Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Benefactor – Mad Men Episode Summary 2.3

Don Draper manhandles Bobbie BarrettSynopsis: Jimmy Barrett has a field day with the overweight woman who happens to be his benefactor, Edith Schilling. Don Draper is left to do damage control, and in his quest begins an affair with the comedian’s wife and manager, Bobbie Barrett. Meanwhile, Harry Crane is in pursuit for a higher salary having learned that Ken Cosgrove makes more money than he does. An opportunity is presented to him after learning that the TV show “The Defenders” has lost its major sponsors following their refusal to fund the controversial episode “The Benefactor” that centers on the abortion issue.

Episode Summary: Jimmy Barrett is preparing for another take of his Utz commercial when the client arrives. Seeing the corpulent woman, Jimmy could not help but make fun of her, likening her to the Hindenburg, a water buffalo, and a whale. Meanwhile, Betty Draper has just finished riding when she and Sarah Beth catch sight of Arthur Case. The young man is with his fiancée whom Sarah Beth insists they meet. Betty, secretly smitten with Arthur, suddenly feels uncomfortable at the prospect of meeting the young woman. Sarah Beth is slightly dismayed to learn that her crush is engaged to a young, lovely woman of means. Continue reading...

Harry Crane gets a hold of Ken Cosgrove’s paycheck by accident, and becomes upset at learning that the young account executive is earning more than he does. He gives his pregnant wife a call. She advises that he demand a raise, but becomes disappointed at realizing that her husband rang only to rant. Having ripped the paycheck’s envelope, Harry goes over to Salvatore Romano to ask for his help, and also to share his misery. Both men are earning less than Ken, but unlike Harry, Sal believes that nothing can be done for they work for a meritocracy where rewards are given commensurate with the individual’s talent, effort, and output. For Harry to successfully demand a raise, he must first show proof that their agency cannot run without him.

Ken Cosgrove with Roger Sterling informs Don Draper of the disastrous incident with Jimmy Barrett and the Schillings. Ken blames the alcoholic Freddie Rumsen for sleeping on the job, and failing to avert disaster. Freddie argues that Ken should know better not to put Mrs. Schilling and Jimmy Barrett in a room together given Barrett’s notorious behavior. Soon, Duck Phillips arrives to inform them that Utz wants Jimmy out of the commercial, which also means that Utz is letting go of Sterling Cooper. Once again, everybody turns to Don to pick up the pieces with Duck putting the blame on creative for getting Jimmy drunk. Don argues that they would not be in this situation if only account have informed him of the Schillings’ visit for he would not have let them on the set. His argument backfires when Ken makes it known that he followed protocol only Don was not around for he was out at the movies watching a French film. Put on the spot, he agrees to do damage control. As Lois Sadler would soon find out, the consequences of the fiasco trickles down to the bottom of the food chain as she gets demoted back to the switchboard for proving to be an incompetent secretary.

Harry Crane, still upset about the fact that Ken Cosgrove is considered more valuable than he is, calls Edgar Fladen of CBS to ask if they are looking for someone of his talent. Unfortunately, CBS is downsizing. Moreover, Edgar had lost major sponsors for the TV show The Defenders after being forced to air an episode that tackles the issue of abortion. Harry Crane asks that his friend send him over the script to see if he could help, and is suddenly struck with an idea.

Don Draper waits for Jimmy Barrett, but gets his manager who happens to be Mrs. Barrett. Bobbie Barrett comes in defense of her husband whom she swears is funnier when drunk. Don explains that the Schillings are Jimmy’s benefactors, and without people like them, he can say goodbye to his career. He insists that he speak with the comedian, but Bobbie, a very good manager, acts as a firewall. As a last resort to getting face time with Jimmy, Don Draper offers to give Bobbie a ride home using the rain as an excuse. As the rain turned into hail, the two gets stuck in the car with Bobbie seducing the man unable to resist a woman in need.

Don Draper arrives home to his family after a lascivious rendezvous with Bobbie Barrett. He could not help, but feel a little guilty after learning that his wife had taken the time to have his watch fixed and monogrammed for him. Little did he know that his wife too desires another, and is the reason for her reluctance to bring the kids on her Saturday ride. With Sarah Beth out on her daughter’s ballet recital, Betty is free to mingle with Arthur Case without the risk of revealing her true desires. Recognizing that he has caught the eye of Betty, Arthur pursues her. Betty is taken aback with the young man who candidly discusses his fiancée with her. Arthur finds Tara Montague as the girl who has everything, one who is happy all the time, and becomes upset the moment things do not go her way. The young man has convinced himself that Betty is so different from Tara. He recognizes the sadness in her. Betty is disappointed at learning that Arthur is infatuated with her, and crosses the line when he leans in to give her a kiss. Luckily, Betty exhibits self-control, and avoids making a regrettable mistake.

With Betty out of the house, Don gives Bobbie a call to schedule a dinner with the Barretts, and the Schillings although it quickly revealed his need to speak to the woman whom he had just had an affair with. As soon as Betty arrives home, Don wastes no time to inform her of the dinner at Lutece, which made his wife excited until he reveals that it will be a business dinner with the Barretts and the Schillings. Moreover, Betty is expected to put on a show to charm Jimmy Barrett. Arthur Case is right after all, Betty Draper is a sad woman.

Harry Crane not only gets the script to “The Benefactor” episode of “The Defenders”, he gets the reel of the episode. Moreover, he gets Sterling Cooper to present the idea of sponsoring the episode with Belle Jolie. The client is reluctant to advertise on the show given its highly controversial nature. Their argument is that controversy creates viewers, therefore increasing the reach with their target audience. Unfortunately, Belle Jolie is a family company, and has no desire of being mixed up with the controversy. Their client, however, is very impressed at the idea of sponsoring a TV show.

Hearing of Harry’s recent endeavor, Roger Sterling calls him to his office to give him an opportunity to make demands. Harry Crane’s initiative paid off. He asks for a Television Department where he will be the head, and demands a raise; both of which he receives without too much fuss from Roger Sterling. As it appears, one need only recognize the opportunity to receive a sizeable reward. Harry Crane comes home to his pleased wife extremely proud of her husband for getting the salary increase, and being the head of television at Sterling Cooper.

The Drapers and the Schillings are at Lutece when Edith Schilling is caught by surprise at learning that the dinner is with the Barretts who once again are on the verge of causing aggravation to the Schillings for being late. Don assures the woman hesitant to come across the rude comedian that Jimmy is coming to apologize. At last, the Barretts arrive. Betty Draper does as told, and charms Jimmy. Unfortunately, Jimmy Barrett is his old self only slightly restrained. Nonetheless, the Schillings are not pleased. Don Draper follows Bobbie Barrett to the powder room, and learns that Jimmy has no plans to apologize given that his manager-wife found a loophole in the contract. In fact, Bobbie puts a price on his apology. This upsets Don who reaches up the woman’s skirt, and demands that Jimmy apologize to the Schillings. A shaken Bobbie Barrett returns, and much to her husband’s surprise, paves the way to his unplanned apology. Jimmy provides an acceptable admission of guilt, and asks for forgiveness from Edith Schilling. Moreover, he shows restraint when Edith declares not having the stomach to shrug off jokes about her weight.

On their way home, Don Draper is surprised to find her wife crying. Betty informs her husband that those are tears of happiness. The dinner made her realize that she is part of her husband’s life, and that the two of them make a great team.

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