Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mad Men Season 5 (Episode 12): Commissions and Fees

Why Mad Men Episode 12 (Season 5) Worked:
  • Lane's downfall and suicide.  Masterful.  Almost every scene related to this tragic episode worked brilliantly:  Bert Cooper's confrontation with Don about the check; Don's showdown with Lance where he forced his resignation (and since when did Don become so virtuous?); Lane's wife buying him a Jaguar; Lane being offered the position as head of the 4A's fiscal control committee; Lane's failed effort to asphyxiate himself in his new Jaguar because it was so mechanically unreliable it wouldn't event start (genius touch!):  and ultimately Lane hanging from the door in his office.  
  • The lion in Don roars again.  We saw this in scene after scene in episode 5 and especially in the scene with Roger where he talks about the company getting big.
  • Don yelling at his daughter Sally:  "And turn off that damn tv."  Sometimes the shortest scenes in Mad Men are richest with irony.  
  • Don letting Glen drive his car (with him in it) back to school.  A light way to end a heavy episode.
Why Mad Men Episode 12 (Season 5) Didn't Work:
  • So let's get this straight.  Peggy resigned in last week's episode and it's not mentioned at all in this episode?  
  • The scenes with Sally and Glen (especially the dialogue).  Get me rewrite!  And can't we find a better actor to play Glen?  The rare times he appears I feel like I'm watching dinner theater in Boca Raton.
  • Betty's remoteness with Sally.  It's not interesting. 
Overall Grade for Mad Men Episode 12 (Season 5):  
  • A.  Great writing, acting and plot development.  What more could you ask for in a scripted tv drama?  Bravo Mad Men.  

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