Now last week, I told you that I knew of a certain spoiler that I discovered reading details of a clip that circulated on the show’s carrier in the UK. It was the scene where Pete gives the proposition to Joan. Now I did not know she would accept it or how the partners would deal with the news or that Joan would ultimately fulfill my aspirations for her being the first female partner of the company. But still, I think knowing that beforehand led to me not really having a severe, projecting, judgmental reaction to it like some viewers and critics (**cough** Linda Holmes **cough**) of the event. This week there seems to be a more ominous and obvious turn coming from the previews for a few characters. Let’s break down the promo for ‘Next Week on Mad Men’:
MAD MEN #5.12
“COMMISSION AND FEES”
Scarlett dictating a partners meeting that Joan is now apart of with a unanimous iraise of hands. Scarlett has replaced Joan in her role given that Joan is now married to the company with 5% of the stake in SCDP. You can bet she will not be silent or an easy push to get a vote.
“You can’t tell anyone about this”- Don to Megan
-Is this work-related? Or home-related? Either way, that Don is imploring Megan to hide something is interesting given that they really do not cross-over into each other’s worlds at all anymore. This pretty much stands by the idea that nothing leaves The Draper Love Nest without Don’s control. But why would Don want Megan to keep a secret? Is it regarding his identity get forged by Lane Pryce? Is it that Don is so frustrated by the turn of events at the company that he tells her about the Joan incident? Or is it something inter-personally about them? The third option seems like the highest chance among the other categories since it is expected that whatever news is going on with them they both are in the position of power to tell whomever the want, except Don wants to control the message. Megan looks a bit surprised and anxious about whatever he wants her to keep as a secret. Is it their health?
Will not say the p-word. WILL NOT SAY THE P-WORD. It could easily be Don’s health being an issue. His smoking only seemed apparent in two episodes, “Far Away Places” (Megan hated his smoking in the car) and “The Other Woman” (stress with the Jaguar account turned him into a chimney for that period) whereas the man is drinking alcohol like a fish and it has come up more as a concern for Megan and Don before, even before they were even a thing.
I do hope it is Don who finds out about the forgery and that maybe Megan, staying at home in The Draper Love Nest gets a call regarding the check. Could that be the straw that broke the camel’s back? Don may have no will to live in that agency any longer if they are letting it bleed in his name. Sally is going to be in this episode but I do not see how it could involve her and why it would effect Megan or her having secrecy being asked of in that situation. I think she knows well enough by this point that telling Betty anything that goes on at their place is a bad idea.
“I’m sure there are others more deserving.”-Lane Pryce
-I am thinking Lane is out there about talking to some tax lawyer or banker with the interest of the company’s credit. Could also be a client or it could be with his wife, Rebecca. There is an air of unease to him as this could be a really be the character-defining episode for him and I am on pins and needles to see if he will go down like a coward or swinging. Yep, I do not even think he can recover from the forgery.
“Were you celebrating with Don?”- Joan
There is a bit of sardonic side to her when she says that. She could be talking to Pete, Roger, or Lane. But I am thinking she and Roger are now on a strictly professional relationship, partner-to-partner with little cuteness. Pete, oddly for a guy who put her into the position she was last episode he appeared to be most comfortable with her in the room at the partners meeting but I do not think they are suddenly talking to each other in that manner, Joan is a professional. Since this appears to be a Lane episode I am thinking she is talking to Lane because I really hope that a Lane-Don drink talk has a lot of potential in fallout. Don may not even know beforehand, it could just be Lane spilling and Don (understandably) freaking out.
Also want to note that Joan’s outfit is what she is wearing in Inside Mad Men shorts on AMC’s website. Usually, the characters are wearing what they wore for the finale/last episode. I know Joan re-wears clothes but that red, white, and blue number is note for note what she wears in the shorts. So, I do not think we will see any Joan for the finale. With that said, I really hope she hope her screen-time regardless of length is significant this episode.
“I don’t like what we’re doing.”-Don
-Don seems completely broken creatively after his Jaguar pitch got tainted by Joan’s tryst. He may also be stuck on an account with a room of free-lancers and Ginsberg that is going nowhere. Note, those free-lancers last week in the end were useless since Ginzo came up with the idea for the campaign and Don nailing the message. He is hitting the bottle and as another life-line in his office leaves, he seems more alone than before, probably not trusting the partners or Joan in the same way again.
“So you’re drinking with a purpose.”-Roger
Could be Roger just being observant and trying to give Don advice since the Jaguar account or it could be that Don is working on an alcohol-related account, hence ‘drinking with a purpose’. Not much time has past since the ‘incident’; it is still winter with the snow coming down in the background window of Don’s office. Roger has also lost his existential breakthrough LSD afterglow and things could be returning to normal, for Roger, but not Don who probably wants to get more clients to move on from the stink of the Jaguar account.
Don is leaving the office late at night and it should be noted that all of these shots in the promo have him in the same suit and tie, including his talk with Megan. It would make sense that she could get a call from a bank, an accountant, the doctor, or wherever about ‘the secret’ while he is at work or it could be early morning. Don has a lot on his plate that day.
“You know you can’t keep being the good little boy while the adults run this business.”-Bert
Looks like this will be another talk with Don. Invokes both the love-leave comment from ‘”Far Away Places” and Pete’s comment in “Signal 30” that Don suddenly acts like he has the moral high-ground. That Bert is having another talk with Don makes me think this has become serious. Don is still rankled by the ‘incident’ or the continued behavior of the firm has defeated Don with Pete rising and while he is getting marginalized.
Other Stuff in the Original Promo:
Don is answering the phone but says something to the effect that he finds this conversation to not be at the right time. Could be Sally, could be Betty, could be Megan; I just think anybody on the other end of that phone conversation is family-related as he is trying to be work-focused. But since he is in the same suit and tie as the rest of the promos, the call could easily have gotten forwarded to his home on his insistance knowing that Megan is there who tells him later that night.
Also a shot of Rebecca Pryce telling Lane that they should ‘celebrate’. I am assuming this is work-related with the company that Rebecca wants to treat him but this could be on false pretenses with Lane holding the bolt in the company and probably is too guilty of a man that he has to be pushed into celebrating.
-Nailed the Jaguar stuff with a little help from Sky Atlantic HD and very dedicated viewers.
-Nailed that Don and Megan were going to have kinky sex in his office. Did not realize it would be as much of a break for her as it was for him.
-Knew Peggy would triumph in something related to a pitch but not that Don would have his mind elsewhere, again, that finally pushes Peggy out of the agency.
-Knew Lane would not be revealed but did not realize the depths he would go to cover his tracks.
Lane finally does get discovered.
Don’s issues are health-related and something he prefers to be discreet about.
Don is going to have thoughts of where he is within the company that may make him seriously contemplate his mortality with the company. To echo Roger’s unease in “The Beautiful Girls” episode from season 4, Don does “not want to die in this office”.
Sally’s presence at The Draper Love Nest is going to make Betty freak out in some way that is just going to annoy the Drapers. She may not be the subject of the secret but Sally may just get in on the secret based on her curiosity and precociousness.
Pete is clearly becoming a rainmaker.
Joan’s assertion of power is going to bowl over one of the male partners, if not already with Don.
Some junior employee is going to put two and two together with how Joan became a partner. It may be a Pete Campbell revealing ‘Dick Whitman’ to Bert Cooper in a season 1 type of blackmail that falls on deaf ears or it could lead to somebody leaving because of the grossness of it.
I feel like since the previews show many of the characters in the same outfits, most notably Don Draper, that either this episode is going the “Far Away Places” route where the episode is in a day or something big is being withheld. The end of Lane? The end of somebody’s time at SCDP?