RECAP: Mad Men 6x12 "The Quality of Mercy"

Well, tonight seems to have finally wrapped up the mystery of Bob Benson. Turns out he was once a manservant (!!) from West Virginia and has adopted a new identity to climb his way up the ladder of success, ala Don Draper, as we all recall. Pete is once again the person who finds this out as he attempts to get rid of him after last week's encounter, by shipping him off to Duck, who reveals the truth about his background. Faced with history repeating itself, and despite veiled threats from Bob and increased harassment of his mother by Manolo (perhaps Bob's boyfriend?) Pete rather surprisingly decides to let this go and tells Bob to just steer clear of him. Of course, you never know what's behind Pete Campbell's motivations, but judging by the title of this episode, it could be that this is maybe a smidge of actual progress for his character.

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the Sally debacle last week, Don has fallen into his usual drunken abyss and has taken to sleeping on Sally's bed to while away his misery, ignoring Megan's attempts to engage him in the slightest conversations. When Don and Megan see Ted and Peggy at the movies in the afternoon, suspicions about the two of them are validated by their rather obvious flirtations in front of everyone at the office. Ted decides to go all in on Peggy's idea for a commercial for an account, even though it puts them over their accrued budget by no less than $35,000 dollars, and so Don decides to deal with the issue by humiliating Ted in front of said client. This invokes the wrath of Peggy, who storms into his office and berates him for what i think is the third time this season for being mean to Ted. Don is more or less right on this one, but nevertheless curls up in a ball on his couch in the final scene, duplicating his position at the start of the episode when he woke on Sally's bed.

Sally's disappointment in Don has made her decide she wants to go away to boarding school and is taken for an admissions interview by Betty, who for once is actually encouraging of Sally doing something, even if she doesn't yet know what's prompting Sally's desire to go away. While at the school overnight, Sally befriends a couple of the girls and invites her old pal Glenn to sneak over and visit. Glenn brings a pal of his own and when the guy makes an unwanted pass at Sally, he fights him to defend her honor, which secretly pleases Sally. It's a cute subplot, and always good to see the odd Glenn show up, even if this time around he seems to have grown into more or less of a normal teenager (a far cry indeed from his first creepy introduction way back in Season 1).

Well, one more episode to go- and whatever's going down next week is apparently so secret that we're not even allowed to see the chopped up, randomly intercut scenes that Mad Men previews are famous for, lest we see a person walking down a hallway for a split second and spoil the whole damn thing. See you next week, folks!

Character Notes:

Ken- the poor guy was shot in the face with buckshot in this episode and everyone proceeded to make fun of him or brush it off, even as he cried over it in front of Pete. Whatever growth Pete may have shown tonight was not extended in sympathy towards Ken, as he immediately clamored to take his place with the jerks from Chevy to increase his own importance. Poor Kenny. The one decent guy in the office never gets any respect

Megan- very little on the Don/Megan front this week, considering the fallout from last week's resumed affair with Sylvia. No Sylvia tonight either, so we also don't know if that was a one time thing on Don's part or what. No, this week just brought us more scenes of Megan trying to talk to him and being continually ignored, and i now have no clue what, if anything is going to happen in the finale, although i haven't given up my theory that Megan could still be having her own affair that we're just not seeing. It would certainly be understandable, given that everything we've seen this season tells me that Don seems to have no feelings for her whatsoever

Joan and Roger- as a side note, it occurred to me tonight as we saw the both of them for about 30 seconds each, that they seem to have had very little screen time overall this season. i know Joan had a story involving Avon just a couple weeks ago, but we've yet to see the result of that plotline, and Roger i feel we haven't seen much of since the first couple of episodes.