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Commissions and Fees
5x12
Production
Season 5 Episode 12
Air date 3 June 2012
Written by André Jaquemetton
Maria Jaquemetton
Directed by Chris Manley

Previous
The Other Woman
Next
The Phantom

"Commissions and Fees" is the twelfth episode of the fifth season of Mad Men.

Don follows a surprising lead and Sally goes out.

Synopsis

Joan settles in to her new role as Junior Partner, Don and Roger set out to get new business for SCDP, leaving Ken Cosgrove to somehow reconcile his work life and his married life. Betty and Henry take a trip, Sally and Glen reunite and Lane hits rock bottom.

Partners meeting in commissions and fees,

Joan now present at the SCDP Partners Meetings, in Commissions and Fees.

Detail

Don is getting a haircut when a man from another firm enters the same barbershop. When the barber tells the man to sit and wait just a couple of minutes, he tells the barber that Don is impossible to bother because he's just won the Jaguar account, a car that's like a Dodge but unreliable. He informs Don of how impressed Jaguar was with Pete Campbell and that Jaguar was really quite the big win for SCDP.

Lane talks with a man at a restaurant. The man offers him a head of finance position at the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) but Lane says there are probably others more deserving. The man compliments Lane, telling him that he kept SCDP afloat in the 15 months it took to land Jaguar after SCDP lost Lucky Strike. Lane accepts but tells the man to not expect any miracles.

At a partner's meeting, with Joan now present after the events of the previous episode, secretary Scarlet now takes minutes for the meeting. The partners discuss the issue of Jaguar wanting a fee structure. Lane explains that normally SCDP makes money off the 15% commission from media purchases as well as the mark up on production costs. He further explains that a fee structure pays only for the work that is done as well as a negotiated 1.5-2% profit. The partners worry that future accounts will ask for the same fee structure.

Sally and Betty in commissions and fees

Betty preparing for a ski trip, in Commissions and Fees.

Betty is preparing for a family ski trip. Sally complains about having to wear someone else's ski boots and that she's not going to ski anyway. Betty tells her there's no chance of her just sitting in the lodge reading a book but Sally says she'd rather have gone to school and come home to find the family gone and that she's old enough to stay home alone while they "laugh their heads off." "Fine, I'll lock you in the trunk!" shouts Betty. Sally asks to stay with Don. Betty says she only wants to stay there because Megan lets her do whatever she wants but Sally retorts, "She lets me eat whatever I want." Betty calls Don and makes it clear to Don that Sally will be staying with him over the weekend, whether he likes it or not.

Bert Cooper comes to Don telling him about a canceled check from Don to Lane for $7500, the same check which Lane himself had previously forged. Don promises to look into it and immediately has Lane come into his office. Lane plays dumb about the check but Don's not having any of it. Lane downs a drink that Don hands him.

Don and Lane in Commissions and Fees

Don letting Lane resign in Commissions and Fees.

Lane asks how Don got the canceled check and Don mentions how Cooper found it. Lane admits that he owed $8000 for his portfolio which he liquidated to put $50,000 into SCDP after they lost Lucky Strike. Don asks why he didn't just ask for money but Lane didn't want to suffer any humiliation. Don asks for Lane's resignation. Lane promises that the company is ship-shape and that he can make good by Easter, but Don makes it clear that Lane screwed up by embezzling funds and forging his signature. Lane said he forged Don's signature because Don had always been decent to him but Don replies that he's doing the most decent thing by "letting" Lane resign.

Lane, frustrated, tells Don he's never been compensated for his contributions to SCDP, that SCDP would never have gotten Jaguar without him and that he's operated at a monetary loss for three years. He quietly pleads for Don to reconsider, but Don just apologizes, saying he can't trust him and that he'll cover the money Lane owes. Lane is bitter that $7500 is nothing to Don and that Don can't imagine how others live. "I can't go back to London like this," Lane pleads. Don comforts Lane and tells him that the next thing will be better "because it always is," and that he should think of "an elegant exit" over the weekend. In the background, behind the window, snow falls as Lane looks up at Don's face, and then composes himself. Don assures Lane that Don himself has started over more than once, and that the new beginning is always the worst part. Lane nods, seemingly accepting this.

Lane drops by Joan's office. She congratulates him for his new position at the 4A's and tells him she's planning on an Easter trip, either Bermuda or Hawaii. "Can you imagine me locked in a hotel room with a baby and my mother?" asks Joan. Lane remarks "I suppose you'd rather I imagine you bouncing in the sand in some obscene bikini?". Offended, Joan tells him to take his party elsewhere, and Lane bids her "bon voyage."

Joan and Lane, commissions and fees

Joan reaction after Lane offends her in Commissions and Fees.

Back in his office, Lane downs another drink and looks at the falling snow outside, sits and looks around his office before turning around in his chair to look at the falling snow outside again. Don visits Roger and asks "Why do we do this?" Roger quickly replies, "For the sex, but it's always disappointing." Don laments that he's tired of pretending SCDP is going somewhere when they haven't even been able to give Christmas bonuses. "What about your speech?" asks Roger, who also mentions that Pete's been bringing in business. Don acknowledges this but Roger says he thinks small. He wants bigger businesses, not the small time. He confesses that someone at the American Cancer Society dinner told him that Don's letter in the paper poisoned businesses for them because they think SCDP could turn on them. Don is dejected at this but Roger reminds him that there was a time when Don loved "no," that "no" used to make him "hard" and reminds him that they beat out two big firms for Jaguar. Don, renewed, wants a meeting with Ed Baxter, an executive at Corning Inc., and the father-in-law of Ken Cosgrove. Business with Corning Inc. would be huge but Roger reminds Don that Cosgrove doesn't want to work with or take advantage of his father-in-law's position. Don says to fire him then.

Sally arrives at the Drapers' apartment. Megan, surprised, wasn't told that she was staying the weekend. Sally says she thought Megan would be excited, but Megan says she was just caught off guard and asks what's wrong with skiing. Sally says she hates her mother and that she's such a phony but Megan tells her she knows that isn't true.

Roger meets with Cosgrove outside of the office and tells him that SCDP is going after his father-in-law. Roger offers him a partner position but Cosgrove declines, saying he's seen what's involved, a reference to offering Joan to the head of the Jaguar dealers' committee. He asks Roger to promise him that if they get his father-in-law's business, they'll force Cosgrove onto the account, as well as that Pete doesn't go to any meetings regarding his father-in-law's business.

Don and Roger, in commissions and fees4

Roger telling Don about his meeting with Ed Baxter, in Commissions and Fees.

Don is leaving SCDP when he runs into Roger on the elevator, who tells him that he got a meeting with Ed Baxter two days from then.

At home, Megan digs into Don a bit for not telling her about Sally. Because of Don's meeting and Megan having an audition, Don tells Sally that she won't go to school Monday since no one can drop her off. Don tells Megan that he fired Lane for stealing money from the company.

Lane arrives home to find his wife, Rebecca, all dressed up and wanting to go to dinner. She asks what's wrong but he just says that he's had a dreadful day. She tells him she's tired of him not recognizing his successes when they come and wants to celebrate because she's proud of him. She comforts him and tells him that they're going out for dinner, no arguments. He discovers that Rebecca splurged on a new Jaguar, "racing green," because Lane never spends for himself, she explains. Lane comments that it's lovely before throwing up behind a parking pillar, which his wife just chalks up to all his drinking.

Megan and Sally are going out. Megan asks if Don wants to come but Sally already knows and offers that he'd just be miserable because he just wants to work for his big meeting. At the door, Megan looks over at Don before leaving with Sally.

At a restaurant, Megan, Sally and Megan's redhead friend decide what movie to see. When Megan's friend tells her that one of her beaus asked if she has red hair everywhere, Megan balks because of Sally's presence but Sally say's it's okay and that she has a boyfriend. They tell her he's not a real boyfriend because Sally doesn't know how he feels but Megan assures her a lot of great romances start that way.

Glen and Sally at the museum

Sally and Glen at the National History Museum, in Commissions and Fees.

Lane lies awake at night and attempts to kill himself in his new Jaguar by having the exhaust flow into the car, but alas, the car won't start due to its unreliability, much to his frustration. He tries to fix the car.

Sally is on the phone with Glen and tells him that she told her mom to shove it. Knowing she'll be alone Monday morning, she asks Glen to visit but he explains how hard it is to sneak off and how long it'd take to get there. She asks if they're ever going to see each other since he always says he wants to visit. He gives in and goes to get a pen to write the Drapers' address down. Lane has entered the SCDP offices at night. He types on the typewriter.

Before leaving for her audition, Megan tells Sally to do her homework, to not use the juicer and to not watch tv all day. Sally wishes her luck. As soon as Megan leaves, Sally gets ready for Glen.

At Baxter's office, in the lobby, Don won't tell Roger what he's going to pitch because he doesn't want it to sound rehearsed. Roger tells Don to keep his cool but if Baxter baits him, to punch Baxter in the balls. "What happened to your enlightenment?" asks Don. Roger merely replies, "It wore off."

Sally and Glen go to the museum. When Glen tells Sally that the senior jocks are jerks to him, she tells him that Henry got picked on when he was younger but now he helps run the city. Sally says her stomach hurts but Glen says maybe she's just hungry. Glen admits that when the seniors were teasing him, he told them that he was coming into the city to "do it" with Sally. Sally says he can say whatever he wants but lies that she doesn't think of him that way. Glen tells her he sees her as a smart little sister. Feeling ill, Sally excuses herself and discovers she's had her first period.

Don and Roger finally go in to see Baxter after a wait of an hour and forty-five minutes, better than Roger thought. They meet with Baxter as well as the director of marketing and the head of the house. The director of marketing is wary that they didn't bring Cosgrove, Baxter's son-in-law, but Baxter says that Cosgrove knows better. Don lays into the businessmen that even though they "say" they're happy with their current firm, that they'll hunger for more than 50% of the market share and that Don won't stop until they get it all. Megan comes home and finds Glen's gym bag but no Sally.

Sally and Betty

Betty and Sally, Commissions and Fees.

Sally took a cab back to the Francis household and runs into the bathroom. Sally tells her mom that she got her period and didn't know what to do, just wanted to come home. Betty tells her that they'll take care of it and Sally hugs her tightly. Scarlet asks Joan if she can leave the company records in Joan's office because Lane hasn't come in yet and his door's locked. Joan tells her to leave them.

Glen comes back to the Drapers' apartment after having looked for Sally everywhere. He asks for his bag and Megan tells him to calm down. Sally calls and tells Megan that Sally came home to the Francis' and that she became a woman. "I think she just needed her mother" Betty rubs in. "Of course" says Megan and tells Betty to tell Sally she wanted to know it's okay. Glen's train doesn't leave until 7pm so Megan allows him to stay and have some food for the time being.

Joan, holding the office's records Scarlet left, unlocks Lane's office and attempts to go in but the door is stuck. She sees the fallen chair and cringes before closing the door. She goes into the next room, Crane's office and tells them she thinks something's terribly wrong. Pete, Cosgrove and then Harry all hop up on the couch to look in through the top window and their faces are full of shock. Joan sobs as she realizes Lane has committed suicide.

Sally is still upset over her period. Betty comforts her and tells her it's the body's way of telling her that she can have a baby one day.

SCDP Partners, commissions and fees

SCDP Partners, after they discover Lane's letter in, Commissions and Fees.

Don and Roger return back to the SCDP office and find it empty with Cooper, Pete and Joan sitting at a table who tell them what happened with Lane. They're waiting for the coroner to cut him down and take his body but Don says that they can't just leave him like that. Pete tells Don they said not to disturb the body but Don doesn't want to leave Lane's body like that. Don, Roger and Pete stare at Lane's hanging body, then cut him down. They find an envelope addressed to his "fellow partners". Roger reads it and tells them it's a resignation letter. Don looks guilty.

Don comes home and finds Megan with Glen still around. Glen reminds him of who he is and Don volunteers to drive him back to his school. Glen thanks Megan for her hospitality. On the elevator down, Glen asks Don why everything turns out crappy but Don tells him he's too young to talk that way, although Glen says it's still true. Don asks what Glen would do if he could do anything. He lets Glen drive with his supervision.

Cast

Main

Guest Starring

Co-Starring

Quotes

Joan: "Were you celebrating with Don?"
Lane: "Celebrating?"
Joan: "Scarlett told me about your four a's chairmanship. Congratulations."
Lane: "Are you busy?"
Joan: "I'm thinking about taking a vacation this Easter."
Lane: "Oh. Where are we going?"
Joan: "Do you think there's a difference between Bermuda and Hawaii?"
Lane: "Well, neither are suitable for commemorating the death and resurrection of Our Lord."
Joan: "Can you imagine me, locked in a hotel room with a baby and my mother?"
Lane: "I suppose you'd rather I imagined you bouncing in the sand in some obscene bikini."
Joan: "I think you should take your party elsewhere."[1]

Notes

References

  1. Commissions and Fees

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