Don asks for Lane’s resignation, which causes Lane to go from embarrassed and apologetic to loud and indignant. In the big-baby-est moment we’ve seen from Lane, he argues that he’s never been compensated enough for his help and that the loan was his due. After all, the SCDP was founded out of the liquidation of the very same portfolio Lane now owes taxes on. Lane basically martyred himself so the company could be born.
Lane has been a doormat, but then, he hasn’t fought for more. I feel bad for what happened in the past, but Lane let pride get in the way of reason, and I understand why Don has to let him go.
When Lane understands he really has to leave, he crumbles. He’ll lose his visa and have to return to England. He won’t be able to send his son to school. He’ll have to reveal the money troubles to his wife. And, you know, he’ll still owe a lot of money and not have a salary.
Don is much more optimistic about Lane’s “new start”. After all, when Don started over the first time, he got out of the war and embarked on a life that ended with a beautiful wife and a crazy good job. When he started over again with SDCP and Megan, he got a better wife and an agency he had more control over. Although Don has good points, he also has had an amazing amount of luck, and frankly more skill than Lane has. He also started over way younger than Lane. He also has some idea of American reinvention – doesn’t he know the British don’t DO change??
Again on the martyr theme, it just so happens that on the mad men timeline, Easter is approaching – that time of rebirth. After leaving Don’s office, Lane pays a visit to Joan, his old ally, and discusses her vacation plans.
But while she tries to connect, he makes a gross comment about her bouncing around in an “obscene bikini”, and she asks him to leave. He returns to his office and sits alone, watching the snow come down outside.
Whether from the adrenaline of firing Lane or the barber encounter again, something has lit a fire under Don. He interupts Roger’s phone conversation with an impressionable coat check girl to ask existential questions about advertising. (That’s right, post divorce number 2 and “enlightenment”, Roger’s back to his womanizing ways. Here’s to another heart attack.)
Don: “Why do we this?”
Roger: “For the sex. But its always disappointing. For me, anyway.”
Don compares their piddly client lists to easy conquests like the coat check girl. (First a girl was a Jaguar, now she’s a tire! Next week, she’s roadkill.) He blames himself, finally revealing to Roger what Kenny’s father-in-law said about the chilling effect of Don’s tobacco letter on their business. Roger is surprised that Don even let that get him down: “You used to love no. No used to make you hard!” No, not rapey at all. Anyway, Don wants to go after a huge fish – Dow Chemical, which Kenny’s father in law runs. When Roger points out that Kenny has objected to working with family clients in the past, Don breezily recommends that Roger fire him. (OMG they’re trying to kill Kenny!)
When Roger calls a meeting with Kenny, things aren’t as smooth as Roger expected. Good natured Kenny actually plays hard ball, making two demands in exchange for not sabotaging the account through his wife. Not partnership: “No, I don’t want to be a partner. I’ve seen what’s involved.”
He wants to be in on the account, and for Pete to be out. It’s strange to think this (relatively) principled young man is the same one who once got punched out by Pete for comparing Peggy to a lobster (all the meat’s in the tail). I used to think Harry was the sweet one and Kenny was the ultimate All-American douche, but they seem to have switched roles. Does anyone have any insight on this happening? I feel like it was around when they each got married.