Oh, boy. Last week’s episode still feels very heavy to viewers, so will the suicide of Lane Pryce still weigh heavily for people at the agency? Reading two different previews, one brief description of the finale from Slate and another from UK’s Radio Times (that has since looked like it has been scrubbed), it feels like for the most part that everything is rosy for people except two characters, Pete and Don. But nonetheless, Matthew Weiner describing the finale as 'orgasmic', makes me think this is a breather from the dour season of death anvils.
So that begs the question: How much time has passed since the suicide? Could a month really be enough time to move on from one of the named partners committing suicide? Also, how much details of the suicide have been disclosed to people at the agency? Has Don told anybody about the forgery? Is the company letting Lane Pryce resign in his boilerplate resignation/suicide note or are they letting his wife and son get the proper life insurance compensation? How has the agency picked up since then? Did they get Dow Chemical after Don’s fire-breathing, desperate pitch? Let’s go investigate the cryptogram of next week’s (only seen after the broadcast) preview:
"I’m sorry to drop by like this?"-Don Draper
So who is he trying to see? Initially, I thought Peggy Olson (already in a fix to see her again) but realized the doors do not match. The adjacent door to Peggy’s apartment is blue, not stained wood. Other viewers have noted this seems to be the residence of Rebecca Pryce. I can believe it. Don has a really guilty conscience combined with the fact he has many questions to ask Rebecca about Lane both personally and professionally be it the forgery, their financial state, and perhaps why Lane could do such a thing. I do wonder how long has passed in this episode given that Rebecca could still be in the United States given she is not employed and her husband who had the VISA when he was employed is now dead. Not sure what the immigration policies in 1967 were on that one. But this definitely looks like Don at Rebecca’s door for reasons pertaining to Lane. Given that the previews mention Don being ‘haunted by a face from his past’, it adds to the idea of how much he saw Adam Whitman’s suicide intersecting with this suicide and wondering what leads a man to kill himself. Given how the Slate preview mentioned Lane’s past coming up as well, I am assuming the abusive household is sure to come up, I think Don gets a lot of answers from Rebecca. Or, at least, the audiences does.
"I know who it is."-Pete Campbell
The defeated, irked look on Pete’s face does not bode well for him. Given that the previews for the show summary include him ‘facing the consequences of his actions’ and ‘meeting a stranger on the train’, one wonders if he is facing potential blackmail or is caught in a web. The Radio Times episode summary has Alexis Bledel’s Beth in the listings and speculation can run wild on that one. I am thinking this could be about her and Howard or how Pete’s affair with Beth gets unearthed. Is the ‘stranger on the train’ relating to her failed marriage or has Trudy gotten a private investigator to look into her husband’s recent behavior that could lead to her finding out he has had affairs? This seems like a personal phone call Pete is giving rather than business-driven call. With business, he is a completely different person, even in a state of disillusionment and anger, than how he presents himself on the phone.
"I got this, this morning"- Joan Holloway Harris
Joan hands something over to Don. What would she want to show him in her mail. Is it about her divorce (since Don is the only person who knows and may be somebody Joan can relay to about such matters as a divorced man)? Did Greg die in Vietnam? Or is it Lane-related or agency-related? This episode has consistently been mentioned of how it is ‘opportunities abound for everybody’ at the agency. This could also mean Joan. Could Lane have given her his 12.5% share of the company? Could she be harassed by the speculation that surrounds her getting a partnership (This episode is called ‘The Phantom’)? Could it be about how, and this goes back to last season, many people thought her and Mr. Pryce were a thing? Given that Don and Joan were the closest to Lane having a friend in the agency, I believe this is Joan disclosing something Lane-related to Don. Also, one of the lines that has gained the most traction between Lane-Joan is that he told her she could do his job. Will it really happen now?
"Damn it!"-Megan Draper
Megan also gets a letter and it definitely appears to be something unwanted. Did she get a role? Did she not get a role? Something medical-related about her or Don? Is it financial? Don and Megan this episode has included two situations of one of her ‘friends’ (not sure if it is the red-head Julia or somebody else) asking to get a job in a commercial on behalf of SCDP and the fact Don is spending money ‘largesse’ for her. What could this all mean? Not sure if it relates to this scene, however. Megan appears in black (going to acting class or a funeral?) and there is a woman in the scene but obscured, also in black. Who is it?
"Clearly states the exact opposite."-Don Draper
So is this the new business? It appears by the artwork that the agency has taken on a motorcycle account given we see a figure on a motorcycle. So perhaps, unlike last week, we finally get to see the post-Peggy Olson creative. Who is in charge of the copy-writers? And what is the latest pitch? Given motorcycles have always been about rebellion then, rather than mid-life crisis, it seems Don has to try and give a pitch that possibly involves ‘the youth-quake’. Given his other pitches this season have been more for adults, Jaguar and ultimately Heinz, and the Sno-Ball pitch was for kids, this is Don trying to come off as in on it. Is the pitch working or is he trying to volley concerns about the pitch that are clearly not from his mind but from the younger, hipper creatives?
"So is it true or not?"- Harry Crane
Leave it to Harry to be the first possible candidate to ask Joan a personal question that also may involve the agency. I doubt Ken would spill but is Harry speculating on Joan-Lane, Joan’s partnership, or the fact that she may very well fill Lane’s position and gain even more power? Joan seems to want nothing of it, sighing in disinterest with no eye-contact to Harry. You wonder if he just asks this question or if he keeps on prodding to the point Joan lashes out. Joan has shown she can break this season, such as with her outburst against the receptionist so I would not put it past her.
"Hello? I can hear you!"-Megan Draper
Megan has a new acting friend. Is this the friend vying for the commercial spot? So did she get a nasty, heavy-breather phone call? I am guessing that. Oh boy, was it Glenn Bishop? I mean, the kid knows the number! Some have speculated that because the play she tried out for, 'Little Murders', had an obscene phone call that she is just acting it out but the look on the friend makes me think it is not acted out.
Other Things Shown and Not Said:
Pete enters his house. Better be some Trudy-Pete interactions!
Megan turning her head to a figure that I presume is Don as it looks like later in the day after she receives the obscene phone call.
Don drinking something while in a shawl sweater on his bed. Holy crap, Don looks like Mr. Rogers! What is he drinking? The Radio Times preview briefly mentions a health issue. Is he drinking or is he taking something to remedy the health issue? According to a summary on the UK Sky Atlantic, it is a toothache that hopefully does not produce dreams with homicidal tendencies. He looks old and distant in this scene. Is this really supposed to be a ‘happy episode’?
How were My Predictions Last Week, You Ask?
Don did not have a health issue. It was all about Lane who was indeed discovered as a result, killed himself. Betty was annoyed by Sally preferring The Draper Love Nest but in the end she ‘wins’ as Sally rushed to have her mother to take care of her.
Joan’s new assertion of power has not pissed off people… yet. Don is still annoyed about the situation and dissatisfied by where the agency rests.
Ken did put two and two together it seems about Joan and does feel gross about it, but has not left… yet.
The finale has been described as having a ‘cheeky James Bond themed montage’ that also includes ‘getting the old Don back’ and I can only imagine what that could be. Does it involve Don or a cast of characters? Will Don stray?
Roger has a surprising reacquaintance supposedly. I do not think it is Joan. Mrs. Calvet, Jane, and even Mona would seem like more realistic guesses at this point in their relationship.
Pete’s comeuppance has nothing to do with work but it could overlap.
Somebody gets fired even as the agency takes on new business. But somebody may also leave.
We do see Peggy albeit briefly at another agency or perhaps at her apartment with her radical boyfriend that she has seemingly avoided for months.
We get a lot of Lane backstory that could reveal more about his personal history and money issues.
Joan gets more power.
They do get Dow Chemical and there is some drama with what Ken laid down because of not having Pete near the account.
Some historical event will be a bit more pronounced than usual.