Mad Men
The Quality Of Mercy

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A- | 7 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
…Is Sometimes Strained

...but we're not done coming to Jesus, as Pete appears in Benson's doorway to find the man with his headphones on listening to something on his phonograph, possibly How To Succeed In Business Without Really Existing. Pete gets his attention, and Bob greets him even more obsequiously than usual. Hilariously, Pete intones that he thought for sure Benson would have bought him a coffee today before closing the door and saying he always wondered how Benson was "so expertly servile," but now he knows -- it used to be his profession. This wipes the smile off Benson's face -- it's really like watching a balloon rapidly deflate -- and he asks in a fairly desperate tone what Pete wants. Pete tells him he was up all night wondering what he does when he's found out before asking who hired him, but Benson tells him he did. "I met with Ken; you walked in, complimented my tie and walked out. It was the best day of my life." What about the QEII, Bob? Pete declares Benson's fraud irrefutable, so Benson asks for a day's head start, but Pete -- clenching his jaw so hard I'm bracing myself for the snapping sound -- seethes that Benson is "going to get the benefit of the fact that I've been here before." He goes on that he doesn't know how people like Benson do it -- "You're certainly better at it than I am at whatever I do, but I would like to think that I have learned not to tangle with your kind of animal." Benson says he doesn't understand -- how could he? -- so Pete tells him he wants Benson to "graciously accept my apologies, work alongside me but not too closely. I'm off-limits." Benson nods, so Pete turns to go, but before he opens the door, he asks Benson if he'd please find a way to get Manolo out of Dot's life. "You know she's demented." Benson heatedly says Manolo doesn't like women, but Pete snaps back, "Make sure!" I'm not certain what test Pete's proposing, but I'd imagine Benson's done it already. As we're constantly reminded, this is the sixties.

Pete enters the main office area and takes a deep breath as he looks around contentedly, probably now starting to enjoy the Chevy victory for the first time. He heads into his office...

...and then we cut to Betty and Sally in the car on the way home. Sally is being even less communicative than she was on the drive up, but hangovers will do that to you. Betty calls her out for being rude, but when that gets no response, Betty's like okay, fine, then I'm not going to tell you what "Mrs. Beresford" told me when Sally was saying goodbye. This gets Sally's attention, so Betty informs her that the woman views her as curious and bright and that she "received glowing reports from all concerned." Sounds like Mandy wants to see Glen again. Betty goes on that Mrs. Beresford said a girl like Sally with the family she has will have plenty of choices, but she hopes Sally will choose Miss Porter's. "Now get me a cigarette and give me some details." Heh. After Sally lights her up, Betty looks over and is like, you want one, don't you. Sally doesn't deny it, so Betty tells her to go for it: "I'd rather have you do it in front of me than behind my back." I'm not sure one precludes the other, Betty, but okay. She speculates that "your father's" probably given Sally a beer at some point, but Sally flatly replies, "My father has never given me anything." Betty looks puzzled at what's going on, which isn't surprising, because she's winning the parent race and that's seriously unfamiliar territory.

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