Commission and Fees

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If you watch Mad Men I’m sure you’re as invested in the careers of the shows protagonists as I am.

Tonight’s episode, Commission and Fees, may have proved the only thing more powerful than ambition is failure.

For the first 4 seasons Mad Men was centered around the illegal lies and secrets that haunt Donald Draper. You would think he would have compassion for how mistakes and lies can break a person, since he’s constantly bordering broken. But when he finds out that Lane Pryce, the British Accounts man that saved their advertising firm from ruin and never asked for so much as a thank you, had forged a check for $8000 so that he could enroll his son in school, assuming it would be his Christmas bonus, he fires him. Lane begged for Draper to pretend his heart did something other than pump blood, but he refused. Lane explained to him he couldn’t return to England that way, he’d lose his visa, his son would have to be pulled out of school, he explained to Draper that he’d literally be losing all he had. But apparently, though Draper’s very name is a felony and in Season 1 he had begged Pete Campbell and Cooper to trust him though he lives a lie, Lane’s one mistake was too much for Draper to stop playing God, everything’s all of a sudden different. He told Lane to resign and that was it. For Draper that was it, at least.

The episode continued with Lane on a downward spiral that I refused to believe would come to what it did. But try as I did to fight the signs, my heart broke when Joan discovered Lane had hung himself in his office. As angry as I am for Draper’s heartless arrogance that led to Lane ruining my happiness and reminding me what a cold world we live in, I feel terrible about the guilt that I know is going to be on Draper’s chest. After all, this is the second person he’s caused to hang themselves, his brother being the first. Only this time, I don’t believe he deserves the guilt. Draper couldn’t anticipate what this would do to Lane.  Or maybe he could’ve, but who would think to antedate all the terrible events that could follow killing someone’s career? Maybe someone who understands what it is to put your everything into something and wreak no rewards, only receive a boot. But as Lane pointed out to him earlier, Draper can’t even imagine life for people other than himself.

R.I.P Lane Pryce


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