Actor Jared Harris talked to The Hollywood Reporter about leaving Mad Men in such a shocking fashion on Season 5, Episode 12, “Commissions and Fees.” Jared said he wasn't totally surprised that Lane was being killed off the show — although being killed off and hanging yourself in your own office are two different things.
"I had gotten an email beforehand that asked what my handwriting like because we see Lane forging a signature on a check,” Jared told THR. “I knew that could only spell trouble for Lane. The only reason why you’d start a ticking bomb like that is to have it go off. I didn’t know if it would go off this season or next season, but I knew at that point the countdown had started."
Show creator Matt Weiner told him of Lane’s exit after the read-though for Episode 10. He got a call up to Matt's office — and like all deliveries of important news on Mad Men, the talk included some very good brandy. "I was sad," Jared told THR when Matt gave him the news. "I’ve grown very fond of Lane and I love working there. It’s the best show on television and my ride was over. I shed a little tear in the car on the way home."
However, he joked that he tried to persuade Matt that Lane had a brother, Blaine Pryce, so he could stay on the show. And he got a good laugh out of Lane's first failed suicide attempt via malfunctioning Jaguar. "When Matt told me that idea, I laughed my ass off. When he said the car doesn’t start, I laughed for about five minutes. Nothing goes right for this guy." But hopefully things will go well for Jared in his post-Mad Men career. As he put it, "The hardest part was now I have to wait like everybody else to find out what happens next."
And considering the season so far, who can even imagine what comes next? Don Draper has stayed faithful-to-the-point-of-obsessed with his wife, Megan; Roger Sterling took LSD and launched his second divorce; Betty Francis almost got cancer but instead just got fat; Joan Harris split with her husband and became a company partner by sleeping with a client; Paul Kinsey turned out to be a Hare Krishna; Peggy Olson quit for SCDP’s chief rival ad agency; and now Lane commits suicide. Next week is the season finale. Anyone even want to try to guess how they cap off this season?