I love it when characters from past seasons return to Mad Men. The minute Sally was under pressure by her putative school mates to come up with something, uh, groovy, I turned to Dr. A and said, “she’s calling Weird Glen for help.” Irony abounds, of course, because Betty *loathes* Glen and even fired Carla the awesome nanny/housekeeper over allowing Glen into the Draper home after he’d skeezed Betty out. Glen keeps bouncing back as does that dog abandoning shit, Duck Phillips. It’s time to bring back Salvatore Romano to give Bryan one more time at Batt…
The Quality of Mercy is another strong episode that revives some themes from past seasons and shows what a joyless fuck Don Fucking Draper is. Not even sabotaging his frenemy Ted gives Don any pleasure and he did so twice in the episode. First, SCP winds up with Don’s juice not Ted’s.Now that Sunkist is suddenly a much bigger account, Cutler helps Don in cutting Ted off at the knees. Second, Don insinuates himself into Ted’s dealings with St Joseph’s aspirin and deals a double low blow. Don claims that the Rosemary’s Baby idea was the late Frank Gleason’s thereby sawing at the Pegster’s legs as well as Ted’s. Don is one diabolical motherfucker, y’all.
Okay on to a few random comments:
Bob Benson International Man Of Mystery No More: In a word, Bob is a fraud, impostor and hayseed. Okay, that’s several words, so sue me. Pete decides that he’s the second coming of Dick Whitman but he handles this situation differently. When Pete learned Don’s secrets, he went to Bert Cooper and tried to get Draper/Whitman discharged. It failed so Campbell tried a different tack 8 years later. He confronts Bob but decides to use what he knows about the former “manservant” against him by holding over it his head. Pete has learned to play firm politics at last and now he’s on the Chevy account. Be careful of what you wish for, Pete.
It was great to see the seething rage beneath Bob’s sunny and obsequious mask. The scene where he rants at Manolo over the phone was chilling. When repressed anger comes out, it can be a scary thing indeed. I wouldn’t, however, be surprised if Benson bides his time and turns the tables on Pete somewhere down the road. He’s a canny and savage infighter who may still take advantage of Pete’s entitled and petulant nature.
Poor Kenny Cosgrove: I nearly plotzed when the poor bastard was shot in a hunting accident by the bozos at GM. He’s having a tough year. The eye patch, however, may give him a shot at becoming a star Hollywood director like such one-eyed wonders as John Ford and Raoul Walsh. If nothing else, he may work harder to sell out and write something egregiously commercial so he can quit the ad game.
Secret Agent Sally: Sally may look like her mother but she’s all-Don inside: manipulative, devious, and brilliant. She told everyone what they wanted to hear in this episode and came out on top. I no longer think that she’s going to become a Manson girl, she’s too smart to end up as a homicidal hippie. I’m not sure what she’ll be running some day but I think she’s going to be a mogul of some kind. It’s in the blood.
Peggy’s Got The Rosemary’s Baby Blues: Ted and the Pegster were busted at the movies by Don and Megan. This where Don realizes how attached Ted is to Peggy and he used it against both of them as I mentioned above. The Pegster may finally be finished with mentor-1 but we shall see.
Featuring a Polanski classic is bound to have the “Megan is Sharon Tate” claque’s antennaes tingling. It’s just another example of Mad Men honcho Matthew Weiner being as devious and manipulative as Don Draper himself but not as suave. Who is, after all? Other than Cary Grant, that is…
Swell Dialogue: Don to Harry the nudge on the phone: “Did you finally find a hooker that takes traveler’s checks?
Weird Glen and his punching bag Rolo on arriving at Miss Porter’s, “Nice digs.”
Sally’s hazer (hazette?) “Call your mother and tell her you’re useless.
It was a great penultimate episode complete with a Shakespearean title, Dot Campbell being dotty, Joan imitating a little old Jewish lady, and a closing tune by the Monkees from their psychedelic cinematic opus, Head. I’ll end with this on uh, porpoise: