
      I loved all the story about Sally though, trying to be too cool for a family vacay, ordering coffee and talking big girl subjects with Megan and her friend, organizing a secret rendezvous with her “boyfriend”, and Glenn the same, telling her he gets picked on at school, so he told them he was going to see her to “do it”, and having one of those little 14 year-old see-through mustaches that all little boys try to grow. I found it very touching, that Sally went straight home to her mama, and I don’t think Betty was hesitant to hug her daughter, she was just so surprised herself that Sally wanted her. Speaking as a mom to an 11 and-a-half year old girl, we had the de rigeur reading of Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret just this past weekend, and even though they know it’s coming, it’s still kind of scary for what is basically just a very little girl…

      • Wendi126

        Yes. It is not horrible at all to find humor in black moments and for several episodes we had mentions of what a shitty car a Jag is but still worth it for its beauty. This led to a laugh out loud moment for me when the car wouldn’t start. Not at Lane or his pain but the irony of the situation. And Sally tried so hard to be a grown up- refusing to ski, ordering coffee, asking Megan for tea, inviting a boy to visit her and when a real growing up moment happens, the still young girl needs to be home in familiar surroundings with her mother to hold her. At least they’re not Jewish! When I got mine, my mother slapped me (gently) across my cheek! It’s some bizarre custom. Oy! Glad I have two sons :)

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YAMNQMUGFM4NNSPAQLZRODSD5I Angela

           Today, you are a woman…*slap*…that’s funny!

        • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

          I, too, got gently slapped and wondered if Betty would do it to Sally.

        • Sweetbetty

           And did you notice Sally dumping the sugar into her coffee, this after complaining to Glenn how “Betty” tells her what to do and what to say and what to eat.  Betty would have never let her dump that sugar in, even if she would have somehow allowed her to have coffee.

          • Jannah Fitch

            I read the coffee thing as Sally wanted to be a grownup and drink coffee, but she doesn’t really like the taste of it so she dumps sugar into it to mask the bitterness.  I started drinking coffee in the starbucks era, and at first the only thing I could drink was a caramel mocha.  That coffee needed sugar and milk and chocolate to be tolerable!

          • MK03

            I’m 27 and I still take my coffee like that. Well, on the very rare occasions I drink it at all.

          • MK03

            Am I the only one who thought it was odd that Megan thought they wouldn’t serve Sally coffee? Was coffee treated like an “adult beverage” back then or something?

          • Melissa Brogan

             Yes, and in some places it still is. Not to the extent of asking for ID or something, but the waitress telling you to drink something else, yeah. (Also, I think it might have been Megan’s friend who didn’t think they’d serve her coffee.)

          • Sweetbetty

             It was and I still think of it that way.  I’d be surprised if one of my grandkids in the 10-15 age group ordered coffee in a restaurant.

      • CozyCat

        I love the way Sally is both a total brat but still relatively innocent.  She orders coffee, but admits she has no interest in a drink.  She sneaks her “boyfriend” into the city, and they go to a museum (and her major concern is that she’s not allowed to go to the park).  She wants to participate in her step mom’s friend’s inappropriate conversation, but doesn’t like the fact that her “boyfriend” is pretending that they are having sex.

        And when she has a major milestone in growing up, she runs to her mom!

        Such a great character!

      • asympt

         God, I hated that book when my mom gave it to me.  Probably not fair; it probably helped a lot of girls.  I literally ripped it to shreds, which I’ve never done to a book before or since.  I thought the characters were idiots.

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          I liked it, but probably because it was my older sister’s book, and everything sis did or had was cool.
          However, it was nothing like the reality of my period, or my friends, or anything. I couldn’t relate at all.

    • CarolinLA

      Oh, please – I laughed when Roger said “It’s a resignation letter” because it was so absurd in the moment.

  • Rich Sitelogin

    What did Jaguar ever do to MW for the ‘glowing’ representation it has gotten this season?

    • Sobaika

      Apparently the guys at Jaguar are actually big fans of the show. All the free publicity can’t hurt either, prostitution angle or no.

      • MilaXX

         Yes Jaguar has been have a blast tweeting about Mad Men these past few eps.

    • MissAnnieRN

      Yes, The Fug girls linked to an article withe a bunch of quotes from Jag execs. Head over there to find the link.

    • Wendi126

      Jaguar should put out new ads…Just as beautiful as in the 60′s but not nearly as shitty

      • Maggie_Mae

        A quick Google indicated that the car’s reliability has improved–I won’t attach a link, to avoid a lengthy stay in quarantine.  
        However, Benedict Cumberbatch is the voice of the newest Jaguar commercials. Tasteful sex still sells. but Jaguar has moved beyond the male-only audience…

        • greenwich_matron

          Sherlock in a Jag?  What an image. I need to lie down now.

      • Sweetbetty

         I’m not much of a car person and had no idea about Jaguar’s reputation of being unreliable until hearing about it on Mad Men.  So I just gotta ask, why was it so unreliable?  I mean other car makers turned out millions of reliable cars every  year so what was the problem with Jag back then?

        • emcat8

          British cars in general in that era were notorious, especially the sports cars they sold in the US — Triumphs, MGs, Jags. When I was young, I dreamed of having an MG Roadster when I got old enough, but everyone told me “you’d better become a great mechanic, then.”

          A lot of people chalk it up to the fact that everything was heavily unionized and they had no incentive to build anything that ran (those darn Socialists!). There was also still a post-war economy in Britain at that time, with just a lot of problems on the manufacturing end. Industry was failing, the Empire was falling apart. If you’ve seen The Iron Lady, some of that stuff that Thatcher says in the early days of her career are a good indication of how a lot of people saw a failing Britain at that time, and the cars are probably the most emblematic. They looked cool, but inside they were made of fail. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1629311043 Marjean Fieldhouse

            I had a mid-70′s Jag in the early 80′s, they were still beautiful POS then

          • sarahjane1912

            Oh yairs indeedy. Brit cars DID have a rep’ for being … less than reliable. My cousin had a Triumph Stag and it was forEVER in the shop. My brother had a zippy little MG; same story. They looked swift but presented a mountainload of problems [and these were 'vintage' cars -- aka '60s cars -- in the early '80s]. In British parlance, however, I think they were fantastic pulling vehicles. Or at least they tell me they were!! Snigger. ;-)

          • Sweetbetty

             So were the British people stuck with cars that didn’t run and were constantly in the garage?  How did they manage to get from here to there?  How did they manage to keep on selling a product that was unreliable?   It must have been a booming time for mechanics.  Sorry, the whole thing mystifies me.

          • sarahjane1912

            MGs, Jags, Triumphs etc … it was accepted one had to be an enthusiast in order to own/run of these cars [and yes, perhaps a mechanic as well!]. 

            Your average Brit wasn’t driving any of these; they were driving Austin Healys, Ford Anglias, Rover 2000s etc, which were far more reliable [and cheaper to fix] than the aforementioned luxury vehicles.

        • greenwich_matron

          The designer of the electronics is referred to “Lucas, Prince of Darkness.” 

          To be fair, I don’t Lucas did Jags. 

    • CozyCat

      Well, Hamm’s doing Mercedes commercials, and Slattery’s shilling for Lincoln.  So maybe they were contacturally obligated to trash the competition.  :-)

    • Melissa Brogan

       I don’t know about the current era of Jaguars, but even as late as the 90s they were notorious as being beautiful lemons. Rich guys would buy them and then their cars would spend months in a specialty mechanic’s garage being repaired.

  • hmariec19

    I think Ken was there when the Jaguar guy asked about it.

    • Sweetbetty

       At the risk of being unnecessarily graphic, I was under the impression that when a person died by hanging their tongue ended up sticking out of their mouth.  This is something involuntary and cannot be controlled by the victim.  The producers didn’t seem to mind showing Lane pretty gruesome looking so I wonder why they didn’t go the extra step of the tongue.  And also, Joan seemed to smell something as she was trying to get into his office; had enough time passed for his corpse to start smelling?

      • jenno1013

        At the very least, his bladder would have emptied after death. 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

        Lane had been in there at least 24 hours, I suspect (I always have a bit of trouble following the timelines). The odor could, perhaps, have come from his bladder (and bowels) emptying. But I did feel the death mask makeup was enough; I didn’t need the additional realism.

        • http://oneblueberry.com/ LaVonne Ellis

           Don said it was Friday, I believe, in their conversation… and gave Lane until Monday to come up with a story to explain his resignation. I assume the suicide took place early Saturday morning. The body was discovered late Monday. That would give it plenty of time to start smelling. Also, I noticed that when Don laid Lane’s body on the couch, his arms were stiff at his side – so rigor mortis had set in. No idea how long that takes.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UCLO5V2YD36T7QMPKOC7YXPOFU Erica

            Not to be too precise about these things, but in my job, I’ve read a lot of criminal trial transcripts.  Rigor Mortis sets in a few hours after death (four or so I think?), but then it gradually dissapates after that. It might have ended by Monday, assuming he killed himself on Saturday morning, but temperature can affect such things (sorry!).  I found it pretty realistic.  I initially thought that Don was trying to do Lane a favor and make it look like it wasn’t a hanging, which wouldn’t have worked at all, so I’m glad that wasn’t it.

          • Lilithcat

            I’m pretty sure the suicide occurred on Sunday.

          • MsInterpret

            Not that it really matters but I think Lane killed himself late Sunday/early Monday morning. Sally said a very pointed ‘he has a meeting tomorrow’ (i.e. Monday) re Don before she and Megan went out to meet her friend for coffee. And Rebecca Pryce made a clunky comment about Lane having been sick again the day before he was working on the papers.

          • MK03

            From a purely technical point of view, maybe the stiffness can be explained by the use of a dummy for that scene? I have no idea how they shot it, but a lifelike dummy would be the easiest for the multiple takes and coverage that scene required, as well as providing the proper rigidity. Mind you, I’m talking out of my ass here; I know there are ways to rig a “hanging” victim for film and stage but I have no idea how they work or how practical they are. Anyone who knows these things is free to correct me.

          • Susan Stella Floyd

            Actually, Jared Harris confirmed in an interview with Alan Sepinwall that he did, in fact, hang there.  For several hours, apparently.  http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/interview-mad-men-co-star-jared-harris-on-lane-pryce-and-commissions-and-fees

          • Sweetbetty

             If he had hung himself early Saturday morning his wife would have been wondering where he was for two whole days and part of a third before he was found.  She would certainly have called the office first thing Monday morning and would have probably tried to call one of the partners over the weekend.  I felt certain he had done the deed in the overnight hours from Sunday to Monday.  And yes, I had forgotten that the body evacuates when death occurs.  I was shocked many years ago when a woman I knew who worked in a nursing home mentioned hurrying to get a deceased patient “packed”.  She explained that they packed the body cavities with absorbent material immediately otherwise everything emptied and they had a mess to clean up. 

          • Susan Stella Floyd

             Wow, I have never known about this, or considered it.  Another indignity we suffer at death.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

             Lane came in early Monday morning. The scene showing him entering the dark offices occurs right after Sally’s late night phone call with Glen, asking him to come into the city the next day.

  • http://twitter.com/poptartsjen Pop Tarts Jen

    I’ve already seen a lot of discussion online about how terrible Don was to fire Lane and how he should have showed compassion, but I thought he was as compassionate as he could be – let Lane resign quietly so that nobody else had to know that he was embezzling money from the company. I also think that Don couldn’t fathom that Lane would kill himself over that, because suicide isn’t an option for Don. It’s not that Don wouldn’t self-destruct and accidentally kill himself somehow if things went really bad, because I could see that happening, but to hang himself? No way. Don is too much of a survivor.

    I had wondered why Glen was on the show, and why he was such a terrible actor when everybody else is so good – I hadn’t realized that the actor was Matthew Weiner’s son! The world makes sense again.

    I was really touched by Betty’s reaction to Sally getting her period. There are some points in life when a girl just needs her mother, and that is one of them, and I’m so glad Betty came through for her (even though she also used it to be a bitch to Megan!).

    Thanks for the recap – I was anxiously awaiting your reaction!

    • http://twitter.com/latxcvi LaT

      I think some of the reaction folks are having to Don’s reaction is one of those instances where the audience knowing more than the characters unduly colors how the audience views the characters’ interaction (in other words:  a lot of people aren’t looking at it from Don’s perspective at all because they know too much about where Lane was coming from).  As T-Lo said, *we* know the full circumstances of Lane’s life outside the office – the horrible relationship with his father, the complicated relationship with his wife, etc. – and all of that combines to make one sympathetic to – if not necessarily condoning of – the choices Lane’s made recently.  At the point that Lane walked into his office, however, *Don* didn’t know any of that (and he still didn’t get the full picture from Lane).  But I agree with you that Don was about as compassionate as he could’ve been under the circumstances; it’s a pretty time-honored truism of business that you don’t keep in your employ someone who’s stolen from you (and particularly not when that person also has access to your business’ finances). 

  • ilikemints

    I’ve seen a lot of criticism of the Sally’s period storyline, and it seems like the men are the ones who tend to think it’s weak, mainly because they don’t have the experience, so they don’t fully get it.

    This wasn’t a “new life begins” thing. It is the literal death of Sally’s childhood. It’s a moment of reckoning, no going back, no escaping. Just as Lane’s been on a trajectory towards his own destruction for a long time, so is Sally towards adulthood, and when both of them get “caught”, as it were, they panic. He can’t go back to trying to cover up his money schemes; she can’t go back to being a little girl. You can tell at the museum, she’s in a considerable amount of pain and anxiety. alone and scared (Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret doesn’t come out for another three years, and it’s not like Sally was raised to love her body). The main difference in how they treat their respective *shit just got REAL* moments is that Sally feels like she has someone to turn to, namely Betty, while Lane’s been suffering alone, not wanting to confide in anyone, even when Don gives him as gracious an out as he can manage.

    I also loved Betty’s bewildered warmth with Sally. My mom just told me “Well, you know where the pads are.”

    • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

      We don’t think the Sally storyline is weak. If anything, we thought it was another inevitability that the show would deal with this milestone in her life. We just felt it was shoehorned into this episode.

      • boleyn28

        I hope they dont build a storyline around Bobby’s changing and growing up cause I dont think an episode of the bathroom being occupied all day would be that interesting, lol. ( whoever has a son or is a man knows what i 
        mean ; )

        • Munchkn

           They did on Roseanne. 

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            They did the period episode too. :)

          • Munchkn

             I remember Darlene getting her period.  I remember,too, that Khan, jr started on King of the Hill.  Hank Hill ended up having to take Khan Junior shopping for supplies which was absolutely mortifying for Hank.

          • Sweetbetty

             Though I can’t recal specific instances, it seems to me that “first periods” have been addressed many times in TV shows over the years.  What makes the MM handling of it so different, though, is the showing of actual blood on panties.  Just like the showing of Kevin’s private parts, we’ve seen plenty of baby’s butts on TV but the close-up of an infant boy’s disproportionately large (I have two sons and four grandsons and have always chuckled at this) testicles is another thing altogether.

          • alula_auburn

            I will watch the “Darlene gets her period” episode any time it comes on, for reals.  It’s up there with the Joss Whedon-penned “To Whom It Concerns” poem.   

    • 3hares

      That was more my reading of it too. When I read “a new life begins” in the recap I was trying to figure out who’d given birth that I’d forgotten! Getting your period =/= life beginning imo. No going back makes more sense to me.

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        The script made it quite clear that this was being framed as a new beginning for Sally and that it meant she could have a daughter of her own one day. Lane’s story was about an ending and Sally’s was about a beginning. As Betty put it, “She started.”

        • 3hares

          Yes, I can see now that you say it–Sally now has possibilities where Lane had none. But “new life beginning” usually means contrasting a birth with a death since that’s the cliche. So Sally now having the ability to have babies in future if she wants them didn’t translate into new life for me. I was confused when I read it, before it was explained.

        • suzq

          I agree with 3hares.  A “new beginning” isn’t how Sally sees it.  “A woman has responsibilities,” Betty tells her.  Her childhood is over.  She is now a woman with responsibilities.  She’s in pain, physically and mentally.  And this explains her deep anger with Betty, Megan and everyone else.  Those first years of puberty are pretty hard on a lot of girls.  It’s no picnic and no cause for joyous celebration.

          • 3hares

            Yes, there’s also, I think, a parallel with Betty essentially telling her that the pain and inconvenience means that she’s alive, that everything’s working. If she’s bleeding, then she’s growing. Lane stopped that process (and his blood was now pooled in his neck).

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            No one said anything about it being a cause for celebration and this isn’t The Sally Draper Show. It’s true she doesn’t see it that way, but the story and the script framed it that way because BETTY saw it that way.

          • boleyn28

            It makes sense as to why she was acting like such a little brat during the ski trip thing. She had PMS but didnt know thats what it ws, Same thing happenes to alot of girls and then for the mom its a moment of clarity, a big exhale thanking god its not her new personality its just her period, wink wink : )

          • MissusBee

            Although what Betty was celebrating was not the fact her daughter had ‘become a woman’ (yikes), but the fact her little girl had run home to mama.

            I agree the timing could be seen as contrived, but the subtexts, ironies and paradoxes surrounding the topic of whether Sally wants to be seen as grown up or not was really nicely done, especially as the sexuality/power dynamic is so important for female characters in this show.

        • Sweetbetty

           Don’t you love how that code works between women.  As different as Betty and Megan are, Megan knew exactly what Betty meant by “She started”.  Don or any other man would have had to ask, “Started what?”.

        • Katsaavedra

           The script is also quite clear about the fact that every end is a beginning and every beginning is an end.  There is more to Sally’s experience than ” new life”.  Why are you being so obtuse about that?

    • Tracie Bezerra

      I think you hit the nail on the head here.  If you really read into it, there was almost a parallel between Lane’s and Sally’s stories, in which they were both putting on a false show of things for as long as they could (and that is so much of what a young girl’s rebellion against her mother in the face of all the bewilderment of adolescence is) until they were faced with situations they simply couldn’t deal with.  Yeah, it’s a stretch, but I don’t get to use the muscles I toned as an English major very often :-)

      I both didn’t mind that Lane’s suicide was expected and loved Betty’s unexpectedly nurturing and healthy handling of Sally’s first period.  It was a lovely moment for her to zag away from Bitch Mom – I would have so expected her to go to something like “you’ll just have to learn to deal with the fact that your body is disgusting like the rest of us,” so “it means everything is okay and you can have babies and maybe you’ll have a beautiful daughter like I did” means that much more.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UCLO5V2YD36T7QMPKOC7YXPOFU Erica

        Yes, it was a nice comment by Betty, and Betty’s advice to ask another woman if you’re caught somewhere unawares was spot on, as was Sally’s mildly horrified reaction to it.  I remember being glad mine started, because I was then part of the club, but I wouldn’t be comfortable TALKING about it for a while.  Also, when that happens, the only one you want to talk to about it is your mom.  I did the same thing Sally did–got by until I saw my mom next.  I thought the scene was a nice way to show that that bond is still there.

        • MK03

          I found that bit of advice bizarre. I just cannot fathom walking up to a stranger in a public bathroom and saying “I just got my period. What do I do?” 

          • 3hares

            It’s not unusual advice. If the alternative is the child’s sitting there unsure, they really can ask another woman in the ladies’ room and probably get helpful advice and comfort. What Betty said was true–they’ll understand. If the kid feels they can handle it themselves, of course they’re not going to do that.

          • http://twitter.com/latxcvi LaT

            I took it as Betty telling her what to do if she got her period again under circumstances where she didn’t have anything with her (which Sally obviously didn’t, as evidenced by the frantic unspooling of the toilet paper in the stall).  In other words, if Sally was out and about and got her period but didn’t have any pads or tampons with her, she could ask another woman (I agree it would be odd to ask a complete stranger, but I know I’ve had to ask friends in the past because I got mine earlier than expected and didn’t have anything with me).

          • asympt

             Wouldn’t have been tampons back then.  That would have been somewhat scandalous for an innocent young girl.  It would have been a pad, and it would have required a complicated little garter system to hold it in place.  Thank goodness stick-on ones were about to be invented!

          • sarahjane1912

            Oh god. Belts. Belts with the ‘loaf of bread’. *Shudder*

            The memories, the memories! LOL!

          • sherrietee

            that sort of happened to me once – I was at my grandmother’s apartment in New York and I was a full week early, so I didn’t have ANYthing.  She only had stuff from when my mother was a teenager – so out came the belt and the mouse mattress.   I was amazed that it was still useable 30 years later.  It was horrifying.

          • Izandra

            It wasn’t “spooling” it was those horrid toilet paper dispensers where they came out like mini restaurant napkins and felt like sandpaper and were about just as effective. I’m so glad they got rid of those!

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            I think by “any woman”, Betty really meant Megan.

    • sweatpantalternative

      You’re so right. I think the whole point of that story line was to showcase that, just to the contrary, Sally is NOT as mature as she would like to believe and Sally DOES have a relationship with her mother. I agree her story line may have been shoehorned in, but not to directly contrast with Lane’s–I think it was just Sally’s story. In life, people’s personal narratives don’t always overlap. On that note, the “theme” to this weeks episode could just be an extension of “things are not quite what they appear”. Lane was not quite the upstanding gentleman people took him to be, SCDP was not quite the success that it could be, Ken’s not the dupe we thought he was, Sally and Glen don’t quite have the budding romance they think they’re supposed to have, etc. etc.

      And yeah, sorry but most men don’t get how confusing and scary that moment is, and that absolutely the first person you would run to would be your mom. My husband guffawed, I had to explain it to him. 

      • alula_auburn

        There was a part of me that was really happy that the show “allowed” Sally to want Betty then.  It’s so easy for so many viewers to write off Betty as a bad mother (and she’s certainly screwed up a lot), but the truth is, relationship are a lot more enmeshed and entangled than that, and I found there to be something very affecting in underlining that Sally can feel perfectly well that she hates her mother at the start of the weekend, and not want anyone but her at the end.

        In that sense, it also seemed like there was kind of a tie with both Lane and Don–that you don’t ever really escape or shed your past, Don’s mantras to the contrary.  But in Sally’s story, that’s figured as a non-inherently-horrible thing.

    • Tasterspoon

      It wasn’t till finding this blog (recently) that I started trying to “find the theme” in each episode, and last night I summarized it as “Mad Men: TNG” (The Next Generation); Tom & Lorenzo’s phrasing is rather more elegant.  I saw the older generation kind of passing the torch in this episode.  Roger allows Ken to step up; Betty spells out Sally’s new role as a woman; Don gives Glen a chance to choose a future for himself rather than give up at such a young age.

      • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

        That just gave me a rather disturbing flash of Glen-as-Wesley-Crusher.

    • Munchkn

       Betty’s scene with Sally was so tender and sweet.  I also liked how Betty told Megan that Sally had “started”.  I don’t know if people still say it that way but that’s spot on for ’67.   Sally would probably viewed that same Disney film about menstruation at school that I watched and she might have read “Time to Grow Up” by former model Candy Jones who I think ran an ad agency then.

  • http://textsfromtrudycampbell.tumblr.com/ TextsfromTrudy

    I think the real shock was never Lane’s suicide from the audience’s point of view, since it had in face been telegraphed ad nauseum bit by bit throughout the season; the real shock was the effect it had on Don. Don’t main problem has never been that he doesn’t know “when to be happy” but that he has always been blind to when other people are unhappy and miserable. It always comes as a shock to him as someone who attempts to fabricate desire and happiness for not just the hoi polloi but everyone else around him. Glen Bishop has always symbolized to me the unhappiness that has always been right behind his back, unrecognized in Betty, and (hopefully not) perhaps one day in Sally, too.

    • MissAnnieRN

      I wasn’t at all shocked at Don’s reaction. I completely expecked him to internalize it and take on guilt and a feeling of responsibility for it. He can’t help but thinking this is his fault. Though I did groan a bit at his reaction, I’m hard pressed to come up with what I would have preferred as his emotional subtext. It’s both in character and completely relatable. I imagine most humans would respond similarly thinking that their decision had been the catalyst for such a rash and awful outcome. I do think each of the partners responded in character to it and the writing allowed them to be true to their character.

      • librarygrrl64

        I thought Hamm’s reaction was brilliant. A combination of not only what had occurred between him and Lane, but between him and his brother. The range of expression on his face was more nuanced and varied than many actors achieve in an entire movie. Or, in the case of Keanu Reeves, an entire career. ;-)

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

          Totally agree. that scene when he finds out what happened is emmy worthy.

        • Melissa Brogan

           Hamm does indeed possess that rare talent that lets him express a huge range with one or two words and his facial expressions.

      • CozyCat

        I thought it was interesting that Don kept Lane’s secret.  The other partners were obviously mystified by the resignation, but he said nothing.  That is a strong characteristic in the “Don Draper Code of Integrety”:  you keep other peoples’s secrets.  (Sal, Peggy, etc.)

        Cooper will figure it out.  But he is also very discreet about other people’s secrets. 

  • Rachel Hewitt

    The junior Weiner’s acting doesn’t bother me. I’ve always assumed that Glen was suppose to be a slightly autistic child whose responses were wooden, and out of sync with those around him. In that respect: Master Weiner does a fine job.

    • UsedtobeEP

      You know, I actually know several boys at about this age. They are awkward, they grunt more than they talk, there isn’t a lot of inflection in their voices, and they are painfully shy. Eye contact? Not so much. Now that I think about it, Glen doesn’t seem so beyond reality to me. Not loving the mustache, still, though. 

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        Amen to that. I have nephews. 

      • Kylara7

        Agreed.  In general, adolescent boys are allowed to be sullen and withdrawn to to a larger degree than girls. Sally ha most likely been continuously coached by Betty to smile, be perky, make conversation, be gracious to guests, have good manners, and think of others, hence the difference in their demeanors.

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          Whereas Glen’s parents threw their hands up and shipped him off to boarding school. Where he is surrounded by boys.

      • Sweetbetty

         I was taken by his, “Thanks and nice to have met you, Megan”, as he and Don were leaving.  It seemed uncharacteristically like the perfectly polite and proper thing to say, not Glenn-like at all.

        • ccinnc

          I was a little disturbed that he called her Megan.  Too familiar.  Intentionally, creepily familiar?

        • http://oneblueberry.com/ LaVonne Ellis

          I thought Glen’s use of Megan’s first name (and Betty’s), instead of Mrs. Draper, was a sign of his lack of social skills – overly familiar, inappropriate, and a bit creepy. It sets the stage for the phone call in next week’s preview, if that’s him breathing loudly. Btw, I don’t think that means he’s a budding serial killer – just awkward, inappropriate and a little obsessed with older women. Sounds like a normal teenage boy to me!

          • Girl_With_a_Pearl

            Well….with all due respect, it’s one thing for a teenage boy to fantasize about older, attractive women.  It’s another thing to ask for a lock of their hair or if it was Glen on the phone, to start calling adult women on the phone.  Interesting that Glen and Don have similar taste in women, but kind of creepy for a teenager to start acting on his fantasies.

            I wouldn’t mind if the Glen character goes away.  And I’d much rather find out how Sal is doing.

          • Tasterspoon

            Glen is such a…BLANK.  He hasn’t done anything this season to set off alarm bells for me so he’s been demoted to more of a drip than a creep.  But both my husband and I were really annoyed with him when Megan offers to make him a sandwich and he settles down on the couch with an entitled, “If you don’t mind.”  Ugh.  Sit up straight, tuck in your shirt and offer to help.  Oh, and APOLOGIZE for losing Sally.  Drip.

          • Sweetbetty

             That sandwich bit got me too.  I have two grandsons who were Glen’s age not too many years ago and I just know they wouldn’t have acted so familiar in the same situation.  They probably *would* have left to kill how-many hours until the train came; if they would have stayed they probably would have said no thank-you to the sandwich offer even if they were famished; and they would have never, ever, called her Megan.

          • makeityourself

            I have to remind myself that Glen thoroughly trashed the Draper house to get back at Betty and Don for making Sally move away. He’s outside the norm, whatever that may be.

          • 3hares

            He didn’t trash the house to get back at them for making her move. He trashed it because Sally said she wanted to move and they wouldn’t. I assume the idea was to make them feel like it was a bad neighborhood, and also show Sally he was on her side. Still pretty extreme, of course.

        • Lilithcat

          not Glenn-like at all.

          It was very Eddie Haskell.

          • Sweetbetty

             Nah, Eddie Haskell was much more calculating and slippery than awkward Glenn.  And Eddie would have referred to the women as “Mrs.”  whoever.

  • http://twitter.com/poptartsjen Pop Tarts Jen

    I was really hoping that Lane would take his failed suicide in the Jag as a sign that he shouldn’t go through with it, but, alas. I did think that the fact that the car wouldn’t start was a great little piece of black humor – they’ve been talking for weeks about how unreliable Jags are. I’ll admit – I laughed (and then felt bad for laughing while someone was trying to kill himself).

  • nosniveling

    One thing I haven’t seen commented on yet re the forgery is that Lane took the last page of checks out of the checkbook.
    Although Burt believed that Don had indeed co signed Lane’s check, a cursory inspection would reveal that the check numbers were way out of order.  The partners will find out about all of this.  Also no one knows (yet) about Lane’s arranging for the extra 50K line of credit.
    Thought the ep. was devastating.

    • KateWo

      In the preview for next week they show partners receiving letters…I wonder if that has something to do with the credit line? 

    • Melanie Harrison

      Yes! Thank you for mentioning this. I’d forgotten about it until you said something. He said he only owed $7,500, so why did he take out a 50k line of credit and take out a page of checks? Also, that guy he was talking to in London seemed really sketchy. I fear for the future of SCDP. I have a feeling the truth about Lane’s embezzlement will come to light eventually whether Don wanted it do or not.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        IDK. They’ve offered up some red herrings this year (the wallet guy), so I won’t speculate. But it’s notable that Don asked “is this the only one?” and Lane didn’t answer one way or the other.

        • makeityourself

          The embezzler in my former office got caught and lied about it being the first time ever. It took about five minutes to figure out that this was not the case. Didn’t Lane have to pay off the accountant who gave him the bad news in the first place?

      • http://twitter.com/awesomejen awesomejen

        I thought he took the whole 50K so that he could claim there was enough for the whole firm to have bonuses…and in the process, he could get his $7500 partner share while the rest of the firm got their share. Then the partners decided that it wouldn’t be prudent for them to get bonuses, so they just gave them to the employees.

        • http://twitter.com/mediapileup Beth Anderson

          Yes, that was his plan. He claimed that he had “found” an extra $50,000 in the accounts so that everyone could receive their bonus and he planned to distribute the money to the partners and employees so that he could take his share without it looking improper.

      • http://twitter.com/sarahohmygod Sarah Oleksyk

         I bet it’ll happen the minute Joan takes over Lane’s duties of checking the books. And she’ll be as discreet about handling it as Cooper or Don would be.

  • Spicytomato1

    I enjoyed this episode, although “enjoy” seems the wrong word to use given Lane’s fate. I was fairly riveted by the events that unfolded. I guess obvious doesn’t bother me. My perspective is different than TLo’s and most people, though, since this is my first season watching. I’ve caught up on backstories by reading old recaps but haven’t watched earlier seasons. 

    It was interesting to see how quickly Megan went from being Sally’s “friend” on scheduled weekends to someone who seemed to see her only as an inconvenience during unscheduled time. No wonder she doesn’t want kids of her own, she’s definitely not Mom material yet. Although I felt like she redeemed herself somewhat by showing concern at Sally’s disappearance and in grilling Glen. 

    And speaking of moms, I thought JJ was great last night. People seem to love to claim that JJ is a bad actor but I thought that was some fine acting in her brief scenes. Although once again the fat suit was distracting to me.

    I couldn’t quite get a handle on Pete’s reaction to Lane’s death. He seemed more annoyed than anything. Guilt or no guilt, I thought Don showed more emotion and humanity about Lane’s passing than all the other partners combined (although to be fair people react differently to traumatic events).

    • 3hares

      I didn’t get annoyed from Pete. I think he was just shocked. I did think it was interesting that he was elected to do the dirty work (again!) of telling Don and Roger, and he also checked Lane’s office and so technically discovered the body. Don had a lot more to react to–the minute he heard he died he had a whole context in which to put it, and a history with death and suicide. At least that’s how I took it.

      MEgan definitely is not into  beinga  mom.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/3VX3PVAANSFDB7ALZINJ46BUVQ Kay

        Spicytomato: not every woman (or every man) wants to bear children or be a parent. It’s false to assume that she will ever become “Mom material”, whatever that is. 

        3hares: I agree that she’s not into being a mom, and she doesn’t really need to be. It’s up to her, Don, Betty, and the kids to determine how she can best serve them and herself in the new family dynamic.

        I love seeing more than one woman on this show who sticks to her convictions about not having children. Some of us  simply are not interested in parenting and/or childbearing, and it is refreshing to see characters sharing that conviction.

    • Sweetbetty

       Not a Megan hater, but her reaction to a missing Sally could have been as much about what Don would say/think/do than her own concern.  I said “could”.

      I had to smile at Pete’s reaction to what he saw when he looked into Lane’s office.  He covered his mouth with his hand  in horror.  To me, that’s a rather feminine gesture.  I didn’t see any of the other men do that.  And poor Joan; without anyone saying a word she knew exactly what was wrong; she probably knew it as soon as she locked the door and went to the office next door.

      • Spicytomato1

        Yes, it was Pete’s covering his mouth with his hand like that that got me wondering…it almost seemed like he was stifling a smile. I’m sure I’m reading too much into it…people’s reactions to death often seem inappropriate, everyone reacts and copes in different ways. He’s just been on my radar because of his bad behavior.

        • http://twitter.com/latxcvi LaT

          Interesting. I had the complete opposite read on Pete in that moment.  I saw him covering his mouth in horror at what he’d just seen (and given what they showed us, I can’t blame him one bit; I was horrified, too).  He seemed shocked and then subdued to me in a way that oddly gave me hope that he’s not completely lost as a person, that he’s still capable of feeling for other people.

          • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

            That makes sense to me, given what Ken has just put in motion.  IMHO, it makes for better drama for Pete to receive his comeuppance just when he might be getting on a road toward redemption and thereby garnering some viewer sympathy.  The shock of seeing (and cutting down) Lane could conceivably wrench Pete’s psyche in that way.

  • Scimommy

    Don’s cold-blooded firing of Lane may have been justified, but given that he has been essentially forging Don Draper’s signature on every document he has signed for years, it’s a bit hypocritical, no? What if the clients got wind of that little factoid, huh, Don? What would that do to your precious company?

    Lane’s trajectory on the show was inevitable and heartbreaking, and yes, he brought what happened on himself by being too proud to ask for help, but I thought that given what he had done for the company, he deserved a little leeway. Perhaps a chance to redeem himself. What Don did was another example of the firm Lane worked for using him and then tossing him aside without a second thought.

    In short, I absolutely put some of the blame for Lane’s death on Don, and I don’t think I will ever look at him in sympathy after this. I hope Megan leaves him in the worst way possible, breaking his heart and making him as miserable as he can be. I know, he’ll become an even bigger a$$hole after that, but it’ll do as punishment in the short term.

    • http://twitter.com/nicolarz Nicole K.

      Cold-blooded? Allowing Lane to resign was one of the kinder things Don could have done. He could have easily had him arrested on the spot.  Knowingly  keeping on a man who had forged at least one check (he wouldn’t give Don a direct answer when he asked if there were others) to run the finances of a company is lunacy.  And let’s not forget that the partners aren’t even aware of the bigger lie that it wasn’t a $50,000 surplus but a loan Lane took out in order to float the idea of bonuses, so even Lane’s “coming clean” was filled with lies and half-baked justifications. 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

        Right. He could have had him arrested, exposed what he did to his family and colleagues, and had him kicked out of the country.  Don even said he would pay back the money stolen from the company – but he couldn’t trust him to work there anymore.  He was more than fair and generous.  There’s a difference between being cruel and not being a sucker.

        • emcat8

          Yabbut… Don is also a deserter from the Army. That’s punishable by death. So I hear what Scimommy’s saying, because I also felt it was the utmost in hypocrisy. I don’t blame Don, but it IS hypocritical.

          • http://twitter.com/sarahohmygod Sarah Oleksyk

             People tend to loathe in others the things they hate the most about themselves. Don would absolutely understand the type of mind it takes to embezzle or commit fraud, and as such couldn’t tolerate having it near him (“don’t swim too close to a drowning man”).

      • CozyCat

        And Don was going allow Lane to formulate a cover story.  That would allow him to get another job. 

    • LesYeuxHiboux

       I laughed out loud when Don said “I don’t trust you”. How he didn’t laugh at himself is beyond me. This from man who lied his way into his life and job, stole a trip out from under Paul Kinsey and disappeared in California for weeks, and who proposed to his young secretary/babysitter while dating another co-worker (who he leaned on to betray her ethics).

      • sarahjane1912

        True, true … but seriously, COULD Don trust the agency’s financial officer when he’d stolen and more importantly to Don, forged? I think Don was absolutely right to give Lane the option to resign; it was magnanimous of him to do so when he could have called in the boys-in-blue. Of course, we know why that wouldn’t have been the ideal option for Dick Whitman, but still … ;-)

  • http://www.what-the-frock.com Dana WhatTheFrock

    While the episode, and the season in general,  was lacking in subtlety, I still found last night’s episode incredibly powerful, and I had a hard time sleeping afterwards because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Lane may have screwed up, royally, but I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him (and also incredibly angry, because suicide is an incredibly selfish act – poor Rebecca). I can’t help but wonder if Don is going to tell anyone about what transpired between him and Lane. I doubt it, although I hope he tells Rebecca, so that she can have some understanding and closure about what Lane did.
    Did anyone else get a (much less appealing) Holden Caulfield vibe from Glen last night? A weird, sensitive kid taking the train to the city from boarding school, going to the museum, etc.

    • ilikemints

       I liked how even Sally called Betty a “phony” to Megan, and she lives in Rye. Very Salinger of both of them

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        Gah! **banging my head over lack of subtlety here**
        Although in the writers’ defense, Glen and Sally would be all over that book. It would be like their Bible.

      • CatherineRhodes

         Good catch!

    • ballerinawithagun

      Holden Caulfield, exactly!

    • Sweetbetty

       ” I hope he tells Rebecca, so that she can have some understanding and closure about what Lane did.”

      One of the previews showed Don standing in a doorway and saying, “I hope you don’t mind me dropping by this way”.  I got the distinct feeling that he was talking to Rebecca and was there to offer some explanations as well as financial assistance.  I think he does feel some guilt in Lane’s death and wants to make it up to his family in some way.  He does have his good points.  And his bad ones.

  • http://twitter.com/poptartsjen Pop Tarts Jen

    I was actually really afraid when Megan let him into the apartment, because I was SO sure that Glen was going to be creepy and start hitting on Megan. Gah, that kid is a creeper.

    • MK03

      Me too, but once Lane’s suicide was revealed, I knew they weren’t going to go there with Glen. I just don’t think Mad Men would heap two traumas on its characters (and us) one after the other.

    • suzq

      Megan might not be Glen’s type.

      • LesYeuxHiboux

        Good point. Glen latched onto Betty because she was the idealized mother/pretty princess rolled into one. Megan’s sassy career-gal style is more like his own mother.

  • sweetlilvoice

    I too found this episode less interesting than ‘The Other Woman.’ Maybe because a death has been predicted throughout this season and I knew Lane’s fate was sealed once he forged the checks. Maybe because there was little Joan and no Peggy. I probably wouldn’t have picked up on the death clues if I hadn’t been reading this excellent blog and the comments. It’s made me much more aware of certain subtle things. I had forgotten that Adam hanged himself too. Don’s 2 for 2. There’s no way Lane could have just forgotten about it and moved on. He would return to the UK in disgrace and his wife obviously has no clue what’s going on with their lives.

    I loved the bonding between Sally and Betty. Sometimes, even though your mother drives you crazy, you just want your mom. Megan wasn’t going to cut it. The whole Sally thing felt really rushed and not necessary, I knew as soon as she said her stomach hurt that she would get her period. Glen is a man and now Sally is a woman.

    I don’t find Glen as annoying as most people do but he is creepy and his mustache was gross. He must have loved meeting Megan, another Draper woman to fall for. And I noticed that Megan was wearing that green sweater and carpi outfit again. Child-like! And she had a lot of complaints this episode too.

    Don letting Glen drive was strange, especially his little rant. What’s so wrong with Glen’s life?  

    • UsedtobeEP

      He’s getting bullied at school. All the seniors on some sports team peed in his locker, among other things. 

    • Sweetbetty

       Plus he’s always been a bit messed up, whether from something in his life or that it’s just the way he is.  Plus his parents divorced, his mom remarried, and he was sent off to boarding school.  Can’t blame him for having abandonment issues.  Then too, he’s going through puberty as well as Sally and there are all sorts of hormonal and emotional storms raging for him too. 

      • asympt

         Plus he took a big risk and his whole day to come see Sally, and she disappeared and it got weird and he doesn’t know why.

  • soxonthebeach

    My favorite line of the episode?  ”I wrote a check!”.  That was hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time.

    • UsedtobeEP

      My husband actually clapped his hand over his mouth and looked away when she said that. I think it was about the worst thing he could imagine.

      • Susan Stella Floyd

        That’s what I did, too.  Gobsmacked.

    • Mrs. McD

      I choked on my tea when she busted out that line!  My husband also went from drooling over the car to looking a little pained about the check written for its purchase.

  • KateWo

    I didn’t know Glen was Matt Weiner’s son, but it makes sense since I had no idea why he was brought back in the story line this season.  Would a high school boy really make all this effort over a 12 year old girl?  Maybe in a few years but it’s unrealistic now.  I figured the reason he’s around is so Betty gets pissed when she finds out but what’s the point of that?

    Keirnan was perfectly channeling Betty with the “I don’t like it” mustache comment.

    Not sure about Don going after big accounts…remember his anger about booting Mohawk to go after American?  I think it’s also in part of he knows Jaguar came because of Joan so he wants to win a big account all on his own. 

    I knew it was the ‘Lane kills himself’ episode as soon as Don confronted him, although people might say it was too obvious if I didn’t read this recaps and comments I may not have been waiting for it to happen all season.  Killing himself in that car would have been so cruel to his wife, ugh. 

    I’m glad they showed the period panties….I’ve read that one of the societal things that causes women to feel a sense of inferiority is the way periods are regarded as shameful and meant to be hidden, so I felt a little shot of feminism in this episode. 

  • http://twitter.com/poptartsjen Pop Tarts Jen

    I agree, there’s something to be said about the deliberateness. You could just see the show spiraling toward death, with no way to stop it. Disturbing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=674300009 Robert Alden

      It’s as if we are watching the proverbial “car crash” in the process of happening and we are powerless to do anything about it.

      • HengRu

        At one point I thought there was going to be a *literal* car crash. Lane’s wife kept urging him to take the Jag for a spin, even though he was obviously drunk. I expected him to do so and smash it (and himself) up, at least semi-intentionally.

  • http://twitter.com/poptartsjen Pop Tarts Jen

    I admit it, I laughed when the Jag wouldn’t start. A great piece of black humor.

    • MilaXX

       Have you been following Jaguar USA’s tweets? It kinda funny

    • MilaXX

       Have you been following Jaguar USA’s tweets? It kinda funny

      • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

        Just checked those out.  I loved David Pryor’s article, “How It Feels To Watch Mad Men Total Your Car Company,” with the tagline, “Jaguar has never been happier to see a car not start…”

  • TankeaRae

    I think maybe you have to experience actually being a 12 year old girl to get a feel for how the story ties in. I don’t think it really had anything to do with life beginning, even if it came up in Betty’s speech. Sally’s whole storyline was one involving playing with her own image and trying desperately to be grown up. Whether it was talking about boyfriends (curiosity about having one doesn’t mean you’re ready), ordering coffee (and pouring tons of sugar in it), or getting dressed up for a boy (and then being kind of creeped out by what you see), she’s trying to figure out who she is and when she’s confronted with the messy reality, she literally runs home to her mother who she was trying so desperately to distance herself from. She can’t escape the fact that she’s still young and, well, a child. 

    Meanwhile, Lane, even if he doesn’t always feel like it, is the proper British gentleman. He’s trying to please everyone and in the end, his shame is too much to go on. For Lane, there are no speeches, there are no fixes. He’s tried on his hat as a lot of things: account man, single man, ex-Brit. But at the end of the day, he’s the same man he always was: someone who has been bullied in many respects and never quite fit in. 

    Sally’s end may seem cliche or silly, but Betty really summed it up when she said “she needed her mother.” No matter how poorly they got along, at that moment she was a confused, scared kid who needed her mom, not her cool friend. What Betty said seemed more like a mother’s explanation designed to calm her daughter, less stating a theme. No life was beginning, but Sally sure as hell has a greater appreciation of the things she isn’t ready for.  Maybe I’m relating a bit too closely here, but that’s just my feeling. 

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      I agree. But I still wish they hadn’t shown her panties. :-/

      • Susan Stella Floyd

        Why?

        I am a bit disappointed by all the pearl-clutching going on about this brief shot (not saying that’s what you’re doing here, but I’ve seen it a lot in comments on reviews of this episode, here and elsewhere).

        Why is something that is simply a fact of nature for half of the people on earth seen as somehow unfit for public viewing and consideration, on the same program that showed us a foot run over by a lawnmower, and–in the same episode–a hanging?!

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          Don’t get me wrong. I’m not offended by the blood itself. There’s nothing horrible or shocking about menstrual blood. It’s the idea of showing a young girl’s underwear on TV that gives me the willies. IMO, the camera angle was too close for comfort.

          And also I think it was obvious, another anvil-on-the-head moment that didn’t need to be there. I understood what was going on, and would assume other viewers would get it.

        • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

           I don’t recall the camera zooming in tight on the severed foot or even on Lane’s face.

          Look, we laughed when we saw the bloody panties because it’s exactly the kind of in-your-face thing Mad Men likes to do occasionally, but we think it’s a little silly to pretend like it wasn’t shocking. Of course it was shocking. You know why? Because no one had ever done it before; not on a television show.

          We keep hearing it compared to the various ways coming of age stories for boys are depicted, but in order for that comparison to work, there has to be multiple instances of a camera zooming in close on a 12-year-old boys jizzy pajamas or jizzy sheets. We can’t recall ever seeing one instance of that ever, and if Mad Men did something like that, we’d laugh, just as we laughed at the boldness of showing baby taint or Sally’s panties.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

      I also thought of “Are you There God?….” which Sally wouldn’t have read. Getting your first period is scary; at least I (and many other girls who started after Judy Blume’s novel) had read the book first. Sally’s knowledge of what would happen, or what it would feel like, likely wasn’t much more developed than her knowledge of sex (“I know the man pees inside the woman”). It didn’t bother me that they showed her panties – that sight of blood for the first time is shocking, and the shock of seeing this on television recalled that sense – at once dreadful and exciting. A becoming AND and end.

    • CozyCat

      My mother came of age in the 1940s when there was no such thing as sex education and there was more “discretion” in public discussion.  Her mother was a very, very uptight Catholic.  So no one told her ANYTHING.  When she started she had no idea what it was and thought the blood meant she was dying!

      Betty is mother of the year in comparison!

    • BostonBuddha

      In a lot of ways, Glen can be seen as a younger version of Lane — bullied, sent away by his family to boarding school, odd, not fitting in anywhere, socially inappropriate, deeply unhappy with a sense of being unjustly badly treated.  The differences — Lane had an abusive bullying father who had no respect for him and Lane was English not American with an Englishman’s sense of duty and the past as prologue — might accountfor some differences, but it does make me worry about whether Glenn will grow up to be suicidal.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

    I thought the Lane storyline was so well written and acted, I really hated the outcome. I felt like someone I really knew had died. The scene where they cut him down was so realistic and raw, it just broke my heart.

  • http://twitter.com/poptartsjen Pop Tarts Jen

    Oh no, I agree 100%. I kept thinking, “Just tell your wife! You can figure this out! It will be hard but you can do it!” I was not only sad, but also pissed off at Lane.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/toodleskitty79?feature=guide AWS

    I thought of Don’s half-brother too.

    I thought it was BIZARRE that Don wanted to drive Glenn home.  Be with your wife, curl up in a ball and spoon.  Like Betty did with Sally. 

    Ken is a cool cat. 

    I LOVED the song at the end as Glenn drove…

    • ilikemints

       Don likes to actively take care of things that need to be done, like the broken pipe at Pete’s house, for instance. I think it was totally in character to fix the easily solved problem of getting Glenn back to school. He also probably needed a long drive to meditate on the whole thing rather than rehash everything to Megan when he’s barely had time to process it.

      • CatherineRhodes

         Yes, I agree. It wasn’t so much about the act of driving as it was giving himself the time to think/process without a million questions from Megan.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/toodleskitty79?feature=guide AWS

        I can see your point.  Don is NOT going to tell Glenn anything personal.  This way, he gets to be driven to Lakeville by Glenn for two hours.  Then he has a two hour drive back ALONE.  Me, I’d want to be alone til I was ready to talk about it. 

        • Sweetbetty

           And remember, Megan is the only one who knows that Don fired Lane.  So now when he inevitably does talk to her about the suicide she’s going to know what triggered it.  Don’s struggling with a maelstrom of emotions and is going to need someone truly understanding to talk this over with.  Is Megan going to be able to be the right person?  Is she too wrapped up in her preparations for the play?  How soon is she leaving for Boston?  Leaving Don alone when he really needs someone to cling to?  Even if she wasn’t involved with the play and traveling, does she have the emotional depth to understand the complexities of what Don is feeling in relation to Lane’s suicide?

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/toodleskitty79?feature=guide AWS

            Megan didn’t get the part in the play that would send her to Boston.

            I hear ya but I give Megan way more credit.  I think she’d spoon him and not lecture him. 

          • Sweetbetty

             ”Megan didn’t get the part in the play that would send her to Boston.”

            When was that announced?  I missed it.

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/toodleskitty79?feature=guide AWS

             She never mentioned getting it two eps ago…

  • TankeaRae

    My feeling as well. He’s supposed to be just a bit…off. He may be channeling AJ Soprano a bit in the awkward woodness, but for the most part it kind of fits. 

    • CatherineRhodes

       Yeah, I buy him too. He seems perfectly cast to me.

  • egl48

    It was so nice to see Betty’s maternal side.  I miss January Jones.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

      I loved her ambivalence about it – first freezing up when Sally hugged her, then rising to the occasion.

      • Lilithcat

        first freezing up when Sally hugged her

        I saw that more as her being startled by the hug, not so much freezing up.  

        • Sweetbetty

           I missed the first few minutes of last night’s show, the part where Sally was rebelling about going on the trip, so my first  thought too was that Betty was so inexperienced at being a warm and nurturing mother that she didn’t know how to react to Sally’s hug.  Then I watched it the second time and saw all the drama of those first few minutes and that gave me an entirely different take on that scene.  Betty was just so taken aback by the girl who had been screaming mean and nasty things to her just three days before that she was startled by this sudden show of affection.

      • Amy Fee Garner

        I saw that as Betty still in “fighting with Sally” mindset — they’d parted ways earlier with harsh words, remember, and Betty was likely still feeling a bit defensive and strangly from their earlier interaction.  This is her first teenager and she doesn’t know yet that if you’re not happy with your teenage kid’s mood, wait a few minutes….

      • egl48

        Being a nurturing mom doesn’t come easily to all mothers.  January Jones did a great job showing that Betty is still trying.

  • VanessaDK

    I hated thr heavy foreshadowing all season, but at least Lane at least got the exit he deserved, and the Isolde allowed us to see his struggles and deterioration. The jag not starting was a bit of a groaner, but his methodical preparation for his suicide was so in character.

    • Sweetbetty

       I wondered how Lane found a length of rubber hose in a Manhattan apartment in the middle of the night.

      • sarahjane1912

        I think it would be the rare garage [under an apartment building] that DIDN’T have hoses dotted here and there for the purposes of giving cars a spritz, topping up the water tank in the engine etc etc … Lane probably helped himself to one of those.

        • Sweetbetty

           OK, my secret is out; I’ve never been in a Manhattan apartment building parking garage.  Thanks for clearing that up :-)

          • sarahjane1912

            Psst … nor have I.

            That said, I have lived in one or two inner-city apartment blocks in fairly trendy zones, and all their garages have had hoses therein. 

            Another thought: not sure about the legislation vis-a-vis fire/building code in late ’60s Manhattan, but in London/Sydney [both of which I've enjoyed as an apartment dweller] having a water source on hand in the building’s bowels was also ‘required’ in case of fire.

  • http://twitter.com/flaming_mo Maureen Cox

    Thank you for the terrific review. While I realize that some viewers may have been frustrated by Lane’s heavily foreshadowed demise, I was somewhat relieved to see an example of suicide that wasn’t portrayed too simply. Too often in the media, suicide is shown as being the abrupt result of single factors, rather than as the culmination of a long and complex process in which individuals try to cope with their pain. 
    While Lane was a tragic figure, there were enough brief moments of triumph and freedom that character experienced throughout the series that made me root for him. He (and Jared Harris) will definitely be missed.

  • VanessaDK

    Thank you for recognizing that Dons sudden lust for Dow chemical came from his guilt for not taking better care of the firm. Lane wanted to p,ay with the big boys, and move up from accountant to partner, so he put everything on the line, and would have been okay if the firm could have been more successful. He could never asked one of the other partners for a loan- that would have humiliated him and shown that he was not their equal.

  • formerlyAnon

    This is the kind of television that is still seen as “classic” or part of a “golden age” decades later.  It may sometimes strike me as a little out of time with the story arc & episode pacing metronome in my head, but in retrospect I’m betting that out-of-sync feeling will be discussed as one of its strengths.

    Lane: me sad. The details don’t matter, his story arc evokes the *feelings* you get for real people – good and bad, likable and off-putting all rolled up into one.

    Sally: Everyone (that I know) has had a few incidents in their growing up, usually in adolescence, that transcend awkward and go well into creepy/disorienting/just plain “off.” Glenn seems appointed to show up for Sally’s. I’m glad Betty was able to be a mother to her in a useful way, despite her demonstrated inability to get past her own issues when dealing with Sally.

    Ken: I think his common sense is the root of his ruthlessness. He can see how the games are played around him and even if he doesn’t want to buy into them, his common sense points out that this is the sandbox in which he has chosen to make his living.

  • http://twitter.com/closetcoach Heidi/Closet Coach

    One thing that stands out to me in the contrast between Don’s view of Lane’s predicament and Lane’s view isn’t just that they’re coming from two different places personality wise, but that they’re coming from two completely different cultural contexts. It’s very American to believe that you can always start over and make a new life for yourself–”pull yourself up by the bootstraps.” Whereas Lane comes from a very structured, confining British culture in which his place is quite clear and having lost it, can never be regained. This came up back in Season 3 when Lane mentions how much he likes the fact that in America no-one ever asks you where you went to school, a key indicator in the U.K. of social class.

    • Kylara7

      Well said…there’s a cultural context there that Don (and many viewer!) may have been completely unaware of.

  • VanessaDK

    In the preview, when Megan seems to hang up on an obscene phone call, are we meant to think it is Glen, with a new fetish?

    I loved that he and Sally disappointed each other when they met again in person: he too old and she too young. That wouldn’t matter in a few years.

    • greenwich_matron

      One of my favorite things to do at the end of the episode is to watch the previous week’s preview. The preview editor is a master context killer.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1183772509 Jen Hughes

         Yes! The previews usually just piss me off! hahah

        • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

          Todd VanDerWerff’s (AV Club) riff on the previews always crack me up.  “Next Week on Mad Men: Pete opens a series of doors, and enters a series of rooms!”

  • susu11

    When the jaguar didn’t start during the first suicide attempt (wow talk about black comedy at its best), I kept hoping that Lane had re-considered but sadly it wasn’t the case…The scene where Joan goes to tell Pete, Ken, and Harry that something was wrong in Lane’s office broke my heart into pieces. Christina Hendricks is long overdue for an Emmy. That pale, grief-stricken look she had as the truth sunk in was some of her best acting on this show. I’m going to miss Lane and Joan’s interactions so much and I’m going to miss Jared Harris terribly. He created a wonderfully sympathetic character with Lane. I’m not ashamed to say I cried.

    Matt Weiner’s son has ATROCIOUS line delivery. I know he’s suppose to be awkward or whatever, but it just came off like he was reading from a teleprompter horribly with absolutely no facial expressions at all. You guys are absolutely right that when paired with Kieran Shipka, his barely amateur level acting became even more glaringly obvious. It makes me appreciate Shipka’s acting ability even more.

    Betty’s face when Sally hugged her was very sweet and kind of hilarious to me. It was like she was trying to process the maternal feelings washing over her and was a little confused, but I’m glad she stepped up to the plate to reassure Sally. Sorry if this is off topic but I have to say I was reading the IMDB board post-show and a lot of the posters were commenting on how ‘Gross’ the depiction of Sally’s period was. It’s kind of strange to me that something that happens so frequently to a majority of the population would be considered disgusting and abnormal We see all kinds of blood and gore, but menstrual blood seems to be one of those taboo things, and in this case I felt it was necessary to see Sally’s visceral reaction to the blood to get that sense that this was a huge, scary change for her. I remember when I got my period for the first time, all I could see and think about was how red and bright the blood was. Sally’s scene didn’t feel gratuitous to me the way the close up of Joan’s baby was.

    And seriously Ken laying down his terms and conditions with Roger regarding the Dow Chemical account and his father-in-law, made me grin from ear to ear, in an otherwise dark and somewhat disjointed episode. I like how Ken also somewhat hinted about the Joan/jaguar situation but saying he would not want a partnership because he’s seen “what’s involved.” Please Matt Weiner more Kenny Cosgrove in season 6!

    • greenwich_matron

      Completely agree with you about the menstrual blood shot and the irony of the “acceptable” blood of violence. That shot and Sally desparately gathering toilet paper explained the whole scenario perfectly in less than two seconds.

      I also love Ken, and my only concern is that they will make him too perfect a la Henry, Anna, and Megan.

      • http://oneblueberry.com/ LaVonne Ellis

        “Sally desperately gathering toilet paper…”

        Now I’m visualizing Weiner interviewing women about what that moment was like for them, and using one of their exact experiences in the scene. It was too real to be imagined.

        • emcat8

          No kidding — in my first years, I hemorrhaged all the time, and I remember vividly grabbing giant wads of those awful single sheet shiny tissues and stuffing them in my underwear. Horrible times!!!

        • asympt

           A husband-and-wife team wrote the episode, so imagination didn’t have to range too far.

    • greenwich_matron

      Completely agree with you about the menstrual blood shot and the irony of the “acceptable” blood of violence. That shot and Sally desparately gathering toilet paper explained the whole scenario perfectly in less than two seconds.

      I also love Ken, and my only concern is that they will make him too perfect a la Henry, Anna, and Megan.

    • Aurumgirl

      Leave it to the writers of Mad Men to incorporate Sally’s first menstruation visually into the story.  Maybe I’m exaggerating and maybe I’m wrong, but would this be the first time that has ever been done on television, never mind cable?

      Amazing that it’s taken us until 2012 to see a depiction of what the majority of humanity experiences.  And yes, it is a huge, scary change–we’ve seen Sally become exposed to all kinds of the ugly realities of the adult world, and not really looking forward to becoming a part of it.  When I was that age, my little girlfriends and I learned that the best
      thing to do was keep that onset of menstruation a secret from our moms as long as possible, because we all knew that the minute our moms found out, we’d be forced to stop doing the things we loved doing,
      like playing with other kids (including boys) our own age. I’m sure some girls thought of it as the beginning of being a woman, but for us, it was more like we knew we’d lose a lot of the freedoms we had as children. 

      • Maggie_Mae

        Many of us have been spending our Sunday nights watching Game of Thrones, then Mad Men.  SPOILERS FOR GAME OF THRONE EPISODES AIRED TO DATE BELOW:

        Sansa Stark was was betrothed to Prince Joffrey, future King of Westeros.  Multiple plot complications led to Joffrey becoming King & ordering the execution of Sansa’s beloved father.  Sansa remained at court because marriage to her would be politically valuable–& because she was a hostage for a member of Joffrey’s family.  Joff has revealed himself to be horridly psychotic (more hated than Pete!); Sansa’s “womanhood” would mean she was ready for marriage–to somebody she hated & feared.  

        A few episodes ago, she awoke with blood on her mattress…..

        (The season’s final episode of GoT aired last night. After MM’s season ends next Sunday, I’ll be left with a free evening. Oh, well. Back to the question of how Sherlock survived the fall.)

      • http://oneblueberry.com/ LaVonne Ellis

         My mom had prepped me so that I was looking forward to my first period. I never connected it with no longer doing the things I loved, but that’s exactly what happened. No more playing with boys… heck, no more playing. Suddenly, it was all about looking attractive. I don’t think it was just hormones that sent me spinning into depression that year.

        • Aurumgirl

          So true! I know it’s a trauma for a lot of girls, in more ways than one…but you really do feel that imposed “death of childhood”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

      Really good points. To actually show her period and see her so horrified. Betty is tough, but I think she gets a bad rap and Sally is a challenging, smart girl. The mother daughter dynamic is tough. Being a daughter and remembering what that was like and now dealing with a teenage girl myself (who pushes you away and then pulls you back in for things like this) is tough. I would not want to see a tape of myself sometimes. I thought seeing Betty with Sally was very sweet. I did not think the phone call to Megan was a knife (she could have called her and said “Do you know where Sally is? She is here!”. Yes, she was showing that Sally needed HER and not Megan, but I don’t think that Megan would be upset by that and I think she would agree with Betty.

      I thought that Lane was going to drive the car (with his wife) and have an accident. I was glad they did not go that route. My husband laughed when the car would not start

      • CozyCat

        I also think that calling Meghan was required (the kid was missing, after all!) but moreover, it gave Betty a chance to share the info with another woman.  In a way, it was their first bonding moment.  Remember, Betty’s advice to Sally was, if you’re ever in that situation, just ask another woman and she’ll understand and help you.

      • rainwood1

        I agree that Betty’s phone call wasn’t really a knife as much as an explanation with just a smidge of victory blended in.  Betty does get a bad rap and I was pleased to see how she handled the situation.

    • CatherineRhodes

       I agree on Christina Hendricks being overdue for an Emmy. Plus that look that she flashes in the conference room when Don makes a quip that he should leave and let the partners do what they want — her look perfectly captured the shame and humiliation of her situation.

  • Eva_baby

    Tooling around the web I am a bit surprised by how many people blame Don for Lane’s suicide.  I don’t  believe for one minute Don is culpable.  By putting the check away, planning to cover the money and then asking for Lane to simply resign, Don was allowing him to keep his repuation and some dignity.  By stealing from the company and using Don to di it, Lane showed less honor than Don did.  In fact he showed himself  ultimately as a proud yet weak man.  A dangerous combination. 

    • MissAnnieRN

      Suicide is a choice. Lane made so ruinous decisions born out of desperation and pride and couldn’t face the consequences.

      That being said, interesting to think about suicide and guilt given the gay roommate suicide. The emotional side of me wants to blame the roommate for the kids suicide. Another part of me wants to blame society for being cruel to human beings who are different from them. Another part of me weeps for the mentally ill and the stigma attached mental illness. I guess that’s a little off topic, but I started pondering the outside forces that are beyond our control that contribute to deep depression and the feeling of no way out. The student who committed suicide was left feeling powerless because he was outed for something that is not a crime. Lane felt powerless because his crime was outed.

      Lane was trapped, depressed, shamed, and broke. He unfortunately chose death as his option. But don’s not to blame, IMO. Allowing him to resign is the least worst option here. He could have gone to jail for his crime. He chose death as his new beginning.

    • boleyn28

      yup, Don actually gave him a way to bow out gracefully when Pete or Roger would not have done him the same curtosy.

    • Maggie_Mae

      I agree, but Don will still feel guilty. Magnified by the guilt he feels about the sad death of his half-bright half-brother….

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

        I agree – many of us have lost someone to suicide, and even when we logically know there may have been no way to stop the person from making this choice, there are always feelings of guilt (and also anger) when you lose someone in this terrible way.

        • Violina23

          This.  (Speaking from experience)

  • Annie Leung

    Great recap as always T-Lo! I feel emotionally drained after watching Mad Men this past two weeks, but your recaps always help take the sting off of it. I really did get choked up (please forgive the horrible pun but I couldn’t find a better word) over Lane’s death because of everything that’s transpired since his entrance into Sterling Cooper and SCDP. Then watching the “Inside Mad Men” video for this week made it even worse when Matt Weiner flat out said, it was the sin of all of the partners who never got to really know him. I really want to know what will happen to Rebecca and Nigel after all of this. Will Joan take over as CFO now (Lane did say that she could do it in “Signal 30″)?

    I like seeing assertive Ken! I wonder if he and Peggy still meet up sometimes like he did with Harry before joining SCDP.

    This week’s episode really left me with a chill though. What will a man do when he’s cornered or when he’s left with one final act of desperation? Old Don is back and it’s great for the business, but it certainly doesn’t bode well for his personal life – not that it’s been all sunshine and rainbows – if you look back at his marriage with Betty. Lane embezzled and from a sympathetic point of view because we, as a viewer, know that his actions were misguided. “Every man for himself” was the theme announced for this season and it’s sad to look at all of the carnage that’s left behind.

    • CozyCat

      When Roger told Don that he would have two days to prepare the pitch, my first reaction was “just call on Peggy!”

      Oh, but Peggy’s gone now, isn’t she Don….

  • VanessaDK

    I agree, This episode was much more about what it means to be a grown up – didn’t Betty mention the responsibilities of being a woman? Rather than about the “cycle of life”.

    • halleygee

      I agree, I didn’t see Sally getting her period as “life beginning” (who does?) but more as her childhood ending.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        The end of Sally’s childhood has been a theme all season, actually. We’re going to get into the real serious stuff next year.

    • halleygee

      I agree, I didn’t see Sally getting her period as “life beginning” (who does?) but more as her childhood ending.

  • Jodie_S

    I don’t think that the shark comments this season are from boredom but rather from the definite change in writing style which we are seeing after the show’s 2-year hiatus. I don’t know whether it was a result of pressure from AMC, but it’s puzzling since the show wasn’t in need of a change as evidenced by its winning the Emmy for best drama 4 years in a row.  The lack of subtlety in the iron-fisted themes this season, along with the out of character actions by Joan in the last episode, all signal a deterioration in Mad Men.  

  • BobStPaul

    I thought this was one of the best episodes of this current season.  There were a couple episodes early on this year that I found quite disappointing and I wondered if this was the year Mad Men was going to start its decline.  However, I’m fully on board and invested again.  The most disappointing aspect of this season’s writing – and it’s not so much writing as Weiner’s plotting – is the short shrift given race relations.  And I don’t find Weiner’s son to be all that bad an actor.   

    • texashistorian

       I completely agree. This was a good episode. Yes, the foreshadowing was a little heavy-handed, but why not? We only get glimpses and pieces of these character’s lives, so of course we’re going to see the more shocking, pivotal moments. I also think there should be more time/development devoted to race relations. What year are they in now, anyway? When will the late 60s racial riots begin to affect them (I remember Dawn mentioning them, but that’s about it)? Or did these tensions not register at all for upper middle class white people?

      • suzq

        1966. 

        • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

          Beginning of 1967.

    • MissAnnieRN

      Yeah – what happened to Dawn? Have I not been paying attention?

      • http://www.facebook.com/lenoradody Lenora Dody

         Well, we didn’t see her this episode but Megan talked to her on the phone; when she found Sally missing she called Don’s office and at the end of the episode she said something to the effect of have him call me as soon as he returns, “thanks, Dawn”.

        • Sweetbetty

           And didn’t Don call to Dawn to get Lane into to office to discuss the check?

  • cluecat


    What gets us to smirking is the oft-expressed idea that the particular moment when portions of fandom get bored is also the exact moment the quality of the show declined. The show didn’t decline; you just hit the wall on how much metaphor and how many pregnant pauses you can take out of one TV show.”

    I mentioned J phrase last week, but, it wasn’t because I thought the show is boring or slow.  It’s the writers’ dependences on what TLO refers to as lawnmoer incidents to keep the audience awake.  That they plug these in now seemingly at random smacks of contrivance and worse, gimmick.

    I felt the writing around The Whoring of Joan episode was rushed, contrived and weak.  Like TLO wrote, it was not authentic to what we know of the characters, especially the partners and the tenderness and valuation they’ve shown toward Joan in the past.  I would have accepted that episode a lot better if it had been set up properly.   It was crushing to watch the partner’s meeting proceed as if adding Joan to the mix because of her sexing credentials was totally normal.  The writers tried to get around this with the fumbling secretary and Joan’s bravado as she giggled at Pete in the partner’s meeting.  This isn’t the Joan I know and I hate the storyline and I hate the writing.  It’s a blemish on an otherwise groundbreaking-in-quality hour of television.

    • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

      I also did not think Joan would be giggling at anything Pete has to say.

      • 3hares

        That was the most fascinating moment of the show to me. It was very deliberate.

        • Susan Crawford

          I think Joan definitely has Pete very much on her mind, and that there WILL be a payback. She needs to establish herself as a partner, she needs to let the atmosphere around her part in Jaguar settle, and then there will be blood. Ken made it clear that Pete’s reign has limits, and Don is after the really big fish, not the small fry Pete has caught. Pete’s coup de grace SHOULD be administered by Joan if there is any justice.

          • 3hares

            Or not. I wasn’t sure if it was surprising us the other way. The audience is gunning for Pete, but Joan’s feelings might be more complicated. I couldn’t tell from this ep, but Pete might be the one she feels most established as a partner with. That seemed to be the case at the end of The Other Woman.

  • jalexis

    I get that embezzlement/forgery can’t be tolerated, but it’s more than a little ironic that forging Don’s name does Lane in, as Don himself has been forging that name every day of his life since the Korean War…

    • Jessica Mann Gutteridge

      My thought exactly!

    • Jessica Mann Gutteridge

      My thought exactly!

      • juliamargaret

        Me, too!

    • ChiliP

       Ooooh, interesting point!

    • susu11

      Yea Don’s always been kind of a hypocrite, like the time he called Betty a whore for leaving him for Henry while he was cheating on her left and right. The moral relativism of this show can be frustrating at times, but a lot of people do operate that way. Don’s always been a survivor, and the forgery of his name could have had legal ramifications if it ever was brought to light. No way was he going to risk the reputation of the company as well as his own history becoming public knowledge to help Lane. It was very sad to see how desperate Lane was for Don to help him cover up the embezzlement.

      • jalexis

        Right. I didn’t think Don would clue Lane into fact that his own life is a lie, and I’m sure the irony was completely intentional on the part of the writers. But I still hoped Don would find a way to help … and in fact initially thought that’s what he was doing when he went into Roger’s office and talked about fact that they couldn’t afford to give bonuses this year. I thought he was going to angle to give retroactive bonuses, thus helping Lane out, but that Lane would kill himself before he knew he was saved — which also would’ve been a MM-esque turn.

    • CatherineRhodes

      Really great insight. Don himself has been forging his own name his entire career.

      • Aurumgirl

        He has, yes, but Don is also responsible for the “suicide” of Dick Whitman.

    • Maggie_Mae

      When Don signs his name on a check, the money comes out of his account–business or personal.  Was he born with that name?  No. But he’s not stealing money or endangering the livelihood of others. 

      • Sweetbetty

         That’s how I see it and I’m sure that’s how Don sees it.  Sure, taking on the identity of a dead soldier was illegal, but he didn’t steal anything else from him (Did Anna lose out on any benefits because of what Dick/Don did?  I can’t remember).  He worked hard, made a new life for himself away from the Whitman heritage  and has earned everything he has today, good or bad.

        • Maggie_Mae

          Yes, Anna missed out on widow’s benefits.  Don never knew Original Don had a wife, because the guy who died never mentioned her; it was not a happy marriage.  Once Anna found the man using her husband’s name, Don began making things up to her–buying her a house.  Yes, she could have reported him to the authorities–but they became friends…..

          At this point There Is Only One Don Draper.

  • UrsNY

    My favorite moment: Ken telling Roger that he didn’t want to be a partner because he didn’t like the requirements, and Roger being genuinely taken back by it. Ken used to get on my nerves in season 1, but now he’s a treasure. Living unglamorously in Queens and generally going about his business quietly and ethically. Good for him.

    Sucky thing: Mad Men & Game of Thrones should NEVER be allowed to overlap again. Can the FCC make a rule or something?

    • Linda Woodland

       AND he married Alex Mack. Ken wins.

      • Le_Sigh

        OH MY GOD – i was WONDERING why she looked so familiar!!!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

        ! OMG!

    • Linda Woodland

       AND he married Alex Mack. Ken wins.

    • Sobaika

      Game of Thrones lasting an extra ten minutes really threw me off too. Sundays are a great night for television, there’s also Once Upon A Time.

  • VanessaDK

    Well, he extended their line of credit, which isn’t a debt till it is used, but he may have written more checks-once you get away with something like that, it is hard to stop.

  • MilaXX

    I think everyone immediately thought of Adam Whitman.  Loved that both Don & Ken felt the need to remind them that they were not at all fond of what the partners did to Joan. Betty’s speech to Sally was sweet.
    Completely agree about Glen. Dude has stayed past his expiration date. Creepy Glen may have worked when he was a kid, but as a teen its taken on an entirely different and yuchy level of creep.

  • Linda Woodland

    I really think Don getting fired up about work after confronting Lane about the embezzlement was actually because of Joan’s part in getting Jaguar. Don has no certainty that *he* landed Jaguar, or if he could have gone in there with any old pitch and they would have gotten it because of what Joan did.  After his comment in the partners meeting about leaving the room so they can vote – of course they all knew exactly what he was referring to – his bitterness over the uncertainty of *how* they got the Jaguar account boiled over.  Lane’s embezzlement through forging Don’s name was just another example of how he can’t trust his partners or that they will trust him. So he needs to get back to work, getting success clearly through *his* work.

    • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

      Hence not a jot of Michael Ginsberg in this episode.  It was Michael’s tagline that drove the Jag pitch.

      • Linda Woodland

         Yes, exactly. It all came to a tipping point – the elevator confrontation with Michael, which although Don won, he knew that Michael was right. Don’s afraid he’s lost it, and now he can’t even count on his (fake) name to hold any weight with the company.

        • Tasterspoon

          Agree, that Don has totally been running scared recently as his wife leaves him (at work), his protege leaves, and the partnership has turned sleazy (see his disappointment with Pete after the whorehouse trip) – but that comment by Ken’s FIL has clearly been eating away at him.  I loved Roger in that moment when Don actually gave voice to that fear that no one will hire them because of the letter Don wrote and Roger just breezed over it and was confident it was meaningless.  Don needed that really badly. 

  • Linda Woodland

    I really think Don getting fired up about work after confronting Lane about the embezzlement was actually because of Joan’s part in getting Jaguar. Don has no certainty that *he* landed Jaguar, or if he could have gone in there with any old pitch and they would have gotten it because of what Joan did.  After his comment in the partners meeting about leaving the room so they can vote – of course they all knew exactly what he was referring to – his bitterness over the uncertainty of *how* they got the Jaguar account boiled over.  Lane’s embezzlement through forging Don’s name was just another example of how he can’t trust his partners or that they will trust him. So he needs to get back to work, getting success clearly through *his* work.

  • http://twitter.com/TJ_Gator TJ (Gator Cub)

    Yikes. I loved this episode. For all the predictability of Lane’s suicide, they way it was actually handled was masterful. 

    I used to hate Glen, but now I really enjoy when he shows up. Yeah Weiner’s son isn’t a very good actor, but the character (and more importantly: how Sally responds to him) is fascinating to me. He has gone from feeling like a creepy sounding board for Betty to a real life kid. His sojourn with Sally to the museum felt very real to me. 

  • http://twitter.com/TJ_Gator TJ (Gator Cub)

    Yikes. I loved this episode. For all the predictability of Lane’s suicide, they way it was actually handled was masterful. 

    I used to hate Glen, but now I really enjoy when he shows up. Yeah Weiner’s son isn’t a very good actor, but the character (and more importantly: how Sally responds to him) is fascinating to me. He has gone from feeling like a creepy sounding board for Betty to a real life kid. His sojourn with Sally to the museum felt very real to me. 

  • sarahjane1912

    Wonderful recap as always, TLo; I always look forward to them.

    A few points:

    Loved that Betty was able to put one over Megan in the mummy stakes. Colour me naughty, but Betty Ruled in this instance and I couldn’t help but let out a mini-cheer for her. Pit that against Megan feeling put UPON by Sally when she just turns up on her doorstep [and hang on, couldn't other arrangements be made for the child to get to school? If she could get a cab back to Rye then surely Don could spring for one to get her to her classes! But I digress ...] and Betty finally has the opportunity to be a sensitive mother to her child. Bless. I totally ‘got’ that she was a reluctant ‘hugger’ [I don't think those children get much in the way of affection from either parent] but her spontaneous spooning of Sally on the bed, after heating up a hot-water bottle/heatpad for her, was lovely to me.

    Lane’s blue corpse. Oh dear. I see why the make-up artists wanted to go the whole hog here, but it seemed a bit OTT to me. I think I would have preferred to have the spectre, if that makes sense, of his suicide hanging over the office [no pun intended] rather than the team physically wrestling his body from the door. Nice of Don to give him a better position before the coroner arrived though.

    Does Megan ever wear shoes?! *Giggles*

    Thought that Don excelled himself in this episode. He was masterful in his pitch to Dow — reminded me of him not taking any crap from stupid clients in his golden days — and absolutely handled the Lane situation professionally and yes, as kindly as possible. I agree that it was the forgery which slayed him, not the theft of the money per se.

    And Ken. You go, guy. About time he was shown to be something more than a science-fiction-penning softcock accounts man. He has Pete’s number. Just can’t wait until others turn on Monsieur Slime as well.

    Cheers again. Love it and will miss this after next week. Sigh!

    • Kathleen Gillies

       I really liked the scenes with Betty.  Sally is pretty hard to live with and they always seem at odds (particularly with an obstinate oppositional teen who is alternately hypersensitive and cruel).  12 year old girls can be very moody and when they are working really hard to hate and despise their mothers, it could be understandable that one would keep their defenses up. She comes home unexpectedly and wants to be hugged?  I think Betty was first making sure this is what she wanted and needed.   This made Betty feel good and validated as a mother. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

    Of course, Sally became a woman. Of course Lane offed himself.
    The rest of it, I couldn’t have predicted. I give up trying to figure what’s important, and what’s a red herring. Time to just sit back and enjoy the show.
    Like the rest of the audience.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

    Style post: Joan bought new clothes!

    The hitting over the head thang didn’t bother me as much in this episode, and while this was a dramatic episode, it didn’t hit me as hard as last week when Peggy left – that WRECKED me. I was sobbing.  I completely agree with your analysis of the build up to natural conclusions. That’s spot-on. 

  • VanessaDK

    Megan again seems to be a character written to suit the episode. This week she could not have been more perfect. Yes she berated Don for not telling her Sally was coming, but turned around immediately when he told her what happened that day. She refused to buy in to Sally’s characterization of Betty as phony, corrected the damage her friend was doing in talking graphically about boys and sex, took responsibility for Glen without knowing who he was, and handled Betty’s reproach about Sally needing her mother with aplomb (though she surely was relieved that Betty didn’t seem to know Sally had gone missing).

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      But that’s kind of who Megan is, right? A blank slate, who adapts to the situation. An actress.

  • http://twitter.com/mirrormirrorxx Paola Thomas

    OK, so I haven’t had a chance to watch this yet (was recovering from my Jubilee hangover last night) but I came on hear to spoil myself and this made me smile

    When the man you put in charge of your finances steals them by forging your name, there’s not an apology in the world that can smooth that one over. Don doesn’t like being lied to and he really doesn’t like it when someone uses his identity to do it. It wasn’t the money that got Lane fired; it was the forgery. That was something Don could simply never forgive

    Is Don really so breathtakingly hypocrital?  Don, who is lying about his own identity every time he signs the name ‘Don Draper’?  Don, who managed to get away with a bit of identity forging so much bigger and all-encompassing than that which Lane did and still retained his job?  Now even more intrigued to see how this played out….

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

      I think that’s why Don fired him, because he knows that Lane won’t stop based on his own experience. 

    • Maggie_Mae

      Don has accounts in the name of Don Draper.  When he signs checks, he’s not stealing money from anybody else.  Poor Lane embezzled & endangered the whole company.  Don was kinder than he needed to be.  

    • Tracie Bezerra

      Yes, Don really *is* so breathtakingly hypocritical.  Thinking back to some of his interactions with Betty and Peggy, I’d say he is the master of breathtaking hypocrisy.  He’s also capable of great compassion, and I fully believe that if Lane had come to him with his money troubles instead of embezzling the money, Don is the only one at SDCP who would have bailed him out without a second thought, and not just because he’s always ready to throw money at a problem to make it go away.

  • Ozski

    What a brave actor Kiernan Shipka is. She is long overdue for an Emmy nomination. Suffering through a masterbation scene, an epic faceplant and now her first period. I’m rooting for you, Kiernan!

     Also, I am kind of sympathetic towards Marten Weiner. I think they could do worse casting another actor as awkward Glen Bishop. That scene back in season 1 where Betty holds his mittened paw always chokes me up and I think everyone calling him a ‘creep’ comes more from judgement of the actor, not the character. I do agree with Tom & Lorenzo regarding the bias of always providing him with these insightful soliloquys, however. That elevator scene with Don made me squirm.

  • VanessaDK

    I have really liked Glen in the hallway as Sally’s secret phone pal. It was a perfect use for him, but back in real life he seems awkward and odd.

  • schadenfreudelicious

    My heart broke for Lane last night, from the caning he took from his father in the past, to the feeble (and ironic) attempt to gas himself with the Jag, to the final humiliation of being cut down by Pete of all people….so sad.

  • VanessaDK

    I had not noticed before that both Pete and Ken came with father in laws who could be clients-Pete sold his out (or tried to) early on, but Ken refused to, to protect his marriage. Now he seems to have decided to Use this capital, but only on his own terms.

    • Aurumgirl

      It’s as if he learned from Joan’s experience, after all!

  • filmcricket

    You have to figure the kid really wants to be in the show, if that’s the case (I’d never read anything about it – interesting). Because otherwise, yeah, why would you put your child through that? I suppose if the character’s eventually going to tell us something about Sally, he may prove useful. But otherwise he’s total dead weight.

  • Caro_LA

    Sorry to be so thick but can someone explain to me Ken’s threat about mentioning to his wife about the agency going after her father’s company?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tracy-Alexander/3234141 Tracy Alexander

      I think because she likely would have told her father, which would have lessened any sort of impact or suspense when Don made his pitch.

    • g_mo

      I was definitely not quite keeping up with the dialogue in that scene but I think the point was that, since Ken had already made it clear that he wouldn’t *help* SCDP land the account using nepotism, he was leveraging his ability to *hurt* their chances at doing business with Dow. Roger had a line like “What will it take to get you to do nothing?” which I took to mean that they weren’t negotiating for Ken’s help, they were negotiating to keep Ken from standing in the way. 

      • Sweetbetty

         And Roger had already accomplished getting Ken to “do nothing”, at least for the moment, by keeping him waiting in the bar while Roger called and set up the appointment for Don and himself on Monday.  Ken’s question was something like, “What’s to stop my F-I-L from calling me as soon as you get off the phone with him?”, and Roger’s reply was that, “You don’t answer the phone”.  Ken knew right then why he had been sitting in that bar for an hour and 20 minutes for some unspecified meeting with his boss.  And it’s to his credit that he just smiled and went along with it rather than getting upset that he had been manipulated.  I mean, he is in the ad business, the business of manipulating.

  • dbaser

    What gives Don the right to decide what Lane should do without consulting the other partners?   If I’m a partner in SCDP, I put my foot down and let Don know he can’t make unilateral decisions without consulting the other partners.  As savvy as Don is, I’m a little surprised at his lack of skill regarding office politics; it’s a rock-paper-scissor world (at the very least) and Don’s approach to everything is rock-rock-rock.

    Lane, feel very badly for you but you should have come clean to SOMEONE other than Don in your firm and certainly to your wife.

    I can’t believe Bert won’t connect the unexplained check he handed to Don with Lane’s suicide.

    • http://twitter.com/nicolarz Nicole K.

      Do you really think the other partners would have made another call? Don knows he didn’t sign that check, he was giving Lane an opportunity to leave the company without the humiliation of being fired or arrested.

      • dbaser

        Wouldn’t Bert, Roger, Joan and Pete at least have wanted some input regarding that decision?  Don is NOT automatically entitled to make this decision on his own.  I don’t see this as a kindness to Lane.

        If you were a partner, would you want your most stubborn and temperamental head of creative making a decision affecting the day to day operations and finances of your company without even talking to you?

        They could have reduced Lane’s authority regarding handling the firm’s finances (no longer handles cash/ checks, is allowed no banking or credit functions) and worked out a repayment plan or they could have even reduced his partnership interest as a punishment.  Joan may be capable, but is she ready to take over all of Lane’s functions immediately?

        Any humiliation for Lane could have been private, known only to the partners.  There were many ways to punish him and effectively keep him from embezzling again.

        • Aurumgirl

          Very true.  The tragedy of the Lane story is that Don’s actions towards him were based on what he didn’t know and didn’t realize about Lane.  He didn’t see that Lane was struggling financially while he and the others partners were fine; he didn’t know that Lane’s upbringing was one in which the survival skills TLo write about as crucial to moving past an event like this were simply beaten out of Lane from an early age.  Don didn’t know and couldn’t know that Lane has spent his entire life either hiding or trying to make up for his perceived inadequacies–inadequacies Lane must have been convinced to believe defined him.  There is no way a person like that could “ask for help”, no matter how desperately unfair his situation was.  Don and the other partners know nothing about what would motivate Lane to embezzle–how would they know he’d be on the hook for some punitive tax laws in the UK, even on income he earned in another country?  How could Don or anyone know about Lane’s brutal father, and his sad upbringing?  I bet Don didn’t even realize that forcing Lane to resign would mean that Lane would have to leave the country, since his Visa would be terminated once he lost his job.  Don couldn’t have foreseen this but he would have been forcing Lane to go home immediately, fired and disgraced.  If he had known, I doubt he would have been able to conclude that discussion without trying to find a way to make Lane earn his trust again, so I agree–there would have been many ways to “punish” Lane in order to keep him from embezzling again.

          But Don didn’t see the “whole picture” of Lane, which I’m sure became quite clear once the body was cut down and the resignation letter was discovered.  

          • suzq

            In reality, there was no way the partners would have had the sudden passage in the UK of a 15% additional tax on corporations on their radar screen.  They figured that everyone could get along without bonuses for the good of the company–but didn’t know one among them was paying an 85% cumulative tax rate by sole virtue of his UK citizenship. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/lenoradody Lenora Dody

           Actually, given Lane’s personality, I think Don did the kindness thing he could have for him. Lane would have been totally humiliated to have all the partners know. And do you really think the weasel Pete wouldn’t have used this to embarrass Lane every chance he got? And having a Chief Financial Officer not being able to handle the finances kind of makes him pointless in the position.

        • http://twitter.com/nicolarz Nicole K.

          I don’t see any of them making a decision leading to anything other than Lane’s firing and/or arrest. A Chief Financial Officer who can’t keep his hands out of the till isn’t going to be welcome at any company. This isn’t a charity, and the firm is barely able to pay the bills as it is.

        • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

           I think Don knew that the partners would be a lot less lenient than he was being. They almost certainly would have brought him up on charges. Bert Cooper’s not the kindly type and Roger and Pete are dicks.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

      Don was doing Lane a favor by keeping the embezzlement under wraps from the others. Do you think the other partners would have been more understanding?

      • dbaser

        You may see it as a favor, I look at it as denying Lane due process.

        Again, if I’m Bert, Roger, Pete or Joan, I’m pissed that Don made an executive decision without including me in the loop.

        I’m still surprised that Lane wouldn’t roll the dice and come clean to all the partners, instead of letting Don make this call. Bert and Joan are pragmatic at the least, and would recognize that sending your chief financial officer out the door immediately is a big risk if you don’t have his replacement in mind already; it’s a big job to fill.

        • suzq

          He said that he thought Don was the most sympathetic.  What I find unbelievable was that he didn’t explain his tax situation to the partners in the first place.  They would have all been quite simpathetic about that.

          • librarygrrl64

            I find it totally believable. His upbringing induced both a strong sense of shame and a strong “stiff upper lip” mentality. Be a “real man.” Don’t share, don’t whine, handle it yourself. The tragedy is that he thought he could. Poor Lane.

        • http://twitter.com/nicolarz Nicole K.

          Due process may work in a court of law, but not in Manhattan.

          • dbaser

            Obviously I’m on an island here. but I’m not convinced it would be a unanimous decision by the partners.

            Pete and Don to get rid of him? Hell yeah! Not so sure about Bert, Joan and Roger. Not when you could negotiate a repayment of some kind and work on a transition to your new CFO.

            We disagree but I appreciate you not dismissing me as a dumbass. :)

          • Browsery

            Don told Adam he never wanted to see  him again.  He eventually changed his mind and visited Adam’s hotel, but it was too late, Adam had hanged himself weeks (?) before.  

            I suppose it is possible that Don would have softened his position on Lane, although embezzlement is a different order of magnitude.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

          It’s certainly a big job to fill, but the sensible place to start would be
          with someone who hadn’t committed fraud to steal money from the company. I
          can’t see any half-witted business partner wanting to work in ANY
          capacity whatsoever with someone who had jeopardized the entire firm in
          such a way — even to transition a new CFO into the position.

          Lane forged Don’s name, so it makes sense to me for Don to have more of a say in how the issue was handled. When Bert confronted Don about the check, Don had every opportunity to immediately out Lane. Instead, he went to Lane and allowed him the opportunity to resign with his reputation intact. I don’t think “due process” with all the partners would have even remotely afforded Lane that kind of a scot-free exit. 

        • Glammie

          Due process?  There’s no due process here.  Lane doesn’t have a right to his job. Most jobs are hire-at-will.

          Bert didn’t want to handle it–he brought the check to Don’s attention.  Don gave Lane a chance to explain himself–only Lane doesn’t have an explanation that doesn’t involve forgery and embezzlement.

          Don is willing to let Lane get away with his crime, even covering the money he knows Lane embezzled.  What he’s not willing to do is keep a man who he knows forged his signature to embezzle money stay on as the agency’s financial guy.

          Keeping Lane on would have been irresponsible–it’s not as though Lane was of value to the firm in some other way.  Lane’s job was handling finance.  Let’s see, the Don parallel would be if, say, he plagiarized his work from the ads of other agencies.  Except that’s not illegal and embezzlement is.  

          And, as an ad agency brat, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–Lane’s job is not a bit job to fill at boutique-sized ad agency.  Usually, the job’s non-existent–instead there’s a bookkeeper.  

          • Sweetbetty

             ”Bert didn’t want to handle it–he brought the check to Don’s attention.”

            I didn’t get the feeling that Bert didn’t want to handle it so he brought it to Don.  He saw that Don had co-signed a check make out to Lane and wanted to know why.  If Don had just continued to play dumb (because he didn’t know) about it I’m sure Bert would have stormed into Lane’s office with it.  Don was smart enough, however, to nip it right there for a variety of reasons.

          • d_in_denver

            Right.  Bert leapt to the conclusion that even thought Don didn’t benefit personally from the “bonus” to Lane, Don was behaving like a child by giving giving this bonus to Lane over the objections of the rest of the partners.  If Bert hadn’t already decided the check was a “bonus,” things would have gone down very badly for Lane.  Well, not that they didn’t go down badly anyway….

    • greenwich_matron

      If the partners are upset at Don for anything, it would be for trying to let Lane slink away and covering his tracks. 

      • Glammie

        Yep.  I think there’s a lot of faulting Don for asking for Lane’s resignation because Lane kills himself.  But given the embezzlement, Don’s reaction was *not* harsh.  Lane committed a crime that puts the entire agency at risk.  You can’t keep a financial guy on when he does that.  

        Don was more than fair–it’s just that Lane was already in too deep.

    • Aurumgirl

      Bert just might, but he might not make anything of it.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        If anything, it will make Don look like a nice guy. Don knew Lane was struggling, awarded him a bonus (or a loan?) in secret, but it just wasn’t enough to help tragic Lane. Bert might see it as against protocol, but ultimately a nice thing for Don to do.

    • Tracie Bezerra

      In a sense he didn’t decide what Lane should do but instead gave him an out – I took what he said as a choice or resiging or Don taking it to the other partners.  I agree that he couldn’t have made a unilateral decsion to fire Lane, but as a man with secrets he was willing to handle it in a way that would allow Lane to save face with the partners.

      • Susan Crawford

        This was also my thinking, Tracie. Don and Lane met one on one because it was Don’s name on a company check, and Lane owed Don an explanation. When Don gave Lane a weekend to put an excuse together and resign, it was face-saving.

        In the long run, Cooper may well ask Don about the check, or he may already have figured it out. In any case, the only two partners who know anything about that check are Don and Cooper – and they both know how to keep secrets.

        • Sweetbetty

           That theory makes Lane’s resignation letter more understandable.  Don told him he could gracefully (?) resign so there would be no need for Lane to go before the partners.  By leaving the resignation letter, boiler-plate though it might be, Don didn’t have to admit to anyone else (He’d already told Megan) that he had fired Lane.  So it was Lane’s final good act towards Don.  But it will still have ramifications on the insurance benefits if it is made known.

          • 3hares

            But Don wouldn’t have had to confess that to anybody anyway once Lane was dead. I took it the way Jared Harris described it, that it was Lane giving Don and the partners the finger.

          • Sweetbetty

            What I was getting at is that if Lane had left a suicide note at the office saying that he killed himself because Don had fired him then the other partners would ask Don about it and, hindsight being 20-20, have been critical of the way he handled things.  As it is, they really don’t know what prompted it.  They’ll find out about his misdeeds eventually and then come to the conclusion that the guilt or the fact that everything was going to come out is what drove Lane to suicide but none of them will blame Don directly.  None of them except that old codger Bert who knows about the check.

            But I didn’t read Jared Harris’ description so if he said it was a big FU, so be it.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      Lane didn’t come to Don. Don came to him. 
      And how is Don’s reaction anything but true to character? That is exactly how I would expect him to react. You can’t fault Don (or the writers) for not behaving how you would in that situation.

  • Anglow

    I did not know that Glen is Weiner’s son! That explains a lot.

  • ShivaDiva

    My disappointment stems from the inevitability of it all.  One of the things I have enjoyed most about this show is its propensity to surprise and thwart expectations.  Just when you’re anticipating the deadly fallout of Pete exposing Don’s past to the partners, they accept it without comment and move on.  Just when you think they’re setting up an extended rivalry between Don and the new hotshot from London, the poor chap gets his foot cut off and exits stage left.   The randomness felt authentic, as when life throws you curveballs.  But now, Just when you think Lane is going to commit suicide…. he commits suicide.

    Still an enjoyable show, but not my favorite season.

    • Jodie_S

      Yes, the only suspense was in HOW Lane would commit suicide. 

    • Tracie Bezerra

      That’s life – one day you’re on top of the world, and the next, some secretary is running you over with a lawn mower…

      I can never think of that episode without thinking of Joan uttering my favorite MM line ever :-)

      • Glammie

        I loved that episode and I loved that scene–Jon Hamm and Christina Hendricks are great together.  (No, no, not a shipper–that would ruin everything.)

  • boleyn28

    I had no idea glen was the son of the matt weighnburg, i laughed when i heard that.

  • boleyn28

    funny thing…………………………. Sally refers to her Dads house as “Megans house,” when talking to Glen. She looks at it like shes staying at a friends house not  her parents. I would love to stay there over moms too when I dont have to go to school cause its too inconvienent for her parents to cancel their plans to drive her. Sally really knows how to work both sets of parents lol.

    • Tracie Bezerra

      I noticed that comment too, and found it and her using Henry as an example of success in talking to Glen striking.  She is a resourceful kid and seems to appreciate that her very flawed parents have married people she can rely on.

    • Susan Stella Floyd

      Speaking as someone who had the typical every-other-weekend visits with Dad and stepmom from age two, I find that totally believable, especially for a 12/13-year-old.  My mom’s house–where I lived during the week, and every other weekend–was home.  My dad’s house was that: my dad’s house. I didn’t even pour myself a drink without asking permission first.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tracy-Alexander/3234141 Tracy Alexander

    What was heartbreaking was seeing Lane try to fix the damn car. In many other worlds (tv or real) most people would throw up their hands and perhaps realize that their suicide plans weren’t meant to be. Lane’s ever the determined British man, which makes it very, very sad.

  • damon_james

    I find the “laughed at the dark humor of the Jaguar not starting” posts a bit confusing. They seem to fall in line with how Lane’s father might have approached his son’s failures. The sports car has often been seen as a replacement for potency, which Lane has struggled with for a long time, we’ve been given many examples of that. Here is a great example of the writers’ subtlety and it is taken as a “dark humor moment” rather than a tragic commentary on the reasoning for his actions. Even going so far as to have him break his glasses and fumble with the engine, both acts of futility and impotence.  Well done and quite brilliantly acted.

    • susu11

      The humor I drew out of that scene was the irony of Burt Cooper’s earlier comment that jaguars are ‘lemons’ and they never start. Otherwise I pretty much agree with you that the scene was very tragic and indicative of Lane’s history of constantly hitting a wall as he tries to move forward with plans and expectations he’s set.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=13953311 Missy Covington

       The fact that he didn’t just give up after several attempts to start the car–but took his broken glasses and tried to fix the engine–showed very clearly that he was *really* committed to killing himself. I was a little shocked by that–but then again, it made sense with Lane’s development and character. It took hours–between fiddling with the engine and going into the office and typing out a resignation letter (boilerplate though it was)–to finally complete the suicide act.

      I would think that people with only a fleeting moment of despair would reconsider at some point there. But this was clearly something that Lane was deeply, deeply entrenched in–there was no way out for him.

    • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

      My chuckle at the Jaguar not starting was because I thought about how my sister and her husband lost a lot of money when they got rid of their Jaguar long before the lease was up. It had terrible electrical problems. I don’t think the air conditioning ever worked right. They would joke that they were paying for a Jag, but driving a loaner car most of the time. Thinking about that unfortunately broke the tension of the scene for me.

  • boleyn28

    Roger really loves Joan a lot, his first instinct was to protect her and get her home, I would love to see them finally be together for real : )

    • greenwich_matron

      I also love that her first instinct is to take care of herself and do the respectful, responsible thing.

      • Sweetbetty

         How was that shown here?

        • greenwich_matron

          She wanted to stay at the office with the body until the coroner arrived. It really said something to me that she wanted to see this through instead of running away: it’s not like suicide is contagious or he will turn into a zombie.

    • Maggie_Mae

      Roger is already courting another sweet young thing.  He’s not good enough for Joan.

      • sarahjane1912

        Indeed. Anyone else notice the parity between the way Roger referred to his coatcheck girl and the way Pete’s insurance ‘friend’ on the train referred to his babe in the city?. It’s a guy thing, right? *Winks*

      • d_in_denver

        I wouldn’t really call it “courting.”  More like “poking.”  I don’t remember the whole thing, but I was left with the impression that the nicest thing he had to say about her was that she was 25.  Everything after that pretty much reaked of disappointment.  Next week/month/year (weird how maleable time is on this show) he will be sitcking it to some new sweet young thing, and will probably be equally disappointed….

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

        Is that so wrong?  They’re not in a committed relationship, and Joan has made it clear that she doesn’t want that.  Even when Joan was his long-term mistress, he still slept with other girls – remember the twin model from when he had his heart attack?  It was before he decided to end it with Joan and focus on his marriage.

    • Tracie Bezerra

      Roger had far too little in the way of objections to the partners pimping Joan out in last week’s episode for my taste.  I think she is right to steer clear of plans for the future with him.  But her tearful reaction to the discovery of Lane’s body was really touching to me.  She is really a wonderful character and I always enjoy it when she lets down her carefully constructed office self and   shows her emotional side.

      • greenwich_matron

        In some ways, Lane was Joan’s Freddie. He was the one who saw her value around the office, and in a perverse way, he is partly responsible for her promotion.

  • CatherineRhodes

    There needed to be a lot of foreshadowing of death this season in order for Lane’s suicide to be believable. Because in real life, people don’t just wake up one day and hang themselves, there are a lot of factors that pile up and drive them to it. That is what separates “Mad Men” from lesser shows (read: “The Killing”) — character development.

    I don’t mind the heavy-handed themes as much as some in the commentariat. In fact, it works for me the way “SATC” used to — where a theme was announced and interpreted by each character. If they were going for end of life/new life in a heavy-handed way, it would have involved a baby rather than the onset of Sally’s menses. This was a very fresh approach. Not just the period in the bathroom stall, but ordering coffee in the cafe. Rites of passage.

    The title of the episode was brilliant: commissions and fees, both as a pay structure and as a metaphor that every action has its cost.

    Don handled Lane’s termination in a very decent way. He didn’t rat him out to Bert and Don offered Lane the chance to resign in order to preserve his self-respect. I once had my signature forged on a check by an employee, and discovering it is a very blood-chilling moment. I applaud Don for managing the situation as respectfully as possible. I also liked his reaction — assuming some responsibility for the fact that his lack of involvement in the firm’s business was driving partners to desperate measures.

    Couple of Points:
    • The deep black irony in the unreliable Jaguar not starting for Lane.
    • The joy of seeing Joan take her place around the conference table, instructing Scarlet on the taking of the minutes.
    • Ken Cosgrove — sci-fi writer and Peggy applauder — hardening into a savvy player.

    Really good stuff. I’m going to be sad when the season ends.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=13953311 Missy Covington

    I do like–well, not really like as in “enjoy”–that they didn’t make the suicide pretty. So often you see a nice, neat, clean, unmarked corpse in suicide scenes on TV. Not that I took any pleasure out of seeing Lane’s body (I did NOT), but if you’re going to show suicide, don’t make people believe that it’s a clean and neat process. It’s not always as peaceful as going to sleep–especially when pills or hanging, etc., are involved.

    That sounds really bad and I’m struggling with how to phrase it differently. I guess what I mean to say is that people contemplating suicide are misled, sometimes, that it will be easy and peaceful. I’m not saying that this directly encourages suicide, but it might plant the seed that it’s “not a bad way to go”.

    • Sweetbetty

       I brought up in an earlier comment the appearance of Lane’s corpse and how  I’m not sure they took it far enough.

      The best representation I ever saw of a suicide by hanging was on an episode of The Sopranos.  The victim was some minor character  who wanted out of the mob but they wouldn’t let him go so he ended up with a noose in his basement.  Now, if a person is executed at a gallows the drop breaks their neck and then they die from the strangulation of the rope around their neck if not the broken neck itself.  If the suicide victim simply kicks the chair or table he is standing on out from under him he doesn’t have that immediate death and the ingrained urge to survive takes over even though the goal is to kill oneself.  In the Sopranos episode the guy silently kicked and writhed and groped at the rope around his neck and we watched until his actions slowed down then stopped.  I’ve never seen a death by hanging but I find it very believable that it goes that way rather than the victim just quickly dieing peacefully.

    • d_in_denver

      I agree with the sentiment – how about “appreciate the honest depiction”?  

  • Anglow

    Did any of you see the Mad Men cast on Inside The Actor’s Studio recently? Jared Harris’ father was Richard Harris and his stepfather was Rex Harrison, both of whom not good at parenting at all. He got away from it all by choosing Duke Univ in NC because from an early age he had preferred Americans as people whom he described as open and natural. Just some background….hope you all get a chance to see that show. It is really interesting to hear how they don’t have rehearsals, just a reading around a table. And don’t worry, Glen isn’t there with his dad.

    • msdamselfly

       I read in an interview that Weiner uses material from the actors real selves in his writing

    • ccinnc

       DUKE? Of all the universities I could imagine, that wouldn’t make my top 50. Neither does my state. :)

    • Sweetbetty

       I saw that show and took special note of Jared Harris’ comments about his paternal units and compared it to Lane Pryce’s upbringing.

  • http://asskickingadviser.com/ Ass Kicking Adviser

    Like you guys said, this is how Mad Men works. A little slow going and then hold onto your hats for the last 3 episodes. And that’s fine with me. I turned on the TV last night knowing that something big was going to happen but really, I appreciate the fact that other major major events have occurred this year already. And like you, I am glad that we got decent-Don and nice-Betty at the end of the episode.

  • fnarf

    As a lifelong and totally dependent spectacles-wearer, seeing Lane wrench his glasses in half was heartbreaking.

  • Sweetbetty

    Help from the commentariet needed here; it seemed there was something significant among the materials Don was looking through on the couch at home when Megan was taking Sally out for the afternoon but I couldn’t see what was there.  Can anyone tell me?

    • g_mo

      All I saw there were advertisements for various Dow Chemical products. Don only had the weekend to prep for his Monday morning meeting, so he was spending all of it cramming.

    • Jodie_S

      He was studying the current state of advertising for Dow Chemical.  Don was ready to deny what seemed to be a moral stance against smoking (in reality only a joke) and was preparing for SCDP to pimp napalm, etc.

      • suzq

        Not exactly pimp napalm, but respond to the critics of napalm.  In 1966, there were protests on campuses nationwide to the use of napalm in Vietnam.  They were actually protests to the war, but Dow was getting caught in the crossfire, so to speak.  It’s interesting that they bring this up in the winter of 1966-1967 because in the fall of 1967, there is a signficant riot on the campus of the University of Wisconsin, Madison stemming from a protest against napalm.

        • Jodie_S

          I remember seeing photos/video clips on the news in the 60s of people and villages being burned by napalm (though it appears that the most famous image wasn’t taken until ’72) and it really affected our image of the war, not to mention Dow. Roger’s comment about children screaming, which I assumed was a reference to the innocent victims of napalm, was especially poignant. 

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            Just read an article about the 40th anniversary of the “Napalm Girl” photo. Fascinating story.

          • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

            Some years ago I read _The Girl In The Picture: The Story of Kim Phuc, Whose Image Altered the Course of the Vietnam War_.  It’s an extraordinary story, with many of its own ironies.

        • CozyCat

          Don has always shown himself to be a pre baby boomer.  He doesn’t focus on Viet Nam, he focuses on lives saved by Dow chemical weapons in WWII and Korea.  (just like he preferred the “self made man” Nixon to the charismatic Kennedy…)

  • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

    Peggy got out at just the right time.

  • msdamselfly

    Wasn’t Dick Whitman the ultimate forger in taking Don Draper’s identity?  Wouldnt he then have been more empathic towards Lane for his forgery?

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      Talk about timing!!  I swear I didn’t just copy your comments.  LOL  

    • g_mo

      He seemed deeply empathetic to me—like when Lane was standing up and said he felt light-headed, and Don said something to the effect of “That feeling is relief. I’ve started over many times, and this is the worst part.” I don’t think the problem was his inability to empathize with Lane’s situation, as he clearly could relate to what Lane was going through. If anything, his related experience led him to overestimate Lane’s capacity for starting over from scratch. Not many people are capable of pulling off what Don did and carrying on for so long.

    • Maggie_Mae

      Dick Whitman took Don Draper’s identity after his death.  He didn’t sign Don’s name on a check while Don was alive.  

      All “Dick” got out of it was a chance not to die in Korea.  There’s little evidence that he “took” anything else belonging to Don.  Seperation pay, probably.  But he wouldn’t have availed himself of any GI benefits–those require massive paperwork. After “Dick” found out about Anna–never mentioned by her neglectful husband–he took care of her….

      • 3hares

        Agreed about most of this, but despite the lukewarm marriage Don/Anna seemed to have, I don’t think Don’t never mentioning Anna in the very short time he knew Dick qualifies as being neglectful.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

          I think Anna’s hints about their marriage spoke more about the kind of relationship they had more than the original Don not mentioning her to Dick. She did say that he wanted to marry her sister.

      • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

        The damage Dick Whitman has done ironically did not lie in his taking Don Draper’s identity, but in the ways he’s covered that up.  His psychological defrauding has taken a terrible toll on him and on people he had been close to.

  • Girl_With_a_Pearl

    I glad you guys pointed out how Don was more upset with Lane’s forging Don’s signature than the embezzlement.  Dick Whitman is the only person who is allowed to forge Don Draper’s signature.

  • Michael Moineau

    Mad Men has always been unabashedly direct about its themes. C’mon, the alleged “best episode of the show ever” had an image of a woman with a suitcase appearing to Don who was in a drunken stupor. Critics often refer to one of the first great moments of the show as the “carousel speech”, which directly proceeded Don going home to an empty house. How could the meaning of those episodes not have been more direct? Honestly, go to Wikipedia and read the three line summaries under any episode. For instance: The New Girl, S2E5: A new secretary named Jane Siegel begins working for Don. Don’s affair with Jimmy Barrett’s wife Bobbie leads to the two of them getting in a car accident, requiring Peggy to bail them out and cover up the incident. We know what happens next, but it adumbrates quite a bit. You think of Peggy’s roll and her scenes. You don’t really have to dig deep to find the themes. Jeez, just thinking about the scene in Peggy’s apartment with Bobbie or with Don and Peggy in his office. It’s almost vulgar in its explicitness. It is probably more heavy handed this season, but it was never very obtuse. 

    The flaws of this season deal more with moments being earned. It was always the strength of the show, the arcs that swung beautifully through twelve episodes. In this season, each episodes is well done as an episode in and of itself. The arcs, though, don’t always support each moment, each episode. That’s what happened here. Lane’s suicide was well done. The criticism comes in the build up to it (or his character arc). The phone call that announced it was “suicida ex machina”. Anyone picking up that phone was destined to die. You questioned the actions that followed rather than merely accepting them as “that’s what Lane would do”. You had often felt Lane’s unhappiness. He had no friends, no want for countrymen, and a relationship with his wife best summed up by holding onto another woman’s photo (not to mention hitting on Joan constantly). But this was the man that came to Sterling-Cooper to fire people, who found love in a black Playboy bunny, and who just got off the hook for a serious crime with his reputation intact. The character arc needs to support this more, therein lies the criticism of season 5. 

    At the same time, I think Pete has been written very well this year. Notice how much he is talked about when he isn’t in the room? It really is his season. We’ll see that in the season finale.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      Since they have to change the company name again, they might as well add “Campbell”.

      • Michael Moineau

        Pete becomes a full partner but can’t work on Dow, which they’ll land, because of what Roger promised Kenny. That’s some season six drama right there. It’s interesting how Pete and Don are both trying to be the Don Draper of the first season. Don is giving grandiose speeches, going for blood, “getting hard at the word ‘no’”. Pete is having affairs, dressing in black, and keeping the company going. People are talking about him. We hear it every episode. Don warns Pete against it in Signal 30 (best episode of the season), yet Don is becoming so desperate that he is falling (or is it trying to climb) back into that early Don Draper roll. Cooper even tells him to do as much.  

        Money has been more present this year as well (from being thrown into faces, to being dolled out by Roger, to the Communist father, the wife-actress and her comforts). I expect there to be something overtly money-related in the finale.

        Those two arcs have been earned and I hope for a nice pay off, so to say. I think Don starting up with someone is also a possibility: the Return of Don Draper (or is it Dick Whitman?). I think you could argue that it’s been earned as well. Or will it be Megan…?

  • dickylarue

    I think the writing has been excellent this season. There’s been a lot call backs to earlier seasons. The suicide comparisons. The way Don reacted to Joan prostituting herself vs. how he felt when it was Sal. Joan wearing the fur Roger gave her. If each season is a feature, the entire show is a novel. You’re seeing character growth and people making the same mistakes again and again. Don’s changing, but he’s always the same and is confronted with the same choices again and again in his life. Joan wanted to be respected for being more than a piece of ass and got her partnership by being a piece of ass. The show is brilliant. These characters aren’t taking the Hollywood notes character development path and for that I’m thankful. As for the suicide being obvious, the minute Lane forged the check you knew he was on borrowed time. There’s only so many times you can let the other characters bail someone out of that kind of choice story wise before it takes away the drama. Don’s reaction was great and Lane offing himself was expected. It still didn’t take away from the sadness. Seeing poor Lane fail at suicide in the Jag after breaking his glasses (symbolic)…I thought for a moment he’s going to come out of this. But this wasn’t a suspense episode. This was a sad reminder how some people only see one way out while people like Don and Joan for that matter adapt and move on. I thought it was a great episode. And I do agree that Weiner is getting a little too cute with his Glenn fixation. I never realized that was his son until I read it here. When Don and Glenn were in the car at episodes end the thought did cross my mind that they’re trying too hard to make Glenn a part of this world. He really doesn’t fit. Kinsey, Sal and Freddy belong more in the Mad Men world than Glenn but I think Weiner is getting off on his Glenn as Holden Caufield in boarding school thing. Glenn’s entertaining but not vital. 

  • ErinnF

    FOR GOD’S SAKE, PUT SOME SHOES ON, MEGAN!

    SHEEEEEEZUS.

    • boleyn28

      I have never met another person who spells their name like me, with the double N, that’s awesome that there is 2 of us in the world,lol.

    • Lilithcat

      Why?  I never wear shoes in my house.  

      • Sweetbetty

         Me neither, and I don’t even have white carpet.  I guess when you’ve been used to seeing June Cleaver in her high heels it comes as a shock to see a TV wife shoeless.  I think even Laura Petrie wore little flats around the house.

  • Sweetbetty

    A question here about Lane’s resignation letter.  Since we saw him typing it in the office he obviously didn’t have it with him in the car when he made his first attempt.  There have been discussions here about the company having life insurance on the partners, with the company as beneficiary.  By writing the resignation letter before killing himself  he was technically no longer an employee.  Of course, only the people there when they cut him down knew about the letter so they could do with it as they wished.  But wasn’t that one more way to shove the agency’s nose into it?

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      I wondered why he didn’t write it before attempting suicide  in the car. What changed?

      But then I realized, maybe it was *something else* that he typed before he hung himself. The suicide note could have been written much earlier. 

  • http://twitter.com/jptrostle JP Trostle

    >”Don doesn’t like being lied to and he really doesn’t like it when someone uses his identity to do it. It wasn’t the money that got Lane fired; it was the forgery.”

    Yup, nothing pisses off a guy who stole his identity more than — stealing his identity.

    Don, you putz.

  • Laylalola

    Fancy that, Don not liking being lied to and really not liking it when someone uses his stolen identity to forge a check.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

      I just don’t get all the “Don’s identity is a fraud” comments after this episode. Don took the name of a dead man to get out of Korea and then established his *own* identity and career using that name — he used the name as a way of starting over and forging a new life. There is nothing that we know about the story of Don Draper/Dick Whitman to indicate that he used that identity to steal or plunder. He even took care of Draper’s widow! Don/Dick certainly abused Betty’s trust through his dishonesty about his past, but I can’t think of a similar instance in which he has knowingly taken advantage of the partners or jeopardized the firm.

    • d_in_denver

      Pete knows too.

  • Tracie Bezerra

    I have wondered that about Lane’s wife returning to NY all season.  It’s minor but she was so angry about being there in Season 3 and back in England in Season 4 and there’s nothing I can remember to explain her being back with him in NY and so loving toward him as well this season.

    • g_mo

      She’s back in NY because Lane’s father beat Lane to the ground and ordered him to go fix his marriage. I am trying to come up with any background we were given that might explain why she seemed so much happier and more loving this time around and I’m drawing a blank, but we did at least get a very clear depiction of why Lane ended their separation.

      • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

        Finding a group of British ex-pats seemed to make her more comfortable in New York. Remember how happy she was to be going to the pub to watch the game?

  • marianne19

    The insurance isn’t tied to his employment; it’s tied to his partnership stake.  That equity interest isn’t tied to his employment.

    • greenwich_matron

      That makes sense. I haven’t thought of this stuff since I saw it on an exam twenty years ago.

    • greenwich_matron

      That makes sense. I haven’t thought of this stuff since I saw it on an exam twenty years ago.

  • Christy Moravitz

    I think Matthew is taking notes from the Francis Ford Coppola book of blind nepotism …

  • boleyn28

    #lane got all dressed up to kill himself in the car, how very proper.

    #Scarlette looked just like Joan, pin and all at the partners meeting, all that was missing is the pen/necklace

    #Rebecca Price wont get any life insurance $ from Lanes suicide, remember that the company gets all the money.

    #It looks like Sally was trying to mimick Megans outfit from the day before, with the knee boots, short dress, ect.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      She was wearing the boots that Don deemed too adult a few episodes ago.

  • sweatpantalternative

    For me the foreshadowing hit the shark right as snowflakes started falling outside the office window during Don and Lane’s meeting. It obviously calls the viewer’s attention to the falling man in the intro, and you knew right away “yep, it’s time, Lane is offing himself”. Not to mention Don’s advice to Lane to “make an elegant exit”. Please! That said, Lane’s suicide does make sense. 

    Lane is a classic beta male trying to pass in an alpha male world, and his suicide reflects decades of feeling emasculated by his wife, his father, his old job, his new partners. He could have demanded some compensation for his sacrifice earlier on, and he could have gone to the partners and explained his financial predicament and they would have helped him–had he just asserted himself. Interestingly, we’ve seen how differently the beta males on the show respond to the alpha male demands–Pete becomes devious and bastardly, Ken actually grows a pair, but Lane just crumbles. Don was in the right to ask for his resignation, and he did give him an honorable way out, but Don consistently fails to appreciate how other people react to stress.

    • BobStPaul

       When I saw the snowflakes falling outside the window, my first thought was whether or not the windows opened….

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

        Me too! And when Roger and Don were in Roger’s office I kept thinking any minute we were going to see Lane fly by and they wouldn’t know. Now that I think about it, he’d have to jump from the roof for that to work. Nevermind.

        • Sweetbetty

           I don’t know if you tried to, but that made me laugh out loud.

  • http://twitter.com/mediapileup Beth Anderson

     Roger, though a talented account man, is lazy and unfocused and Don’s drive helped keep him moving forward. Don, though insanely talented, needs Roger’s polish around clients. They are great complements for one another.

    • Sweetbetty

       I made a similar observation earlier.  As many times as we’ve seen them ready to go at the others throat, they make a good team and wouldn’t be as good without the other one.

  • Megan Patterson

    That office is ssooooooo haunted now. 

    • Tracie Bezerra

      It’s way too cheesy for Mad Men, but I’d love to see a shot Lane and Mrs. Blankenship in the afterlife, having a drink and watching the goings-on at SCDP…

      • Ogden1990

        Or Lane floating around the offices with his hanging on by a thread, a la Hogwarts…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1502512304 Ken Warthen

    Yes, no more Nice Guy for Ken Cosgrove; he’s got Pete’s nuts in a vice grip and appears not be afraid to pull the handle. Hang off for just one sec, Ken, I’m gonna make popcorn and settle down on the sofa. I really want to enjoy this.

    BTW, if you think Mr. Weiner & Co. are making things too obvious, check out some of the other places on the ‘net where Mad Men is being discussed (Television Without Pity comes to mind, but that’s just one among many). Some of the comments being written about plot points and characters made me wonder if the writers have even seen the episode they’re writing about.

    • VanessaDK

       Amen.  I have been hoping someone would rid us of Pete’s miserableness, but since I don’t think a second death is in the cards in the finale, I can only hope that watching Ken make Pete squirm will be “TV worth watching”

    • CozyCat

      I thought it was significant that Roger was so sympathetic to Ken’s desire to maintain the firewall between the firm’s interests an his in-law’s business.  And what was more interesting is that Roger was even more sympathetic to Ken’s feelings about Pete.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Dow throws SCDP a bone in the form of a product or two and Pete completely loses it when he finds out that he can’t work the account!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584364405 Sabrina Abhyankar

      do you mean the comment writers on TWOP? Or the show writers? 

    • Glammie

      Yeah, I’ve been over to TWOP, but I find it hard to even read the discussions of MM–the dense factor’s way too high.

  • librarygrrl64

    RIP, Lane. And thank you, Jared Harris, for helping to create such a memorable and sympathetic character. You will be missed.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      Indeed! Jared Harris is a treasure.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584364405 Sabrina Abhyankar

        I was really not much of a Lane fan but loved Jared Harris’ portrayal of him, honestly. I’ll check out his other stuff. 

  • TxMom2011

    wrong post

  • http://profiles.google.com/valencia.lucia87 Lucía Valencia

    If he really wants to help his son out, Matt Weiner really shouldn’t put him in scenes with Jon Hamm, it just 
    emphasized the fact that he cannot act to save his life.

  • TxMom2011

    obsequiousness – wooweeee…. I had to look that one up

  • margaret meyers

    As a mother, anyone who does the laundry of a pre-adolescent girl knows about the discharge you would have been seeing for months ahead of this.  I realize this would be a boring or disgusting line of dialog.

    • boleyn28

      i think thats a little detailed for the show, it is afterall a ahow.

      • Twinzilla

        I know, I know.  Not the stuff of script writing at all — the stuff of motherhood.But one of the pleasures (and despairs) of parenting is watching the Growing Up Parade.  You experience everything from the other POV.

    • Aurumgirl

      Maybe.  Or you could see it as no more boring or disgusting as other signs of approaching adulthood and nascent sexuality that we constantly hear about in adolescent males, which are nothing new in various forms of stories in our culture.

      • Susan Stella Floyd

        THANK YOU.

        I was relieved and thrilled to see Sally’s menarche realistically treated on national television.

    • warontara

      Well, to be fair, Betty wasn’t really shocked that Sally had started. And I don’t think it seemed like Sally was shocked in a way that meant she had no idea what was happening. So IMO they’ve discussed it. She just wasn’t expecting it in that moment, and freaked out cause she was by herself in a museum with Glen, and wanted to go home. She didn’t pull a Carrie White about it. 

    • Browsery

      I was a pre-adolescent girl and  don’t know what you’re talking about.  And yes, it is disgusting. (not talking about menstruation).

    • Susan Stella Floyd

      I didn’t have that.

  • http://twitter.com/julepalooza patsy hatt

    That British stiff upper lip mystique is what kept Lane from going to the partners for help, and ultimately led to his demise. Death before dishonor.  I will miss his character on the show, and always remember him fondly in his finest hour: giving Pete Campbell a much deserved beatdown.

  • warontara

    Even though I knew it was coming, I was SO sad for Lane! That NY Mets pennant on his office wall really did me in for some reason. 

    • librarygrrl64

      Oh, me, too! 

    • http://twitter.com/sarahohmygod Sarah Oleksyk

       And the little Statue of Liberty on his windowsill, highlighted as he turns to face the NYC skyline in his office for the last time.

      • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

        Did you notice that next to the Statue was the Empire State Building and a Liberty Bell? Hidden Gems.

    • mixedupfiles

      He’ll never get to enjoy the ’69 championship.

      • Susan Crawford

        You’re right! And how Lane would have loved Ron Swoboda’s amazing horizontal catch that turned the tide and almost made me a Mets fan – but I had to stay a Yankee girl in the long run. (But in ’69, all of New York had Mets Fever, didn’t it? Poor Lane.)

  • http://twitter.com/RozSeven Roz

    Sally’s storyline seemed to me to be more “life goes on” not “life begins anew”. The difference being that “life goes on” is a more mundane trajectory. All the hoopla about something as normal and healthy as Sally’s period is comical compared with the absolute despair of Lane’s situation.

    • Qitkat

      But it is a rite of passage, the most critical one of a young lady’s life. And while in a very literal sense it does mean “life goes on,” I think it is far from mundane. Slightly comical, yes, in stark contrast to Lane’s tragedy.

  • MissLovelyRosa

    I’m new to commenting on this lovely and fascinating blog. I’ve been silently devouring every sentence the TLo have been posting, but I simply cannot be silent anymore. Lane’s suicide was so sad to watch. The hopelessness, the tears, the pleas and finally, the end..so sad. I feel bad for his wife and son, who no doubt got the harder end of the bargain. I think his suicide was very cowardly and selfish and that the ends do not justify the means. And Sally! I’m so sorry she got her period when she was out with Glen. It’s difficult no matter where you are, but add an awkward stage with an even more awkward boy and you have a recipe for disaster. :/ I couldn’t help but think when I started my period for the first time-and I was at home (and my mother was too) at the time. Betty did a great job explaining things to her, even though she can be such a bratty bitch at times. It’s good to see a shade of good mother  shine through.

  • ErinnF

    God, on top of all of it, it was really heartbreaking to hear Lane begging Don to let him keep his job. It reminds me of the day I got laid off recently. It’s like you’re having an out-of-body experience, where you want to be all dignified about it, but suddenly you hear yourself begging for your job like it’s somebody else talking, not you. This episode really hit home for me because I had a similar scene in my own office with my boss and felt that same sense of “what am I going to do now” despair. Granted, I didn’t do anything dishonest to lose mine – just one of a group of people who were casualties of the company’s economic downfall – but it was still a horrible experience. Watching last night’s episode was like pouring salt in a raw wound. I watched it again this morning and caught myself hoping Don would make a different decision. 

    Blah – I had a hard time sleeping last night. Haunting, just haunting. 

    • suzq

      Sorry to hear about your layoff.  Hope things are getting better for you.

    • MissLovelyRosa

      ErinnF, I’m so sorry to hear about this. My father passed away on April 3, and roughly two weeks later, my mother was forced to resign from her job. I could not believe it-that her supervisor could be so cold. It is a slap in the face no matter the time, but in these circumstances, it was devastating for her. I’m not trying to one-up your situation. I just feel for you. :( I hope things are better for you?

      • Munchkn

         I am so sorry for the loss of your father.

        • MissLovelyRosa

          Thank you, Munchkn. He’s not suffering anymore, and for that I am very pleased and at peace with. 

        • MissLovelyRosa

          Thank you, Munchkn. He’s not suffering anymore, and for that I am very pleased and at peace with. 

      • Munchkn

         I am so sorry for the loss of your father.

  • Qitkat

    When the man you put in charge of your finances steals them by forging
    your name, there’s not an apology in the world that can smooth that one
    over. Don doesn’t like being lied to and he really doesn’t like it when
    someone uses his identity to do it. It wasn’t the money that got Lane
    fired; it was the forgery.

    I haven’t read any comments or the rest of the post yet but I have to say:
    The lovely thing about Mad Men is the irony of this matter, since the name forged by Lane is not Don’s real name anyway. And thank god they don’t need to remind us of this, as long time viewers we remember this, and appreciate that there ar still some call-backs that are subtle.

  • beebee10

    TLo, I have a rare moment of disagreeing with you. I thought the episode was very tense and compelling, and it wove together various threads that have been dangling around for the season, causing frustration for many. Even tho we saw Lane’s suicide as coming, I hoped, especially when the Jag wouldn’t start (great black humor btw) that maybe it wouldn’t happen. But that black humor was a distraction from how determined and distraught Lane was. He may have felt like a pathetic failure, but that meant he was determined not to fail at suicide. 

    Lane was such a well drawn character– longing for and loving the freedom of USA, and battling intense shame. I thought a lot of the episode when his father came to tell him to return to his wife and beat Lane, a grown man, with a cane. 

    I felt Don was very hard on Lane regarding fraud, since Don’s identity is a totally fraudulent. You’d think he’d be more sympathetic to the deep desperation Lane felt. 

  • Browsery

    “He did try to give him advice in the “it will shock you how much this never happened” mode, but Lane simply isn’t the kind of person who’s going to be stirred by Don’s hobo code philosophy. Peggy took that advice and ran with it, but Lane couldn’t bear the thought of facing the world after this.”

    I don’t think Lane had a whole lot of choices.  He was in his 40s, he was going to lose his visa, he probably burned a lot of bridges back in England, which is much smaller and there would be suspicions about why he suddenly upped and left. He’d probably have to pull his boy out of school.  He had a great deal of pride. Can you imagine dealing with father?

    With his death I assume his wife and son get some life insurance and his equity in the firm.  And with luck they never will find out why he killed himself, although being a family member of a suicide, especially back then, is bad enough.

    I loved how the Statue of Liberty statuette was in the short as Lane sat in front of his window.  He so enjoyed America and its freedom.

    This was true tragedy: When you make a bad decision and destroy yourself.

  • Katsaavedra

    Guys, you don’t get it.  Having your first period does not bring to mind new life or joy of becoming.  Girls live in fear of the day they start bleeding in a public place when they are unprepared.   It’s something dreaded, something soul crushingly embarrassing, something that makes them want to, wait for it, die.  And consider life’s irony.  At the moment one “becomes a woman” one wants nothing more than one’s mommy.  Sally is at the stage of life when all she wants is to be older, more sophisticated, older, glamorous, and, above all, older.  All season she has been grasping for that glamour and getting, instead, slapped in the face by some of the adult world’s most gruesome realities.  It’s like she put on those forbidden go-go boots and the universe said, “you want grown up?  We’ll give you grown up.  Here ya go.  You’re a woman at last, enjoy.”  The theme of the season has been “ugly as grandma going down on Mr. Sterling reality” and that shot of Sally’s underwear drove the point home perfectly.  Of course, she had to be wearing white tights.

    • Qitkat

      Beautifully put. While some have thought that shot of her panties was gratuitous, I thought the shock of the audience seeing it echoed Sally’s shock of seeing it. And as soon as she said, I don’t feel so good, I knew what was coming.

    • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

      We are seriously getting annoyed with the “you don’t get it” comments because there is absolutely nothing in the above review to indicate what we think about young girls getting their period nor is there anything in it about what Sally must have been feeling. We’re sorry that you can’t differentiate between a discussion of a script and a discussion of life, but we’re not talking about you or about any other girl’s first experience with menstruation. We are talking about how the script framed the story, specifically about how the script framed Sally’s experience as a beginning; a beginning of her adulthood and a beginning of her ability to have children of her own. It’s worthy to discuss the ways in which Sally didn’t feel these things herself, but it doesn’t mean we “don’t get it.” It means you want to talk about something other than what we’ve discussed here. Be our guest.

      • http://twitter.com/sarahohmygod Sarah Oleksyk

         I’d also like to offer as an alternative view to those who have a hard time seeing a girl’s first period as a “new beginning” this take on it: as the inevitability of “life marches on.” Life forces change on people. Lane gets fired. Sally grows up. But this episode showed two people’s different reactions to it. Sally has to accept her newfound adulthood, even if it means temporarily regressing into her mom’s arms. Lane, on the other hand, cannot deal with the change, and can’t take Don’s suggestion to start fresh. He finds himself backed into a corner and takes the only way out he knows.

        In the Tarot, the Death card represents Change as well.

        • Sweetbetty

           In addition, Sally wasn’t facing anything that millions of young girls haven’t faced every day since Eve tasted the apple and which is a completely normal experience that, unpleasant as it is, gets dealt with routinely.  Lane, OTOH, was facing something that relatively few have had to face and was, as sympathetic as his circumstances were, of his own making.

          • Susan Crawford

            Good points, Sweetbetty. Sally’s first period is the beginning of a new phase of her life and maturation, bringing with it new perspectives and possibilities and – yes – challenges and dangers. And it also marks the physical end of childhood – and that is a feature of Sally’s storyline. Sally has been losing her childhood from the very beginning. Having it taken from her, actually, by the end of her parents’ marriage, by Betty’s coldness, by her parents’ remarriages, by Glenn, and so much more.

            Showing her stained panties, her frantic pulling out sheets of toilet paper . . . it was absolutely right. And brilliantly acted by Kiernan Shipka, who seems destined for an amazing career.

      • Katsaavedra

         Well, gee, I hate to annoy you but, um, YOU DIDN’T GET IT.  And that is true, not only about Sally’s storyline, but about my comments as well.  At no point, I assure you, was I talking about any individual, not even myself, other than in the most generic of ways.  My point, gentlemen, was that Sally’s period could also be seen as, a death reference.  The death of her childhood, the death of little bit more of her innocence, possibly the death of her relationship with Glen, and the feeling of embarrassment from which many people express a desire to die, all wrapped up in a very common symbol of death: blood.   I find it interesting that you seem to think a discussion of what Sally was feeling doesn’t belong in a discussion about the meaning of the sequence.  Pray tell, how are Don’s emotions regarding Lane and Adam more relevant than Sally’s regarding her own internal trauma? 

        • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

          Your point wasn’t that Sally’s period COULD be seen as a death reference; your point was that we we “didn’t get it” because we didn’t interpret it exactly that way. As Matt Weiner said, in the behind-the-scenes video for this episode, in regards to Sally’s storyline, “It’s an incredible juxtaposition, to see that life starting when Lane is ending his.” That is the part of the story and how it was presented that we chose to focus on in our review.

          And you find it “interesting that [we] seem to think a discussion of what Sally was feeling doesn’t belong” because you have completely misread our response to you, which clearly ends with “Be our guest” on the matter of discussing the topic.

          There is nothing wrong with wanting to talk about how you interpreted that scene. Go right ahead. We don’t even disagree with you. But we take issue with being told we didn’t get it when the creator of the show discussed it in those terms and the script itself referenced it.

          • Katsaavedra

             You have spent an inordinate amount of time telling us that we are wrong because we had a different interpretation than you, or apparently Mr. Weiner,  had.  “Hi, Pot, this is Kettle.  You’re black”.  It seems clear that I am not the only reader who misunderstood you and found your review to be overly narrow and your attitude dismissive.   Is it so far outside the realm of possibility that this is, at least partially, the result of your writing rather than my being unable to “differentiate between a discussion of a script and a discussion of life?” 

              As for Mr. Weiner’s  comments on the matter, I don’t know or care what he said.  I haven’t had the benefit of hearing his comments.  I have only that which ended up on the screen on which to base an opinion.  Still, Weiner’s choosing to focus on one interpretation of the script doesn’t invalidate other interpretations nor is it an indication that there is no other subtext which is what you imply when you reference only this interpretation of the event and then immediately dismiss it as an  “obvious cliche”. 

            That said, Mr Weiner doesn’t get it.  Christ, the man has the subtlety of a jack hammer and I am now realizing that I had been giving him entirely too much credit.  Like so many TV writers, he doesn’t recognize the best things in his own work and focuses on all the wrong things.  It seems he stumbles onto genius rather than cultivating it. 

            Seriously, if I misread your original post and misread your reply I sincerely apologize.  However, your attitude towards me reads as insulting and condescending.  That kind of thing tends to lead to misunderstandings. 

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            We have never once said that you are wrong for having a different interpretation than us and have, in fact, gone out of our way to say the exact opposite. We have no idea how you not only missed that, but came to the exact opposite conclusion.

            That about sums this whole exchange up.

          • Katsaavedra

             Yes, it does.  How disappointing.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            Good lord.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

            You do realize that this is Matthew Weiner’s story to tell and these are his characters, right? Speaking of “insulting and condescending,” I’d say those are good descriptors for any fan who asserts that the creator of this show and its characters “doesn’t get it” because the interpretation he expresses regarding a character or plotline doesn’t match theirs.

          • Katsaavedra

             His story and his characters that he submits to the public for approval or opposite.  Are you equally offended by those who have excoriated both the performance of his Son and the character he plays?  It is fascinating to see how strongly people are reacting to a rather mild, in the grand scheme of things,  criticism.   (Of course, regarding Tom and Lorenzo, I wasn’t the only one who said it.  I was just the lucky girl they decided to dump on over it.)  Yes, it is my considered opinion that Mathew Weiner, amongst other flaws,  doesn’t get it.  What happens now?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

            Er, I’m actually not “offended” by any discussion of a television show at all. I have commented on this blog and others that I rather enjoy Marten Weiner’s portrayal of Glen Bishop and find his acting skill level well-suited to the character. The difference is that I have yet to encounter anyone who insisted I didn’t “get it” because I had an opposing take on Glen’s character.

            This isn’t about respectful criticism and discussion regarding interpretations — this is about people who claim a monopoly on “getting it.” Like I said, there is plenty of room for concurrent, varied interpretations here and they’re not all mutually exclusive. I don’t know how to say that more clearly.

            What now, you ask? Apart from relaxation aromatherapy and a large glass of wine, I really can’t say. I think one logical step may be to create your own story, replete with characters whose perspectives illustrate how singularly you “get it” and no one else does.  

          • Glammie

            No, you were the “lucky girl” who was obnoxious in her approach.  It looks as if Weiner and the writers of the episode have somewhat different interpretations–I doubt they end up proclaiming “YOU DON’T GET IT!” at one another as a result.  

            There’s not one right meaning here.  There are multiple interpretations.  There’s no need to “SHOUT” at people whose take is different.  It doesn’t make you more right, it just makes you rude.

          • Katsaavedra

             ”It looks as if Weiner and the writers of the episode have somewhat different interpretations”

            What are you talking about?  Who mentioned the writers of the episode or any disagreements they may have had with their boss?  They were Andre and Maria Jaquemetton for the record, though, I still don’t know why you are bringing them up.  Are you aware of such a disagreement?  If so, please share.

            “I doubt they end up proclaiming “YOU DON’T GET IT!” at one another as a result.”

            I expect they say much worse things to each other in the throes of crafting an episode than “you don’t get it”.  Considering the artistic temperaments and egos involved  and the pressure they are working under, I expect they probably use the F word from time to time. 

            “There’s not one right meaning here.  There are multiple interpretations.”

            Uh huh.

            “There’s no need to “SHOUT” at people whose take is different.  It
            doesn’t make you more right, it just makes you rude.”

            I didn’t “SHOUT” at anyone for expressing a different take.  I used a visual representation of raising my voice in anger for the simple reason that I had been treated rudely and wanted Tom and Lorenzo to know that I was angry about it.  Oddly, I have no problem with having been rude to those who have been rude to me. 

          • Glammie

            Read more of the thread.  I quote the writers in one of my posts with a reference to the online source.  For someone who’s so very, very certain that she’s right, you sure haven’t bothered to do much research, have you?

            And, yes, when you put words in all caps, it’s considered the equivalent of shouting on the Internet.  You “shouted” YOU DON’T GET IT.  So, yes, you shouted–or “raised your voice in anger”–What on earth do you think shouting is?  And what you “shouted” is very much about their not seeing things your way.

            Oh, alleging that other people have been rude doesn’t excuse *your* behavior.  

          • Katsaavedra

             You have greatly over estimated my interest in the over 850 comments on the thread.   If there is something you need me to read in order to make sense of your comments it is incumbent upon you to quote it or link to it here in your unsolicited response to my comments. 

            Congrats, by the way, on figuring out that “raising my voice in anger” does, in fact mean “shouting”. 

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            Either you learn how to disagree with other people in a respectful manner or you don’t get to post here. You have become increasingly shrill with each person who talks to you.

          • Katsaavedra

             
            “Respect, civility, shrill,
            shouting.” Difficult terms to apply to a form of communication
            that lacks eye contact, intonation, sound, and body language. It
            seems to me that misunderstandings are to be expected with
            accompanying hurt feelings and anger. I am sure that you are
            familiar with the phenomenon. And so, I am completely baffled by you
            and yours. When you were confronted by a comment that rubbed you the
            wrong way your first move was to hurl an insult at me. From there
            you went on to be, as I read it, defensive, sarcastic, snide, and
            presumptuous. At no point did you express the smallest hint of
            recognition that you might be at all responsible for the level of
            hostility in the encounter. It certainly didn’t occur to you that
            you may have misread my intent. You went so far as to presume to
            tell ME what MY point was.

            For my part, I was angry after reading
            your initial response and made sure you knew it. I’m not sorry about
            that as I think it was an appropriate response to your hostility. I
            made several attempts to explain my point of view and to engage you
            in an examination of how we had misunderstood each other including an
            apology which went entirely unacknowledged. You were only interested
            in putting words in my mouth presumably so that you could justify the
            above noted hostility.

            So, clearly, with regard to respect
            and civility, those ships sailed long ago. You cast them off
            yourselves when you chose to behave like teenage girls.

            I am sad because I have enjoyed your
            blogs immensely up to now. I loved your insights and your humour.
            I will miss them. Not enough, however, to overcome the disrespect I
            have for you now.

          • Glammie

            Right.  You were shouting, as I pointed out earlier.  Thank you for admitting the obvious.

            As for the rest, I don’t have a ton of patience for people who make big statements, but can’t manage a Google search on their own–or even skim a discussion.  In this case, it would have been particular easy for you, but I think your interest isn’t in a real discussion or accuracy.  Mostly it seems a somewhat pathetic grasp for some sort of moral high ground.

            I think it’s funny, by the way, that you’re huffing and puffing about my comments being unsolicited.  You posted in a discussion thread.  People respond if they feel like it.  That’s how it works.

          • Maggie_Mae

            (maybe it’s her time of the month)

      • Susan Stella Floyd

        Your continuing defensiveness is a clue.  You need to examine your male privilege and try to learn from all the women commenters who are critiquing your critique.  $0.02

        • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

          Actually, what we need is for people to read and respond to WHAT WE ACTUALLY WROTE. Because we haven’t argued once with anyone’s interpretation of this episode and in fact, have repeatedly said that it was a worthy discussion to have.

          “You just don’t get it” isn’t a “critique.” It’s a complaint.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129137319 Paula Pertile

    My usual ‘all over the place’ thoughts ~

    There’s been some discussion about Lane’s FU to the company, typing the resignation letter, and possibly leaving them in some sort of lurch financially by doing that. But he didn’t type that letter until AFTER he’d already tried to off himself in the car – it was only after he made it to the office that he typed the letter. So, if he’d been successful with the car, there would have been no resignation letter (or any ‘note’ at all). 

    I couldn’t help filling in the ‘missing scene’ for myself, the in-between time  of him not being able to fix the car, then getting to the office. Did he tidy up the car? Then fetch a cab, ride up in the elevator, etc. A very deliberate and determined string of actions. And somewhere in there he decided to write that letter.

    When Sally said she didn’t feel well, *I knew*. I thought she and Glen seemed married almost, especially the way she told him she didn’t like his mustache. She seemed so in control of that whole relationship, even the way she just left him there (although I can understand her fleeing for home without explanation, of course).

    What was the significance of that overhead shot of her pouring all that sugar into her cup? Something about it seemed – important.

    I loved the opening scene of the partners at the table, with the new (blanking on her name) secretary trying to fill in for Joan, and Joan telling her there should be Danish, etc. 

    Can’t imagine what will happen in the finale!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/W7A5N4G7FDTV5U2KOHBVSB55XI Basket

       About the sugar, my thought would be she is still a child.  Children love sugar.  Coffee is grown-up, but if the coffee is loaded with sugar is it still grown up?

      • Jessi03

        My thoughts, too.  I loved that Megan was all “Maybe they’ll bring you a drink!”  Definitely a buddy and not a mom.  Their interaction actually reminds me of how I was with my 15 years older half sister at that age.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/EICGS3ZJZ2P5NYMR5ND55IACUQ Tara

        As for the sugar, I don’t know if it had any connection, but Sally pouring the sugar dissolved into the scene of Lane lying in bed with his wife.  It’s obviously significant, but I can’t put my finger on it.  It reminded me of the scene from earlier when Lane was gazing out of his office window, looking at the falling snow.  Falling snow/falling sugar.  Is there a connection b/w those things and Lane’s thoughts?  Snow and sugar are both white, pure, childish, and innocent, which stood in stark contrast to Lane’s tragic thought processes in both of those scenes, in his office and with his wife before he tries to commit suicide in the Jag.

        I must say I laughed out loud when the Jag wouldn’t start.

        • Katsaavedra

           The sugar, on a purely practical level, made the coffee palatable to her young palate.  That’s how most of us endured it before we acquired a taste for it.  The dissolve (“dissolve”, I didn’t intend that)  to Lane I took as a comment on how he can no longer sugar coat his own situation to his family, to the partners, or to himself.  Life is no longer palatable no matter how much he tries to sweeten it.  

    • CozyCat

      I thought Sally using all that sugar was a reminder that food is such an emotional issue in her primary household.

      • Browsery

        I took it as childishness, but she had earlier said to Betty that Megan let her eat what she wants.  Betty is probably always scolding about her using too much sugar.

        • Sweetbetty

           That was the significance I placed on the sugar too, though it seemed like it should hold more.  Sally had even said something to Glenn about Betty always telling her what to do, say, wear, eat.  Here she was showing her defiance to Betty by putting as much damn sugar as she wanted into her coffee.

          • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

            The sugar in Sally’s coffee resonated with me on a literal level. I started drinking coffee at four (started drinking it black at 12).  My mother was diabetic, and as a kid I dumped numerous saccharine tablets into my cup.  Eventually I matured out of that extreme sweet tooth.  Sally’s taste buds are still a kid’s.

    • jeeplibby02

      I’m surprised that people are reading so much into the sugar.  Sally, trying to appear grown up, ordered a cup of coffee that she didn’t expect to be served, and when it was brought to her, she dumped a bunch of sugar into it so she could drink it without losing face.   What more is there?

      • sarahjane1912

        This. :-)

        BTW … it was American coffee, right? ‘Nuff said. *Winks*

        PS. Sorry. ;-)

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      It’s possible he wrote the resignation letter right after talking with Don. It looked like it had fallen out of his coat, as if he’d been carrying it around. I could be wrong about that detail though, it was confusing how they found it.
      What he typed before hanging himself could have been something completely different. People have referenced the previews for next week involving letters? I didn’t see the previews, but maybe that’s what he had just typed?

      Also, I think the sugar references the snow.

      • Sweetbetty

         I agree that Lane could have typed several letters or documents while at the office before he hung himself.  I do believe, though, that he very purposely put the resignation letter on his person so it would be sure to be found immediately upon the discovery of his body; maybe even positioned it barely tucked into a pocket so it would fall out just the way it did.  Stickler for detail that Lane was, I do believe that he took pains to tie up all the loose ends his death would cause.  His final actions will probably still be coming to light in the next season’s shows.

    • Susan Crawford

      I think the sugar being poured into the coffee was a lovely little touc – Sally wanted to be seen as grown up, but, like most kids, the bitterness of black coffee was not to her taste. The IDEA of coffee was the thing, but the REALITY was to drink it like a child: overly-sweet and almost candy-like. And the dissolve from the overhead shot into the next scene was so beautiful. Really, the editing and framing has gotten more and more elegant on MM with every passing season.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I feel the same way! I tried to drink the stuff once 10+ years ago and couldn’t stomach it. That’s why I stick to chocolate. 

  • g_mo

    Can anyone remind me who was with Pete when Joan came in and they looked over the partition to see Lane’s body? I’m sure it won’t turn into that big of a deal and the partners won’t try to keep it a secret from the entire staff forever, but I’m curious who knew what was actually going on the day of. I’m picturing Ken and Harry but I don’t trust my memory.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lenoradody Lenora Dody

       Your memory is correct!

      • g_mo

        Thanks for confirming!

  • http://twitter.com/dianasof Diana

    I no longer want to live in a world where Glenn is still around, yet Sal is nowhere to be found. 

  • Susan Crawford

    I cringed when Glen made one of his creepy, downer, wooden appearances. Sigh. Daddy has to one day come to grips with it: his kid does absolutely NOTHING for the show. Glen’s “story” has always seemed fake and intrusive to me, but if a better young actor had been cast it could have worked.

    And two things truly skeeved me this episode about Glen. First, that horrid moustache. I thought there was nothing that would make this kid less appealing, but that skanky caterpillar-hair upper lip? That did it. Second, the “bonding” moment with Don in the elevator, and the “everything turns to crap” speech. I thought it was a cheap, shallow, trite piece of writing. Sorry, but that’s it.
    (Oh, and I am on Team Hotchkiss Bullies Against Glen. I know – I’m not being nice to a kid. But Glen has never been a kid, and I get scared thinking about what he may end up doing to Sally.)

    The first meeting of the new partners was beautifully done – Joan, breaking in the new recording secretary; Don’s reference to leaving the room so the others could decide; Lane’s detailed explanation of an accounting process – all done so elegantly. A LOT was said in that economical scene.

    When Cooper brings the forged check to Don, and Don calls for Lane I took a long deep breath. The confrontation  was painful, as we watched Lane’s reserve shatter. And Don was right. The money was NOT the issue. It was the forgery of Don’s signature. Don, whose whole life is a forgery – who created Don Draper from a dream of power and success – who trades on his name and uses it for everything he has achieved. THAT was Lane’s undoing.

    Of course, the matter of trust and financial accountability was also massively important. Don gave Lane a break: resign. Take the weekend, and think of an elegant way to end it. And on the day when Lane reaches the heights at the most influential professional club, he plummets to the depths.

    When he stands at the door of Joan’s office, and listens to her talk about a vacation at Easter, and makes a crack about envisioning her in a skimpy bikini, her face twists into a mask of anger and distaste, and she dismisses him. He shrugs and walks away – it just doesn’t matter any more. (BTW, I think I noticed some paint-chip cards on Joan’s desk – perhaps for her new partner office? Or maybe a spruce-up of her apartment??)

    Megan, her friend and Sally have lunch, where Sally hears some pretty grown-up girl talk, gets her coffee, and takes another step toward adulthood in all it’s messiness. Her trip to the museum with Glen – note that she wore the Go-Go boots – to look at dioramas of taxidermied families of beasts ended in those stained panties and a frantic cab ride back home.

    Betty rose to the occasion, and I found her tentative hug, and later her lying on the bed with Sally to explain what it all meant – very beautiful, very interesting, and still in character when Betty mentions that Sally needed her mother to Megan. Yep, Betty can still shove the blade between the shoulderblades.

    Don and Roger take an important, possibly fateful meeting – obviously, Don is tired of smallness and is ready to play as rough as it takes to get the big boys in his pocket. Roger and Ken? Priceless! Ken actually manages to surprise Roger, who raises an elegant eyebrow when Ken states his conditions: He WILL be on the account, and Pete will have NOTHING to do with it. Go, Ken!

    I think Peggy’s departure may have given Ken a whole new way of looking at his professional life – and I sincerely hope he is hard at work on that novel of life on Mad Avenue, because life is pretty damned fascinating lately.

    Lane’s suicide – oh, the irony, the irony, the irony of the failed E-Type! So pathetic, yet also hilarious in a bleak, cold, dark way.
    But ultimately, Lane’s death in the office with an inelegant, boilerplate letter of resignation left behind – it was what it had to be, and Don’s instinct to cut him down was right.

    I missed Peggy, but it was good to see Betty. And I note that the weight seems to be coming off Betty. She’ll be at her fighting weight again, folks.

    The snowfall – talk about a classic metaphor. I kept thinking of James Joyce’s “The Dead” – “The snow gently falling, falling gently on the living and the dead” as Lane looked out his window with his life in ruins. Gorgeous shot, that.

    • carolynmo

      Oh, good call on the Joyce story–one of my favorites! Boy, that was an exhausting evening of TV with that episode following Game of Thrones.

    • Kylara7

      That awful little mustache on Glen is so true-to-life though…I’m glad they left that in.  I remember when the boys in my grade all seemed to sprout one of those at the same time.  Yick!  Adolescence/puberty are not kind to most of us, girls or boys. :)  

    • Qitkat

      Have you ever seen John Huston’s film of The Dead? I caught it by chance late one evening. A mesmerizing story, full of depth and sadness, glimpses into ordinary people’s lives. The scene with the quote you mentioned had me sobbing. I haven’t actually read the Joyce.

      • Susan Crawford

        The film is magical, with an amazing performance by the great Angelica Huston – beautiful adaptation of the story!

  • Browsery

    Harry has to know about the partnership.  There’s already been a meeting since his return.

    I suspect the note is some revelation about Don or about Lane.

    • Sweetbetty

       What note?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKSM57KFWUGRMKPDUW4SPL3GDM Kathryn

    Nothing good ever becomes of a father striking a son in the face.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mary.nease Mary Nease

    As awful as it sounds, I’m glad it was Lane and not Pete. I’m sure it it was Pete, he would have shot himself which I just would not be able to handle. One of my friends in high school committed suicide via gun and consequently any depictions of suicide of that method are really, really painful for me. Small mercies, I suppose, that they went the hanging route. 

    • Qitkat

      My son while still in college discovered a fellow student who had hanged himself. It had repercussions for him, he quit his job, moved out of the dorm, needed counseling. I imagine that kind of suicide is still really painful for him to see depicted, 10 years later, thankfully he doesn’t watch MM. I really cringed that Lane took this way out.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mary.nease Mary Nease

        Suicides are just painful awful things for everyone involved. Anyone who thinks that they’re leaving people better off with out them is hella wrong. 

      • Sweetbetty

         I know a man in his late 60s who in his early 20s found his mother hanged in the attic.  He had barely mentioned it for decades and just recently has started obsessing about it with his wife.  You know it must have been simmering just below the surface for 40+ years.  Suicides are very cruel to those left behind.

        • sweetlilvoice

          I agree, my cousin killed himself almost 30 years ago (I was 3) and the family still hasn’t fully recovered. To this day, I don’t take jokes or threats about suicide lightly.

  • Browsery

    Jaguar wasn’t the account that hurt him.  It was the pull-out of Lucky Strike, which meant the firm had to secure a bridge loan and all the partners had to put up $50K.  Lane had to liquidate his portfolio to get the money, which I assume triggered capital gains taxes from the Inland  (?) Revenue.

  • http://twitter.com/suryasnair suryasnair

    Lane hung himself next to the Mets flag :( 

  • Browsery

    It was also Pete who ratted to Roger about Ken’s writing, causing Roger basically to tell Ken to stop.  Ken changed his pseudonym.

    I didn’t think Ken was being ruthless or cutthroat.

    • 3hares

      Or at least that’s what Ken thinks. We never actually saw who said something to Roger.

      • Logo Girl

        If Roger and Ken’s FIL know each other, it could have been him. Seems like a good round=about way to control his daughter’s husband, and keep him from straying from the corporate path.

        • greenwich_matron

          Having Dow as a client would be trouble for Ken. His FIL seems like undiluted malice.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            Maybe because I can’t look at him without seeing a man who killed his own daughter on Twin Peaks. Yes, that was 20 years ago. I need a life. :)

  • Browsery

    That was desperation, not spite.  He was touched by the gift, it was just horribly ironic given the circumstances that he could never reveal.  How easy do you think it is to kill yourself? He looked for the first available option.  A death by inhalation of carbon monoxide when you’re drunk also is easier than hanging yourself.

    Lane was a complex and flawed character, as are real people, but he was not phony.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      I don’t know where this post was meant to go, but I totally agree. :)

  • Browsery

    What you said, and he’s a 40-something year-old guy in 1966 America who’s getting kicked back to England.  It’s not so easy to reinvent yourself.  It’s not so easy today.

  • Tracie Bezerra

    Re: comments over whether Joan will/can take over Lane’s duties – part of the tragedy of his character to me is the fact that he wasn’t a vital part of the workplace, now or ever.  P and P was going tojust ship him off to I think Bombay once they decided to dump Sterling Cooper, and as the only one who wasn’t an ad man, he was only useful to SCDP as long as it took them to them to flee SC – I really doubt they would have taken him otherwise.  Even “his” account, Jaguar was taken from him and bungled, and becomes his undoing when their second shot a Jaguar pitch keeps them from giving out the Christmas bonus he so desperately needs.  As a glorified accountant/middle manager, he never fit in with the Dons and the Petes and the Rogers.  Yes, his punching Pete out was a high point, but I don’t think he would have even had that in him had his desperation this season not fueled his anger over the whorehouse incident.  And sadly, SCDP will probably roll on without him pretty smoothly, other than possibly some finger pointing and pettty squabbling…

    • Browsery

      I think Lane was quite important. He was the English firm’s Mr. Fixit.  That he was moved from place to place to be their hatchet man didn’t mean he wasn’t necessary.  Lane helped engineer the creation of the new firm and he secured the bridge loan the firm needed after Lucky Strike dropped SCDP.  His work at keeping the firm afloat was why he was tapped for the AAAA.

      I read the first part of an Entertainment Weekly recap, which described Lane as “droning” on about the proposed commission structure.  He actually was quite succinct and clear.  I guess some people think that money issues are beneath them.

      • Sweetbetty

         When Don, Roger, et al, were organizing the new agency there was some discussion about taking Lane with them.  Roger and Pete (and perhaps others) still saw him as the enemy and didn’t want him.  Don asked them, “Do you know how to do what he does?  I don’t.”.  “What Lane does” always seems to be somewhat of a mystery to commenters here but they must have decided that he did it well enough to bring him on board the new agency.  So yes, he was quite important.  His importance seems to have diminished over the last year or so, even in his own mind, but SCDP would never have gotten as far as they did without him.

        • Glammie

          What Lane does–finance, streamlining and cutting costs–overall efficiency means something in a large company, but less in a small one. Don’s comment struck me at the time as a means of getting Lane to fire them so they could break their contracts.  But the reality is someone with Lane’s skillset isn’t really needed in a small agency where everybody knows everybody and the jobs are reasonably well defined.  

          • greenwich_matron

            Agree. Lane’s former job is very valuable to a firm doing M&A or a management consultant. He should have gone to India. Maybe he would have gone to Australia and Hong Kong as well and then write memoirs. He could have become the accountant’s Graham Greene.

        • sweetlilvoice

          I agree that he was still important. You do not want to not have the guy around who thinks about the finances and makes sure everyone gets paid. He and Joan kept the day to day stuff running.

      • Tracie Bezerra

        Well, *I* don’t think money issues are beneath me – I didn’t mean to sound like a snob :-)  I was thinking more in terms of how Lane felt.  My sense was always that his duties at SCDP didn’t garner him the same respect as what the accounts and creative people did, and I think he felt it deeply.  His disappointed reaction to what P&P planned for him post-SC when he clearly thought he’d earned his way back to London, his eagerness to make the connection necessary for SCDP to compete for Jaguar, and his comment to Don in their last scene together about how everyone else had gotten rich while he’d taken nothing away after leaving P&P indicated to me that he felt he was not valued highly at the firm.

  • Browsery

    He KNEW it was embezzling.  Yes, he had a justification (excuse), but he knew it was wrong.  The scene with Don was so sad because you did feel for him; he had not been properly compensated for his contributions but in the end, he stole from the company.  

    The only reason he called it a 13-day loan was he thought they would be getting their bonuses in 13 days.  It’s not a business term.

  • Kristen Wegener

    But she’s not a babysitter, she’s a stepmother. Of course she seems to be going the “cool young babysitter” route when it comes to Sally. I was impressed by her aplomb by the end of the episode — handling some awkward teenage boy who LOST the twelve year old he took into the city, Don’s reaction when he got home, etc. But her inita reaction was that of an eldest sister being saddled with babysitting duties.

    • Browsery

      My perception of Megan has definitely improved over the last few episodes.  Is her character being manipulated by the writers to make certain points as needed, or is it a case of the more you know someone the more nuanced your view becomes?

  • Browsery

    It probably wasn’t Peggy, who is the only other person who knew as far as I know.  I think something else indicated it was Pete. 

     In addition, Pete has always been envious of Ken’s writing.  Remember when he tried to get Trudy to prostitute herself so he could get a story published?

  • Browsery

    None of my replies appear to be following the comments to which they are responding.  

    • Qitkat

       Log out of disqus, close your browser, clear history and cache, and try again.

      • Browsery

        Thank you!

  • Browsery

    I thought it was great.  First time menstruation is scary, and while a natural process, it can be kind of gross.  I loved that Betty was characteristically negative (she says something like “It’s not pleasant”), but she was telling the truth.  She then went on to explain that it was a sign of healthy fertility.

    • Maggie_Mae

      Betty did not add another reason women can find menstruation comforting: It means they aren’t pregnant!  Not that many women don’t want to become mothers–but the timing is not always right….

      • Sweetbetty

         Yes, I can remember the times I was so very relieved to see that damn blood.

        • sononagal

          I’m 51 and “my monthly visits” are becoming “occasional” visits.  I do remember my first period – being completely freaked out and feeling very sad because my childhood was coming to an end.  As I enter menopause, I have exactly the same feelings. A part of my life is ending and I feel a bit bittersweet.  I really did see a parallel between the Sally and Lane stories.  Both were dealing with changes in how their lives would move forward.  It was just that Sally found ways to cope and Lane did not.

      • Susan Stella Floyd

        I’m 33, and I’ve been relieved Every Single Month since I was Sally’s age.  Many women don’t want to become mothers.  Most are just too cowed by social expectations to be vocal about it.

  • Browsery

    Me, too.  I didn’t see a forced relationship of one life ends and another begins. It’s true that menstruation often is considered as the beginning of adulthood, but as we saw, quite realistically, it’s not necessarily a happy occasion.  Also, in Western society, you are not an adult, you merely have to fear adult responsibilities like getting pregnant while being treated as an adolescent.

    I loved the scenes with Glen and Sally.  So awkward, so real.

    • Qitkat

      Glen’s getting a lot of beatdown here as the actor, but I agree with you about him and Sally. Awkward. Real. Adolescence.

      • Browsery

        I can’t really comment on how Glen is acted, but I love that he’s not a typical TV or movie kid.  (I used to wonder if he was supposed to be creepy, but now I see he’s just, um, different.)  I’ve known boys who went boy’s boarding schools and got picked on for nothing at all, just like Glen.

        I also enjoyed being reminded of the times.  At first, I was almost expecting Glen and Sally to make out at Don’s apartment because the depiction of even young teenagers these days is often so sexually charged.  Instead, they go to the American Museum of Natural History.  Kids, while not innocent, were less sexually precocious back then.

        I love Glen’s off-the-wall comments (Were they hunting for a caribou baby to finish the diorama?).  His embarrassed admission to Sally that he’s pretended that he’s picking up a sexual trophy by coming down to New York. Her indifferent reaction cracked me up, as well as her use of the phrase she’d picked up with Megan and Julia (“I’m not sure I feel that way about you.”)  All the sugar she put into the coffee in the restaurant was amusing.

        Most of all, I liked Glen’s statement that everything’s crap, which you could find heavy handed,  but it’s also the way many kids that age think, especially if senior lacrosse players are peeing on their jerseys.  But as is also true of adolescents, Don is able to turn Glen’s mood around 180 degrees by simply letting him drive the car. :-)  I thought it was a great conclusion to a truly upsetting episode.

        • Sweetbetty

           ” At first, I was almost expecting Glen and Sally to make out at Don’s
          apartment because the depiction of even young teenagers these days is
          often so sexually charged.  Instead, they go to the American Museum of
          Natural History.”

          I saw a lot of significance in that, too.  When Sally asked Glenn what he wanted to do and he said, “Are you kidding?”, I expected him to suggest doing something sexual, or at least making out.  Instead, he was all excited about going to a museum, something that most teens today would consider nerdy.  I liked that about him.

    • Kylara7

      Well said.  Sally has seen a lot of conflicting and uncomfortable “adult behavior” this season, and being stuck between being a child who isn’t taken seriously and just shuttled from adult to adult and actually “becoming an adult” in name and shame (fearing adult responsibilities and sexuality-based reining in of her childhood freedom) only seems like a lose-lose.  I don’t look back fondly on that stage myself.

  • Browsery

    It wasn’t how I saw it either.

  • Browsery

    Sally had many possibilities before menarche.  She’s 12.  Lane’s 40-something.

  • Browsery

    I’ve always liked Ken, but he’s never perfect.  Early in the first season, he made a crack about Peggy, saying she was a “lobster:  all the meat was in her tail.”  He used to be pretty raunchy and frat boy when he was with other guys.  I think it was Ken who had the election night party ran after a secretary and pulled up her dress and announced the color of her panties.  This was the start of a “game” in which men were chasing and pouncing on women like prey.

    • librarygrrl64

      Yes, but at least he has shown some maturity and growth. Compare him to Pete and Harry and Stan and…

  • Browsery

    Yeah, I thought it was very likely that he was ruined, with no hope of recovery.

    • Laylalola

      None. His visa would be revoked for work in the United States, and surely he already had been blacklisted from such work in England after screwing over his company so massively with the formation of SCDP. Not to mention he was still in the hole even after paying the taxed owed on the portfolio liquidated to meet SCDP’s cash call.

  • Browsery

    Death is not a beginning, it’s an end.  Although no one can fault Don for firing Lane, it’s understandable that Lane felt he would never recover.  Even worse, his family would suffer, and England is not America.  At least his wife and son were probably provided for.

  • Browsery

    I always assumed he was either middle class or had gone to good schools or university as a scholarship student.  He didn’t seem to come from money and connections.  He put up with too much crap from his first company for that to seem to be the case.  

  • gubblebumm

    It was telegraphed.  It makes me think about the men I have heard about who killed themselves. And everyone is oh no why?  He had a family!!  he had this he had that.  This episode showed that we often don’t know the true lives and messes people have and the corners they or others have put them in.  And if the people in his life had been paying attention, seeing that he was suffering instead of more and more pressure, then maybe, just maybe.

    So stop whining about the telegraphing.  Men of his age sadly kill themselves all the time, and if this makes us realize that, then maybe we can be more aware

  • Jane_Lane

    I hoped so hard the Lane would take the Jag refusing to start as a sign and just disappear into New York the way Sal did.  I was hoping for a fake out until Pete actually said the words. Poor Lane. He wasn’t perfect, but he was, overall, a good man. And I guess I knew this was coming, I just didn’t think it would be so awful when it did.

    • Browsery

      Without a job his visa would be revoked.  What was he going do, abandon everything, disappear and become a bookkeeper for a gas station?  He was an Englishman in his 40s with a wife and child.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001998855370 Fatima Siddique

    Sheesh. Hard to please much? You two would probably complain about season 4 of SATC. 

  • MC B

    Although I agree with your assessment TLo, I find Don’s behavior towards Lane hypocritical — “Don doesn’t like being lied to and he really doesn’t like it when someone uses his identity to do it. It wasn’t the money that got Lane fired; it was the forgery. That was something Don could simply never forgive.”  I am absolutely sure that’s why he couldn’t forgive Lane.  But this attitude/behavior from a man whose life/name/being is a complete forgery?  That’s pretty f**ked up.  I guess it’s the old “Do as I say, not as I do” philosophy from Don, as always.

    • gubblebumm

       Considering Don wasnt really don….so MCB, I agree with you…

    • Glammie

      Except we’ve never seen Don embezzle.  He’s always seemed pretty on the up and up financially–to the point where he bought Anna a house and took care of her financially.   We don’t hear Betty bitching about child support.  And I don’t think he was unforgiving.  Lane couldn’t be trusted after what he did–he never did confess everything he did.  Don was willing to let him resign, conceal his embezzling from the other partners and cover his debt.  That’s pretty generous.  He also told him, essentially, how to survive, to move on, but Lane couldn’t process it.  

      With the hidden $50K loan, Lane’s really monkeyed with SCDP’s financial stability.  If they need another loan, they won’t be able to get it.  If Jaguar does get its fee agreement, it won’t be nearly as profitable a client for SCDP.

  • cherylmoore

    Lane’s end was unsurprising but still compelling. Don tried to spare him but unfortunately could not understand his personality and culture. Roger’s line about wiping the blood off your lip to Don made me laugh-he was so intense, would Dow really hire them after that? Yeah, that kid bugs me too but then I guess Sally has to have some sort of friend.

  • the_archandroid

    The most heartbreaking thing for me was when Lane was on the couch pleading with Don.  HIm taking Don to task about how he takes his wealth for granted really broke my heart. I mean, the entire episode broke my heart on behalf of Lane.  And yes, a lot of fans saw it coming, but for me, the execution was incredible.  I’ll never forget Joan’s face when she was in Pete’s office, or just how badly shaken Don was.  

    I wish I could forget how horrible an actor Matt Weiner’s son is, but I guess rank hath its privileges.  I just wish someone would stand up to him and let him know that his kid sucks at acting, and it’s an embarrassment to put him next to Kiernan Shipka. If you can replace Bobby draper 16 times, you can replace the li’l Weiner. 

    • Lilithcat

       HIm taking Don to task about how he takes his wealth for granted really broke my heart.

      Which of course Don doesn’t.  Not with his background.  

      • Glammie

        Yeah, I must be a callous person because while Lane’s plea was pathetic, I felt he’d really made his own bed and still wasn’t owning it.  Don is a self-made man who grew up with less privilege than any of them, but Lane never bothered to see that, even though Don has been a little more open about it since his marriage to Betty ended.

        Lane’s self-pity meant, in part, that he couldn’t see any way out.  

        • greenwich_matron

          This whole season is making me feel a little embarrassed about how exhilarated I was when they started the new firm. The entire firm is based on three of partners convincing a fourth to fire them in exchange for a  share. Then they poached Pete (fair enough, actually) and then they stole the client files. It was really dirty business and Lane has paid the price. That season they paid Lane to do their dirty work with a partnership, this season it was Joan.

          • Glammie

            Interesting point–there’s a real kind of ricochet effect, isn’t there?  

            Let’s see, Duck is jealous of Don and uses his old firm to try to get the upper hand over Don through a takeover.  The takeover happens because Roger wants the money because of his divorce.  Don’s actually not happy about the takeover.  Duck self-immolates when it turns out he won’t have control of Don.

            Enter Lane who’s beguiled by Don and the other partners to throw over his old bosses (and yet another transfer)and make a fresh start by doublecrossing the Brits.  

            It always felt like Lane just could never keep up with Don or even Roger and Pete.  He wanted to be them, but couldn’t.  

            The character was always consistently drawn–never a favorite of mine, but Jared Harris did a beautiful job with him.  He acted the hell out of Lane.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKSM57KFWUGRMKPDUW4SPL3GDM Kathryn

    So, so sad about the Lane character.    What a sad waste.  And with that Mets pennant on the wall!  He had such high hopes of living in America.    Sad.  I wonder if his father is glad now that he struck him in the face.

    And as someone else pointed out, Don was mad because Lane forged his forged name.  And Don’s a dick no matter how handsome John Hamm is.  I thought the actor playing Glen did a better job in this episode than in previous ones, although I find the character confusing.  Doesn’t Sally have any other friends?  She’s 12.  She should be spending weekends with girl friends’ families.

    I thought the episode was really good, and heart-breaking.  

    • mixedupfiles

      Not that I don’t feel the same pity for Lane, but it’s probably good to keep in mind that his father’s character was doubtless also influenced by horrible parents. And he, after the suicide, will either feel a horrifying level of guilt, until he at last just dies from the grief, or he’ll spend the rest of his days in a desperate effort to justify his parenting to himself, trying (futilely) to believe that he’s not responsible. Either way, the father’s position is also a brutal one to be in.

      • Browsery

        I believe the father will not for a moment blame himself.  He was a very brutal man and considering other people’s p.o.v.’s did not seem to be his forte.

        • Aurumgirl

          I can see Lane’s father suspecting whatever story he’s given about his son’s death–then openly calling his son a “coward” and a failure if he concludes Lane died by suicide.  Lane’s father doesn’t strike me as a man who would hold himself responsible for anything he caused, but he certainly wouldn’t have a problem blaming his victim for anything.  

  • MichaelStrangeways

    Marten Weiner isn’t a great actor but the scenes in the Museum between Glenn and Sally were awesome. His awkward acting style fits the awkward nature of their ages and their relationship.

    Did anyone else feel a “A Catcher in the Rye” moment there?

    And, I thought this was a great episode; meaty and dense. Yeah, it was a bit obvious, but being oblique all the time becomes a cliche, too.

    • Glammie

      Yeah, I don’t mind Glenn as much as some–it’s interesting to see someone who’s not a pretty boy and kind of awkward and socially inept.  

      Also, some of the episode was obvious, but I also think there were layers to it that will come more apparent as time goes on.  There’s a lot of moral and emotional complexity in Lane’s suicide and I found the reactions to it fascinating.  Joan, unlike the case with lawnmower guy, fell apart.  Pete responded with gravitas and Don, who has hidden from things over and over, was the one opened the door and went in there to cut Lane down.  

      I didn’t predict those reactions, but they made sense and were compelling to watch.

    • Aurumgirl

      The Catcher in the Rye references are everywhere.  And to be honest, Holden Caulfield is extremely creepy and awkward, too.  How hard is that to believe, about a boy that age?

  • AutumnInNY

    Heartbreaker (of many)moments was when Lane snapped his eyeglasses in half. No doubt what was coming. Really enjoyed the character & his fine performances. Will miss both.

    Absolutely agree about the Glen character. Dread seeing him. He adds nothing and cannot act. Surely by now Sally would have met some other boys.

    • CozyCat

      I think his character adds something important.  He is Sally’s confidant.  We get to hear what she’s really thinking about all the grownups in her conversations with him.  And their relationship goes back to the worst days of her life–when her parents were in the process of splitting up–a period that only he of all the kids she knew would understand.

  • CarolinLA

    I have a very sick sense of humor so when Roger said “It’s a resignation letter”, I laughed out loud.  I could just imagine Roger, Don, Joan, and Bert in the hallway and then say “cut”, and the four of them bursting into laughter.  I mean, suicide is a great way to resign for good. I really wish Roger had fired off a quip to break the tension.

    • Browsery

      I would love to see some outtakes some day of those scenes.

  • CarolinLA

    The scene of discovering Lane’s body would’ve been so much better if Joan had not telegraphed that it was going to be something tragic.  If the first reaction that something was really wrong had come from Pete’s peak over the window and then the guys trying to shield Joan, it would’ve been less clumsy.

    • Browsery

      I thought it was very effective.  Joan is very smart, and although she had no reason to suspect suicide, she knew something was wrong in that Lane hadn’t been seen, the door was locked and blocked and she apparently smelled something, according to accounts I’ve read.  She didn’t WANT to be the one to find him.  When Pete stands on the coach to look through the glass divider (I love it when they do that in MM), she expects the worst. 

      I loved Pete’s reaction, putting  his hand to his mouth.  I like that Pete is allowed some realistic moments of delicacy without it being viewed as emasculating him.  You wouldn’t see that kind of reaction from a man in most TV shows or movies set in today’s world.

      • Browsery

        Joan has a pretty strong stomach.  She gave immediate First Aid to the English exec who got his foot chopped off by the lawnmower.  To see Lane in that state was too much.

        • Sweetbetty

           In addition, Joan had no emotional attachment to lawnmower guy but she cared quite a bit about Lane.  I don’t think it was the graphic view that turned her away as much the intuitive prospect that her dear friend was dead.

  • Laylalola

    Oh Christ, does the letter of resignation nullify the insurance for suicide coverage after three years? And if it doesn’t, he’s probably days away from meeting the three-year date for the inception of SCDP, isn’t he?

  • fatima_bird

    Does anyone else think it was weird that there was NO mention of Peggy in this episode? There wasn’t room, but they could have pulled back on the Sally storyline to show us Peggy. I guess, though, the Sally storyline was there to tie in with Don’s most turbulent day ever… getting fired up over a meeting with Dow, Lane killing himself, his daughter running away and having to drive upstate to drop off a random kid.

    Anyhow, I am dying to know what’s happened to Peggy!

    • http://twitter.com/sarahohmygod Sarah Oleksyk

       I’m hoping she’ll reappear in the finale – maybe at Lane’s funeral?

      • Susan Stella Floyd

        Why would you think they will show the funeral?  They’ve only shown one wedding in five seasons–and that was Roger’s daughter, a minor character whose wedding was of import because it was ruined by the JFK assassination.  The final episode will jump forward another 4-6 weeks, like they all do.

  • aquamarine17

    Thanks, TLo for your great essays. I enjoy the comments so much, too, everyone. 

    My one moment of wanting Lane to do something different was when he came home drunk practically unable to walk and his wife wanted him to turn around and go out. I just wanted him to say “no, I am not feeling well.” (for once probably) and get a good night’s sleep. And how could his wife have expected him to drive that night? I mean, I know, driving and drinking was different back then, but still, his level of intoxication was so high! Also with their lack of communication, that she couldn’t pick up one iota of despair was so sad.

    • Logo Girl

      That’s what broke my heart the most.

      • sweetlilvoice

        Between that and his weeping….heartbreaking. Mrs. Price knows nothing.

    • Katsaavedra

       This illustrates how oblivious to her husband Mrs. Pryce is.  He kept her in the dark and she was glad to be there.

      • aquamarine17

        I forget that she wanted him to see the car, but even that could wait, really. If a husband came home in that state you’d think any wife would just want to get him into bed and asleep. He looked tired and said he had a bad day, too.

  • Browsery

    If the premium was paid for the period, I don’t know why it would be invalidated.  I also assume he has firm insurance (probably a type “key partner” insurance) as well as personal life insurance.

  • Browsery

    I remember Embeth Davidtz, who plays Lane’s wife, from Schindler’s List.  It seems so long ago.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

      Whenever I see her I always think of Army of Darkness and Miss Honey from Matilda.

    • sarahjane1912

      Interesting! I always think of Embeth playing the titular love interest of Colin Firth/Mark Darcy in ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’. *Giggles*

  • Browsery

    Sally definitely heard the part about being a “Sourpuss.”  She walked out, slamming the door.

  • Browsery

    The quick story Don was able to frame for napalm (When America needs something Dow makes it.) was very telling of how he had resumed being hard-nosed.  It was the opposite of the expedient moral outrage he used in his Lucky Strike letter.

    • Laylalola

      I know it’s been said before but Don’s not a Baby Boomer and I really don’t want to go into contemporary partisan politics, but it’s fair to say he’s old-school in the “if you work hard enough you can make it in the United States” capitalist and patriotic ways of Depression-era types.

  • Browsery

    I don’t think so.  He’s older, it’s a long distance call, and it could be traced. I think it’s got something to do with Don or Lane.

  • Sally3000

    I didn’t really see the Sally “becoming a woman” thing as birth/death symbolism related to Layne’s suicide. I did see some “circle of life” symbolism in Sally and Glen standing in front of the diorama of long dead creatures, but that didn’t bother me. I did appreciate that Sally getting her period forced Betty to acknowledge Sally is growing up, something that Megan has recognized for a while now. And it was nice to see Betty handle the situation so well.

    As for Glen, I thought he was fine in this episode and accurately portrayed the awkwardness of adolescence. I agree the “everything turns out crappy” line was forced and it didn’t make much sense for Glen to be featured at that point. I heard an interview with Matt Weiner in which he described Glen as Sally’s “spirit guide,” and I don’t get that from Glen at all. But that, combined with the fact that Matt Weiner strongly identifies with the Glen character, could explain why Glen is featured more than makes sense to some viewers.

    When Glen was introduced as a character, I thought he was a fantastic actor because he did come off (IMO) as creepy and that seemed appropriate for that character. However, Matt Weiner has said that he doesn’t consider Glen to be a creepy character, he just reflects the “unpleasant reality of childhood.” So maybe Glen was never meant to be creepy. FWIW, I didn’t find him creepy in this last episode, just awkward, which I think was the intention. However, I’m wondering if Megan shouting “I can hear you!” into the phone in the finale preview could relate to Glen. Will Glen develop a fixation on Megan now? If so, he will officially be a creepy character with no room for argument.   

     

  • Browsery

    I had that impression.  The weird kid who is a nascent artist (or at least very talented creator of TV shows :-) ).

  • Browsery

    My exact reaction two years ago when I realized Marten is Matt Weiner’s son.  That would be too much to lay on your kid.

  • Browsery

    She’s not a brat, she’s a 12-year-old.  She does sometimes play her mother and stepmother off each other. 

    The bit about the drink was a joke because Megan didn’t think they’d even bring her a coffee. 

     She was concerned about the crime on Central Park West, which was a real problem at the time.  

    She didn’t care that Glen was pretending to his friends that they were having sex.  She told him he could say anything he wanted.

    • sarahjane1912

      .. but how icky that Glen is suggesting that to his friends.

      What’s Sally? 12? I have to wonder what Glen has told his ‘friends’ [and the bullies] about this ‘chick in the city’ of his, because if he’s been honest about her — and her age — his potential ‘doing it’ with her is beyond criminal. Yikes.

      • golden_valley

        Why are people creeped out by Glenn’s bragging to other boys with a mostly fictional story about Sally and his relationship? It sounds like pure 16 year old male bravado. No one at school knows how old the girl is.  There is no harm to Sally. The other boys will never get near her.  

        • sarahjane1912

          One hopes that they’d never find out, but  should the occasion ever arise where Sally’s invited to something — a dance, a garden party, an open day at the school etc — well, I’m sure that most boys could ‘do the math’ and discover that Sally is not only easy, but she’s a baby.

          You’re right though; I’ll try to keep the ick factor of Sally being 12 or thereabouts and the boys not knowing this out of my mental machinations. :-)

      • 3hares

        He hasn’t been honest about her. He told Sally when he confessed he’d said that they didn’t now how old she was. Basically he was confessing that he let his friends think he was meeting an older girlfriend because that makes him sound cooler, just as he doesn’t correct them when she calls. I don’t think it was icky (beyond just the thought of Glen/Sally sex is icky) that he said it. Sally also said “I have a boyfriend” re: Glen. They both wanted to sound cool.

        • sarahjane1912

          Good point. Blame my assumptions for my … er … assumptions. :-)

  • Browsery

    I can easily imaging a young girl doing that. Betty was right:  another woman would understand.

  • Browsery

    I liked that he didn’t go into the details with Megan in order to protect Lane, saying something to the effect that at some point it’s all just gossip.  Don is discreet.

    Yes, Bert Cooper will figure it out.

  • Browsery

    His character has shrewd advice, such as his counsel in an earlier season to Sally to play up to your Mom and StepDad and you’ll get what you want.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

    I totally agree with you guys about Betty. She took the opportunity to make the Sally story about her. It must be weird for JJ to act in a scene where she has to look like she’s playing a role and not connecting emotionally. 

    • Browsery

      I’m in the minority.  I thought Betty was unusually empathetic.

      • Susan Stella Floyd

        Me, too.

  • Browsery

    I thought it was hysterical after Glen goes into his angst harangue Don asks him what he wants to do and then cut to Glen driving.  Such a little thing flipped his mood (teenager).  I also think that making Glen happy in this small way gave Don a tiny sense of control after a horrendous day.

  • Browsery

    He’s also a child of divorce and remarriage in the Sixties. While bright and perceptive, he also doesn’t completely fit in (or is not one of the popular boys) at Hotchkiss, which was a somewhat conservative prep school in that era.

  • gubblebumm

    When you first get your period, you have no idea how, um, visible it may be and it feels weird with no products to, well, you know.  So you just want to get someplace comfortable so you won’t embarrass yourself.  Sally’s reaction was spot on, for her.  Being out, away from home with a boy, well, it would throw you. 

    Megan may be the big sister type, but she treats sally as a person and doesnt take her frustration out on her. 

    Lane, I think he didn’t go to office to kill himself.  I think the failure of the car was just another failure and he went in to do just that, tender his resignation.  But then were would he go? 

  • Judy_J

    I was pondering this episode today, and it brought back a memory from long ago.  When I was in the 5th grade, our teacher herded all the boys out of the classroom and we girls were shown a film that explained the whole “becoming a woman” process to us.  We learned that blood and tissue built up in the uterus to welcome a baby if the egg was fertilized.  Mensturation was described (and I’m not making this up) as “the weeping of a disappointed uterus.”  Pretty heavy stuff for a classroom full of 10 and 11 year old girls.

    • MsALVA

       ”the weeping of a disappointed uterus.”
      I kind of love this. I am going to use it from now on in place of “Aunt Flo is visiting”.

      • sarahjane1912

        Oh wow. Weird! I just re-read the Armistead Maupin ‘Tales of the City’ series and HE describes it as: ‘the bloody tears of a disappointed uterus’. Fascinating that this phrase was being bandied about in various forms. Cheers for that info. :-)

    • mixedupfiles

      That is GOLD.

    • Browsery

      That’s better than the Christian text I came upon once while babysitting.  It said that the pain of menstruation was both punishment and a reminder for Eve taking the apple.

      No wonder I’m an atheist.

      • Liverpoolgirl

        wah hah hah hah-hilarious!

      • Sweetbetty

         That’s why it’s often referred to as “the curse”.

      • http://twitter.com/alienspouse Jen Alien-Spouse

        Two or three years ago I was told by my gynecologist that the sharp pain I was experiencing during a routine procedure was God punishing me. 

        Yeah, I go to a different doctor now.

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          Jesus. I can’t… wow.

    • emcat8

      We must be around the same age! And of course, I didn’t want to pay attention to the film at all, and I completely misunderstood what they said, and I was convinced once you got it, you had it the whole month except for the seven days you were off. So you can imagine the wailing and screaming and crying that ensued when mine came. My mom was like, “What the hell is wrong with you?” until we finally got everything straight.

    • altalinda

      That is great.  What I remember from our film was the lesson that you couldn’t over-exert yourself during that time of the month, you know, by participating fully in P.E. and the like.

      • Lilithcat

        We got out of swim class.  You told the checker you were “regular” and got an “R” after your name.

        • Sweetbetty

           We were excused from having to take a shower after gym class but we still had to take the class.  I transferred from an old Catholic school with no gym or gym classes to public school in 8th grade.  After all those years of being told how sinful it was for anyone to see my naked body you can imagine my horror at having to walk  through a community shower with the other girls (water spraying out of pipes on the walls) holding our towels over our heads.  Add to that the fact that I was a fat kid and you can imagine my trauma.  The gym teacher stood at the exit of the shower and checked off our name as we came out but put an “E” after our name if we told her we were “excused”.  If my period had come and  gone between our weekly gym class I always used my allowed monthly “excused” to avoid having to be seen naked by the others.

    • greenwich_matron

      When I need a little privacy, should I tell my husband that I am “pulling a Sally” or “consoling my uterus”?

    • CarolinLA

      One of my favorite jokes:  two dumb guys are trying to decide what to do but they only have $2.  One guy says “I know” and he goes into the convenience store and comes back with a tampon.  The other dumb guy says “Why did you buy that tampon?” and the other guy says “We can go horseback riding, or rollerskating, …”

      • sarahjane1912

        Very good. I’ve not heard that one. *Grins*

  • Glammie

    The episode’s writers have posted on Slate–their take doesn’t seem to be that Sally’s menarche means that the cycle of life continues, but:

    “We joke that on Mad Men nobody gets out unscathed. That includes Sally Draper—pushing against the boundaries set by both sets of parents, desperate for adulthood, wanting more and more until the unglamorous truth is literally physically bestowed upon her. The knowledge that being grown up means blood, humiliation, and the almost instantaneous regret of having left the comforts of mommy and childhood clobbers her. The fact that Betty gets back a cherished moment of feeling loved, and thus superior, is icing on the cake.”

    (Which jibe with my sense of the scene–Betty was saying appropriate things, but it was, emotionally, all about her.  Betty really is intended to be a narcissist.  She can’t get outside her own emotional needs.  Ever.  When she tries, it’s awkward.)

    Also, more is coming re: Lane’s suicide:

    “Killing Lane is the most agonizing thing we’ve ever done, both emotionally and professionally as writers. Jared Harris has been, and indeed still is, a beloved member of our Mad Men family. He is an incomparable actor and friend. Just wrapping our heads around and committing to his suicide took months. We spent weeks in the writers’ room debating the merits and consequences, and hours in his office choreographing the deed. Every detail was meticulously mapped out—from the placement of the rope and body, to the application of the make-up, to the suicide note (we actually wrote six).”In the end, all we can say is that the experience is not over. There is still one more episode to digest and consider. And what a brilliant one it is from Matthew Weiner. A season-finale glimpse into Lane’s (and Don’s) tortured soul awaits. We don’t think anyone will be disappointed. ”

    Wonder what the other suicide notes were?

    • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

       ”The episode’s writers have posted on Slate–their take doesn’t seem to
      be that Sally’s menarche means that the cycle of life continues”

      While Matt Weiner, on the behind-the-scenes video for this episode said “It’s an incredible juxtaposition, to see that life starting when Lane is ending his.”

      With good art, there is room for multiple interpretations, even by the people creating it.

      • Glammie

        Fascinating.  Themes within themes.  It’s actually one of the things I like about Mad Men–even in an episode as on-the-nose as this one, different parts of the creative team were seeing and writing different things  leaving room for ambiguity and subtle starting points for new narratives.

        I do wonder if the woman writer wrote the Sally storyline–which, despite Betty’s speech, struck me as more about the bloody awkwardness of one’s body changing like that  (A pretty accurate depiction IMO) than of the cycle of life. (All that philosophizing doesn’t cut it when there’s a bad case of cramps.  Poor Sally, get her some Midol.)

        Though maybe it’s the automobile of life–Jaguar led to Lane’s death and Glen driving Don’s car at the end is life’s continuation.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

      “Which jibe with my sense of the scene–Betty was saying appropriate things, but it was, emotionally, all about her.  Betty really is intended to be a narcissist.  She can’t get outside her own emotional needs.  Ever.  When she tries, it’s awkward.)”
      Very well said. All the comments about her having a tender moment have made me feel like there was something wrong with my brain. 

      • Glammie

        My daughter’s just a bit younger than Sally, so I have my own immediate experience for comparison–and Betty’s an ice cube, even when she’s trying not to be.  You don’t see her ever trying to figure out what’s going on in Sally’s head, she just kind of reacts to her–as if she were only slightly older–instead of an adult, let alone a mother.  Don has about twice as much insight into Sally without even trying, which is said because he’s an absentee dad.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

          I think people that deal with narcissists are more sensitive to the machinations of them. I’ve been dealing a with one in my family a lot more than usual recently. 
           I loved how it seemed Megan took the phone call from Betty at face value, instead of the dig it was supposed to be.  Betty is so typical of her time. My mother wasn’t a narcissist, but the idea that it even mattered what was going on emotionally with us kids only came up when we were practically having a nervous breakdown, and it interfered with daily living. I always felt like my mom thought of us as short adults in a lot of ways. I’m thankful I realized this while my girls were still young. 

  • emcat8

    I miss Lane already. I loved him for a lot of things, but most especially for beating the shit out of Pete Campbell. 

    Here’s the thing I’m most curious about for the finale and the next season — what are other agencies going to say/do about the news of Lane’s suicide? That will spread like wildfire, and I can see Ted Chaough (however the hell you spell it!) having a smarmy field day with it. I wonder how it might affect Don’s new fired-up big-account-grabbing mindset. Pete will probably demand his name on the door, which could change the dynamic of the agency out in the field. There’s a lot to mine for the series. 

    • MsALVA

      I think they will probably not make public that it was suicide. Maybe an accident? That’s probably the best way to handle it so as not to scare off any clients. 

      • Glammie

        They haven’t even told most of the SCDP staff–remember, they sent them home because there was a “building problem”–and the discovery occurs behind closed doors.

        So, yeah, Lane probably has an “accident.”  Despite the AAAA appointment, I don’t get the sense Lane is well known–he’s not been out-and-about with clients.

      • emcat8

        I don’t think there’s any way to avoid with the coroner involved, there will be a police investigation (that comes standard with suicide until they rule out any possibilities of a cover up, I found out from painful experience). I imagine someone will tell Peggy, as well. It will also likely be in the newspaper.

        • Sweetbetty

           I’ve always read all the obits in our local paper, for as long as I can remember, and back in those days they would mention that “death was self-inflicted”.  At some point this changed and self-inflicted death is never specified these days.  I’m not sure how it was handled at that time in the NY papers.

          Just like Joan’s assignation of last episode, even though only a handful of people know, it’s bound to leak out somehow.

          • Glammie

            Coverage of suicide changed when research showed that the reporting of suicide raised the suicide rate.  I live in a town where we actually had the copycat phenomenon happen–it’s scary and weird.

            My recollection is that the research came out and coverage started to change in the mid-60s.  

            Yeah, I assume Lane’s death will leak, but I’m not sure how much it will damage SCDP from the outside–might mess everyone up at the company.  

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKSM57KFWUGRMKPDUW4SPL3GDM Kathryn

      I bet there’s going to be a lot of suicide jokes, too.

    • greenwich_matron

      Can they keep it a secret? There would be a police report and perhaps an inquest. It seems to be a tiny world and I can’t imagine it won’t get around.

      • Glammie

        Well, back in my obit-writing days (no, I’m not joking–weekend shifts at a newspaper.), we never said someone died of suicide unless it was public.  That still tends to hold true if you read obits.  It will be an “accident” I assume.

        • Susan Crawford

          The word “suddenly” was a kind of code word for suicide. As in te Tennessee Williams play title, “Suddenly, Last Summer” – but I cannot imagine Lane’s death NOT being a subject that would be Mad Avenue’s hot topic for quite some time.

    • Aurumgirl

      I think as much as possible will be done to keep the suicide information a secret.  Just as Don will keep Lane’s criminal actions–which would have truly sullied his reputation and the reputation of the firm–a secret as well. 

      As for Pete and his demands, I have a feeling he’s in for a surprise.  Not only is Ken going to keep him out of the new business, but Joan will have a 5% say in anything that concerns his future, and you can be sure that will be used effectively.  Pete’s “partnership” is silent, remember?

      • 3hares

        Is Pete’s partnership silent? It seems like he’s been pretty vocal in the past. I can’t imagine why he’d accept that. (I also admit I’m one of the few people not seeing the Pete/Joan feud many take as a given, but I could be proven wrong there.)

        • sarahjane1912

          It’s not a ‘real’ silent partnership; Pete’s a junior partner with a stake in the firm but without his name on the company nameplate. And — as you say, 3hares — for the number of times he drops his ‘I’m-a-junior-partner’ schtick into various conversations … people must be aware of that. ;-)

  • boleyn28

    FINALLY !!! Megan finally changed her audition dress, maybe now she will get a part. That gold number was soooooooooooooo ugly, this new one is cute though : )

  • boleyn28

    I love how Sally is wearing the 2 things her dad said not to wear when she snuck out with Glen…..
    #1 make-up
    #2those whit go go boots

    • sarahjane1912

      Oh the make-up. Yes.

      I do wonder if, in the future, when Sally is a bit older, whether she will get the sort of serve I did when I was ‘going out’. From being forbidden to wear ANYTHING on my face, by the time I was 16, my mother was imploring me: “For goodness’ sakes, put a bit of lippy on at least’. We were so desperate, it seemed, to make ourselves more mature in our pre-teen years and then go the hippy trail by wearing nothing at all, that our mothers just ended up … confused.

  • MsALVA

    No Ginsberg in this episode either, I just realized. 

    Pretty much all I wanted to say has already been said, but just chiming in to say how much this episode haunted me last night. I could barely sleep. Sigh. I can’t believe there’s only one episode left. Anyone know when Season 6 is supposed to begin? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129137319 Paula Pertile

    Another stray thought~
    Maybe Marten (aka Glen) is in fact a brilliant actor. Maybe in real life he’s a cheery, upbeat, bubbly, not-awkward-at-all-kind of guy, and he’s really rocking this role. Does anyone actually know him? He’s taking so much heat for being a poor actor, and maybe we’re not giving him his due. Just wondering. 

    • MsALVA

      Well, just with Kiernan. I had a hard time liking Sally in the beginning, she just struck me as too precocious and stiff. And then I saw an interview with her and she was bubbly and adorable. 

      • Glammie

        Kiernan has down a killer imitation of Betty Draper.  The bitchiness is hilarious.

    • Liverpoolgirl

      He would deserve an Emmy if he is that good. I think no. Sally is supposed to be attracted to a slightly awkward Glenn but it comes off like she has befriended someone dangerous and creepy.  Sally would pick up on the creepy vibe but she plays it like he’s not. 

  • boleyn28

    I bet Harry Crane will ask for the vacant office that lane left behind, im sorta kidding but fully think it will happen : )

    • Sweetbetty

       I think Joan will get it.  Then again, she may not want it.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      Scarlett needs an office now, doesn’t she?

  • sashaychante

    I wonder how Lane’s suicide will affect Don in the long run?  Wonder if he will be feeling some guilt…at least for Lane’s family left behind.  I think Lane’s wife will be left in the lurch because his death was a suicide.  I would think insurance would not cover this, or maybe there was a reference in an earlier episode with Pete and the insurance guy on the train?  I thought I heard something about the company gets the money in the event death is a suicide. 

    I really liked the scene between Sally and Betty.  Regardless of the tension in their relationship, Betty is still Sally’s mother.  It was like grinch-Betty’s heart grew two sizes that day…until she called Megan and slammed her with “a girl needs her mother”. 

    • LesYeuxHiboux

      Is it the slam people are making it out to be? Surely Betty meant it as a dig, but I think it may have also been a revelation to her. That Sally needs her for more than food and shelter, and can still acknowledge it. I don’t think Megan has any desire to be Sally’s mother, she was only worried that Don’s little girl had gone missing. If she was trying to be a mother to Sally I doubt she would have left her home alone in Manhattan.

  • Daniel E Prieto

    Who directed this episode? They really made a tacky decision zooming the
    camera underneath Sally’s skirt. Do
    they really think anybody needs, let alone wants, to see bodily fluids to understand the plot, that we don’t know what occurs during menstruation, or that
    we can’t infer what happened based on Betty and Sally’s dialogue? I bet the scene felt as intrusive and awkward to direct as it was to watch.

    I’m surprised that in “Tea Leaves” when Betty thinks she may have cancer that the camera didn’t immediately zoom into an x-ray shot of her lymph nodes or that we weren’t inundated to an x-ray reel of Roger’s beating heart during his heart attack in Season 1.

    • http://www.facebook.com/liz.menzies1 Liz Menzies

      Men should not comment on that scene.  They don’t get it. It needs the” zoom in”
       to feel how scary that moment actually is. It wouldn’t be the same without it. Bravo Mad Men A+

    • Aurumgirl

      It was meant to be as shocking to us as it was to Sally.  The technique worked.  

      • Browsery

        Even though 98% of all females watching had figured it out before the bathroom scene.

    • Sweetbetty

       Were you as upset about seeing Lane’s gruesome purple corpse as you were at seeing Sally’s menstrual blood?

      • Daniel E Prieto

        Yes, but more so and in a different way.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      Agree completely.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKSM57KFWUGRMKPDUW4SPL3GDM Kathryn

    I wonder if they will cover up the suicide.  Not just SCDP, but the family as well.  Back in the day suicide was considered a scandal, (as were closed caskets, where I come from in the south), and it was common to cover them up.  Like all the people who died because of dirty guns – “he died accidentally while cleaning his gun”.

  • charlotte

    Wow, the past two episodes were definitely bummers. Let’s see what’s in for the finale…too bad the season is ending already. It feels like it just started last week.
    Lane’s suicide was horrible, although I had fully expected it. Before watching the episode I actually thought “Please don’t let this be the episode in which Lane dies” and yet it happened. Poor wife- and son of his that we have never seen. It makes sense though, as you said, the man didn’t have any coping tools.
    As for Sally: while I see your “life starting” point, I have to agree with the other kittens who have already pointed out that this could (mainly) be meant to symbolize the end of her childhood. Regarding the depiction of her menstrual blood, I don’t see the big deal. It’s human and it happens to many of us all the time, so why shouldn’t it be on TV?

    • Susan Stella Floyd

      I find all the pearl-clutching about showing menstrual blood ridiculous and disappointing.  They showed a dead body.  They’ve shown blood splattering all over part-goers, after a visitor’s foot is shredded by a lawnmower.  Come on.  I mean, really.  Half the people watching the show have seen what Sally saw, and felt what Sally felt.  Probably 1/8 of the people were experiencing it WHILE WATCHING the show.  I’m glad menstruation is becoming less taboo.  It’s real, it’s normal, and it is just as rich for storytelling as the many, many forms of the male rite-of-passage narratives we’ve all seen over and over and over again.

      • sarahjane1912

        I’m probably taking a bit of a leap here, but I think had the writers chosen to just show Sally’s shocked face rather than her bloody panties there would have been more of an uproar than the [mini]-one being expressed by some BKs and elsewhere on the interwebby.

        But it IS real, it is normal … and while we have a long-assed way to go [perhaps forever?!] before the absorbent powers of pads/tampons countermand RED liquid instead of the customary blue/purple [that's the colour shown on UK/Australian feminine product advertisements at any rate!] I think it was brave of the writers to pack this particular punch, even if I found it personally unnecessary [because as many have said, the lion's share of us knew what was going on]. ;-)

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      Wait…. when is the season over? How many episodes left? 

      • sarahjane1912

        *Bong, bong, bong* … that’s a death knell. ;-)

        Just the one. :-(

  • http://twitter.com/marared Jaime

    I don’t think I can get through 738 comments, but I want to remark how pleased I was at Megan’s reaction to Don neglecting to inform her that Sally would be dropped off on her without even asking if it was okay. Megan strikes me as the sort who would be openly childfree if she lived in this decade – the kids came with the territory when she married Don, but only part time, and she was expecting only to have to deal with them every other week. I appreciate the nod to the idea that not every woman wants to be a mother.

    Also, I’ve been in Don’s shoes. It’s rough to fire someone for stealing when they did so under extenuating circumstances – but they still made the choice to steal instead of asking for help.

  • Qitkat

    As much as I always regret the end of a season, I’m looking forward to next week’s episode. So many unanswered questions. The complexity has heated up once again. How much longer can Matt Weiner keep up this multi-layered story? What will he leave us with to bicker over the meaning?; to squirm with distaste, embarrassment or fury over?; who will we be cheering or crying for next?; to second-guess what things may come? Only he can give us MM’s future, but we will all be here tearing apart the episode. LOVE IT.

  • Redlanta

    I think the reason they kept death as a theme all season was to actually warn people.  It was horrifying to see lane hung, even when I knew it would happen. Bravo to Christina Hendricks for her reactions!  And kuddos to Kenny for growing a pair.  I still wonder what is his beef with Pete. The guilt Don must feel is monumental.  I agree with the creepiness of Glenn.  Stop the nepotism already!  So is Don standing outside Peggy’s door in next week’s preview?  Can’t wait!!!

    • Sweetbetty

       Were you as upset about seeing Lane’s gruesome purple corpse as you were at seeing Sally’s menstrual blood?

    • Sweetbetty

       I’m not sure how far back Ken’s beef with Pete goes but I’m sure Pete’s part in setting up Joan as a whore didn’t sit well with him.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=13953311 Missy Covington

      If I recall correctly, the rivalry between Pete and Ken goes back to the early days when they had to compete for the same sales leadership position. It couldn’t have helped, either, that they asked Pete to be a partner and move to the new company and not Ken.

      • judybrowni

        Also: Ken suspects it was Pete who ratted out Ken’s success as a sci fy writer to Roger.

        • judybrowni

          Causing jealous self-published Roger Sterling to put the kibosh on Ken’s writing career.

  • Bozhi

    I thought this was a great episode.   I got a laugh out of Don letting the kid drive his car.  Great ending.  I will miss Lane, but he made a jerk comment to Joan with the bikini remark. 

  • stoprobbers

    Whatever, I’ll say it: I was sad. I *am* sad. I loved Lane. I don’t even remember when and how Lane worked his way that deeply into my heart; he just did (highest praise to Jared Harris for that). He seemed, to me, to be the most decent of the men in the office, besides Ken. As soon as he had that conversation with Joan (which, oh my god, “Where are we going?” KILLED me) I knew. I just sat there with a rock in my stomach for the rest of the episode.

    I like how the Sally plot furthered the story (and interaction) between Betty and Megan, but yes: No one cares, Glen. When he was talking in the elevator all I could think was WHY ARE YOU TALKING YOU DIDN’T KNOW LANE WE’RE BUSY BEING SAD OK A GOOD MAN KILLED HIMSELF TODAY, JEEZ. 

    • bluefish

      I too thought him the most decent man in that office.  And never saw him as bumbling or ineffectual.  This is one of those rare episodes that I can’t rewatch.  I’m sad too. I adored him and wanted so much to see him content.

  • CarolinLA

    As I’ve already posted, my sick sense of humor kicked in, partially from the relief that Sally and Megan weren’t the characters killed.  We’ve been leading up to someone kicking the bucket and all the intercutting between them and Lane had me worried.  So here’s my most sick thoughts:
        * There will be blood.
        * Now that’s what I call a period drama.
        * RE:  Lane – Don’t leave him hangin’.  
    (I’m here all night – don’t forget to tip your waitress.)

  • CarolinLA

    One last thing:  if we can’t show menstrual blood on TV, then the terrorists have won.

    • Browsery

      If you can’t show questionable young women having unhot sex with even more questionable guys (“Girls,”  a show I unexpectedly loved.), the terrorists have also won.

  • Sarah Michaels

    I’ve never been a huge Glen fan, but in previous seasons I felt that his presence was earned. I loved him in Season 1, that was such a great storyline with Betty, it revealed so much about her character and I felt like those scenes were all so natural and well-written. He was great in Season 2 and OK in Season 3. But I don’t feel like he’s serving much of a purpose this season, and I do feel like Weiner is letting his paternal feelings get the better of his writing. That “why is everything crap” became my most hated Mad Men quote. And even his conversations with Sally in this episode were off to me. Why does she want him to come see her? I didn’t understand the motivation behind that. At first I thought she wanted to feel like she had a boyfriend, but she crushes his hopes of that flat when she sees him. So why invite him, why even stay friends with him? I’m just not getting it. And Glen saying he told his friends he was having sex with her was SO BLATANTLY creepy that I just could not stand it. He’s always been creepy, but in a quiet way where his creepiness is bundled up with pounds of subtext. This was just too out in the open creepy for me. 
    I loved Lane and I’m not embarassed to say that I cried when I saw him hanging from the door, although I would have preferred not to have seen him– I don’t like seeing dead bodies because my first thought is always “wow that looks fake” and it takes away from the moment, so I could have done without that scene. He was getting to be a bit mopey, and had Don forgiven him and let him stay after embezzling money from the company… I would not have believed it, so it was time for him to go. One of the many things I love about Mad Men is I think they’re great at spotting when it’s time for a character to go (Glen aside). No one ever feels like they’re hanging around too long because the viewers might not want them to leave (Sal is a great example of that).
    LOVED the Betty/Sally exchange. It’s interesting to see how much her parents cruelty towards each other is rubbing on her. It’s so sad to me that Betty can’t just love her– she obviously wants Sally to want to be with her, but because she’s Betty the only way she can think to win her daughter’s affections is to try and put Don and Meghan down. Her competition with Meghan and need to get back at her and Don is driving Sally away from her. All Sally really wants from her mother is love, and I loved the moment at the end when Betty was able to put down all her own crap (unfortunately it was only because she got to have an “Sally loves me more than you” moment with Meghan) and just lover her daughter. And in return she got love back (Sally putting her arm on her mother’s was a beautiful moment). I don’t know why but I have always been a huge Betty fan, so I’m glad she’s getting played a bit more lately. 

    • 3hares

      I think Glen has the ability to make everything seem creepy just by the fact that he’s saying it, but objectively his telling Sally about saying they were “doing it” was pretty stand-up. He told his friends he was going to the city to have sex, so it was nice of him to confess that to Sally if it made her feel uncomfortable. He added that they didn’t know how young Sally was, so obviously he was telling her he let them think she was a completely other person, a girl his own age or older. The impulse to honestly there (since he wasn’t using it as a lead in to suggesting they actually have sex) said something nice about the relationship.

      • Kathleen Gillies

         Actually it is a nice relationship.  Glenn and Sally can pretty much confide to each other about anything.  I can’t imagine Glen confiding being bullied to his mother or stepfather.  Sally has someone who will listen to her dramatic complaining about her parents without him telling her not to say this or feel that–he sympathizes with her.  I actually liked what Glenn said about “everything going to crap” because honestly, since probably JFK was assassinated everything has gone to crap.  There is a horrible draft and war going on and race riots in the news, this kid’s family broke up and then he gets sent to boarding school.

    • Susan Stella Floyd

      I think the Glen character doesn’t work for the same reasons Megan doesn’t: a combination of unclear character motivation and development, and bad acting.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YXWY4IPVHZQEC3UCMCHSCLHXPU George

    I’m concerned that the picture that Lane kept from the wallet he found will be discovered in the season finale, leading his wife to think that he was having an affair.

  • denkimofu

    It would be really tragic if that photo that Lane kept from the wallet he found gets discovered in the season finale. His wife will think he had been having an affair.

    • Sweetbetty

       Totally forgot about that.  Hope it was one of the loose ends he thought to tie up but it would have been very easy to overlook.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/YXWY4IPVHZQEC3UCMCHSCLHXPU George

        deleted

      • denkimofu

        Seriously. Remember that Lane’s wife caught him having a secret phone conversation (with his lawyer in England) in the middle of the night. Things like that will only confirm suspicions.

  • Katsaavedra

    Dot, are you Mathew Weiner?  Or Tom?  Or Lorenzo?  I ask because they are the only ones I accused of not “getting it.”  Unless “Dot” is some sort of sock puppet for one of those men, I haven’t assessed whether or not you “get it” let alone insisted on anything.  That was why I asked how you felt about what, in my estimation, are some far uglier statements which would be far more upsetting to anyone who cares about Mr. Weiner’s feelings.  Because you seemed to be personally offended by something I said about him.  Now you are speaking as though I said something about you. 

    So, you are offended by my “you don’t get” proclamation because you see it as a claim by me that I am the only one gets it?  Is that right?  I am going to proceed as though it is.  Well, I’ve thought about it and found that I’m okay with offending you.

    As for your snide advice that I write something myself, oh Sweetie, you wouldn’t get it.

    • Maggie_Mae

      So, do you have anything to share about the episode?

  • bluefish

    Lane quickly became one of my favorite Mad Men characters.  I will miss him and Jared Harris — Happy to see he’s lined up to play U.S. Grant in Speilberg’s film about Lincoln and the war.   A terrific actor.

    I so agree with TLo on the heavy hand this season.  I can’t figure out what bugs me about it so much when I feel it hovering over my head.  I wonder if the writers are deliberately trying to mimic a certain style of movies made in the 60s.  I’ve seen tons films made in the 40s, 50s, 60s, etc and so forth — and there is something about a lot of 60s stuff that hasn’t dated very well.  It gets me to wondering if this has been a deliberate choice on the part of the show’s writers.  A movie like “The Sandpiper” for instance — a guilty pleasure of mine and one that I never get tired of watching — is laughably overdrawn.  The audience being guided every step of the way–heavy symbolism, overwrought dialogue, themes you can’t escape.  It makes the film great kitschy fun but also a minor piece.

    I thought the business with Sally’s blood was meant to tie into the overall Easter in the snow aspects of this chapter. It was heavy with those liturgical-crucifixion themes and Sally is still a lamb.  And, not liking to be cruel, I think Weiner is making a mistake in trying to make his son happen as an actor at this juncture.  “Why does everything turn to crap?”  Well, Glenn, because your father is famous for the second to last season episode being a total bummer.  And because, for reasons contrived to the max, he has cast you in a Holden Caulfield kind of role that you seem ill-suited for.

    Farewell, sweet Lane.  You paid a heavy price.

    • Browsery

      The people who keep seeing Glen as a Holden Caulfield have obviously read only one prep school novel.  There are scores.  And then there are all the novels and memoirs like “Such, Such Were the Joys,” about being a student at a prep school (younger students than here) or public school in England.

      For starters, Holden Caulfield has 10 times more energy than does Glen.  He’s a walking volcano of cursing and smoking.  Although it was not overused back then, “The Catcher in the Rye” centers around what I call a “Secret Sadness” plot.  The protagonist is volubly miserable and finally, just before the end, you find find out the sad secret that explains everything, well almost.  Mad Men is too sophisticated a show to use that kind of plot.

      • Browsery

        Although it’s almost 20 years later, Glen reminds me of some of the students in “The Ice Age.”  Smart, but at times lethargic and uncertain.

      • bluefish

        With all due respect, as interesting and erudite as your comments are, I’m not in need of a primer on “The Catcher in the Rye.”  Or other prep school novels for that matter.  Disagree if you’d like — that’s fine, but let’s all go easy.  Mad Men is too sophisticated, perhaps, to use what you call the “Secret Sadness” plot — an interesting concept — although as I recall this same Secret Sadness notion was in fact heavily employed in the first and second seasons in bringing us Dick Whitman and his melancholy back story.

        I love the show but can see its flaws when it falters — Or at least feel like it’s okay to voice an opinion.  “The people who keep seeing whatever” isn’t exactly cordial.  But I do appreciate what you have to say.

        Beyond that, my reading of Holden from the first page is that his many, many reasons for feeling alienated and blue were made apparent in a variety of ways — for a variety of reasons.  And much moping around in hotel rooms, smoking cigarettes and waiting for hookers to show up.  His volcano is largely a hidden one — an interior monologue — and this is primarily why Holden comes to mind in having to deal with the cypher and continuing plot point known as Glenn.

  • Lilithcat

    Because this is happening today, I can’t wait for the Mad Style post to let you all know that Janie Bryant will be interviewed on CBC’s “Q with Jian Ghomeshi”.  If (as I expect is the case with most of you) you are not in Canada, check here to see if and when your local PRI station carries the program. 

    • sarahjane1912

      Oh wow … I’ll be wishing and hoping and praying someone uploads it somewhere so I can enjoy it from my middle-eastern citadel. ;-)

  • nycfan

    I have the impression from many recaps that I have enjoyed this season a lot more than perhaps many fans have done, and while I cannot say I enjoyed last night’s episode because of the horror I felt for Lane, I thought it was well done, Glen’s acting notwithstanding.

    I’ll quibble with the take on Sally’s story, but I did not see her tale as one life beginning.  For a lot of us, starting your period is not a feeling of revelation, now you’re a woman, as Betty put it, but something scary and frankly icky and unpleasant, not so much a beginning as a bright line marking childhood’s end.  No one actually treats you as an adult as a result of this “momentous” event (which is treated in whispers and glances if any men are about) but the terrors of (female) adulthood rain down on you in stark terms; much of what you hear at this point is threatening and there is a definite ramp up in parental paranoia because you really can become pregnant now.  Female relatives came out of the woodwork for quietly terrifying tales about cramps and stains and leering boys and that 13-year-old girl who got pregnant. For a lot of us, this is an embarrassing and confusing moment (not that it SHOULD be that way, just that it was), and I thought it spot on that notwithstanding her strained relationship, at this moment Sally would run home to her mommy for comfort.

    There has been a lot of blogged carping about Lane’s embezzlement and Joan’s prostitution as being out of character for those two, but as TLo note above both appear to be a rational (though certainly not unavoidable) conclusion of a life time of decisions.

    The gallows humor of the Jaguar misfire gave no real hope that Lane would reconsider — but he was very much in character in soldiering on in the face of another (apparent) humiliation.  I thought the saddest scene of all may have been him peering through one broken lens trying to fix the brand new car; I was smiling then but it had the same wistful feeling as remembering a funny story about a person at his funeral.

    I guess we can dissect it when its all over, but I do have the sense that there is some negative response to what started off as a fizzy, unexpectedly amusing season with a strong run of episodes through the LSD adventure was always clearly laced with dark portents that have been fulfilled as the season winds up, but that the contrast seems to be off-putting to a lot of fans.  Whenever I go back to watch the season straight through, we’ll see how it holds up in its entirety.  My initial impression on first go through has been very positive, with only one episode standing out as fairly slack to me, and that continues through the penultimate episode.

    Oh well, having not gotten to see the episode until last night, I’ve missed a lot of the comments below; sorry if I’ve restated something said a dozen times already.

    • Susan Stella Floyd

       Great post.

    • bluefish

       A great post indeed.  Thanks.

  • CassandraMortmain

    Heartbreaking episode.  Lane/Jared Harris will be sorely missed.  He was a strong addition to the cast and story.  I think Don did the only thing he could have done – you really can’t have a CFO who embezzles and forges another partner’s name but I was hoping that, given Don’s background, he would show some sympathy and allow Lane to stay on.  Certainly if the truth about Don’s life got out it would negatively impact the company.  And as recently as a couple of seasons ago the firm lost a big client because Don would have needed to get a security clearance (which he obviously can’t do) and he asked Pete not to pursue the client.  Pete agreed.  So Don has now been the catalyst for two suicides-by-hanging.  There has to come a day when Don will face a harsh reckoning for all he’s done.  So far he’s gone from strength to strength.

    Was the Dow Chem pitch supposed to be seen as a home-run for Don?  I thought it was overly aggressive and hostile.  I  can’t imagine any client being swayed by that rather desperate plea.  But it seems as if they’re setting that up to be a big storyline for next season.

    I usually love the Sally storylines but this one just felt like a waste of precious air time.  Agree that if it had happened earlier in the season it wouldn’t have been so bad but there were so many other, more important things they could have focused on that the entire sub-plot annoyed me.  The Catcher in the Rye references were ham-handed.  And while I think Kiernan Shipka has done an outstanding job on the series, she really can’t hold a candle to the amazing Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark on Game of Thrones.  All of the GOT child actors are pretty amazing but Maisie is perhaps the best child actor I’ve ever seen.  Watching GOT first and seeing those kids in action, poor Sally and Glenn come off particularly badly.  Also, GOT was there first with the getting-your-period storyline.  And of course the consequences for Sansa getting her period are so dire that again, MM’s storyline suffered in comparison.

    I wish we had gotten some Peggy scenes, even if it was just some reaction from the staff.  If Peggy is out of the story, or will only show up for an episode or two in a tangential way, that will seriously diminish the show for me.  Peggy and Don are the two essential characters.  Without either one of them, it’s just not MM.

    • charlotte

      Gotta defend little Kiernan here. The two shows have entirely different concepts, and in the end it is all about how the actors fill the roles they are given. In my opinion Kiernan does that incredibly well, and I don’t think it is her fault that the scenes with Glen feel a little…off.
      And how was GOT the first show with a period storyline given that they both aired on the same night? I mean, it’s not like Weiner copied that storyline, it’s just a coincidence.

      • CassandraMortmain

        I didn’t say that Weiner copied the storyline.  The GOT Sansa-getting-her-period episode actually aired a couple of weeks ago and of course the book was written several years ago.  My point is that these two very different shows aired back-to-back this spring and many people watched them that way.  Both shows are geared to adult audiences and as such a sub-plot of a girl getting her period is somewhat unusual.  Maybe that’s a common theme in shows geared to teens and tweens but not so much in tv shows for adults.  I found the whole Sally-Glenn subplot boring and unnecessary, especially when there were so many other things they could have explored in this episode (Peggy’s departure, the fallout from Joan’s partnership, etc).  And since a menstruation subplot which was much stronger and with far more serious consequences had recently aired on GOT, the MM menstruation subplot seemed especially weak by comparison.

        • CatherineRhodes

           I don’t watch Game of Thrones, but your comments made me curious — what happened?

          • Kathleen Gillies

             In this medieval setting, the character Sansa, a 13 year old girl who is betrothed to Joffrey, (a twisted psychotic sadistic boy king) wakes up to find she had her period overnight and is in a panic to hide it.  The sheets are so bloody it looks like someone was stabbed (they clearly wanted to club viewers in the head with it). She wants to hide it because once she “is flowered” she must marry him and bear his children; he likes to command his guards to beat her or have someone tortured and killed in front of her.

        • Qitkat

          Not everyone watches GOT or has read the books, the comparison to me isn’t relevant; we don’t even know that Matt Weiner is familiar with the period plot from it. As for Catcher in the Rye, I’m an early baby boomer, thus it has been decades since I read the story, I’m sure there are many others who don’t recall details either. I have absolutely no issue with the oblique references to it.

          As for young Sally, I was charmed by the inclusion of a longer story arc for her in this episode. Getting your first period is as much drama to a young girl, for whom death like all young persons is a far, far distant, almost unthinkable concept, as the actual death of a mature man, yet not anywhere near what the end of his life ought to have been, impacts the adult characters, with all the portent of unanswered questions, how this will impact the firm, and most especially, how it makes each character feel about their own mortality. Sally will never again be able to see herself as a girl, she is literally smacked in her face that now she is a woman, she can have babies, having sex beomes much more of a reality, even as she may still retain the common childhood ickiness factor from it.

          What has happened to these two characters are two of the milestones of life. I am impressed that Weiner saw fit to include them in the same episode. One event has nothing to do with the other, and yet, down the road they will both impact Don Draper. Many things have already been raised in these comments about how Lane’s death will affect both Don and the firm; I don’t know if anyone has mentioned how Sally’s new maturity will affect Don also. He doesn’t live with her all the time, most young girls would do anything to keep their cycle secret from their dad, a supreme embarrassment initially. We’ll eventually see how puberty will affect their relationship, will Betty or Megan tell him? how will he react? I’ll just bet he will stay out of it as much as possible. But one thing’s for sure, he will know the storm is coming, any way that she has acted out previously was just a taste of what she might be like at 14 or 16. This is one strong-willed young lady. She will be even more of a handful in the years to come. It has only just begun.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

            Your comment makes me think about how my dad would go to the drugstore almost every evening, for something, and every so often my mom would have him pick up “supplies”. (3 daughters and his wife). He would come home with a GIANT box of pads and I would be totally mortified! Now that I’m older, It really makes me laugh. He was so sweet. 

        • Kathleen Gillies

           The menstruation subplot was a device to illustrate the relationship between Betty and Sally.  I think it was important to show that while Betty is not a perfect mother, she certainly is not the monster that Sally has been hating on for the season (and Sally knows it too).  I wonder sometimes if the anger that young pre/pubescent girls harbor towards their mothers is really anger towards themselves — like an ego protecting  mechanism.  After all, 12 and 13 are such difficult years and girls that age seem to be excessively self conscious.

    • aquamarine17

      i agree that the Sally-Glenn time in this episode would have been better earlier in the season. 

  • http://twitter.com/leneker Maureen

    I can see where he has every right to get upset about the forgery.  After all, Don Draper is the name he got from his father and he has upheld it with such honor at every step of the way.

  • http://twitter.com/leneker Maureen

    Don asked Lane several times if this was the only check he had written.  I never heard Lane say it was.

    • Susan Stella Floyd

      Good catch.

    • Browsery

      I noticed.  We may have to weight for the other check to drop.

  • formerlyAnon

    Comment misplaced by disqus.

  • formerlyAnon

    And, again.

  • Laylalola

    I just had to come back in to this thread one last time to say that, despite knowing all season that a major character was going to die, despite strongly suspecting for several episodes it would either be Pete or Lane committing suicide, all day Monday Lane’s death just … was oddly troubling. It’s just a TV show, he’s just a character, we knew for weeks and weeks something like this was coming, and even so it still stayed with me all day and was so strangely depressing.

    • Browsery

      You’re not the only one.  And I’m sort of proud I’m not above this. :-)

  • formerlyAnon

    deleted

  • CynthiaNOLA

    I understood the theme to be more existential.  Don asks, “what are we doing here?”  And the Lane/Sally/Glen story lines seem to be about what it means to be a man/what it means to be a woman.  Sally goes running back to her home when she starts her period – like a frightened child – after all the bold talk of having a boyfriend and ordering coffee.  I agree that Glen is a weird character – or weirdly place – but the whole trip to the nature museum, being beat up at school, “Henry used to get picked on and now he runs a city,” etc. dialogued with Lane’s silent pride and his fear of being a failure.  

    I can’t quite articulate it yet, but that’s what I took from it.

    • CatherineRhodes

       I like your take on the episode — hadn’t thought about the “What are we doing here?” comment, but it does give the whole episode another dimension.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/EUVLIAIHME6TXGSNSTKYW77724 Shannon

      The ability to get pregnant is overwhelming compared to drinking coffee with the girls and saying one has a boyfriend. This new reality of the power to foster and deliver a new life has driven entire kingdoms, ask Shakespeare. Sally’s run to comfort from Betty, the woman who carried her, can be seen in this larger context. Your existential approach fits in with this life-driving aspect of Sally’s story.

  • Mrs. McD

    Me too! Where does one get garden hose in the middle of Manhattan?  It’s not like the building had a lawn to water….

    • sweetlilvoice

      Yeah, I wondered that too.

    • aquamarine17

      he might have considered suicide at another time.

      • Mrs. McD

        Fair enough.  Actually, he probably planned it and picked up a hose on his “errands”.

    • Browsery

      Could they have had a cottage?  Did he use it to wash his car?  He also could have bought it.  He was seen coming into the garage with a paper bag.

    • sarahjane1912

      This point was raised a few pages earlier and my take on it, and reply at the time, is: most under-apartment garages in cities would have hoses attached to their walls in order to spritz cars down, top up water in engines, perhaps as insurance against any potential fire hazards … I’ve lived in a few inner-city apartments and ALL had hoses dotted around. Just my take on it [I didn't even think it unusual that Lane found a hose because of this very reason]. :-)

    • Lilithcat

      In addition to the point sarahjane made, there’d also be garden hose if the building had a roof garden (don’t know if that was as common then as it is now).

  • denkimofu

    Seriously. Remember that Lane’s wife caught him having a secret phone conversation (with his lawyer in England) in the middle of the night. Things like that will only confirm suspicions.

  • Logo Girl

    I’ve been trying to keep up with the comments – even from my non-smart phone at while at work. Not sure if this has been mentioned: two of the loveliest scenes this season have featured a mother and daughter on the same bed (along with some reference to life cycles, yeah, OK)

  • KittenKisses

    Oh, how this episode broke my heart. Poor, poor Lane.

    I couldn’t fathom how Don could shrug off so much and couldn’t give an inch to the stoic man who helped him out of a desperate situation especially while bared his soul in the most un-English of ways: sobbing and confessing all his woes. I suppose, in my mind, Don can’t abide weakness or helping someone out in a way that doesn’t involved veiled advice or money.

    On a side note, my boyfriend and I were discussing the Munich Air Disaster which happened in 1958 and how difficult the surviving Manchester United players found it to recover from what they had been through. People didn’t have the tools or skills we do today to cope with desperate situations and I really felt that came through in Lane’s suicide.

    And as much as we knew death was going to touch the world of SCDP, I still have tears in my eyes thinking of the sad, lonely end of Lane who believed in the American Dream far more than any of his American colleagues.

  • Browsery

    Commissions and Fees.  Also:  The Wages of Sin and The Wages of Fear.

  • ldancer

    I’m sorry I’m late to this fabulous party, everyone! I’m only peeking in to say that, excuse me but as a lady and a former girl, the sight of Sally’s bloody panties did not disturb me in the least. I thought it was a perfectly fine place to go. Getting your first period really sucks and it always happens in some public place and you just want to die. That’s entirely real and valid, and I’m sorry if that freaks you out, but that’s the girls’ life and I’m glad to see it reflected in this testosterone-soaked world of ours, once in a while.

    Similarly, the baby butt was a great cut, in my eyes. I would totally put a cut like that in one of my comics. I’m sure I speak for a fair number of ladies (and men too) when I say that I have changed a great many diapers. It’s part of life. Nothing wrong with putting it in a story, and sometimes you just need an actual ass in there to help you understand the figurative asses everyplace else.

  • astoriafan

    I’ll throw in with the many posters who have said that Sally’s getting her period struck them more as a death of sorts than as a new life. That’s how I read it too. Sally is not an adult, and the platitudes like “now you’re a woman!” and “every time it happens, it means your body is working right!” (i.e. getting ready for a baby) go over like a lead balloon for a lot of girls that age (I was one of them). “Now you’re a woman”… wow that line makes me cringe, and it made me cringe even more to hear Weiner say it in the commentary. Ew! The biological capability of having a baby does not make a girl a woman.

    Sally’s still trying to figure out how to make coffee palatable, when she can get away with go go boots, and whether she feels “like that” about a boy (love the line, “holding hands is plenty!”). Cramps, blood, and potential babies are scary, not life-affirming ideas to her at this point. 

    This isn’t to take away from Betty’s attempts to connect with Sally… she is clearly doing her best and is pretty tender. But in terms of the story, I like the darker parallel between her comments to Sally and Don’s to Lane–in both cases optimistic, forward-looking, it’s-a-new-start–and in neither case is the recipient really in a place to hear this advice. (Although Sally for her part is receptive to the comfort.)

    On that last point, someone made a great comment upthread (waaaaay upthread) contrasting Lane’s and Sally’s response when they feel trapped. Sally turns to family, and Lane doesn’t feel that he can. Sally has her pride like Lane does (boy does she), which we saw as the show opened. But one reason she is able to swallow her pride and run back to her mom is that she is indeed still a child… such a contrast with Lane. 

    I understand that the above is not necessarily what MW intended, but I love the parallels between Lane’s and Sally’s perspectives in this episode, which strike me as more poignant and real than the “end of life vs new beginning” contrast. Weiner said in the commentary that you want an episode like this to end up “validating life,” and maybe he finds “now Sally can have babies” life-validating. But it seems a bit creepy applying this lesson in the immediate context of the story, where you have a 12-year-old who is clearly not feeling it.

    • the_valkyrie

      Oh come in…..it’s quite common to euphemistically say to a girl that she became a woman. People still use it today to avoid saying the word period or menstruation, so im pretty sure they were more squeamish about these things in the 60s.

      Heh it’s better than what people say where I live, ie a girl on getting her first period – she fell down the stairs

      • sherrietee

        ” Fell off the roof” is the term I heard growing up. 

        • the_valkyrie

          May I ask if you’re American?

          It’s interesting that there are similar phrases in different languages (I’m from Southern Europe)

          • sherrietee

            Yes, I’m american.  Born in New York, raised in South Jersey (but not the shore side – the Philly side) and now I live near DC. 

      • astoriafan

        Of course it’s a common euphemism… it’s also sentimental and reductionist and, in our culture, creepy, especially for a grown-ass man to say about a child. There was a time when a 12 or 13-year-old WAS a woman in many respects (eligible for marriage, expected to take on homemaking and childbearing, etc.). Today girls have more time to mature into adulthood, and being a woman doesn’t even necessarily involve any of those former expectations, so it’s kind of gross to continue assigning this threshold to the day you get your period. 

        • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

          Which grown-ass man are you referring to?

        • the_valkyrie

          Yes, but it would be strange if the characters from the show spoke in the way we speak today.

      • Sweetbetty

         Haven’t we also heard “became a woman” used for the first time a girl has sex?  Too bad there isn’t an exact moment when we can say a boy became a man. 

        I used to hear “fell off the barn roof”, though not by my immediate family or close friends.  My mom would usually say “got sick”, as in “I got sick today”.  It certainly wasn’t anything to get good feelings about.

  • http://twitter.com/Jutz Jutz

    Scary thing to add- I’ve seen in interviews and elsewhere- MW in no way intended to make Glenn creepy, nor does he believe the kid is creepy at all.  I think Glenn is sopposed to be a representation of Sally’s taste of the “adult” world, but the terrible acting and strangeness of the actor overrides this point and in the end he just appears creepy. I don’t think MW is aware of any of this. This is nepotism at it’s worst, and he wanted his kid to stay in the the story AND deliver the line that defines the season arc? It pissed me off.

    Remember this is the guy that is genuinely confused by all the Betty hate and defends her behavior at every criticism.

    I think most times MW removes a character to serve the story. But sometimes he just loves the actor (see: Aaron Stanton, his son, January Jones) 

    I don’t know.

    • Glammie

      Oh I don’t think Weiner’s that confused by the Betty hate.  He’s said she’s the one character for whom he has a diagnosis.  In the same interview, he stresses Betty’s narcissism.  He adds, though, that he forgives her because she’s a product of her time and her looks.

      Glen, though, yeah, not only is Glen played by his son, Glen seems to be a bit of a Mary Sue–Weiner identifies with him a little too closely to get how he comes across. 

      It does seem like he likes Aaron Stanton and Rich Somers, relatively minor characters  who have survived many a plot turn. 

      • http://twitter.com/Jutz Jutz

        Good thoughts, and yes, I think he did say that about JJ, but still something to me seems off. There is some disconnect from what he sees and the audience sees. It’s like he has a personal relationship with certain actors and it bleeds into the storyline/casting. It really makes zero sense Glen is still in the game. How much more interesting would it be to follow Sally at school and she how she interacts with kids her age?

        If that kid is back next season, I really do think people aren’t going to be happy. It’s too obvious. 

        I only care bc MW is always such a brilliant writer, and these things take an otherwise almost perfect story off course. It annoys me we spend time with these less interesting characters, yet ignore other stories (could have brought in Lane’s story line earlier and in more episodes for example)

        Ken worked out really great, and I have an irrational soft spot for Harry, bc I have the modern version of his job and I love to watch the 1960′s version.

    • sherrietee

       The character of Glenn seems to me that he has social issues, that if it were set in modern day would have him diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.

      • http://twitter.com/Jutz Jutz

        I agree 100%, I just don’t think MW sees it that way, which is a problem

  • http://twitter.com/maschultz Margaret Schultz

    Also remember that when they were *both* named Accounts Mgr, Pete was furious and Ken was like “oh don’t you see they WANT us to hate each other?” And Pete just didn’t get that, at all.

  • http://twitter.com/maschultz Margaret Schultz

    +1 

    ~ I don’t see the ‘eff you’ to the office in Lane’s hanging at all. He felt huge guilt over what he did. And getting fired was the final blow to his self esteem.

  • KayeBlue

    I love this show, and two years ago, I lost a beloved family member to the same manner of suicide as Lane.

    I’m sickened by the depiction of suicide, and the drawn-out scene with Lane’s body, in this episode. There was a big ‘Warning” about partial nudity (the profile of a woman’s breast) before the episode “The Rejected” in season four, but then I get hit over the head with the wounds on Lane. It was bad enough after Joan (and the viewer) realized what happened… there was no need, except for a cheap shock, to show the ligatures on his neck, or the bumbling Three Stooges’-style cutting down. I had to leave the room after that scene. I was crying most of the night because the characters’ reactions brought back so many memories. 

    I just feel compelled to say that if anyone reading this feels this despair or knows someone who does, I beg you to contact a suicide help line. There is always someone who would give anything in the world to keep you from ending your life.

    • Qitkat

      I’m so sorry for your tragic loss. Your last sentence really touches me. There are a lot of kittens here who would give you a hug.

  • KayeBlue

    Well thought and well written. 

    • Qitkat

      Disqus is quite glitchy, but if you log out of it, then close your browser, clear cache and history, then try again, it usually works.

  • http://twitter.com/Jutz Jutz

    Not sure if someone on here already explained it- but commissions and fees for dummies (I work in advertising)

    Fee: Like with a lawyer, or any other service, there is an agreed upon “fee”  discussion (a lot goes into this- # of people working on the account and their % of contribution, ect) but in the end it’s paid by hours of actual work on that account

    Commission: An agreed upon % of the media spend. Meaning if Jag spends $50 mil on media (ad space in broadcast, print, outdoor, radio, whatever) the agency will be paid an agreed on percentage of that $50 mil.

    The issue with commission, is it’s not guaranteed. So even if your entire team works on creative, a plan, placing ads, ect- if the client decides to cut back on media $ or cancel a campaign, you aren’t getting paid.

    Neither one is “worse” than the other, it differs for every client. They may be big media spender, or more focused on putting money into creative and have a tiny media budget. Sometimes the media budget is so high, commission is better for the agency.

    It really depends on the client, but you can see why Don is against commission. It makes Harry’s job much more relevant. Don wants to get paid on everything he does in his department regardless of what actually makes it to air, print, ect.

  • http://mllesatine.livejournal.com/ mllesatine

    I didn’t see the theme of “one live ends and another begins” with Sally’s storyline. Menstruation is dead cell matter and has nothing to do with being pregnant or “bringing new life into the world” -it’s the opposite. There wasn’t any juxtaposition for me. I also don’t think that it was a creepy moment when Sally got her first period with Glen as witness. I doubt he had even the slightest clue of what had happened.

  • catlady10

    I thought the Sally storyline was fantastic.  In the first half of the episode, this child, who is generally lives a very sheltered, structured life suddenly finds herself facing too much independence too fast.  She has seen Megan undressed in her father’s bed and her new step grandma in a compromising position this season.  First Sally gets out of going on the ski trip, wielding power over her mother that she has never had before.  Betty actually let her off the hook by sending her to Don’s.  For Sally, that’s a huge step.

    Then Don gives her a day off from school.  Wow!  Run away from home and you get excused from school too!!

    Megan and her friend’s conversation at lunch was way too mature to share with a little girl, but Sally tries to keep up by telling them that she has a boyfriend.  She wants to be part of this conversation.

    Then she gets an apartment to herself and invites an older boy.  It’s a boy she’s not even supposed to see. Then he tells her he told his friends that he’s there to get in her pants.  And she lets him.

    The onset of her period scares this poor kid and she runs home.  Too much too fast for little Sally.

    And I love Glen.  He’s very real in his gloomy, awkwardness.  Most adolescent boys are more like him.  This show is about advertising people and their spouses.  There are no ordinary people except a few strays, like him. We never see Sally with other kids, except her brothers, who don’t talk.  She shines and we know it, so seeing her next to a very realistic dark young man makes her that much more impressive.

    I’m going to miss this show so much!!!!!!  Sob.

  • dress_up_doll

    I will miss Lane so very much, but still feel that he had the best line of the episode. Loved it when he stood in Joan’s doorway and she asked if she should take Easter vacation in Hawaii or Mexico. Lane’s pithy lttle deadpan (and slightly inebriated) response of, “Well neither seems like an entirely an appropriate way to honor the death of our Lord.” Loved that line so much!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jorge.l.perez.967 Jorge L. Perez

      Butchie’s Tune, the Lovin Spoonful song heard at the end, was also included -albeit in instrumental form- in the 1966 movie ‘Blowup’, which in this same episode is one of the movies mentioned by Megan when she’s discussing with Sally which movie she wants to see.’Blowup’, by the way, is a British film classic from 1966 (directed by Italian maestro Michelangelo Antonioni), and, except for a Fistful of Dollars, all the other films she mentions -Alfie, Gambit, Georgy Girl- are also British… An enormous coincidence, as British films were not so predominant then (nor later).Iit would seem the script was trying to tell us that there’s somehing big coming up for a particular British citizen.

  • Violina23

    I’m late to the comments, but I’m late to Mad Men in general — I just started watching from Season 1 a few months ago and I tore through it and JUST finished this episode today.  So my thoughts are partially about this episode, but partially about the show in general, having devoured it in such a short period of time:

    1) I had no problem with the Sally storyline, whether it be the graphic-ness of the bloody panties, the symbolism of “becoming a woman” vs. “death of childhood innocence” or whatnot.  But it felt like a bit of a forced parallel with Lane. No matter which way you see that moment for Sally (glass half full or glass half empty I guess), getting your period is a natural progression of life. There was nothing “natural” about what happened regarding Lane.  As sympathetic a character as he always was, he got in trouble and chose the WORST possible way to handle it, fueled by pride.  I felt no connection between those stories, which seemed ever more forced because Lane and Sally have had basically ZERO interaction with one another. 

    2) Don was pretty gracious and fair all things considered.  He really gave Lane a way out. The comment about starting over, and that this was the hardest part — rang sincere to me. 

    3) I hope Peggy is not gone for good. I feel like the show is as much about her journey as it is Don’s. Not since the character of Wesley on Buffy/Angel have I seen a character take such a natural/believable progression such that the person in the last episode is so drastically (yet believably) different from the person in the first episode. 

    4) What amazes me about the show (and it’s extra evident considering how recently I started watching it), is how it realistically depicting how much the WORLD has changed, through the window of these characters. Everything & everyone looks/feels so different in season 5 than they did in season 1, both a reflection of the people and the times. That’s a pretty amazing feat for a show.

    Sincere thanks for these reviews, they’ve really enhanced my experience with the show.  I’m going to enjoy following along in REAL TIME with you guys next season, even though that means I have to wait an entire WEEK before episodes (grrrrr)

    • marcilynn

      I don’t think Peggy’s gone for good. I think they are going to open up more agency rivalries and it’ll be more interesting (and give us that camp’s perspective) with her over there. I think they’ve exhausted to us against the client story lines, so now they’ll be able to do agency against agency stories that will be able to go deeper.

    • purkoy28

      i always thought don was hard on lane and he didnt have to be so close minded about his firing. lane wasnbt stealing for pleasure or addiction and he payed it back within the week, it is obvious he was in a corner and never would do that again, after all its his company too so why would he want to hurt it? don, was dramatic in making him leave. because everything works out for don, he doesnt understand that most people dont just start over and land on their feet. But thats just my opinion : )
      Isnt it fun watching all the seasons back to back? i do it just to re watch it and remember stuff, then read tlo posts after the ep. although its hard to find some posts for the oler seasons for some reason.

      • 3hares

        Lane never paid back the money he took.

        I agree Don just assumed he could start over, but I think any CFO embezzling is a huge deal, for whatever reason.

  • mi2pid

    I also absorbed the seasons quickly and am late on the draw.

    Lane and Joan have been favorites but I continue to be fascinated by comments re: Glenn. He is awkward to such an extent that I view his as a separate storyline altogether. What is MW doing here? Is Glenn purposely our little visitor from deep inside the creator’s inner recesses?

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainbow.connect.7 Rainbow Connect

    The “Lucky Strike Letter” notes why Don Draper stopped smoking, is the contradiction here that everybody including Don is always smoking?

  • Praja07

    So spot on, as always. Really going to miss reading these recaps as much as the show itself!