?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Mad Men: Commissions and Fees

And then there were two...

Season 5, Episode 12: Commissions and Fees
Don follows a surprising lead and Sally goes out.


Tags:

Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
gatsbyfan
Jun. 4th, 2012 03:34 am (UTC)
Oh holy crap. That was one amazing episode. From the opening with Don telling Lane he was resigning to the very end.

Couple of favorite lines:
Don: I already said no or should I leave and you can do whatever you want.

Betty: It's your child bride she wants to spend time with.

Ken: Pete doesn't go to the meeting. And Pete doesn't go to any of the meetings.

Sally: Henry got picked on when he was little, now he runs the city.

Roger: Buy you a drink if you wipe the blood off your mouth.

gatsbyfan
Jun. 4th, 2012 03:43 am (UTC)
The thing with Lane isn't so shocking when I stop to think about it. He's under a great deal of stress. He cannot admit failure and cannot go home. His wife has no clue as to how bad things are and goes off and writes a check for a Jaguar.

I guess the thing that struck me most was that Don fired him or asked for his resignation. With Lane being a Partner, I would have suspected more of a fight. He must not hold much interest in the partnership.

I liked that Don initially covered for him. He really doesn't need to do that. He could have explained to Cooper. Yes, he has to protect it from leaving the building, but Cooper is a partner and deserved to know. I think that act is now going to haunt Don. It's clearly not Don's fault that Lane committed suicide, but the look on Don's face showed that he was greatly affected by it. I cannot imagine getting to the point where you feel like there is no other choice.

Nice to see Roger show some concern about Joan and want to take her home so she wouldn't be there for the coroner.
tomfoolery815
Jun. 4th, 2012 04:16 am (UTC)
I guess the thing that struck me most was that Don fired him or asked for his resignation. With Lane being a Partner, I would have suspected more of a fight. He must not hold much interest in the partnership.
I think it's the shame of the embezzlement that Don knows is his ace in the hole, Gatzy. He can demand the resignation because he knows Lane would rather resign than face the humiliation.

I think that act is now going to haunt Don. It's clearly not Don's fault that Lane committed suicide, but the look on Don's face showed that he was greatly affected by it.
No, Don did not cause Lane to kill himself. But he's still going to feel some responsibility, I suspect, because he didn't let Lane off the hook or cover for him.

Sadly, I think giving him the weekend to come up with a graceful exit -- which was, of course, an act of kindness, an attempt to let Lane take his secret with him -- only compounded things, since he got home and found that Mrs. Price spent money that, I presume, she didn't know that they didn't actually have. Am I interpreting that correctly, that that's why he was horrified to see the Jaguar in their parking garage?
tomfoolery815
Jun. 4th, 2012 04:23 am (UTC)
I like the comment you retweeted, Gatz, regarding Betty actually showing warmth and compassion. Obviously it touched Betty that, in a moment of crisis, Sally literally ran to her. She still tried to make Megan eat it, though, didn't she? Let Betty Be Betty.

Clearly, Don and Megan had no inkling that Sally would leave the apartment. And, because of Betty's mistrust (to put it mildly) of Glen, surely Betty and Henry have no idea about the ongoing Sally-Glen friendship.

Loved the whole Don-Glen interaction. He's so devastated by Lane's suicide that he decides to do something nice and drive Glen back to school. Then, when he encounters a kid who's seen too much already, he lets him drive the car.
marymary
Jun. 4th, 2012 04:25 am (UTC)
This episode was really unpleasant for me, but I certainly appreciated how great it wasl.

I liked those moments too, gatz, especially this:

Ken: Pete doesn't go to the meeting. And Pete doesn't go to any of the meetings.

Other things I liked:

- Don "I've already said no. Or should I leave so you can do whatever you want." For a moment, I thought Don had read the room wrong, but he hadn't. Look how light Joan is with Pete. She's got both feet planted in the partnership.

- Don: "That's relief. I've started over a lot. This is the worst part." Don's genuinely trying to help Lane, because he does know what it's like to be in that pit. But so ironic! Don, the biggest fraud of all, tells Lane he can't be trusted.

- Roger: "Long Island. Or Rhode Island." Ah, Roger is back. Also: "You used to love 'no.' 'No' used to make you hard." All of Don and Roger in this episode was so full of their shared history. That moment, for example, and the tiny reaction Roger had when Don indicated the Dow meeting was over. Gorgeous.

- Ken: "I don't mind waiting 20 minutes for an unspecified meeting with my boss. It's not like your imagination runs wild."

- Sally and Betty. That's one of the things I love about this show -- everyone is a fully realized person. Of course Sally "hates" her mom, and of course she runs to her in a crisis. And of course Betty softens immediately and gives her what she needs. I think a lot of viewers forget that Betty actually loves her children -- it's just not what we're used to seeing on TV.

- Don insisting that they can't leave Lane like that, and getting him onto the sofa.

- Don turning his anguish into kindness to Glenn instead of meanness to Glenn. It really could have gone either way.
tomfoolery815
Jun. 4th, 2012 04:29 am (UTC)
Roger: Buy you a drink if you wipe the blood off your mouth.
It's an awful lot of fun to watch Don in action at his job, isn't it? The pitch to the Jaguar last week, and the in-your-face approach with Dow Corning, take me all the way back to the carousel pitch in "The Wheel." Man or woman, you'd buy whatever Don Draper is selling in these moments.

Ken: Pete doesn't go to the meeting. And Pete doesn't go to any of the meetings.
I loved that, too. That scene really showed us how smart Ken is, that at some point he'd thought out what he would do if it ever came to a job/in-laws conflict. That his price would include the privilege of sticking it to Pete. Good for Ken.
marymary
Jun. 4th, 2012 04:33 am (UTC)
I liked that Don initially covered for him.

Yes, me too. He didn't even blink, just let Bert walk away. Nice.

I agree, Don feels guilty about Lane.

Another thing that struck me: Megan's anger that Don didn't tell her Sally was coming. That bugs me a little -- Megan knows what kind of day a bad day at SCDP is. And what IS she doing all day, reading scripts? She's simply not as busy as Don is, by a long shot, and his career is making hers possible. It reminded me of the night Don was late for dinner. For my money, she needs to take a step back once in awhile. Not as a subservient housewife, but as the person who's got WAY less stress and work.
tomfoolery815
Jun. 4th, 2012 04:35 am (UTC)
- Roger: "Long Island. Or Rhode Island." Ah, Roger is back. Also: "You used to love 'no.' 'No' used to make you hard." All of Don and Roger in this episode was so full of their shared history. That moment, for example, and the tiny reaction Roger had when Don indicated the Dow meeting was over. Gorgeous.
Absolutely, Mary. Roger was tickled to have that Don back, to have back the guy in complete control of whatever room's he in. I know I'm about to reference it a second time, but that whole pitch -- from Don demanding the meeting, to the abrupt "I'm not waiting for an answer" end of the meeting -- was a Let Bartlet Be Bartlet moment for Roger. In the sense of "Finally! Nice of you to come back to us."
marymary
Jun. 4th, 2012 04:39 am (UTC)
since he got home and found that Mrs. Price spent money that, I presume, she didn't know that they didn't actually have. Am I interpreting that correctly, that that's why he was horrified to see the Jaguar in their parking garage?

Yeah, I assume so, Tom. She's so happy, he's so miserable, and I'm sure he's imagining having to explain AND return the car, crushing her even further. And you know, what could have been. If they'd been doing better, he could really have had all that's represented by the car.
tomfoolery815
Jun. 4th, 2012 04:41 am (UTC)
It reminded me of the night Don was late for dinner.
Well, I think what really set her off that night was he was late and drunk off his ass ... from having drinks with Joan. That last part isn't about the job, that's about valuing time with an old friend more than dinner with your wife. At least from Megan's perspective.

Mary, I agree that we could stand to see a little more of Megan recognizing that his work makes her pursuit of her dream possible. But I think it's also worth noting that her attitude changed completely, once she found out what led Don to forget to notify her that Sally was coming. When Don keeps Megan in the loop, Megan cuts Don a lot more slack.

Edited at 2012-06-04 04:48 am (UTC)
marymary
Jun. 4th, 2012 04:44 am (UTC)
Roger: "Are you going to tell me what you're going to talk about or is my look of surprise part of the sales pitch?"

Don: "I don't want it to sound rehearsed."

Roger: "No danger of that. I want you to go in there and keep your cool. But if he baits you, I want you to punch him in the balls."

Don: "What happened to your enlightenment?"

Roger: "I don't know... Wore off."
tomfoolery815
Jun. 4th, 2012 04:47 am (UTC)
I now wish I'd made the time to find a Lane icon.

And you know, what could have been. If they'd been doing better, he could really have had all that's represented by the car.
Excellent point. The car's not just a car at that moment in Lane's life.

I did enjoy the literal gallows humor of the Jaguar being an unreliable source of carbon monoxide. Everything that the ad men joke about regarding the Jaguar's lack of reliability coming to fruition when Lane wants it to do something for him. Dark, but funny ... right up until they showed us Lane's corpse, I suppose.

Edited at 2012-06-04 04:47 am (UTC)
tomfoolery815
Jun. 4th, 2012 04:49 am (UTC)
Don: "What happened to your enlightenment?"
Roger: "I don't know... Wore off."

That was so great! Roger's trip lasted several months, but when it ended he was back to being Roger. :)
marymary
Jun. 4th, 2012 04:53 am (UTC)
But I think it's also worth noting that her attitude changed completely, once she found out what led Don to forget to notify her that Sally was coming. When Don keeps Megan in the loop, Megan cuts Don a lot more slack.

I agree. As bad behavior from Mad Men characters goes... :) It's just that she comes at him, guns blazing, pretty often. I guess it's just part of Megan's personality to be very free with her emotions. It would make more sense to me for a Betty Draper, who really has no clue what his work environment feels like, to be all indignant when he's careless like that. Megan knows better, so I expect her to do better. At least her going in position -- allow for the possibility he's had a WAY worse day than she, and he might have a good excuse, before she snaps.

Another bit I liked was when Megan asked Don whether he wanted to come to lunch with her and Sally.

Sally: "He wants to work, look at him. He's got a big meeting tomorrow. He'll be miserable." Ha, Don doesn't even blink.
marymary
Jun. 4th, 2012 04:55 am (UTC)
I did enjoy the literal gallows humor of the Jaguar being an unreliable source of carbon monoxide.

Yes! I knew there was something I was forgetting. That was quite something.
tomfoolery815
Jun. 4th, 2012 05:03 am (UTC)
Yes! I knew there was something I was forgetting. That was quite something.
The Jacquemettons* knew where they were going with that storyline, and threw that bit in anyway. Kinda sick, and kinda awesome. :)


*Hi, I'm Tom and I'm a credits nerd.
tomfoolery815
Jun. 4th, 2012 05:01 am (UTC)
I guess it's just part of Megan's personality to be very free with her emotions.
I think so.

Megan knows better, so I expect her to do better.
Fair point, and not an unreasonable expectation in that context.

At least her going in position -- allow for the possibility he's had a WAY worse day than she, and he might have a good excuse, before she snaps.
But that brings us back to free with her emotions, doesn't it? Her predominant feeling is "Why the fuck didn't you tell me your daughter was going to be my responsibility until you showed up?" She leads with emotion and forgets everything she knows about Don's life at SCDP.

This could also be the age gap in play. I feel that present-day me is much smarter than 26-year-old me. :)
tomfoolery815
Jun. 4th, 2012 05:06 am (UTC)
Another bit I liked was when Megan asked Don whether he wanted to come to lunch with her and Sally.
Sally: "He wants to work, look at him. He's got a big meeting tomorrow. He'll be miserable." Ha, Don doesn't even blink.


I loved that too, Mary. Sally's learned some things about her father -- possibly from things she heard Betty say about him when they were still together -- and Don's passive reaction seems to convey "Eh, she's not wrong, and I've got all this work to do."
marymary
Jun. 4th, 2012 05:07 am (UTC)
Betty: "Are you feeling better?"

Sally: "I'm so embarrassed."

Betty: "Don't be. And if you ever get in trouble like that again, ask another woman. They'll understand."

Sally: "Gosh, I don't want to talk about it."

Betty: "Move over, I want to lie down. There's a lot of responsibilities, but that's what being a woman is. And when it happens every month, even though it's unpleasant, it means everything's working. It means everything's ready for a baby, when you want one. And maybe you'll have a beautiful girl, and you can tell her all this."

I mean, really, that's all you want from your mom when you get your period. Nice job, B.
tomfoolery815
Jun. 4th, 2012 05:25 pm (UTC)
It's nice to see Betty be the mother we'd like her to be.
marymary
Jun. 4th, 2012 06:28 pm (UTC)
The mother she IS. Is my point. :) Betty's not the devil, and she's not a great mom either. She's a realistic character, who's great sometimes and awful at other times.

I think she's about as good a parent as Don is -- we just forgive men for their emotional coldness and harshness more easily. The way Don talks to those kids sometimes scares me, all the way through the TV screen. No wonder Sally feels like she has to be tough. I think Betty's a much worse mother than Megan would be. Way, way better than Lane's dad. Jury's still out on Joan -- I suspect Joan will be a very good mom -- better than Betty -- but will pass on some messed up ethics at times. :) I'm guessing Pete will be a pretty bad dad...
marymary
Jun. 4th, 2012 05:34 am (UTC)
Sally's learned some things about her father -- possibly from things she heard Betty say about him when they were still together.

Yes, and the way the adults behave around her! It's not just Sally being precocious, though she is. I often find myself thinking I'd be reprimanding Sally a LOT more than her parents do for that smart mouth. Her disrespect is shocking sometimes.

But that's what they're breeding in her. They let her see and hear too much. They deal with her too directly and harshly. Even the adults in her periphery -- like Megan's friend (who's not a "redhead everywhere" I suspect) are too loose with Sally.

Sometimes it results in delightful scenes, as with Roger at the party and Glenn at the museum. But sometimes it's unsettling.

Looking back on her life, Sally Draper will understand even MORE of what she saw and heard. She's going to be one hard-boiled dame.
tomfoolery815
Jun. 4th, 2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
I often find myself thinking I'd be reprimanding Sally a LOT more than her parents do for that smart mouth. Her disrespect is shocking sometimes.
But that's what they're breeding in her. They let her see and hear too much. They deal with her too directly and harshly. Even the adults in her periphery -- like Megan's friend (who's not a "redhead everywhere" I suspect) are too loose with Sally.

Absolutely. We are all products of our environment to some extent, children moreso, because of the limits on a child's environment. Sally's just old enough to attempt to start acting and responding as adults do. It's the age when I recall getting smacked down for crossing those lines.

It's brilliant that Kiernan Shipka has adopted so many of JJ's Betty mannerisms and reactions, because that's how the Sally-Betty dynamic would play out if they were real people. So often, I hear Sally say something, and while I'm processing the line I'm also noting how much Betty Jr. there is in the delivery.
marymary
Jun. 4th, 2012 06:22 pm (UTC)
It's brilliant that Kiernan Shipka has adopted so many of JJ's Betty mannerisms and reactions, because that's how the Sally-Betty dynamic would play out if they were real people.

So true! And it's also very real that, as Sally is unconsciously mimicking Betty, she says she "hates her so much." I think there's some psychological truth to that.
gatsbyfan
Jun. 4th, 2012 06:58 pm (UTC)
Sepinwall has an excellent interview with Jared Harris:
http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/interview-mad-men-co-star-jared-harris-on-lane-pryce-and-commissions-and-fees

It makes me want to go look back at earlier episodes especially after this:
or me, when I went to all the costume fittings, I saw that he hadn't been taking as good care of himself. There were stains in his shirts and his waistcoats. I would point them out, "This is dirty," and they'd go, "Yeah, that's what we're doing this season." And I'd go, "Yeah, that's not good."

When he sees the car, I think that's when he makes the decision that he's going to kill himself in that car. And once he's decided that — there's vindictiveness about how he goes about it. He hangs himself in the office. He makes it as difficult for them as possible.
He has an interesting take on the decision being made after the car. That makes sense. Because before that he could find a way to hide some of the issues. But my guess is that check is going to bounce and the good people of Jaguar are going to come a calling. That isn't something you can just explain away.

And I didn't think about him doing it in the office as a way to make it harder for his coworkers - though there is definitely some truth to that. I thought of it more that he was sparing his wife or child from having to make that gruesome discovery.
marymary
Jun. 4th, 2012 07:15 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I will definitely go read that article - thanks, gatz. Jared Harris has been absolutely brilliant all along, and especially in his last episode.

Ok, he wants to kill himself in the car, because it's about Jaguar, and then...some tow truck hired by the dealership will come to get it. Or, more likely, his wife will find him there. So that really makes no sense, except symbolically.

Then he wants to kill himself in the office, either to stick it to SDCP or to spare his wife. Either way, a much more lucid, practical plan. Totally different from the car plan.

I guess the only way I can make sense of it is that he's not thinking, he's desperate. I don't think you can apply much logic or intent (apart from killing himself) to a person in that state.
marymary
Jun. 4th, 2012 07:30 pm (UTC)
Just read the interview -- great stuff!

I loved this:

John Slattery is normally the person you go to if you want to find out what's going on, A) Because he directs episodes and generally knows stuff, but B) He knows where the early scripts are, and he gets hold of them, and he's totally indiscreet.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

June 2012
S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
Powered by LiveJournal.com