Mad Men remains one of the sharpest shows on television, and last night’s episode (Season 5, Episode 12) did not disappoint. As Betty packs for a family ski trip, Sally tells Betty that she would rather spend the weekend with Don and Megan. Annoyed, Betty dumps Sally at Don’s apartment where a surprised Megan gripes to Don about his not telling her about this arrangement. But Don had bigger fish to fry. He found out that Lane had written a company check to himself and forged Don’s signature. It seems that Lane has been having trouble making ends meet, what with his son in an expensive private school, and the little matter of his owing back taxes.
In spite of Lane’s tearful pleas, Don insists that Lane must go, and gives him a farewell drink. Lane keeps on drinking and arrives home sloshed, finding his wife, Rebecca, in his apartment. She has flown over from England on a surprise visit, and bought him a new Jaguar. Lane is too devastated to tell Rebecca that he was forced to resign, and in the middle of the night tries to asphyxiate himself by running a hose from the exhaust of his new Jag into the passenger compartment. Alas, poor Lane can’t even succeed at that, since the car won’t start. He goes to his deserted office and sits down at the typewriter.
The next morning, Sally waits for Megan (who looks a lot like the 1970’s Mary Tyler Moore in this scene) to leave the apartment, and calls her old pal Glen and convinces him to cut school and meet her in Manhattan. They go to the Museum of Natural History, where Sally goes to the restroom and discovers she has been visited by the curse of Eve for the first time. She freaks out and takes a taxi home to her Mother, leaving poor Glen wondering what just happened.
At the SCDP office, Joan goes to unlock Lane’s office and can’t get the door open. Pete discovers Lane’s body hanging from the doorjamb. Don and the others cut Lanes body down and lay him on the sofa.
Don arrives home to find Glen in his apartment. Glen tells him that Sally bolted and Megan is letting him stay there until it’s time for him to take his train back to school. Don remembers Glen from their old neighborhood and offers to drive him back to his boarding school. In the elevator, Glen confides to Don that his life is not going so well. Don asks Glen what it would take to make him happy. The last scene has 13 year old Glen driving Don’s car down the highway, with a big smile on his face, and Don ever so slightly correcting his steering.
This episode was one of the best this season, and will hopefully result in an Emmy nomination for Jared Harris (Lane Pryce).