What about Bob? | Bleader

What about Bob?

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Bob Benson
  • Michael Yarish/AMC
  • Bob Benson
Prior to the premiere of season six of Mad Men, when the impatient among us were clamoring for clues or bread crumbs, anything that might reveal what would unfold over the course of the subsequent 13 weeks (god, we're the worst), everyone looked to a promotional poster.

You probably remember: A sketchy city scene. Don Draper holding a woman's hand and glancing over his shoulder at the Don Draper who just passed him in the opposite direction. Police cars in the background. A stop sign.

The symbolism of the two Don Drapers isn't terribly veiled. It's not even symbolism, really. He's literally existed as two people—Don Draper and Dick Whitman—and he's a guy who almost consistently lives a double life sexually, and he's never quite been able to reconcile both halves of his whole identity. Following season six, it looks like Don might finally be willing to try. Ending with Judy Collins's "Both Sides Now" was a nice touch.

Looking at it again, the poster also brings to mind the introduction of Bob, the too-eager accounts guy whose backstory turns out to be oddly similar to Don's. Equal parts funny and menacing, Bob turned out to be one of the most interesting characters on the show this season. He never quite seemed trustworthy, and it turns out he isn't—but do we hold his past or his dishonesty against him? Not necessarily. Well, how about the fact that his boyfriend is a murderer? (An unusually forthcoming Matthew Weiner basically told the Daily Beast that, yeah, Manolo killed Pete's mom.) Bob is positioned as a doppelganger—and doppelgangers are no good. But then again, maybe he's just a benign social climber, flawed certainly, but who on the show isn't?

Maybe we'll see him in the seventh and final season. Maybe we won't. Mad Men is entering the era of the serial killer.

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