SPOILER ALERT: this post discusses AMC's "Mad Men," season 5, episode 12.
How thoughtful of Lane Pryce's wife to go out and buy him a brand new, sporty, money-green Jaguar to celebrate his recent successes. She wrote a check for the purchase. Isn't that how Lane's financial woes started, by writing—or, rather, by forging a check? Lane's troubles finally got a hold of him.
Cooper chastises Don for giving Lane a bonus when the partners had voted against bonuses for themselves. Naturally, Don knows nothing about this since he didn't give Lane a bonus, but tells Bert he'll handle it. The confrontational scene between Lane and Don was heart-wrenching. Lane was practically begging for his life during the brief conversation; he'll lose his visa, what will he tell his wife and son, it was just to be a 13-day loan, and so on. We watched him go through the five stages of grief right then and there: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance. Don was coolly professional in asking for Lane's resignation. After all, Lane did embezzle from SCDP and did forge Don's signature, both serious crimes. Don's final words, "I've started over many times, this is the worst part," offered little comfort.
Lane goes home in a drunken stupor to find his wife all dolled up and ready to go out to dinner. She then surprises him with the shiny new car. He promptly turns and gets physically sick. He spends the weekend getting papers in order and finding excuses to not drive the Jaguar. Don spent the weekend with paperwork as well, having little time to spend with Sally who came to visit for the weekend.
Yes, Sally is becoming quite the mini-Betty, having manipulated her way out of the Francis family ski trip and into the city with Megan and Don for the weekend. Sally's phone conversation with Glen was reminiscent of numerous Betty/Don phone conversations, ending with the woman getting her way.
Glen made the 2 1/2 hour trek Monday morning to spend time with Sally in the city. The two of them headed over to the museum across the park and had an adult conversation about their friendship. Suddenly, Sally wasn't feeling well and fled. She ended up at home with her mom and was clearly distressed as she revealed the reason she came home by herself. Betty's phone call to Megan, explaining that Sally "became a woman today" and just wanted her mom was a score for Betty, who is probably keeping a tally. Creepy Glen ended up spending the afternoon at the penthouse with Megan while waiting for the 7pm train back to school.
Late Friday afternoon, Don and Roger decide to go for the Dow Chemical account—why waste time with smaller accounts—they need to land someone big. Ken Cosgrove, whose father-in-law is a head honcho at Dow, says he'll not get involved but wants to be brought back in if they land it. He made it clear he doesn't want Pete involved at all. During the meeting Don gets all fired up about happiness and contentment. Don and Roger return to an almost empty office after their Monday morning meeting.
A depressed, desperate Lane did attempt to spend some time in the Jaguar, but couldn't get the engine to turn over. Poor Lane, can't get anything right—not even suicide. He headed into the office in the wee hours of Sunday night and typed out his resignation later. The next morning all of the SCDP accounting books were on his secretary’s desk and his office was locked. No one knew what was up, but they all felt something was wrong as they couldn't get into Lane's office. Pete climbed on the chair and looked through the high glass walls into Lane's office and turned with dread.
Do you recall in my wrap-up of episode 4, "Signal 30," I referenced a noose Don had doodled? In a twist of irony and foreshadowing, it appears the noose was for Lane. Don was shaken to his core with the news of the hanging and insisted they can't leave Lane that way until the coroner arrived. He was adamant. Perhaps it hit too close to home as his brother died the same way, over similar monetary issues. He alone knew what propelled Lane to kill himself and it's yet another secret he'll have to live with.
There's only one remaining episode this season, and still many loose ends to get tied up.