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

Where to start, Don Draper 2.0, the maiming of Ken Cosgrove, the triumphant return of Glen? These are all trumped by the second really bad week in a row for Don who last week lost his daughter and now might have lost the only other woman in his life that matters.

And the sad thing is, Don was actually acting out for the right reasons this time. Ted has it in his head the Don is set on besting him because that is what Ted's goal in life has always been. Don doesn't even think about Ted, he thinks about himself, but tonight he was even thinking about the company. As Ted and Peggy's work romance (I don't believe that has been consummated) has gotten more and more noticeable so has Peggy's belief that Don is the bad guy and Ted is the good guy. While Don is certainly a son of a bitch, Peggy doesn't know all of that shit that is going down at his home life and while she was unaware of what Ted was doing for her by expanding her ad's budget she is is still partially to blame for forcing Don's hand of laying some truth down on the work flirts. Sure, Don could have been a bit more professional about telling the two they need to watch it, but boy what a scene of watching him make them sweat in that meeting. Peggy gets the last punch though and when she calls Don a “monster” it's more than he can handle as he can't face losing both of the most important ladies in his life; even if it is a bit of a delusion by this point. I know we shouldn't be saying this after this season of his antics, but I felt bad for Don all curled up on his couch at the end.

Ken Cosgrove almost loses his head and this almost leads to Bob losing his job. Ken accidentally getting shot in the face is the second time we have thought we might have lost him in an episode this season, and the news that he is going to be a father means he has to get out of the way of the destructive executive over at Chevy. At least he is getting a ton of great writing material. Ken steps down, Pete weasels in and Bob Benson is caught between a rock and a hard place. Bob has recently been brought on to Chevy, but he has also recently come on to Pete. Pete wants him off his team, but the partners won't have it, so Pete tries to get Duck to find someone to take Bob off SC&A's hands. Enter Don Draper 2.0; Bob Benson. Duck discovers Bob has been living by the Hobo Code and Pete can actually use this information this time to hold over one of his co-worker's head. Pete has been looking for a sense of power all season and he finally has it in his sway over Bob Benson's future. Bob being ready to run is a dramatic change from what we have seen all year, but it's Pete's seemingly honest appreciation for what guys like Bob and Don can do that saves his skin. Watching Pete lay down the law on what will and won't fly is an impressive scene nonetheless and I am anxious to see what these two can do together, “but not too close.” James Wolk shined tonight as well getting to show off a couple of new sides of Bob in one of the most awkward handshakes one will ever find on TV and a Spanish tirade on the phone with one can only assume is his probable lover, Manolo. Interesting question, what was Bob willing to have Manolo do on that phone call and does Bob secretly have the upper hand here? Or does Pete because he could care less about his Mother most of the time?

Poor Sally, the girl just can't catch a break. She gets a trial run at a boarding school after she tells Betty she needs to get the hell out of dodge after last weeks turn of events and it is the last place a vulnerable young girl like her needs to be. Paired up with a couple of party girls, Sally is exposed to booze, pot, peer pressure and boys on this trip and one of them is Glen Bishop while the other tries to force himself upon her. Thankfully Glen is no longer a creep and stands up for his old girl's pride and respect, but I can't see a lot of good coming out of Sally potentially going to a school like this. She's needs structure and support in her life, and while Betty throws fuel on her bad habits fire by offering her a cigarette, Sally drops a bombshell on us in, “My father has never given me anything." Ouch, good thing Don didn't hear this, his illusion of being an amazing father couldn't take this. Poor Sally.

Long Notes:

-Seeing Ted and Sally together makes me want to puke. I have grown to like Ted quite a bit this year, but I hate to see Peggy trying so hard to be liked by him in every which way. That said, the scene at Rosemary's Baby was fantastic and I particular thought Megan's reaction was one of many standout moments from Jessica Pare.

-Vincent Kartheiser continues a string of standout episodes in possibly his best season yet. I am intrigued by his and Bob's future, but I am not happy that he will be off in Detroit more often. Things still feel like they are going to blow for Pete in some way sooner or later, will it happen in the finale? At least we know that shotgun is only good at taking out squirrels.

Mad Men is an episode away from cementing, possibly, its best season yet. There hasn't been a lot of plot development this year and I would have loved to have gotten more from a lot of characters, but damn has the show been great at giving everyone a moment to shine. Endlessly entertaining, even as Don destroys everything around him, we can't ask for much better TV than this. Finale next week, don't let me down!

Random Ramblings:

-Poor Megan, she is a good wife.

-"So do you." Ouch.

-What the fuck! Ken, no!

-Flirty flirt, flirt with Betty, and she doesn't seem as upset about Megan.

-"Cran-Prune sounds like diarrhea?"

-"I just wanted to see if I could get him to respond to an idea that wasn't hers."

-"You finally found a hooker that takes traveler's checks?" - Line of the night!

-And now Don's other little girl is running to another man.

-"You've been on a soap to long."

-He's alive! Thank god.

-"It's not funny."

-When is Roger going to get a crack in on Kenny?

-Oh god Ted, calm down about your juice.

-"Argh, shiver me timbers." And there it is.

-"Lee Garner Jr. made me cup his balls."

-"I'd listen to the cyclops Pete." And there is another.

-Oh snap, Benson's dark side coming out.

-Poor Sally gets run out of town.

-Ted secretary doesn't like this flirting, neither does Joan.

-"How bout a bowl of chicken soup." Hendricks nailed it.

-"I don't remember."

-Oh god, this isn't good for Sally.

-Ugh, the SC&P logo is hideous.

-Glen! He's really growing into himself, more cute than creepy.

-Sally, oh no, Sally.

-Man Servant?

-"He just disappeared one day with an electric pencil sharpener and the Christmas card list."

-"I have." Oh no, what are you going to do Pete?

-Oh god, oh god, oh god. Get your hands of Sally, Rollo!

-Glen, stand up guy!

-What a shot of Don alone in the conference room.

-What the hell is Don doing. Oh shit, selling out Peggy. Saving the business and making them sweat.

-Oh shit, that stare from Peggy!

-"You're not thinking with your head."

-"I mean, not with Peggy."

-"You're not thinking with your head."

-"I thought for certain you would have brought me a coffee today."

-"It was the best day of my life."

-"I'm off limits."

-Manolo and Bob are together?

-"Now get me a cigarette and give me some details."

-"He's not that virtuous, he's just in love with you."

-"You're a monster." Back to back weeks. And for those at home, yes he is, even if he didn't really deserve this one.