Mad Men and Lane′s Suicide

June 4, 2012

Mad Men and Lane′s suicide dominated the water-cooler talk from coast to coast today. AMC TV′s hit series aired its second to last episode for the season Sunday night with quite a shock as major character, Lane Pryce, hangs himself in his office. He tried to gas himself to death in a new Jaguar his wife bought him, using money he had embezzled, but Lane could not get the British sports car to start. So let us review our recap of the Mad Men episode, Commissions and Fees, to find out how it all unfolded.

The Mad Men cast for next season will be shy one actor, whose character killed himself in last night′s episode. Image Credit: Janet Mayer / PR Photos.

The program opens with Lane Pryce, played by actor Jared Harris, being recognized by the head of a professional group, the 4-A Club, for his outstanding work at Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Pryce. The ad agency has just landed a contract to promote the British sports car, Jaguar, in the United States. Back at the office, the partners meet, including the newest member, Joan Holloway-Harris. It seems that Jaguar wants to switch from paying based on commissions to a set fee. Don Draper opposes the idea, but Bert Cooper leads the others in ′exploring′ the idea to keep the client happy.

This is when Cooper stumbles on a canceled check which Lane had forged Don′s signature on, giving himself a Christmas bonus. Lane needed the money to cover a tax bill, as well as keeping his son in a ritzy school. Cooper confronts Don about the check, who in turn confronts Lane. Draper tells Pryce that he has the weekend to submit a graceful exit and resignation.

But there is very little that is graceful about Lane Pryce. Insecure and disgraced, he comes home drunk to find his wife excited about going out for dinner, using the new Jaguar she bought. She must have noticed some extra money in the checking account, cash Lane needed for more important things. Lane uses the weekend to sort out what is left with his life. Sunday evening, he tries to kill himself by running a hose from the Jaguar exhaust into the sports car. But the darn car won′t start! The previous week, Don′s wife, Megyn, came up with an appropriate ′tag-line′ for a Jaguar ad. ″Jaguar – Its YOUR Problem, NOT MINE!″

Undeterred, Lane Pryce does the next best thing. He goes to the office over night and hangs himself after writing a ′boiler-plate′ resignation letter. While Don and Roger Sterling are out pitching Firestone, Joan tries to enter Lane′s office, only to find that the door is blocked. She goes next door to Pete Cambell′s office where he′s meeting with a couple of the staff. They peek over the dividing wall and see Lane dead! By the time Don and Roger return, only Cooper, Pete and Joan are left as Cooper sent the rest of the employees home. They are waiting for the coroner to arrive to remove the body. Don Draper immediately realizes his hand in Lane′s death.

So that is our recap of Mad Men and Lane′s suicide. The episode had some other threads, like Sally having her first period while playing hooky with Creep-Boy, who now seems to be targeting Megyn with obscene phone calls. The death of Lane Pryce should set the stage for one heck of a season finale next Sunday on AMC TV.

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