Mad Men
Commissions And Fees

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A+ | 6 USERS: A+
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Birth and Death In The Same Episode

But despite having been shown mercy in a related -- if not completely similar -- situation, Don, his voice dropping, says he's sorry but he can't trust Lane, although he will cover the money he owes. Lane, an edge of contempt mixing with his sadness and frustration, mirthlessly laughs that seven thousand five hundred dollars is nothing to Don. "Do you know how the rest of us live?" Don, however, elects not to go into his destitute upbringing, instead asking Lane to imagine what would happen if a client found out what he'd done, as opposed to the PR cakewalk they're going to have with what actually occurs. The situation gets even worse as Lane realizes he'll lose his visa and he desperately adds that he can't go back to England "like this." And while this partially backs up what I was saying about his fear of disgrace, the flipside is that he obviously loves New York on its own merits and doesn't want to leave. Moreover though, we've heard Lane talk about how he was a nobody in England; now he'll be a shamed nobody in what was still in many ways a social caste system. There will be no pulling himself up by his bootstraps back across the pond. Lane breaks down as he wonders what he'll tell his wife and son, but Don replies that Lane will say it didn't work out and that the next thing will be better. "Because it always is." Not to beat this into the ground, but once again I think we're seeing not only a character difference between them but a cultural one as well. Don goes on to say that Lane can take the weekend to "think of an elegant exit" and adds that Bertram doesn't know anything, although I have to wonder if this supposed bonus will later weigh on his mind. He stands and waits for Lane to collect himself and the desperate, wild, almost animal looks Lane casts around the room are a wonderful choice to convey his state of mind. Eventually, he gets to his feet and holds out a hand for Don before confessing he feels lightheaded. Don: "That's relief. I've started over a lot, Lane. This is the worst part." If Lane wonders how Don came to be the Guru of Reinventing Yourself, he doesn't ask, instead smiling defeatedly and heading for the door. When he reaches it though, he pauses -- his smile gone -- and gives Don one last long look before heading out. I'd guess that Don would long remember that image, were another one that's still to come not SO MUCH WORSE.

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Mad Men

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