Thursday, May 30, 2013

I May Have Figured Out Bob Benson, But Probably Not

Last season on AMC's Mad Men, Meagan Draper was the breakout character, stealing our hearts with "Zou Bisou Bisou," and basically looking hot in underwear. This season, a new character has emerged..... and while he has clearly stolen our favorite buxom redhead's heart, he's creeping the rest of us the fuck out.

I'm talking of course, about smiling Bob Benson.

Internet speculation has been running wild. Who is this happy, well-adjusted man, on a show where everyone is broken in some way? HE MUST BE A PSYCHO KILLER!!!

I was reading one blog's theory when a paragraph got me thinking (emphasis mine):
He's an Army-trained registered nurse, and he's available now only because he's brought my father back to full health.
-Bob Benson to Pete Campbell in "The Better Half"

Bob Benson is up to something. He's a good guy, sure. He loves to help out, and he's good at it. But he's also a liar.

When Bob sends a "royal spread" to Roger Sterling's mother's wake, Ken Cosgrove confronts him. "I was just thinking of when my father died," Benson told Cosgrove in "The Doorway," the premiere episode of Mad Men's sixth season. Unless Benson has two fathers -- one who has died, and another who has been brought back to full health by an Army-trained registered nurse -- he's being dishonest.
 Hold the phone. This blogger didn't realize it, but I think they just stumbled onto the answer. Who is Bon Benson?

He's Don Draper's son. The ACTUAL Don Draper's son.

We know Don Draper, ad man, is actually Dick Whitman, prostitute's kid. Don Draper died in Korea, and Dick stole his identity. Draper's real wife tracked Dick down, and they developed a mother-son kind of relationship. But we know absolutely nothing else about the Don Draper that died in the war. Maybe he had a child (a love child hidden from his wife, or known about but never mentioned). This child grew up, and discovered that someone was using his father's name. "When my father died," refers to when the young Bob Benson learned his dad died in the war. "An army-trained registered nurse brought my father back to full health"-- that's a reference to someone who helped Dick Whitman recover from his war injuries, something the young Bob Benson may have learned about later.

In this context, Bob Benson isn't a liar. He technically has two fathers, one dead and one who recovered, both named Don Draper.

I don't know if the timeline works out, but it's an interesting idea. Bob Benson knows Don's/Dick's secret.

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