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The Benefactor
The benefactor.jpg
Season 2 Episode 3
Air date 10 August 2008
Written by Matthew Weiner
Rick Cleveland
Directed by Lesli Linka Glatter

Flight 1
Three Sundays


Problems surface on the set of a commercial shoot while Don plays hooky from the office; ever-ambitious, career-minded Harry musters support for a sponsorship plagued by controversy; Betty steps in to help Don when he arranges a dinner to placate his upset clients.


At a Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency 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 Hofstadt meets Arthur Case's fiance Tara at the stables with friend Sara Beth.

Back at Sterling Cooper, Harry discovers that Ken makes 300 dollars a week to his 200 dollars 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 Holloway 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 dollars a week. "No one makes that around here, not even close", Roger asserts. They settle on 225 dollars. "You drive a hard bargain", quips Roger.

Sarah Beth Carson

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 dollars 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 of 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.


  • Jimmy Barrett was based on a blend of different comedians, including Jerry Lewis.
  • In the beginning of the scene with Sal and Harry, Sal is taking the words “Mohawk Airlines” off some work and replacing it with “American Airlines”, showing that Sterling Cooper is reusing a lot of work.
  • Matthew Weiner witnessed someone getting fired that did not realize they were getting fired, which inspired the Lois demotion scene.
  • The production crew used mothballs for hail in the car scene with Don and Bobbie.
  • January Jones came up with the line about her people being Nordic.


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Seasons of Mad Men
Season 1 • "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" • "Ladies Room" • "Marriage of Figaro" • "New Amsterdam" • "5G" • "Babylon" • "Red in the Face" • "The Hobo Code" • "Shoot" • "Long Weekend" • "Indian Summer" • "Nixon vs. Kennedy" • "The Wheel" •
Season 2 • "For Those Who Think Young" • "Flight 1" • "The Benefactor" • "Three Sundays" • "The New Girl" • "Maidenform" • "The Gold Violin" • "A Night to Remember" • "Six Month Leave" • "The Inheritance" • "The Jet Set" • "The Mountain King" • "Meditations in an Emergency" •
Season 3 • "Out of Town" • "Love Among the Ruins" • "My Old Kentucky Home" • "The Arrangements" • "The Fog" • "Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency" • "Seven Twenty Three" • "Souvenir" • "Wee Small Hours" • "The Color Blue" • "The Gypsy and the Hobo" • "The Grown-Ups" • "Shut the Door. Have a Seat" •
Season 4 • "Public Relations" • "Christmas Comes But Once a Year" • "The Good News" • "The Rejected" • "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword" • "Waldorf Stories" • "The Suitcase" • "The Summer Man" • "The Beautiful Girls" • "Hands and Knees" • "Chinese Wall" • "Blowing Smoke" • "Tomorrowland" •
Season 5 • "A Little Kiss, Part 1" • "A Little Kiss, Part 2" • "Tea Leaves" • "Mystery Date" • "Signal 30" • "Far Away Places" • "At the Codfish Ball" • "Lady Lazarus" • "Dark Shadows" • "Christmas Waltz" • "The Other Woman" • "Commissions and Fees" • "The Phantom" •
Season 6 • "The Doorway, Part 1" • "The Doorway, Part 2" • "The Collaborators" • "To Have and To Hold" • "The Flood" • "For Immediate Release" • "Man With a Plan" • "The Crash" • "The Better Half" • "A Tale of Two Cities" • "Favors" • "The Quality of Mercy" • "In Care Of" •
Season 7 • "Time Zones" • "A Day's Work" • "Field Trip" • "The Monolith" • "The Runaways" • "The Strategy" • "Waterloo" • "Severance" • "New Business" • "The Forecast" • "Time & Life" • "Lost Horizon" • "The Milk and Honey Route" • "Person to Person" •