Episode 2.03: The Benefactor


Late March 1962
(The Benefactor, episode 30 of The Defenders, aired on April 28, 1962. The likeliest dates are March 22–26 or March 29–April 2.)

A television studio
On the set of a commercial: We see cameras, and Freddy Rumsen asleep. Jimmy Barrett, a comic, is starring in an Utz potato chip ad. Ken Cosgrove arrives with a clearly important couple, the clients; the wife is large. Jimmy immediately makes a series of fat jokes at shotgun pace. The couple, upset, leaves quickly with Ken, and Freddy gently berates Jimmy, who is unfazed.

The stables
Betty dismounts and beings to chat with Sarah Beth. Betty mentions she’s having Don’s watch repaired. They watch Arthur Case. His fiance Tara discusses his poor riding with Gertie, who works at the stables, and then Arthur walks over and introduces Tara to Betty and Sara Beth. Sara Beth tells Betty that she’ll have Arthur to herself on Saturday, because Becky has a recital.

Sterling Cooper
The mail boy, Todd, delivers a paycheck to Harry. Harry sees that he also has Ken’s paycheck (Cosgrove and Crane are next to each other in the alphabetical pile), and decides to peek. He is crestfallen by what he sees, and then realizes he has to figure out how to make the envelope look okay.

He phones his wife, who is feeling sick in her pregnancy. He tells her that Ken makes $300 a week. Jennifer insists he demand a raise.

A movie theater
Don watches a black and white French film in a nearly empty theater. We see a cliff, a primitive drawing, a farmhouse, a statue of an angel, a hand up against glass.

Sterling Cooper
Sal is working on changing the Mohawk Airlines artwork to American Airlines artwork. Harry comes in and asks about an envelope, and then tells Sal what happened. Sal, too, is upset about the amount. Sal tells Harry to be indispensable.

Roger and Ken come in to see Don, and Ken tells him what happened with Jimmy Barrett–he insulted Mr. and Mrs. Schilling, whom Roger calls Mr. and Mrs. Utz. The conversation is rapid-fire. Freddie comes in, Ken blames Freddie’s drinking, Roger blames them both. Then Duck Philips comes in and announces they’re going to lose the client. Duck asks Don to talk to Jimmy Barrett, Roger announces that Don will fix it. Don says that Ken should have brought the Schillings to him so he could have prevented the encounter, and Ken says Don was out–the movie matinee comes back to bite him. Don says he’ll talk to the Schillings and to Jimmy. Everyone leaves but Roger, who tells him he needs to talk to his girl.

Don demotes Lois back to the switchboard.

At the end of the day, Harry isn’t leaving. He calls his friend Edgar Flatly at CBS, saying he’s considering moving on. Edgar complains he’s lost two major sponsors for an episode of The Defenders that mentions abortion repeatedly. Harry decides he wants to see the show for possible sponsorship by a Sterling Cooper client.

Sterling Cooper
Joan will be covering Don’s desk while searching for a suitable new secretary. He tells her he wants to drop in on Jimmy during filming.

Harry is screening the Defenders episode in his office.

The studio
Bobbie Barrett chats with Don and tells him she’s Jimmy’s manager as well as his wife. The conversation isn’t successful. Don is firm, but Bobbie is all, Jimmy is funny, that’s what he does, and besides he has a contract. Don offers to drive her to the Copa where Jimmy is rehearsing. Once in the car, it begins to hail. Bobbie jumps Don, Don says no, but a crotch grab elicits a response. They go at it in the car.

The Draper home
Don comes in and immediately washes his hands and rinses his mouth, spitting afterward. He grabs some booze before sitting down. Sally wants to go riding with Mommy but Betty says no. She gives Don his watch, which she has had monogrammed. He seems genuinely touched. Also guilty. He looks at his kids eating, and is lost in thought.

The stables
Betty is riding and comes up to Arthur. She tries to teach him how to discipline his horse. He complains that Tara insists that he ride, and mentions that the men in her family don’t work.

The Draper home
The kids are eating cereal in front of the TV. Don, in a robe, passes through on his way into his office. He phones Bobbie from a number on a matchbook. He invites the Barretts to dinner at Lutece on Monday night.

At the stables
Arthur approaches Betty in the stable. She berates him for being “silly” about riding. He talks about his relationship with Tara, and about being dazzled by her wealth. He tries to kiss Betty, she says no, he pushes forward, she stops him. She is shaking as she leaves.

The Draper home
Betty wants to run upstairs to change, but Don insists she come talk. He asks her to Lutece on Monday night. At first she’s thrilled, then she finds out it’s business. He promises her they’ll go alone another time.

Sterling Cooper
In the conference room, they’re airing the episode of The Defenders. Peggy stares rigidly. Harry and Don sell the controversial nature to Elliot of Belle Jolie. Women will watch and the show is cathartic, but Elliot is uncomfortable. Peggy, when asked for input, can barely speak. Elliot cannot bring this back to his parent company, but he’s impressed by the presentation. Harry pushes and Don pulls him back. Elliot greets Sal warmly as he leaves; Sal is stiffer even than Peggy.

Harry nervously enters Roger’s office on Roger’s summons. Roger toys with Harry, first frightening him, and then asking him what he wants. Roger makes Harry the head of the television department, and then Harry asks for a raise. Roger asks him what he makes, Harry says $200. Harry asks for $310, Roger gets him to take $225.

The Drapers and the Schillings are chatting about children. Hunt Schilling asks “Where is he,” and Edith learns that Jimmy is coming. She doesn’t want to see him, but Don insists he wants to apologize. The Barretts arrive. Jimmy immediately begins flirting with Betty. Bobbie excuses herself and a moment later so does Don.

The Crane home
Jennifer is making booties. She is really proud of what Harry has done. Harry says she doesn’t have to work. He told her about his achievement with a controversial show but avoids telling her the controversy was about abortion. Laying his head in her lap he says she wouldn’t like the television show.

Bobbie is in the hallway outside the restrooms looking in the mirror. Don approaches. Don says the apology must happen soon. Bobbie counters that a lawyer reviewed the contract and Jimmy doesn’t have to apologize at all, and that they have to pay him even if they fire him. She wants Sterling Cooper to pay Jimmy a $25k bonus in exchange for the apology. Don grabs Bobbie, pulls her head back, and with his hand up her dress, tells her to do as he says. He shakes off his hand and goes back to the table. He wipes off his hand when he sits. When Bobbie comes back she cues Jimmy to apologize, which he does.

In the car heading home, Betty begins to cry. She says she’s happy that Don included her in his life. “We make a great team” she says, and cuddles up as Roses and Lollipops plays on the radio.

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