‘Mad Men’ season 6 episode 12 recap: True Colors


So Bob Benson is actually gay. Now what? Matthew Weiner loves parallels, man. Mad Men already has one character who abandoned their real identity to make it big in advertising, and now it has two.

This season of Mad Men has seemed almost logy at times, content to wallow in the problems it created without ever moving to resolve them. But with two episodes left in the season, it’s time to start wrapping things up – especially if the next season is, as rumored, the last.

The biggest deal this episode is the fallout from last week, where Sally Draper walked in on her father in flagrante delicto with his downstairs mistress. Picking up a little later, we see Sally being shuttled off to boarding school by her mom, supposedly as a way to get away from the hyper-sexed adult world she so desperately doesn’t want to be a part of. Of course, since this is Mad Men, things don’t go as planned and she ends up fighting off the advances of a lech named Rolo before sharing a cigarette break in the car with her mom.

And then there’s Bob Benson. This character has been an enigma the whole season – an account executive who seems to be different things to different people. When Pete is assigned to co-run the Chevy account with him after Ken Cosgrove gets accidentally shot in the face on a hunting trip, it couldn’t be more awkward. So Pete, always the schemer, goes to Duck Phillips to try and dig up some dirt. And what does he find? That Benson’s another Don Draper – a liar from the sticks who skated his way into the business on charisma and charm,

Pete, obviously, has been through this before – he learned Don’s secret back in the first season, but when he tried to blackmail him over it he got owned hard. So he takes a different tack with Benson, and it seems to pay off. Where this oddball duo will go next is anybody’s guess, but it’s one of the show’s best things right now.

And then there’s Don. Poor, dumb, hateful Don. Mad Men has done such a good job of transforming this character, who was basically Superman in the first season, into an aging relic with feet of clay lashing out at everybody around him. This week the victims are Peggy and Ted Chaough, who go over budget on a Bayer Aspirin commercial as their personal relationship becomes closer.

One episode left, and creator Matthew Weiner has pooped all over our theories by saying that nobody’s going to die this season. So what do you think is in store in the finale?