Usually, this feature is mostly devoted to the celebrity gossip of the day, but suckas be boring as hell this weekend, so let’s talk about what I know you’re all already talking about today: the season finale of Game of Thrones and the penultimate episode of Mad Men‘s season 5. If you haven’t seen either one, bookmark for later and go get caught up on your DVR, fool!
First, on Game of Thrones, we got an extra ten minutes because an hour could not contain all the epic awesomeness needed to sew up season 2.We got the marriage of Robb Stark (which made all the people who only watch the show go, “Awwww!” and made all the book-spoiled go “awwwwww shiiiiiiiit.” We got effing DRAGONS barbecuing that creepy sorcerer with the purple lips. We got Ser Jorah being a badass instead of his usual act of doodling “Ser Jorah + Danae Stormborn 4EVA” on his Trapper Keeper. And as if BURNINATING DRAGONS wasn’t enough awesome for you, you got a friggin’ army of ICE ZOMBIES marching toward The Wall.
Some other stuff happened, too, obviously. The Lannisters’ triumph at King’s Landing against the Baratheon forces made the Lannisters the heroes of the realm, with the exception of everyone’s favorite badass imp. Despite being the smartest Lannister, Tyrion’s loyalty to his family is his downfall, and he can’t seem to understand when he’s outstayed his welcome (hint: right about now, son). Also, I loved the obviously scripted nature of Joffrey’s renunciation of his betrothal to Sansa and engagement to Margaery Tyrell. And I also loved the secret smile that creeped on Sansa’s face when she was released of her obligation, even if Littlefinger was quick to wipe away any relief she felt. Also, I cannot look at Peter Balish and not see Mayor Carcetti from The Wire. Just me?
Other random favorite moments of badassery: Brienne cutting down a troop of Stark supporters like maple saplings; Danae locking up her traitor handmaiden and Xaro Xhoan Daxos; Osha giving Meister Luwin a merciful death before stowing away from the ruins of Winterfell with Bran and Rickon; and, finally, VALAR MORGHULIS.
Also on HBO, Veep is awesome and Girls continues to grow on me. I love to see so much lady-representing on my favorite premium channel. I know Girls has received a lot of flak for being too white and privileged, but the way I see it, Lena Dunham can either be criticized for telling others’ stories or criticized for telling her own. And, if privileged white people are going to make art, I’d much rather it resemble Girls than, say, The Help. That said, last night’s episode didn’t have any Shoshanna, which bummed me out – she’s my favorite character by far.
Meanwhile, on AMC, Lane’s chickens finally came to roost on Mad Men. While it has been foreshadowed all season, Lane’s suicide and its fallout were nevertheless shocking and heartbreaking. And what a bit of dark humor to have his first attempt fail due to the oft-lamented unreliability of Jaguar’s engine! In the end, Lane died where he lived – at the office. His suicide note, a boilerplate resignation letter, served as a giant middle finger to the company that ruined him financially, and a extra special “eff you” to Don, who had asked Lane to tender his resignation after discovering Lane’s embezzlement and forgery. The final indignity to Lane’s story: seeing his purple, asphyxiated death mask as the male partners cut him down and laid him out on the couch in his office. And what do you think was the significance of Lane snapping his spectacles in two during his first suicide attempt? I’m curious to know what you all thought.
Outside of the office, Sally followed Sansa Stark into womanhood when she got her period during a date at the Natural History Museum with creepy Glen Bishop. Look, I know the kid who plays him is your son, but seriously, Matt Weiner, please stop putting him in the show. He’s awful. Every time I see that kid on screen I swear he’s going to grow up to be either Mark David Chapman or Ed Gein.
While the Sally storyline felt a little out of place (besides providing the vehicle to bring Glen back into the picture so he could jackhammer that whole “Everything you think is going to make you happy turns to crap” theme into the episode), I appreciated the opportunity it gave Betty to be a human being with her daughter for once, even if her initial response was a little harsh and robotic and, you know, Betty. Seeing her curl up with Sally on the bed was a really sweet moment. This storyline also allowed us to see how ill-suited Megan is for parenting. How completely inappropriate was that entire conversation she and her friend had at the diner in front of Sally? She’s 12 YEARS OLD, you guys. Maybe you can wait until she goes to the bathroom to talk about some guy asking you if the rug matches the roof, FFS.
With Peggy’s resignation, Joan’s partnership, and Lane’s suicide in the rearview, it’s hard to imagine what the Mad Men finale will bring. What do you think?