Mad Men Season 6, Episode 12: The Quality Of Mercy

Reprinted with permission from

mad men kevin rahm ted quality of mercy amc Mad Men Season 6, Episode 12: The Quality Of Mercy

Okay let’s just get right to the weird stuff. Ken Cosgrove is on a hunting trip in Detroit with two people from Chevy and…they pulled a Dick Cheney and shot him in the face!!! Only they really shot him in the face! It’s okay though, he’s alive. Eye patch and half a face full of lacerations, but alive. When he gets back to the office, he tells Pete that he hates Detroit, and he hates the executives at Chevy. He’s done and wants out. Pete sees an opportunity and asks Ken to back him up as his replacement on the Chevy account in exchange for Pete offering Ken his support in future endeavors.

Blonde Betty calls Don about Sally. She doesn’t want to visit her father ever again and wants to go away to a boarding school. Don immediately offers to pay for it, and Betty suggests Miss Porter’s School.

Don pours himself some orange juice with a splash of vodka from a flask that he pulls out of his suit jacket. Before the glass is even empty, he has an idea. Sunkist. Later that morning, Megan gets a call from Harry Crane and passes the phone to Don. He has good news—Sunkist is interested in television, which is two-and-a-half times the print budget. Don tells him to forget it because of the conflict and hangs up the phone, but I’m guessing Don has something up his sleeve. He then takes his lovely wife to see Rosemary’s Baby and runs into Peggy and Ted. Which is weird, awkward, and…weird and awkward.

The next week, Don and Roger give Ted and Jim some good news, and some bad news. The good news is, Sunkist wants to move forward with an 8 million dollar television ad buy, which is three times the business of Ocean Spray. The bad news is, they will have to resign from Ocean Spray in order to get the business. Jim is all over it, but Ted is less than thrilled. He is concerned about how it looks to dump a client once a shinier object comes along. But money is money, and Ted agrees with only a tiny twist of his arm. Oh, and Ted puts Peggy on the campaign. Because of her juice experience, naturally.

Pete is called into Bert Cooper’s office where he finds Bert, Roger, Jim, Ken, and…Bob Benson waiting for him. Ken backs up Pete to be his guy-on-the-ground replacement on the Chevy campaign, and says that Bob will be key to a smooth transition since he has been on the account since its inception. When Pete objects, Bob politely excuses himself. Jim tells Pete that he likes Bob, Chevy likes Bob, and if Pete doesn’t like Bob, they will find someone else who does. Detroit. How romantic! When Pete puts on a show of teamwork and shakes Bob’s hand after the meeting, he tells Bob that he doesn’t want to work with him because of the, you know, the whole professing his love thing. Bob clarifies that he was only professing his admiration, which is “waning quickly.”

Betty drives Sally to her interview at a boarding school, which Sally aces (in a very traditional blue and white plaid dress). She then has to spend the night in the dorm with two students who immediately demand booze and raid her suitcase. Because Sally doesn’t exactly keep a flask in her suit jacket, she comes up with a better idea and phones Glenn who climbs through the window in an army jacket covered in anti-war pins, a bottle of vodka, and his friend, Rolo, who brings the weed. Unfortunately for Sally, Glenn is more interested in another girl and leaves Sally alone with Rolo, who gets a little handsy. Sally then calls Glenn in from the other room to save her from Rolo and the boys end up beating the crap out of each other. Which of course impresses the girls, who deem Sally “trouble.” I have a feeling Sally just aced her second interview. On the car ride home, Betty lets Sally know that she got glowing reviews from the school, and treats her to a cigarette because she is quite possibly the worst television mother ever.

Pete is kind of clever and calls Duck for help getting rid of Bob Benson. He wants Duck to place Bob at another job, and Duck agrees to find Bob a new gig in exchange for a thousand bucks. We then get a quick shot of Bob speaking Spanish to someone on the phone (who I assume is Manolo but I hope is Sal) about what a bastard Pete is and blah blah blah. Then, Pete’s mother shows up at the office to retrieve her passport and says that Manolo does not like the way that Pete has been treating his friend, Bob Benson. Oh, Mother.

mm s6 episode12 main v2 590 Mad Men Season 6, Episode 12: The Quality Of Mercy

Don is not enjoying the chummy rapport between Ted and Peggy who are working together on the St. Joseph’s Aspirin campaign. To throw a wrench into the clockworks, Don lets St. Joseph’s know that Ted is way over budget. When Don asks Ted how he could have let the budget quadruple, Ted explains that the ad was Peggy’s idea, and it is sure to be a winner, and he wants Peggy to get her first CLIO award. Don then takes over the meeting with the client to sell them on the bigger budget by telling them that the campaign was the late Frank Gleeson’s last idea, and that Ted wanted to do the campaign out of sentimentality. Which is total malarkey, but it was what the client needed to hear in order to up the ad budget. And it completely undermined Peggy’s role in the campaign. Evil, but point, Don.

Duck did a little bit of digging on Bob Benson and lets Pete know that Bob’s resume might as well have been written in steam because nothing on it is true. And, when Duck checked his references, he learned that Bob disappeared from his last job with the ad agency’s Christmas card list.  So Bob’s only job prospects are with an agency “dumb enough not to ask any questions,” which I guess is Sterling Cooper & Partners. The next day, Pete confronts Bob, who asks for a day’s head start getting out of Dodge. Or Chevy. “It terrifies me what you could do in a day….Where you are and who you are is not my concern. I surrender. I want you to graciously accept my apologies, work along side me, but not too closely. I’m off limits. And please, could you find a way to get your friend out of my mother’s life.” Oh, wow. Brilliant? Or insane? Maybe a little of both, but whatever the case, it’s a very ballsy move, and Pete feels triumphant. But now I’m worried about Joan.

With an action-packed Monday winding down at Sterling Cooper & Partners, Peggy confronts Don. “I know what you did,” and she doesn’t just mean with the ad campaign. Don claims to just be “looking out for the agency,” but Peggy doesn’t believe it and calls him a monster. Don seems to know that she’s right, but a leopard can’t change its spots.

Next week is the season finale, and if the past two episodes are any indication, it’s going to be a doozy.

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