What Happened To Bob Benson On 'Mad Men'? It's "Not Great" Without Pete's Former Nemesis
There are only four episodes left of Mad Men, like ever, and there are so many characters we need to see the show takes its final bow. One of is a certain short shorts-wearing, Pete Campbell-angering, "buddy" of Joan. Is Bob Benson coming back to Mad Men? His character may have arrived on the show late, but he's absolutely fascinating and there needs to be an end to his story. Of course, we can't forget what show we're talking about. Even Mad Men 's biggest spoilers tell us nothing. I have no way of knowing if we'll see Bob Benson or not in the next and last four episodes, but is has to happen.
Bob Benson waltzed into Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in Season 6 and started working there without ever being officially hired. He befriended Joan, and may or may not have conspired against Pete Campbell with the help of his boyfriend Manolo. Last year, in the first half of Season 7, Bob Benson reappeared and it was revealed that he was (possibly) involved with a GM executive. The executive called Bob from jail in the middle of the night, where he was being held for soliciting an undercover cop. In exchange for bail, the executive let Bob know that he was looking at a major job offer with Buick. This spooked him, which caused Bob Benson to propose a sham marriage to Joan Harris. She turned him down, and we are to believe that he moved to Detroit to take the job with Buick.
There was a short clip of Bob in last Sunday's "previously on Mad Men," which reminded us of that awkward scene. Joan has found the love she insisted upon in lieu of an "arrangement," but what about Bob? He was rude to Joan in his desperation, but I couldn't deal with him having such a tragic ending! Bob is smart. He's not going to get himself fired in Michigan for carelessness. He's either going to find some other girl to take him up on his offer of a sexless marriage, or he's going to quit this business altogether and settle down with a nice boy back in New York.
Besides Peggy's friend Joyce and Sal Romano, who vanished at the end of Season 3, Bob Benson is the only major gay character on Mad Men that we know about. The 1970s saw the beginning of the Gay Rights Movement in America, starting with the Stonewall Riot in June of 1969. There may not be many hours left in Mad Men to get into this part of history, but Bob Benson is well-placed to showcase it. I would be surprised if we didn't see him at least once before the series is out. The story between him and the GM executive was a sad reminder of what it was like to be gay in the 60s, but things were starting to get better.
The other great thing about Bob Benson is that he's almost exactly like Don Draper. Both have completely re-invented themselves and get by with charm, good looks, and a mysterious backstory. Don's personal crisis in this half of the season brings their differences and similarities back to the forefront. Bob is an excellent foil, and as we say goodbye to Don, we should bid Bob adieu as well.
Images: Justina Mintz, Michael Yarish/AMC; Giphy