Mad Men Recap: Pull Back the Throttle a Little

Mad Men RecapWanna know how amazing and intriguing this week’s episode of Mad Men is? Ken gets shot in the face in the first few minutes… and that’s one of the least interesting events to take place during the hour. Don meddles, Sally interviews, Ted and Peggy make googly eyes at each other and Pete gets to the bottom of this Bob Benson business. Read on as we review the finer points – and one big reveal – that happen in “The Quality of Mercy.”

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SOUR LOVE HANGOVER | In the aftermath of Sally catching him “comforting” Sylvia Rosen in last week’s episode, Don seems to be on a prolonged bender. Megan finds him one morning looking the worse for wear and curled in the fetal position on the bed in Sally’s room. I’m not sure if Megan’s just given up at this point, but her advice to him is more like what you’d say to a casual acquaintance than your visibly downwardly spiraling husband. “I don’t know what’s going on, but you have to pull back on the throttle a little, honey,” she offers, which is ironic, because Sylvia seemed to have a pretty good grip on his throttle last week. (Too soon?) Don surreptitiously pours some vodka into his OJ as Megan bustles about and leaves the apartment, begging him to call in sick and sleep it off.

In the only instance of this happening all episode, Don listens to his wife. He gets two calls during the day. The first is Betty, who wants to discuss something that “concerns Sally.” Gulp! Don’s daughter has declared that she never wants to visit him and Megan again, though Betty’s not sure why, and has been asking if she can go to boarding school. “I’ll pay for all of it,” he blurts so quickly that I laugh out loud. Feeling a little guilty there, Draper? Maybe because he’s drunk, maybe because he’s relieved, Don then phone-flirts with his ex-wife – and she does it right back.

The next call comes from Harry, who’s in Los Angeles and has big news. “You finally found a hooker who’ll take traveler’s checks?” Don quips, which is funny on its own, but Harry’s exasperated “Why did I tell you that?” makes it 10 times better. Anyway, Sunkist has decided it wants to spend bushels of cash on a TV campaign, which is awesome… except Don agreed that Sterling Cooper & Partners would drop the citrus company so Ted’s Ocean Spray account could flourish. (If you think for one moment that Draper is going to do the right thing here, I’d like a hit of whatever’s in your hookah.)

FOOLS IN LOVE | Ted and Peggy act like swooning high school kids around each other, and it irks pretty much everyone in the office — most notably Don. Maybe that’s because he and Megan run into the former CGCers at a 5 pm weekday screening of Rosemary’s Baby (for the record, Ted and Pegs claim they’re doing research for a children’s aspirin ad that invokes the movie’s imagery, which is terrible in theory but pretty great in execution). Megan is sure the pair is doing it, but Don doesn’t want to talk about it… but he does want to call Harry and have him move forward with Sunkist. Time for another round of What’s My Motivation? – and this one’s so involved, class, we’re gonna have to go with a blue book exam. In the space provided, please provide an answer to why Don feels the need to so thoroughly screw with his former underling and his current nemesis. Possible themes to consider: Don’s inability to let anyone in his orbit be happy, his fear that Ted is strong in all the ways he is weak (trustworthiness, kindness, overall sobriety) and his screaming jealousy – after all, going to a workday movie with Peggy is “his” thing. Good luck!

When Ted finds out about Sunkist, he calls Don out – but Draper plays it off like he set the whole thing up during his California trip, then offers such a meaningless apology that I half expect Ted to ring up his Air National Guard contact and put the kibosh on Mitchell Rosen’s draft deferment. Don later alerts St. Joseph’s aspirin to the rapidly expanded budget on Ted and Peggy’s horror-themed ad, leading the client to demand an explanation. (Side note: Don’s actually correct in this instance – the residuals for all of those actors in the commercial have to come from somewhere — but he’s right for all the wrong reasons.)

BUSTED! (ALMOST) | At the meeting with the aspirin rep, Draper is unstoppable in his desire to make Peggy and Ted feel terrible. After throwing it out there that Ted’s reason for the souped-up commercial is “a little bit personal. In fact, it’s very personal,” he lets the would-be couple sweat for an unendingly uncomfortable moment before lying and saying that the commercial was Frank Gleason’s last idea. (Please re-watch the scene for Kevin Rahm and Elisabeth Moss’ reactions when they realize Don isn’t going to out their escalating schmoopiness. Perfection.) Mr. Aspirin is all, “Why didn’t you say so!” and eases up on the budget a bit before taking off, satisfied.

But Ted and Peggy are horrified, and after she leaves the room, Ted and Don go at it in an amazing exchange. “I know your little girl has beautiful eyes, but that doesn’t mean you give her everything,” Don mocks, alluding to an earlier conversation in which Ted basically said he was moving forward with the Peggy-created ad so she could clinch a Clio. “Your judgment is impaired. You’re not thinking with your head,” he says. Yes, Don. Of the two men in that room, Ted is really the more messed up one. (Also, “We’ve all been there – I mean, not with Peggy” deserves a heh of its own.)

The Chaough-Draper face-off is nothing, though, compared to when Peggy comes knocking. She’s mad that her mentor is acting like all of his actions were for the good of the company. “Stop hiding behind the ad. You know what you did,” she spits, adding that he’s just perturbed that Ted is actually a good egg. “He’s not that virtuous,” Don scoffs. “He’s just in love with you.” It’s another great Hamm-Moss encounter, which ends with her calling him a monster and saying, “You killed him” – at which the needle on my Mad Men paranoia meter leaps into the red, and I start picturing all the ways that Matthew Weiner might off the earnest SC&P partner. (Psst… have you heard the Ted Is Sharon Tate theory?)

WHAT ABOUT BOB? | Early in the episode, one of the Chevy guys Dick Cheneys Ken while they’re duck hunting in Michigan. Back at the office, Cosgrove sports an eye patch and a huge chip on his shoulder: Now that Cynthia’s pregnant, he no longer wants to be the firm’s guy on the ground in Detroit, he tells Pete between frustrated sobs punctuated with grimaces as he gingerly dabs under the patch. (Heh.) Pete sees an opportunity to advance himself and oh-so-selflessly offers to take Ken’s place. But Bert, Jim and Roger think Bob – who’s already on the account, anyway – is the best guy for the job. After last week’s events, Pete is determined not to let that happen, and lets Bob know it. “You should watch what you say to people,” Benson growls, and the suddenly menacing tone is reminiscent of Willow’s “Maybe you shouldn’t piss me off” to Giles on Buffy. (Careful there, Pete. There aren’t enough yellow crayons in the world to save you.)

Things we learn about Bob as the episode progresses: He’s fluent in Spanish, he considers the day Pete hired him as “the best day of his life” and all of his backstory – his schooling, his work history, his family connections – is rubbish. In fact, as Duck learns, Bob was at Brown Brothers & Harriman for three years… but as a manservant to a senior vice president, not in finance like he claimed. When Campbell confronts him, Bob asks for a day’s head start so he can vamoose. But Pete’s reaction is surprising, to say the least. “I like to think that I have learned not to tangle with your kind of animal,” he calmly says, equating Bob’s deception with Dick Whitman’s Don’s. Instead, Pete declares that they will go about their business as normal and that Bob will remember “I’m off limits.” As Pete leaves, Bob looks as shocked as I do.

PREP SCHOOLED | Sally’s interview and overnight at Miss Porter’s School kicks into high gear when her WASP-y student hosts turn into a mini-prison gang and demand that she provide some contraband. So Sally calls her old pal Glen (hi Glen!), who brings a friend, some booze and some weed and sneaks into the dorm through the window. The evening of forbidden delights unfolds like you’d think it would, but when Glen goes into the bedroom with one of the host girls, his friend Rollo gets handsy with Sally.

For a moment, I fear that I’m going to have to witness Sally’s not-so-into-it first time, but Ms. Draper makes me proud when she stands up and makes Glen come out to help her. The boys tussle (Sally’s smile!) and then leave. In the car home the next day, Betty informs her daughter that the school has accepted her, and they share celebratory cigarettes. But when Betty jokes that the cancer stick is no worse than the beer Don’s probably given her, Sally exhales and tiredly says, “My father’s never given me anything.” Oh god, I fear for this teenager-going-on-40-year-old.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Are you looking forward to next week’s season finale? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. tstephen51 says:

    Dang, so much for the Bob is a serial killer idea. Glad to see Joan return this week, though.

    • Actually two words come to mind re Ted: “plane crash.” My favorite visual in this epi were the fries in the 1960s-logo-era McDonald’s bag Sally & Betty were attacking (pre Big Mac). In sum, Rosemary’s Baby, Don’s fetal positions, a nest of Ad Men vipers & their out-of-wedlock babies, even an esoteric Beatles song at the credits end. Who could ask for more?

  2. Jennifer says:

    It was all brilliant. I appreciate reading yourbweeklyvevoews the thoughtful comments. Haven’t heard a good Dick Cheney reference in a while.

    I love that Weiner has stayed away from the soap opera plot twists and instead focuses on character and the rich history they all have.

    Ps predicted Sally was off to boarding school. Hopefully we don’t lose her next season.

    • wjw says:

      We won’t lose Sally next season. My guess is she’ll be off to Woodstock with Glenn and some of her new friends from Miss Porter’s!

      • drhenning says:

        my thoughts exactly…. Lots of 16 year olds naked in the mud that weekend…

        • jains says:

          There is no next season. Next week is the finale. We are in 1968-1969. The 60s are over and so is the series. Sad but true.

          • DonDraperSaysWhat says:

            It’s ending in season 7 actually…

          • CR says:

            Seeing is how we just saw the shootings of MLK and RFK and the Democratic Nation Convention riots, we are in the summer of 68. I don’t think they would skip over the summer of 69 and Woodstock(I imagine Sally will be escaping the dorm for this). Also, the showed was last reupped for 2 seasons so we have at least one more to go.

          • TD says:

            You are incorrect. There is one more season.

  3. Anon says:

    This review earned an automatic stamp of “AWESOME” for the yellow crayon/Buffy reference alone.

  4. Sarah El says:

    Joan’s face this episode was the most priceless thing I’ve ever witnessed.

    Well that and just reacting to Ken getting shot in the friggin face!

  5. Mo says:

    Thanks… I hadn’t given a second thought to the “You killed him” line. Now my paranoia meter is in the red, too.

    And even though Pete declared himself off-limits, why do I feel like he’s going to be so put out if/when Bob turns his attentions elsewhere? hahaha

  6. Kevin says:

    The season six poster now makes sense – where Don looks at his doppelgänger. It is Bob Benson – another handsome ad guy with a made up background

  7. lala says:

    “Lee Garner Jr. mad me hold his balls.” – Roger

    The other gay reference in this episode.

  8. Chloe says:

    Oh, noooooo!!!! Now I’m going to worry about Ted all week. Is there really a “Ted is Sharon Tate” theory? :(

  9. Bob Jones says:

    Kiernan Shipka is amazing–can’t wait to see what the future holds for her in movies, post-Dally Draper!

  10. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I laughed at “I’ll pay for all of it!” too. Oh, poor Don. I think he wants to get Sally out of town before she says something to Megan.
    I actually didn’t catch on that there was something behind Don’s motivation to get Peggy and Ted working together on that account. You could be onto something there. I think Don has always thought of Peggy as his work wife, so maybe it’s just jealousy that she’s got a new man in her life. I’m not sure yet. Maybe Don is starting to feel useless at the agency, and he thinks Ted is taking his place as the company star. Maybe he did it all just to embarrass Ted. I actually wondered for a few minutes if Ted and Peggy had started doing it, but I don’t think that could be true. I’m not sure Peggy could continue to respect Ted if he started cheating on his wife with her. Right now she sees Ted as “virtuous.”
    Was Bob really speaking Spanish on the phone? I thought it might be Portuguese, but I wasn’t positive. I can recognize Portuguese better when looking at it written out then I can hearing it. And I could not figure out what was going on there between Pete and Bob and the mercy he showed him. That was weird.
    It was nice seeing Glenn again. He is so grown up now. Remember when he was just a little kid in the first season? Did you guys know Glenn is played by Matt Weiner’s son? I loved seeing him being so protective of Sally, but I have always thought he was too old for her, at least at this point. I still think that. Sally seems like so much of a kid to me. I really hope this show does not make me watch little Sally losing her virginity. I am terrified of seeing that.
    Betty Draper: long-reigning champion of mother of the year. Way to try and be the cool mom, Betty, by letting your young teenage daughter smoke. Though I did love Betty’s look of shock when she found out Sally didn’t worship her dad anymore.
    Soooo…..does anyone think this might be Vincent Kartheiser’s year to get nominated for an Emmy? I think out of the supporting male cast he’s probably got the best shot right now. It’s starting to feel like this could be his year. And what happens on the finale? I noticed we got absolutely no preview for next week. I still think something violent and big is going to happen. Not necessarily to Megan, but to someone. It feels like we’ve been building towards that and we’ve been given lots of foreshadowing. But it won’t happen with Pete’s gun. We’ve finally gotten the info it won’t take down anything more than a squirrel. Which I love, because I’ve always thought of Pete’s gun as being a metaphor for his manhood. Pete’s manhood ain’t very powerful these days.
    Oooh, that was long. My apologies.

    • M says:

      Bob was speaking spanish

    • Jains says:

      We did get a preview! Who is lying face down in the pool??!?

      • Fran says:

        That was Don face down in the pool when he was “tripping” in Californial a few weeks ago. He was thirsty and was tole that the pool has lots of water.

      • Scott Shanks says:

        That was Don from a couple of episodes ago.

      • Musicfan5 says:

        I think that was Don from the California episode. I noticed that a lot of clips from previous episodes this season were edited into the preview. I guess they don’t want to give anything away for the Season finale. Fine by me…I like to be surprised!

      • Mike says:

        Those weren’t previews. All those scenes were from earlier in the season. That’s Don in the pool at the party in LA when he had the hallucination about Megan being pregnant. Remember he ended up face down in the pool and Roger had to go in after him.

    • Jennifer says:

      Lots of interesting points. Especially about Pete’s gun being worthy of vermon only. I wonder though – if anyone would screw up using a shotgun… It would be Pete.

  11. Ram510 says:

    Don sure was watching alot of TV this episode, more than probably any other, is there a reason for that?
    And didn’t the other girls at the prep school look much older than Sally?

  12. tamihagglund says:

    I think the reason Pete is letting Bob stay is the same–reverse–reason Don kept Pete after Pete outed him to Cooper. Remember? The “you can fire him but you might want to let him stay because you never know how loyalty is earned” or whatever? I think Pete knows it worked on him with Don so now he’s doing the same with Bob.

    • The Beach says:

      I got the same impression. I may have misinterpreted it, but I thought Pete’s “I’m off limits” to Bob was not meant sexually but more in a business context…I am now and forever your alpha dog and if you decide to screw over anyone in the firm it just better not be me.

      • Jennifer says:

        I think Manolo might be huge clue. The meaning of that name, “god is with us”. I saw someone write here, that Manolo might be Bob’s dad. I had the same thought. Or at least a relative of some of kind. Bob was speaking Spanish.

        We know Bob Benson is a fictitious name and sounds much like Don Draper. Thus a clue from Weiner. Given all of the violent underpinnings so far this season, the times themselves, and all of the online speculation about a death filled season finale, I wonder if Weiner is giving us another clue with Manolo’s name.

        “God is with us” sounds an awful lot like “God is great” chanted during radical Islamic terrorism today.

        I was reading about the origin of Father’s Day yesterday and there was a blurb about George Lucas and his choice of the name Darth Vader (dark and Vader is father in Dutch). I’m sure I’m the last the know this but it reminded me how often the clues are right in front of is on great story telling.

        The origin of the name is Manolo is Spanish but also Portuguese. Perhaps some Cuban connection? Probably too late for that.

        Wasn’t Pete’s mother asking for her passport this episode? Perhaps a kidnapping and ransom? There has got to be something going on there.

        Why else the intense interest by Manolo who is gay in Pete’s invalid but wealthy mother. Although didn’t Pete’s father squander it all and so maybe it is all gone. Regardless she apparently doesn’t have control of her own finances.

        Pete’s mother has been a consistent storyline all season and I doubt Weiner would do this simply to show is once again that Pete is a schmuck.

  13. Camille says:

    Oh, my, that look on Betty Draper’s face when Sally says her father’s never given her anything. LOVED it!

    • cat says:

      I think Betty is going to demand that either Don or Sally tell her what happened now that she knows sally hates her dad who she previously worshiped.

  14. Brett Reasor says:

    All I could think after the opening “OMG, they killed Kenny”

    • gme says:

      I thought the same thing and it was killing me that it took so long to find out he was OK! My question has been is he going to be blind in that eye and have to wear the patch all the time?

  15. CR says:

    Best line of the episode, “We’ve all been there. I’m mean, not with Peggy, but…”
    Also, was the client in the meeting Francis from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure? Mad Men is so secretive about their casting, so there’s nothing on IMDB to confirm my overly spastick reaction to seeing him.

    • TD says:

      I don’t know that MM is secretive about its casting. There’s always a full list of guest stars in the end credits. Anyway, Byron, the client, was Paul Rae (and I got that off the “Mad Men” page on the MAC website). Francis from PeeWee was Mark Holton.

      • CR says:

        Thanks for the info, although it bums me out. Once you said it wasn’t him, my brain linked him to playing a mentally handicapped serial killer on Criminal Minds. I meant they are secretive in advance which doesn’t gives IMDB a chance to update his database before it airs, not that they don’t want to give credit where it is do. I had the same issues a few weeks back with the flight attendant Roger was sleeping with.

        • Camille says:

          I’m not always happy with the casting. It’s hard to take Michael seriously when I remember him as the guy who played an angel from Drop Dead Diva…same with ‘Ted’ who was the guy who played the patient everyone fell in love with in an episode of “Scrubs”. I feel the same way with Harry Hamlin, I’m not sure I can get passed the idea that he’s married to Lisa RInna. I liked the first few seasons when it seemed like so many actors/actresses were ones who hadn’t yet seemed to make a name for themselves. Still, crazy about the show.

    • Sarah says:

      I also loved the line “I know your little girl has pretty eyes, but that doesn’t mean you give her everything.”

  16. CR says:

    Also, am I the only one disturbed by the evil smile Sally has on her face with she gets the boys to fight over her? Talk about Rosemary’s Baby.

    • I think her smile shows us she is learning about her own personal feminine power.

    • ja says:

      i thought the same thing – something is going on there

    • TD says:

      Yes, Sally knew she was totally manipulating Glen into beating up Rollo, and she loved every second of it.

    • Lyn says:

      Yeah, Sally’s always been a good little manipulator, and it appears that’s a skill she’ll have to put to good use at boarding school. Those snotty girls seemed so sinister, I wondered for a minute if they were going to assault her … but then Sally takes charge and turns everything to her advantage! That said, I’d rather see more about the adults in the show.

  17. Eldee says:

    I say that Manolo is Bob’s father.

    • Dede says:

      I thought Pete’s contact said Bob was a child of incest?

      • TD says:

        I don’t know that we were to take Duck’s comment about Bob’s parentage literally. It sounded to me as if he was making West Virginia jokes, basically saying Bob’s lineage is nothing. But you never know.

    • susela says:

      More likely Manolo is Bob’s lover…

      • tamihagglund says:

        That was more my thought. Seems like that’s who he was talking to. And we’re not POSITIVE Manoli got physical with Pete’s mom because in the same conversation in which she said that she confused Peggy with Trudy. Can’t jump to conclusions.

  18. DramaMomma says:

    I took the whole “…not with Peggy…” comment as Don attempt to at least say “Hey whatever people may say to think, we weren’t a thing”

    • CR says:

      The only reason I didn’t take it that way was the way he said it. It seemed like the idea was absurd to him. It made me respect him even more that he sees her as a peer, instead of just another one of Don’s women to be desired(like a Jaguar).

      • Camille says:

        Yes, good point.

      • DramaMomma says:

        Agreed it has never occurred Don to sleep with Peggy. His jealousy is rooted in his mentorship of her. Ted and Don are the antithesis of each other but alike in so many ways.

        • Ralph Hahn says:

          If I recall correctly, in the very first MM episode, Peggy made a move on Don, her new boss and he threw her out of his office. (I think she felt that this was what was expected of her). They did “sleep together” on the same office sofa overnight but no sex was involved. But, Peggy is being extremely ungrateful to Don. It was he who pushed for her promotions before she left Sterling-Cooper. Now, she snarls at him, talks down to him, and tries to strike him with really hurting insults.

        • Jennifer says:

          Agree. Son is all about control and while he doesn’t want Peggy physically, he wants to think of her as his property. He is Don the great at least until he remembers he isn’t….. And then he drinks and curls up in a fetal position.

  19. DanielleZ says:

    I wondered when Glen would return. Sally looks to be on her way to becoming a future Betty, only smarter. The Bob Benson story got even more interesting. Good episode all around.

    • cat says:

      Betty has a degree in anthropology. She’s hardly dumb.

      • DanielleZ says:

        Intellect was not my point. Perhaps ‘shrewd’ is more appropriate.

        • My co-workers and I deal with kids and our experience is often that ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’. Betty’s life was shaped by coming of age in the 50s and the need to conform to society’s standards for women at that time. Sally will use that as a jumping off point and hit higher heights because she’s growing up in a different time. But, are we going to see blackmailing her dad in Sally’s future? He seems to think it could be possible as he sounds rather glad to ship her off to boarding school.

  20. My fave part was Don playing the baby

  21. Pat D. says:

    “You’re a monster!”


    • Mike says:

      and while that may be true, Don’s not wrong. Peggy can tell us all that Ted’s one of the good one’s all she wants, but they’re dangerously close to cheating. The flirting is so over the top that the whole office cringes when they see it. And that’s only what they’ve seen. Peggy might want to look herself in the mirror before she starts pointing fingers.

      • Pat D. says:

        The problem is that “The Talk” came from the worst possible source. Don has extensive experience in “dipping his pen in company ink” or even clients. It just came off as hypocritical and petty in the end, even if he was right. Don gets away with a lot more than that.

      • Krissy says:

        “Peggy might want to look herself in the mirror before she starts pointing fingers.”

        LMAO! Please! Don is the one who needs to climb off of his pedestal and stop lobbing stones.

  22. AustinTexas1961 says:

    I’m really surprised that after Pete read Bob the riot act, he then allowed him to stay on. Now that it appears that Bob has a dark side, I wouldn’t put it past him to try to blackmail Pete, in some way. Also, there appears to be someone floating in a pool. Who could it be?

    • Jains says:

      I think it is Don floating face down, fully clothed in the pool. I have said all along Don would die, commit suicide or be killed off. He is not driving off in the sunset with his life tied up in neat little bows. A writer has to get rid of the main character or people want him in sequels. Don in the 70s? The only other option is he flees and takes another identity. Though I really don’t think that is the ending.

      • Fran says:

        That’s Don face down in the pool–a scene from a few weeks ago when he and Roger were in California. Don was “tripping” and was thirsty and was told that there was lots of water in the pool. He “saw” meagan there telling him she was pregnant and the soldier with one arm telling Don he looked terrible–next scene is Don face down in the pool, then Roger shaking him as Don is spitting out water and coming to.

      • Sean says:

        Mark my words — Don will throw himself out a window and he’ll end up being the guy falling in the series’ title sequence. There can be no other way to end this — especially since they’re sending Don to such dark places.

        • Jennifer says:

          Seems like that has been the likely outcome to his downward spiral for a long time. But it wouldn’t be a simple suicide – it would have to be a botched drunken escapade of some sort. A rescue where instead of saving someone he is so sloshed he hurls himself off the roof….

    • DramaMomma says:

      Those were mostly flashbacks from earlier in the season. The pool was the California trip.

    • TD says:

      Yes, most, if not all, of the “previews” for next week were clips from previous shows. Also, I think part of the reason Pete kept Bob on was that he DIDN’T want Bob to blackmail him. When Bob asked for a day’s “head start,” Pete said that he feared what Bob could do in a day. I think Pete is practicing the old “keep your friends close and enemies closer” strategy.

      • lifeofmytime says:

        No, the whole point of keeping Bob around is because Pete now has the power. Pete has already reverse blackmailed him by saying he’s off limits. Bob can stay and maneuver whoever he wants, as long as he doesn’t jeopardize Pete’s future. The second he does? Pete can take him down. He learned from his mistakes when he tried to take Don down with the Dick Whitman revelation. He’s now doing the opposite of that.

      • jestsaying says:

        What would Bob blackmail Pete about? That makes no sense. I also think this is about Pete having the upper hand over someone in the office. Bob’s his b–ch now.

  23. ML says:

    It is odd to us now to see Betty offering her pre-teen daughter a cigarette but, remember, this is the late 60’s. Smoking wasn’t evil then, it just was. I can remember being young in the early 70’s and my mother handing me a $5 and having me run into the store to get her 2 packs of Virginia Slim Light Regulars. I was maybe 8 or 9. And of course they sold them to me. Now, she never offered me a smoke, and I know just because it was the late 60’s that doesn’t mean people thought it was okay for children to smoke. Late 60’s or not Betty is still a poor excuse for a mother!!! But, it would not have been as shocking as it would be now and the whole attitude toward smoking was different.

    • Cher says:

      My mother did offer me a cigarette, when I was in the middle of an asthma attack. People thought they calmed the nerves. Crazy…

    • drhenning says:

      Oh and Sally is not a pre-teen but a full fledged one at 15 about ready to go off to boarding school.. 15-16 year olds could legally buy cigarettes as well..

    • Meghan says:

      I’m a child of the 80’s, was in my teens in the 90’s, and I know parents who tolerated their kids smoking at home, because it’s better to know than them doing it behind their backs.
      I’m sure Betty’s reasoning is still used today.

    • gme says:

      I smoked my first cigarettes with my mother back in the 60’s when I was probably about Sally’s age. Wasn’t a big deal at all. Back then I assumed everyone learned to smoke with their parents……

    • jestsaying says:

      Sally is not a pre-teen

  24. Larry says:

    I think Pete “doth protest too much”. I’m still waiting for a lip lock between him and Bob. The woman plants a kiss on Megan, and that’s no big deal. Bob’s leg touches Pete’s, and ohhhhhh, how dare you! Having Megan and/or Pete show interest in a same-sex relationship would make for some very complex and provocative plots.

  25. tnsmoke says:

    Interesting episode, not really satifying but good. Many cringe worthy moments: Peggy and Ted’s full bloom sillyness, Don watching how horrible Megan’s acting is on tv. I don’t think it’s weird that Betty gave Sally a cigarette. Most adults back then started smoking around Sally’s age if not younger. Glen grew into a handsome young man. He’s Sally’s bf but wonder how she will feel when she finds out he might still carry Betty’s lock of hair in his wallet?? Megan has become Debbie Downer to me, she just sucks the life out of any scenes she’s in. I hope she leaves Don and goes back to Canada. Henry needs to pass away suddenly and in the final season both Don and Betty are free to see if they really want to try again. Betty should be financially ok and not need Don’s money. I think Pete is keeping Bob around because Pete has felt like he’s so low on the totem pole lately that he can keep Bob and treat HIM like crap, and enjoy having power over someone for a change instead of being powerless.

  26. Saladd says:

    I think Sally got such a thill because Glen was getting even for the sexual acting out she witnessed her father doing. Finally, someone comes to her rescue! And the irony of her final statement that her father never gave her anything. She’s been watching and learning.

  27. RAE says:

    For me, the most disarming moment of the episode had to be the children’s aspirin pitch. Hearing Don say “Wah wha wah” in a total deadpan, followed immediately by Joan’s Jewish grandmother…it was perfect.

    • Dillon says:

      Yes! I think that must’ve been a fun scene for that group to act. They don’t get to do light things like that very often.

  28. marg3949 says:

    Re: casting. I think the doorman is Little Carmine fom The Sopranos. Anyone notice any other Sopranos cast members?

    • Holly says:

      No but I’ve recognized 3 actors from Desperate Housewives and a few from Twin Peaks on Mad Men. I’ve seen several actors from The Sopranos on Nurse Jackie.

    • CR says:

      I can’t think of any, they may have been too busy showing up for small roles in Secret Life of the American Teenager. The only explanation for them doing that show is to balance having been on one of the best tv shows of all time to the absolute worst. For a long time I had a hard time with Roger because him playing a guy who likes golden showers on Sex and the City left a disturbing impression.

  29. april-ann says:

    In watching last night I was happy that we have seen the last of icky Abe. Or have we — I always got a loose cannon vibe from him. Maybe he snaps and is the one who offs Ted (when Ted jumps in front of Peggy to save her?) Based on last night’s episode, whatever happens next week, all I can really predict is that it will be unpredictable.

  30. Dorothy Blackman says:

    “You’ll shoot your eye out.”
    Visions of Ralphie, a bunny suit and a grumpy Santa Claus only added to the episode.

  31. Dorothy Blackman says:

    “You’ll shoot your eye out,” kept running through my mind, as did Ralphie, a grumpy Santa Claus and a pink bunny suit. Fabulous episode!

  32. Derek says:

    Can someone else please start doing these reviews? It’s getting a little old when you keep bashing Don. I get that he isn’t a great moral leading role, but when was he ever? When you try to add a witty comment about him every other sentence, it makes me take the rest of the review seriously.

    If you can’t stand him so much, stop watching because he isn’t going anywhere and is highly unlikely to change

    • Paul Porter says:

      Agreed. She does it every week. It’s time for her to let it go or stop doing these reviews

    • lifeofmytime says:

      I think you’re missing the point of the series. The reviewer likely loves to watch Don Draper every week just as much as I do (and that’s a lot!). But the entire theme of the series revolves around how terrible of a person he is, and as we get closer to the end of the series, we’re seeing it start to bite him in the ass. It’s all going to come down around him. You can’t truly review Mad Men without discussing how broken and awful this man is.

      • jestsaying says:

        I don’t find Don awful. I find his cheating repugnant, but I have no problem with his actions toward Ted and Peggy in this episode. Noone else in the audience could or would do anything about it and he finally did. And I DON”T want to see Ted cheat with Peggy so confronting him helps. Since he’s like the anti-Don, shame and the knowledge that EVERYone would know his shame might keep him from cheating

    • ca says:

      Why don’t you just stop reading the reviews if you don’t like them.

  33. nigel says:

    End of show: All an imaginary flash-forward as Dick Whitman dies from being blown up in Korea… Thoughts?

  34. Jennifer says:

    I think Manolo might be huge clue. The meaning of that name, “god is with us”. I saw someone write here, that Manolo might be Bob’s dad. I had the same thought. Or at least a relative of some of kind. Bob was speaking Spanish.

    We know Bob Benson is a fictitious name and sounds much like Don Draper. Thus a clue from Weiner. Given all of the violent underpinnings so far this season, the times themselves, and all of the online speculation about a death filled season finale, I wonder if Weiner is giving us another clue with Manolo’s name.

    “God is with us” sounds an awful lot like “God is great” chanted during radical Islamic terrorism today.

    I was reading about the origin of Father’s Day yesterday and there was a blurb about George Lucas and his choice of the name Darth Vader (dark and Vader is father in Dutch). I’m sure I’m the last the know this but it reminded me how often the clues are right in front of is on great story telling.

    The origin of the name is Manolo is Spanish but also Portuguese. Perhaps some Cuban connection? Probably too late for that.

    Wasn’t Pete’s mother asking for her passport this episode? Perhaps a kidnapping and ransom?

    Wasn’t there a plane hijacking to cuba? That would be rough given pete’s dad died in a plane crash. here has got to be something going on there.

    Why else the intense interest by Manolo who is gay in Pete’s invalid but wealthy mother. Although didn’t Pete’s father squander it all and so maybe it is all gone. Regardless she apparently doesn’t have control of her own finances.

    Pete’s mother has been a consistent storyline all season and I doubt Weiner would do this simply to show is once again that Pete is a schmuck.

  35. Jennifer says:

    As for the Manolo name meaning, “god is with us” theory…

    Pete has recently been assigned to Detroit. We know we are somewhere in time after the October 68 Onassis wedding (Betty mentioned on phone to Don the she also attended Miss Porter’s boarding school) and before the election (son was still watching Nixon commercials on tv).

    There were two significant violent events that occurred in Detroit on October 29 and November 1 in 1968. Just think it is too much of a coincidence.

    I can’t imagine that Weiner gave us this mysterious fellow Bob Benson and the only one who we know that know “Bob” has a name that means “god is with us” akin to “God is Great” (chanted now in movies to signify a terrorism) all during 1968 the violent year of civil unrest. Pete’s mother has played a pretty large role this year and I doubt that we needed that for more evidence that Pete is a schmuck. She recently asked for her Passport and we heard Bon speaking Spanish in his office. We don’t know who he is but we know he isn’t Bob Benson.

    Of course it is Don 2.0 but there are many reason for taking on a false identity many of them more benign than Don Drapers. It would be too easy if it was all Don 2.0 given how much times have changed. I suspect there is some sort of nefarious reason for Bob being undercover.

    I wasn’t in this camp before. And I was glad that Weiner opted for character over outrageous play much of this season. But I can’t get past Manolo’s name combined with the violence that went on that occurred during 68 and we all seem to have felt something violent building this season with all do the Megan Manson theorizing.

    Any other thoughts?

    • David says:

      Interesting! You might be on to something…. Manolo

    • ca says:

      Betty didn’t go to Miss Porter’s, Henry’s daughter did.

      • Jennifer says:

        Right. Not that Betty attended Miss Porters, but that Betty told Don on the phone that Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onasses. Meaning that we know the time period is sometime between October 20, (Onassis wedding) and November 5, 1968 – Election Day. I was just trying to narrow down where we were in that infamous year.

    • Matt says:

      Manolo! With Pete recently taking over Chevy In Detroit … and that our ever mysterious Bob Benson who seems to have centered his attentions on Pete…. Wonder of he was the intended victim at the outset or was Pete the easiest target? You are on to something. Manolo and Bob are, I fear, going to play a major role in the season finale. The gay angle is not enough. Other MM boards have similar speculation on the Manolo Bob Benson theory. If it gets violent, I think we have our source(s).

  36. Jennifer says:

    Manolo theories: from movie scarface

    In the movie Scarface, Tony killed his best friend Manolo when he found out that Manolo was sleeping with his sister. Manolo was also softer and lacked the cojones that defined Tony. Violent end to Pete’s and his mom?

    • N tTVf says:

      Just browsing through and re-reading these comments a couple of weeks after the S6 finale. Your prediction about Pete’s mom’s demise was right on the money – nice work.

  37. N tTVf says:

    “Don, I have great news.” (Harry on phone from LA)

    “What? Did you find a hooker who takes Traveler’s Checks?”

    Now, that’s Mad Men! :)

    • Jennifer says:

      Agree. And it’s absolutely brilliant when the first lol line is followed by an even better one. “Why did I tell him that?” It had my enclosing Harry half naked awkwardly explaining to a call girl why he couldn’t withdraw cash for her services. Not good but ohhh sooo good!

  38. KM says:

    Okay maybe I’m mistaken but didn’t Dick tell Pete that Bob was actually from Pennsylvania? And isn’t Pennsylvania where ‘Uncle Mac’ ran the whorehouse where that prostitute took Don’s virginity? Hmmmmmmm…