'Mad Men' recap: Birth and Death In The Same Episode

mad-men-S5-pics.jpgSally's being a teenager in the best way she knows how, so Betty decides to dump her off at Don's so Sally doesn't have to join them on a ski trip, as is Sally's wish. With him and Megan both busy, Sally gets to miss school on Monday, so she takes the opportunity to invite Glen down to the empty apartment for that morning. They go to the Museum of Natural History, whereupon she tells Glen she doesn't like him like that, and then she gets her period. Best date ever! The trauma sends her running into Betty's arms, while Glen and Megan end up panicking together, and when Betty calls to gloat about how Sally came home because she needed her, Megan is far too relieved to take offense. She invites Glen to stay until his train back to school that evening, and we'll return to that.

In the wake of the initial part of what I'm going to tell you about involving Lane, Don vents to Roger about how they need to think bigger even than Jaguar and Mohawk, and confesses what Ed Baxter told him about the effect of the letter. Roger, of all people, tells Don he needs to believe in himself, so Don decides to take Baxter on full force. Ken shows surprising and welcome bitterness toward Pete as he maneuvers to get involved without compromising himself with Cynthia, and then Don kills it at the meeting, so we'll see how that goes.

Jaguar wants a fee structure instead of commissions, and in investigating the pros and cons of such a change, Bertram finds the canceled check Lane forged and accuses Don of going around the other partners' back. Don covers for Lane, but only to ask for his resignation, and even though Lane makes the case that it was a bridge loan, and that Don should be merciful since he's been broke ever since he had to surrender money to keep the company afloat in the wake of Lucky Strike leaving, Don stands firm. Soon after, Rebecca surprises Lane with a Jaguar, and the only way Lane can up the crushing irony quotient is to attempt to commit suicide in it by gas - but the car gets the last laugh by hilariously refusing to start. But that's a fake-out too, as after the weekend, the SCDP highers-up discover that Lane has hanged himself in his office, and we finally see that all the death imagery the season has thrown at as foreshadowed a very real conclusion. It's dreadfully disturbing when Pete, Roger, and Don cut Lane down, and when Roger reads what he thinks is Lane's suicide note, he discovers that it's merely a boilerplate resignation letter. Shattered by the revelation that this is one secret he's probably going to have to keep, not to mention that this is now two people he's caused to hang themselves, when Don stumbles home, he's happy for the distraction of driving Glen back to school...or, at Glen's description of what would make him happy, letting Glen drive the both of them there. Lane Pryce, ladies and gentlemen. We may never have known quite what to do with you, but I hope we'll keep your name on the door.

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