Stars: John Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, Jared Harris, John Slattery, January Jones, Jessica Pare, Robert Morse, Aaron Staton, Rich Sommer, Kiernan Shipka
Writer: Andre Jacquemetton & Maria Jacquemetton, Series created by Matthew Wiener
Director: Chris Manley     
Network: AMC, airs Sunday nights
Original Telecast: June 3, 2012

I really think the only way to start this MAD MEN review is…DAMN! Just when you think things couldn’t go darker in the offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, we have “Commissions and Fees”. There is only one episode left of the season and I really have absolutely NO idea what to expect.

So we have to address the elephant in the room in this episode right up front. Lane (Jared Harris) deciding to become a decoration hanging behind the door of his office. Whew. That’s was a tough one wasn’t it folks? I mean the prosthetic work on the fake Lane was gruesome and amazingly accurate, but I really was hoping that he wouldn’t go through with it.

After embezzling funds from the firm to cover his tax debt, I knew that this storyline would swing around and bite Lane in a**. I’m a little bit surprised at how Don (John Hamm) handles the situation. He just fires Lane, even though Lane makes some very convincing arguments as to the whys and hows the situation developed and went down the way it did. It sort of ticks me off that Don, of all people to be judgmental about making crap choices in life, comes down so unflinchingly passing judgment on Lane.

Let’s be honest though, Lane hasn’t been the happiest of characters. He’s always been a bit fish out of water at the firm. He was instrumental in the forming of the firm in the first place, but after a rather brutal visit from his father he gave up his new girlfriend at the Playboy Club and took back his dull-as-dishwater wife and went back to slogging along to make ends meet so she could travel and their son could go to private school. In fact, looking back on Lane’s personal history on the show he really hasn’t had much that was his own.

I love Jared Harris, and his departure from the series saddens me. The shock of Lane’s suicide is going to hang over the finale and probably the start of the next season, and I’m going to be curious to see how different people deal with it. Of course, this is following on the heels of Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) leaving the firm last week, so I have no idea who will be left standing.

The Sally (Kiernan Shipka) storyline is OK this time around, and of course the writers had to bring back that damn creepy Glen (Marten Holden Wiener) to move the story forward. This segment of MAD MEN is brought to you by Judy Bloom and is entitled “Are You There God? It’s Me, Sally.”  Or I can go the GAME OF THRONES route and say that Sally’s red flower is blooming. So she’s a woman now or at least can bear children for creepy Glen. I understand the battle of dominance and ownership between Megan (Jessica Pare) and Betty (January Jones)…(OK so it’s a one sided battle with crazy, food obsessed Betty as the only person really battling) but I’m getting tired of the kid being used as a cudgel against the women in Don’s life.

My parting thoughts on this next last episode are that next week’s finale is gonna be dark kids. And Megan better check her scalp to make sure creepy Glen didn’t take a souvenir back to school with him. Snip, Snip Megan!

Related: Interview with MAD MEN star Jared Harris on his character’s dramatic  exit from the series

Related: The Top Ten WOW Moments of MAD MEN  Season 5

Related Link: Interview with MAD MEN star Elisabeth Moss on Season 5


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Article: TV Review –  MAD MEN – Season 5 – “Commissions and Fees”

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