Mar 28, 2015

Mad Cap: "The Quality of Mercy"

Marten Holden Weiner
Welcome to Mad Cap: a daily rundown of every episode of the acclaimed AMC series Mad Men. During this time, I will be compiling my thoughts and highlights as we travel through every moment and season of the Emmy-award winning drama that has come to define modern TV. The goal is to be a refresher on every moment for Don Draper and his band of advertisement executives leading up to the final season. Stay for all of the shocking moments and the brilliant acting performances, and make sure to chime in with your thoughts and criticisms on why the show means something to you.

Season 6, Episode 12
"The Quality of Mercy"

"My father's never given me anything."
- Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka)

Plot:

Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka) is driven to hang out with girls from a nearby school by Sally Francis (January Jones). While she first begins to like them and their liberal, free love ways, she begins to feel uncomfortable when they get too invested in the party culture. Meanwhile, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is a little under the weather and tries to get through the day. Ted Chaogh (Kevin Rahm) is working on a client that Don feels he isn't giving his full investment in. Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) becomes suspicious of Bob Benson (James Wolk) for many reasons, including his friend taking care of his mother. He is also more preferable than Pete. It is also revealed that he may have not been hired under the best pretenses. Sally almost has a sexual interaction and feels uncomfortable going to that school. On the way home, she tells Betty that her father is cheap and doesn't get her anything. Don degrades Ted, which Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss) doesn't like. Pete decides to come to terms with Bob, claiming that he wants to try and be partners with him.


Rating:4.5 out of 5

James Wolks
MVP:
Bob Benson (James Wolk)

Is there anybody more likable on the show right now than Bob? While Ted is a nice guy who is working hard, there doesn't seem to be anyone to be jealous of more than Bob. He is on everybody's side and doesn't make enemies. In an episode in which the analogy of adults acting like children is clearly made, Pete is a baby trying to find reason to take down Bob. It doesn't work. Still, he's so fascinated with Bob and his work ethic that he begins to ruin his own. Things are fine for Bob. In this episode, he is so likable that despite his lack of actual central plot, it seems only fair to give him a heavy dose of recognition.

Jon Hamm
Best Scene

The episode and season has been building to a moment like the one that ends this episode. After Don insults Ted and steals his client, he gets a mouthful from Peggy. He claims that he is working for the company to get the best results. However, that also means that he isn't doing the most ethical of practices. When Peggy calls him a monster, it is yet more evidence of how Don has fallen this season and why he is becoming a lousy advertising man. However, the brilliant thing that ties everything together nicely can be seen in the final shot in which Don is seen sleeping on his couch in the fetal position. This not only ties together his mental state, but summarizes everything about the episode's lack of maturity theme into one beautiful image. It's tragic and with one more episode this season to go, who knows what we can expect from him.



UP NEXT: "In Care Of"

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