Episode Guide

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Episode 3: The Benefactor

Mad Men episode 203 main

Trouble arises on the set of a commercial while Don plays hooky from the office. Meanwhile, Harry, determined to make improvements in his career, tries to gather support around a controversial sponsorship. Betty joins Don when he attempts to appease his clients with a friendly dinner. Read more...

At a Sterling Cooper managed promotional shoot for Utz Potato Chips, celebrity comic Jimmy Barrett singles out the owner's heavy-set wife and shockingly compares her to the Hindenburg. Meanwhile, Betty meets Arthur's fiancee Tara at the stables with friend Sara Beth.

Back at Sterling Cooper, Harry discovers that Ken makes $300 a week to his $200 when he opens an envelope addressed to Ken but accidentally delivered to him. When he tells his wife on the phone, she insists he demand more money. Later when Harry shares this with Sal, Sal responds, "There's nothing you can do. That's why you don't tell your wife."

Don, who'd been at a screening of a foreign film during the Utz fiasco, hears about it from Ken and Roger. Fingers are pointed but the bottom line is Don must clean up the mess. After firing his secretary, Lois, for not "managing people's expectations," he moves on to damage control.

Harry calls a friend at CBS to inquire about job openings. There aren't any, but Harry learns about an episode of The Defenders which has sponsors bailing because it concerns abortion. Harry tells his contact he might be able to find a sponsor.

The next morning, Joan informs Don that she'll be his temporary secretary. Later that day, Don meets with Bobbie Barrett, Jimmy's wife/manager. Don asks what might induce Jimmy to apologize to Mrs. Schilling of Utz; Bobbie says Jimmy has to know that Don is a fan and that "he's got a shot at your wife." With negotiations at an impasse, Don offers her a ride. In his car, the two get stuck in a hailstorm; Bobbie kisses Don. "I don't want to do this," he says to which she replies, "Doesn't feel that way."

At home, Sally wants permission to accompany her mother riding on Saturday, but is told no. Betty hands Don a watch she had monogrammed. He leans over and kisses her.

At the stables, Betty has a one-on-one encounter with Arthur since Sara Beth is attending her daughter's ballet recital. Arthur tells Betty his fiancee was jealous of her and describes the complications of his relationship with Tara. When he starts expressing feelings for Betty, she tells him not to ruin their friendship by saying too much. Twice he describes her as "so profoundly sad." "You're wrong," she replies the second time. "I'm grateful." Betty walks away, her hand shaking as she lights a cigarette.

At home, Don springs the idea of Lutece on Betty before saying it's for business. (He's already invited Bobbie and Jimmy Barrett as well as the Schillings.) "I need you to be shiny and bright," he says. "I need a better half."

At work on Monday, Harry pitches The Defenders to a representative of Belle Jolie lipstick: "Top-twenty show. Prime time. For pennies on the dollar." The client declines -- abortion is too controversial -- but Roger later congratulates Harry for his initiative. In response, Harry says he wants to be the head of a new television department. "All the other agencies have one," Harry says. That granted, Harry requests a raise to $310 a week. "No one makes that around here, not even close," Roger asserts. They settle on $225. "You drive a hard bargain," quips Roger.

At dinner, Jimmy flirts with Betty and ignores Mrs. Schilling until Don corners Bobbie in the powder room and puts on some pressure. When she says that an apology is going to cost $25,000 Don grabs her by the hair and reaches up her skirt threatening to ruin Jimmy if he doesn't make amends before the appetizers are over. Upon their return, Jimmy apologizes. Meanwhile, at the Cranes' apartment, Jennifer tells Harry that she and the baby are proud about his promotion.

Betty, crying on the drive home from Lutece, tells Don she's "just so happy. When I said I wanted to be part of your life, this is what I meant." Before snuggling closer to him, she adds, "We make a great team.

Mad Men Season 2

View photos from Episode 203, "The Benefactor"

Guest stars:
Herman "Duck" Phillips - Mark Moses
Freddy Rumsen - Joel Murray
Lois - Crista Flanagan
Sally - Kiernan Shipka
Sarah Beth - Missy Yager
Arthur - Gabriel Mann
Gertie - Denise Crosby
Jennifer Crane - Laura Regan
Tara - Cameron Goodman
Bobbie Barrett - Melinda McGraw
Jimmy Barrett - Patrick Fischler
Edith Schilling - Jan Hoag
Hunt Schilling - Steve Stapenhorst
Elliot Lawrence - Paul Keeley
Flatty - Nat Faxon
Todd - Brian Norris
Warren McKenna - John Douglas Williams
Robert "Bobby" Draper - Aaron Hart
Camera AC - David Zelina
Director - Eric S. Cooper
Waiter *(Rob Espierre) - Phillipe Bergeron

Writer: Matthew Weiner and Rick Cleveland

Director: Lesli Linka Glatter

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Next Episode: Three Sundays

Mad Men episode 204 main

Peggy’s family hosts lunch for a new priest in their church. Don and Betty enjoy a family weekend together. Freddy and Ken take a client out to lunch who spurs Roger Sterling’s heart. Sterling Cooper staffers work double time to prepare for a last minute pitch meeting.

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