OK, let’s get this out of the way, first: Megan is not dead. The crackpot theory was, indeed, crackpot, although all other Megan Draper/Sharon Tate theories are still somewhat on the table, at least for a couple more episodes. I have to say, too, that all the theories floating around on the Internet about Megan, Don, and Bob Benson have added a lot more intrigue to the series, because every scene seems to be weighted down by those possibilities. It’s probably a ridiculous notion to think that Matthew Weiner would feature a Dexter-style murder on Mad Men, but that possibility — no matter how remote — gives certain scenes a certain level of suspense.
Meanwhile, something has come of the Bob Benson theories, and this is where last night’s episode got really fun. In explaining to Pete Campbell that Pete’s mother may have mistaken devotion of her caretaker, Manohlo, her for true love, Bob made an obvious (and super awkward and uncomfortable pass at Pete). So Bob is gay, right? MAYBE. And that’s the straightforward answer, and then the question remains: Does Pete — who does seem to be breaking out of his conservative Type-A shell — have latent feelings for Bob? It’s hard to imagine, but maybe he’s feeling a little something for Bob. “Degenerate” sex sure beats Raisin Bran.
In the straightforward version, I don’t see any outcome that ends well for Bob Benson and his Pete Campbell crush. Benson was clearly devestated after being thwarted.
But, OF COURSE, there’s more to this, because maybe Bob isn’t gay. After all, he made the pass at Pete after Pete remarked that homosexuals were degenerates, and Bob Benson is not a dumb guy who reads signs that poorly, is he? Maybe he wanted to prove a point about gays? Maybe he just wanted to make Pete uncomfortable. Or, again, maybe it’s all part of a long con designed to move up the SD & P ladder, or even something else sinister. Maybe he’s in cahoots with Manolo? Point is: It doesn’t solve the Bob Benson mystery, by any means. In fact, if it turns out that it’s nothing more than that Bob Benson is gay and has a little crush on Pete Campbell, that will be disappointing. I do think it’s funny, though, that now that we know that Bob may or may not be gay, many people will rush to the assumption that Matthew Weiner will bring back Sal, as though ALL GAYS KNOW EACH OTHER.
Somebody also mentioned the possibility that Bob wasn’t lying when he said his father died, and that Manohlo nursed his father back to health because it’s possible that Bob has two gay men for fathers. BUT, this is 1968. That seems far-fetched.
Speaking of Bob, the “rapist” that Bob sent to take care of Pete’s mom is an actor named Andres Faucher. They did a good job transforming him into a Spanish Alec Baldwin from 30 Rock.
What is up with Roger and those oranges? THE SUBTEXT. It would drive Freud insane. Or maybe Weiner is just trying to tell us conspiracy theorists something, such as maybe there is a surprise happy ending in store for these people?
In case you didn’t know, the oranges are a clear reference to The Sopronos/The Godfather, and they foreshadow something very bad.
Meanwhile, I love that Peggy called Stan Rizzo after she spotted a rat in her apartment (what’s the significance of a bleeding rat?), and I love even more that they have a secret code for the fact that one of them is sleeping with someone. And that Peggy offered sexual favors in return for getting rid of the rat, and that Stan knew she wasn’t serious. These two should get their own apartment together, and they should make a spin-off sitcom based around their sexual tension. They could call in New Girl — 1968. Honestly, though, I would watch an entire episode that was just those two talking on the phone.
Two questions: Who was Stan sleeping with, and why did he have a poster of Moshe Dayan on his wall? He was a fighting symbol to the world of the new state of Israel.
Speaking of Peggy, her and drunk Pete’s conversation over dinner was effortless, and by God, for a minute there, even Pete Campbell was charming. It was clear, too, that Ted felt a little pang of jealousy at their breezy rapport. Ted has problems of his own, however, at home, with a wife who is unhappy because she not only has to compete for Ted’s attention, but it’s clear that his job makes him happier than she does. It kind of puts the Peggy thing into perspective, however: She is a work crush, and for all of Ted’s dick-measuring with Don at the office, he is — at his core — a good guy, a family man, even if he is kind of a child. I think we can put the Peggy/Ted ship to bed. I hope that doesn’t mean that Peggy ends up a cat lady.
What a depressing thought.
Also, Ted, those boots, man. Nice.