Mad Men: The Benefactor   Rewatch 
July 23, 2014 11:10 AM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Trouble arises on the set of a commercial. Harry tries to gather support around a controversial sponsorship. Betty joins Don when he attempts to appease his clients with a friendly dinner.
posted by Sweetie Darling (13 comments total)
My favorite quote of the episode:
Arthur: “You’re so profoundly sad.”
Betty: “No, it’s just my people are Nordic.”

This episode made me sympathize with (if not exactly come to like) Betty. She really is doing everything in her power to hold her life together, using the skills in her tool box. She really does want to be a "pretty good team" with Don, if only he'll let her.

And man, I'd forgotten just how uncomfortable and violent it was when Don thrusts his hand into Bobbie Barrett's crotch. When all else fails, that's the tool he has--sexual violence. And he's not afraid to use it to get what he wants.
posted by ChrisTN at 11:50 AM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

The fingerbang, which became the basis for Grantland's weekly power rankings.

Oh my god, the Barretts. I love the way this subplot plays out.

Harry and the envelope. Love his conversation with Sal and the (first of many) comedic misunderstanding after being called into Roger's office.

My son walked by as I was watching this the other day and said, "Hey, wow, that's the same Utz logo as today."

(Utz is better than nutz.)
posted by Sweetie Darling at 12:00 PM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

As this season went on I came to like Jimmy Barrett a lot more and like Don a lot less.

She really does want to be a "pretty good team" with Don, if only he'll let her.

Interesting to compare this teaming idea with the Jimmy/Bobbie team, who seem also to be miserable together, but much more highly functioning as a team. At least they seem to have more of a mentality that their relationship is much more business partnership than marriage.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:15 PM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Harry Crane and his wife (do we ever see her again? ) have definitely made up.
Knowing now that Harry becomes the TV guru, watching him figure it out is fun! He should have come back with 275, commensurate with his new department head status.
"We all work for someone." Don doesn't appear to. Sometimes you just have to grab the reins I guess.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:18 PM on July 23, 2014

I never knew "marketing" was the word for grocery shopping.
posted by bleep at 9:15 PM on July 23, 2014

I like how Don has this attitude of "I AM A GOOD MAN. I HAVE A WIFE. I'M IN MY HOME. WITH MY CHILDREN." Okay Don. Bobbie just knows what's coming next, we all do.
posted by bleep at 9:42 PM on July 23, 2014

I couldn't stand Bobbie Barrett (well, either Barrett) on first watch, but Bobbie has a lot of nous. I probably shouldn't dislike her so much.

And poor, poor Mrs Utz (I've already forgotten her name). Played out like the clueless country mouse by the sophisticates at the table. She looks bewildered (and hurt, of course) the entire way through the dinner.
posted by tracicle at 11:04 PM on July 23, 2014

We do see Jennifer Crane again, at least once - they have a small role in Roger and Jane's Derby party.

When Mrs. Utz says, "I guess I don't have the stomach for it," and Jimmy bites his fist ...
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:25 AM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Don and Bobbie, such a BAD, BAD idea together. He doesn't even like or respect her, so what's up with that?

Betty knows that she's living a lie, and you see how she tortures poor Bobby (the other Bobby) by withholding affection and constant hectoring. She doesn't like being a housewife, she doesn't like being a mother, she's not even suited to it. It's so sad that she never had other options presented to her.

Can you imagine thinking, I hate this life, but it's better than being a call girl.

So it's horses, and politics and judging the divorcee in the neighborhood. And smoking. So much smoking.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:50 AM on July 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

Lesli Linka Glatter directed some good MM episodes. According to IMDB: 5G, The Benefactor, A Night to Remember, Love Among the Ruins, Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword. Not bad.

Despite her flaws, I've always sympathized with Betty.

I can't be the only one who was frustrated with Harry's dimness. Just throw Ken's paycheck in the trash. Jesus.

Sal's look when Harry told him how much Ken made per week.

I missed the Draper house when the show moved on. The brown plaid wallpaper in the kitchen.
posted by cwest at 10:11 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I also was annoyed by Bobbie the first time through, but in retrospect, I think she's really important to Peggy's development.
posted by drezdn at 5:57 PM on July 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ugh, I had forgotten all about Jimmie and Bobbie Barrett. Between this and the Colin Hanks priest, the second season is by far my least favorite. By far. I'm not a huge fan of some of the season 5 plots either (Joan's prostitution, Lane's suicide, a bunch of questionable Megan stuff), but at least it's watchable. The second season is just slow and pointless.
posted by donajo at 8:25 PM on July 26, 2014

Poor Jennifer Crane. Knitting away, trying to get her husband to stay out of his own way.
And Harry, when backed into a corner, can think of some clever things. Being in Roger's presence apparently takes all of it away.

Every reaction Sal had to anything anyone said to him in this episode was PERFECT.

Poor Betty, trying to lose herself in riding, because no one-- not Jimmy, no one-- will accept just being a housewife/mother as being enough for her. There has to be more there.

Creepy male sexual violence on display all around. Betty being told not to tell someone what to do when trying to resist, Don deciding to assault Bobbie instead of paying up... Creep city.
posted by RainyJay at 2:16 PM on July 28, 2014

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