‘Mad Men’ Preview Predictor: What’s Left? 

ALTGutted. That’s the only word I could use to describe how I felt after watching last night’s penultimate Season 5 episode of Mad Men in which Lane Pryce (an Emmy consideration-worthy Jared Harris) cut his life short. No, I admit, Lane’s tragic, desperate suicide didn’t exactly leave me stunned or surprised. When I saw any remaining hope drain from his eyes during his meeting with Don, I knew Lane had planted the idea to kill himself in his head and the rest of the events from the episode, particularly the surprise gift of a car from his wife, had all but solidified the execution of that plan. 

Still, even when I knew it was coming, I still couldn’t brace for impact at the sight of Lane’s lifeless body hanging in the doorway of his office. I just felt gutted by the overarching theme of last night’s episode (happiness is fleeting) and having to say goodbye to a beloved character in such a upsetting fashion. 

Still, even though it was apparent from very early on in “Commissions and Fees” I could have never guessed that any of this was coming during the always mystery-riddled teaser trailer. Plus, after Joan’s “promotion” and Peggy’s exit, there’s no way to to even attempt to guess what’s in store anymore, so predicting a suicide would definitely happen, even Lane’s, would have felt like a stretch.
With only one episode remaining in the near-perfect Season 5, I’m going to take one final stab at blindly guessing what will happen in the finale based on everyone’s favorite vague statement translator: The Mad Men Preview Predictor
Don: A guilt-racked Don Draper (whose downward spiral, which he’s surpressed for the most part this season, I predict will hit the surface in the finale in the wake of Lane’s death) is woefully telling someone “I’m sorry to drop by like this” in the opening snippet of the finale teaser. My guess is that he’s telling someone outside of the walls of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (yeesh, just Sterling Cooper Draper, now) about Lane’s demise. Assuming Lane’s wife Rebecca will have been given the terrible news by then, perhaps Don took Peggy up on her word to not be a stranger. Only, this probably wasn’t what she had in mind. Don would never want Peggy to hear about something so important by way of gossip, so being the good friend that he is, he delivers the news in person. (Plus, I just can’t stand the idea of another Peggy-less episode.) Later in the trailer, it appears Don is back to business as usual when he appears to be telling clients “It clearly states the exact opposite.” While it may be another Don Draper successful pitch meeting, something bigger is boiling under the surface. Don is going to attempt to get back to normal, but how many times can a man keep starting over? 
Pete: After Pete’s villainous turn last week, the death of Lane brought out his human side, if only for a short while. It seems that Pete, like Don, gets back to business when he’s seen angrily telling a mystery caller over the phone “I know who it is.” Well, jeez, Pete, the rest of us don’t! Care to elaborate? I don’t think Beth is going to be out of the picture just yet, so when an already testy Pete gets a phone call from her, it sets him off. And you wouldn’t like Pete Campbell when he’s angry. Or ever, really. Pete is still the worst. 
Joan: Our poor, poor Joanie. What a trying past few weeks she’s had. It doesn’t look like it’s going to get any easier for her in the finale, either. Holding a letter, Joan tells someone in her office, “I got this this morning” and I get the sinking feeling it has something to do with her departed friend Lane. Even worse, the increasingly slimy Harry later asks her in the elevator, “Is it true?” Oh, you mean that she had to sleep with a Jaguar executive to land the account and get promoted? Well, that’s just not of your damn business, Harry Crane! 
Megan: Things haven’t been going too well for Megan, either. Though not quite on the same scale as Joan. Or anyone else, for that matter. When Megan cries “Dammit” during the teaser trailer, I’m guessing she’s either received a letter from Sally’s school regarding some bad behavior or it’s another acting rejection. (I’m leaning towards the latter here.) When a visibly angry Megan yells at a mystery caller (presumably not the same as Pete’s, so maybe this is all just setting up that possible Scream series we’ve been hearing about) “Hello? I can hear you!” I’d venture that Creepy Glen has reared his creepy mustachioed head again and is looking for Sally. 
What do you think, based on the teaser trailer you saw after last night’s episode alone, will happen in the Mad Men Season 5 finale? Though, after everything that’s happened over the past two weeks, is it just plain ridiculous to even attempt to guess? Sound off in the comments section below. 

[Photo credit: AMC] 


Mad Men Predictions