‘Mad Men: Commissions and Fees’ Review

Photo Credit: http://www.tvequals.com/2012/06/03/mad-men-commissions-and-fees-season-5-episode-12/

In what was quite easily the best episode of the season, Mad Men continued the themes of the young growing into the eternal misery that is adulthood that has been consistent throughout the season…and took one of the show’s first true casualties.

If you have not seen this week’s episode turn away now, major spoilers will follow.Three stories ran concurrently during tonight’s episode, all of which were nothing short of fantastic.

Don, still enraged by Joan’s mishap from last week as well as Peggy’s departure, had to pitch to a new company with Roger. It was great having the two of them back together instead of Pete or Ginsberg. It felt like the good ‘ol days. Don’s persuasive anger during the meeting was great, as was Roger’s comment “I’ll by you a drink if you wipe the blood from your mouth”. Jon Hamm and John Slattery continue to have the best chemistry on the show.

This week also delivered one of the better Sally stories in a while. First her rebellion against Betty was great. Then, the second she has some alone time she invites over her creepy neighbor Glen! The sexual tension between them was very strange, setting a tone of constant discomfort. But then Sally got her first period, just another sign of how this young girl is slowly becoming a woman. She still needs her mother though, and for once Betty provided. The two had a tender moment that we haven’t seen them share in a long time. Betty needed some humanity.

Okay, now onto the shocker of the week, Lane committing suicide. Mad Men isn’t exactly known for killing off characters, and Lane is the biggest by far to date. His story was a sad one this week. His conversation with Don about the fake signature was hard to swallow. But Don was right, Lane couldn’t stay at the company after what he did. On top of it his wife buys a Jaguar. Poor Lane. He couldn’t even start the car to kill himself, but of course he found another way. His letter of resignation was a heartbreaking touch that closed the episode. Truly, this was one of the saddest moments of the show ever.

Commissions and Fees was the best episode of season five yet. Plots moved forward and a things seem to be building for next week’s finale. And while I am as excited as ever about this show, I will most definitely be missing Lane Pryce. (10/10)

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