In which Layne is screwed, Joan tries to get screwed, and Harry screws Paul’s woman.
Some of you have been pointing out that this season doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, and this episode is a great example. The characters than loomed largest this week were two of my favorites, Joan and Layne, but I was still bored and confused. Also, what’s with the Harry focus?? Bring back Betty!
I’m not sure when exactly Layne’s money troubles began, but he’s in deep now.
the faced of fucked-ness.
He gets a midnight call from England with mixed news: he won’t be going to jail, but he has to pay $8,000 to the British government, stat. (Did he do fraud or tax evasion? Take out a big loan to start SCDP? Been paying to see Dolores on the side? I don’t know.) The internet tells me that $8,000 1966 dollar is equal to about $50,000 dollars in 2012 money. AKA, yikes.
From past experience with Layne as one of the most upstanding and reliable people on the show, I would have expected him to confide in someone (probably Joan or Don), or try to find some legitimate solution. For some reason – pride? privacy? the fact that the other partners treat him like shit already? – Layne takes the dishonest route. First, he goes to a banker in a ratty, random office. Have we seen that banker before? The building didn’t look very legit. Telling the banker that SDCP’s clients are being slow to pay, he takes out a 50k loan. Then, he tells the partners that the firm miraculously has a $50,000 surplus. Again, for perspective, thats like 350,000 2012 dollars. Because nobody besides Layne and Joan have any idea what the fuck is going on financially, they don’t question it at all, and decide to hand out Christmas bonuses. Unfortunately for Layne, the other partners decide to delay their bonuses til after Christmas, if at all, since Mohawk workers on on strike, and to use the money for initial capital for Jaguar instead (more on that below).
about to punch self in face
His plan having backfired, Layne sneaks into the office in the middle of the night to forge a check to himself from Don.
He also has to lie to his wife, uncharacteristically snapping at her during the first scene and then later lying that he’d be lonely without her at Christmas so discourage her from returning to London for the holiday; she doesn’t know they can’t afford it, or their son’s school tuition for that matter.
sweet little lies
As the finance guy, he’ll probably get away with it for awhile, but somehow this struggling firm is going to have to pay back that loan, and my guess is Joan will be the first to figure out what’s going on. I don’t know if she’ll tattle on him; their strong relationship seems a bit strained since The Kiss.
Frankly, I’m having trouble with the believability of this storyline. Layne’s too smart for this. I know he’s having a bit of a spiral, between the Pete fight and the inexplicable Dolores incident, but I wouldn’t expect Layne to so thoroughly set himself up for failure.
Last time we checked, SCDP had lost their chance at Jaguar thanks to a misplaced wad of chewing gum. Now, Layne’s friend “Bazooka Joe” is out at Jaguar, meaning Pete has weaseled the firm back into the running. (As usual with Pete’s news, nobody is as excited as he is.) At the beginning of the episode, Don doubts Jaguar will ever come through – the car company is just toying with him.
the very embodiment of hope and excitement.
By the end, he’s back to his “inspiring” speeches of old about working until you drop. What caused this transformation? The ladies – Joan and Megan.
Joan was really the star of this episode, which I am of course thrilled about. Joan has always been a strong woman, but she’s also let men take advantage of her. Since having Kevin, she’s going all out in the independence department. First she kicked out her nasty rapey husband Greg. Now, she’s rejecting Roger’s money. After his stupid LSD experience, he’s finally excited about the baby and wants to take care of him financially. (He’s also very, very drunk, as it’s the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.) Roger likes to make a lot of his LSD experience, but I don’t really think he’s changed at all. He also thought he took a great leap forward after his near-death experience, and look where that led – another divorce and a bastard baby.