"COMMISSIONS AND FEES"
I don't want to give away too much of what happened in the penultimate episode of 'Mad Men' for this season. Even though it aired this past Sunday, some people may not have even seen it yet. It's Thursday afternoon and I just watched it myself. Besides, if you really want to know, there are plenty of TV recap sites where you can find out.
But for the point of this post, I will tell you this - Don Draper had to deliver devastating news to one of the other partners in the firm, Lane Pryce. Lane was left with no other options than what was offered to him by Don, although eventually he found his own solution to the problem.
But at one point, Don told him that Cooper didn't know anything about what Don knew.
This is the world of 'Mad Men'. If follows the path set for it as envisioned by show creator Matt Weiner. But take that scene out of context, (complete with the previous scene with Burt Cooper which set everything into motion), think of it as the opening scene in some other show, and it's not hard to imagine that the plotline would go off in a totally different direction.
Imagine these scenes set instead in the first twenty minutes of a 'Columbo' episode......
It certainly would fit in easily enough. The late Peter Falk never showed up as the Lieutenant for about twenty minutes on average in any given episode. So we wouldn't need to see him to make this a 'Columbo' episode.
Where the plot would have changed would be after Don told Lane that Burt Cooper didn't know anything about the truth behind the reason for the fateful meeting.
If this had been an episode of 'Columbo', it would be at this point where Lane Pryce would have realized he had yet another option open to him. And in desperation he would have seized on it - he would have killed Don Draper to mask the truth.
Of course, the scene took place in New York City, during the Christmas season of 1966. It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that Columbo was still in NYC as a detective under the mentorship of Sgt. Gilhooley. But the timeline is tight - he was already a lieutenant in the Los Angeles Homicide Division by the time he was investigating the Flemming case in 1968.
I'm just saying that the set-up would have worked out totally differently than it did in 'Mad Men' had it been done on 'Columbo'.....