Episode 12: “The Quality Of Mercy”
BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JUNE 17, 2013
With only one episode left of this dark season of “Mad Men,” there’s still plenty of questions in the air that cannot possibly be answered by the finale. The biggest problem: is someone going to die? With rumors floating around about the foreshadowing of Megan’s death and the idea that Bob Benson could be a killer, fans will be glued to their seats next week to see if any of these come to fruition. It only fits, then, that the opening of the episode almost considers the demise of Kenny. The suddenness of his injury is almost comical. Still, when we don’t hear from him for quite some time into the episode, I thought for sure he was a goner, especially with the morose program that Don watches on the television immediately after.
Now that Peggy’s single, she and Ted display affection in the office place, with everyone noticing. Don goes out of his way to humiliate them, and I almost agree with him. But apparently, he’s a monster. When he’s not a monster, Don worries about his daughter spilling the beans about his affair. Megan watches idly by, knowing nothing, and not questioning anything. Besides some mild freak-outs, Don acts quite normal for this episode.
Amongst the other half, Betty takes Sally to a boarding school interview where Sally spends the night, most likely a ruse to see Glen. Betty doesn’t catch on and even lets Sally smoke a cigarette in the car with her. Betty is getting better, and I could see her and Don reuniting if things go south with Megan, which they will almost certainly do.
Pete digs into Bob Benson’s past after the partners decide to stick them together due to Kenny’s absence from Chevy. What Pete finds is all too familiar, and he handles it unexpectedly, but smartly and this won’t be the end of their rivalry. Pete touches on the strong gay vibe, and even though he denies any feelings for Pete, I think we’re about to learn even more about Bob.
Who guessed Don wouldn’t keep his promise to Ted? We should have been taking bets because one episode later, and he’s already re-nigged on his deal. Yes, Sunkist is worth more than Ocean Spray, but it was the principle. However, none of the other partners have that notion, and Don’s sly business garners him another win.
I still strongly hope that someone’s going to die. Not because I hold any grudges or because I need to see pain inflicted, but for me, I feel there needs to be an enormous payoff for this season’s dark undertones and visual foreshadowing by what we know of the past. Part of me hopes Megan gets killed. Not only would that be such a meaningful death with all the speculation, but it would send Don on a new spiral and would allow for a new direction without this season ending in Megan leaving him and Don starting all over again. I cannot wait for this final episode. Let’s hope it lives up to expectations.
June 16, 2013