I'm sure you're watching Mad Men and you're all caught up on what happened on Sunday night, but just in case you're not, I'm going to just avoid major plot points and talk only about this one character that Stephan and I have been wondering about all season: Bob Benson.
WHO. IS. BOB. BENSON? It is driving me nuts, honestly. Why is he so perky? What is he doing there? Why won't Matthew Weiner give us any clues?
We have been entertaining several theories, which I will list for you here, probably not in the order we thought of them or how likely they probably are. I like my "Show Cancer" theory the best currently.
1. Bob Benson, chipper and perky new addition to the team and bringer of spare coffees, is actually a spy. Seriously, maybe he's working for the CIA. He's hiding in plain site. He's reporting the actions of the agency, and eventually we will find out that the government has been building a case against them for several years, probably because of something Don said to someone during a meeting, or because they know about the fact that Don is a deserter and they suspect him of being anti-USA (that information was NOT A SPOILER since it's been several seasons and we know this about him, right?).
2. No? OK, let's try the other angle. Bob Benson is a spy for Russia. The Russians want to know what is going on in US advertising, so they trained a Russian guy named Boris Blekovsky who happened to do a really good American accent.
3. Not feeling that one either? OK, fine-- what about this one? Bob Benson is the beginning of the end. We all know Mad Men has probably one season left, so I think Matthew Weiner has installed Bob Benson as the show's resident good-looking Grim Reaper. No one knows what he's doing there, only one person (Ken Cosgrove) has made reference to even knowing him, and everything action he takes is to ingratiate himself to one of the partners (last week this person was Joan). Does he like Joan? Maybe, and maybe his being a love interest for her will be a plot point, but maybe, JUST MAYBE Bob Benson is a mole for another agency, and he's going to steal all of their secrets and put them out of business, and that will be the end of the show, and he will have been hiding in plain site this whole time, like the neighbor you thought was normal but then turned out to be a serial killer. Know what I'm saying? He is show cancer, and he will eat away at the show through another season, until the series finale, where all will be revealed.
4. Bob Benson is a completely random character with little to no meaning. He's a red herring. Matthew Weiner wants us to THINK Bob Benson symbolizes something, but really he's just an awesome guy with a spare cup of coffee, and why are we so cynical?
Do you find any of these theories plausible? Do you think I'm overthinking this? TELL ME YOUR BOB BENSON THEORIES!