Assuming you're up to date on Mad Men's sixth season, you may have noticed a new face in the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce offices. He's kind of hard to miss—dashingly handsome in that squeaky clean all-American way, and the most blatant brown-noser to hit the firm since Pete Campbell's early days. James Wolk (Happy Endings, Lone Star, Political Animals) showed up in the Season 6 premiere as new guy Bob Benson who, honestly, seems to get a lot of screen time for a character who so far has served no apparent function other than being an over-the-top ass-kisser for us to laugh at. Did you know you can even follow him on Twitter?
Theories about Benson abound, though, because the internet loves a good conspiracy theory, and there's nothing like a new Mad Men character to get the lips flapping—or rather, the fingers typing.
Below, we've compiled some of the most insightful, delightful, and just plain weird Bob Benson theories for your consideration, and added a few of our own. Leave yours in the comments!
Over on Reddit, there is an entire thread dedicated to theories about brown-nosing Bob. Citing the work SCDP has done with Dow Chemical, past political campaigns, and Don's too-close encounter with the NSA during the American Airlines thing, G-man is one of the out-there-but-not-batshit-crazy theories floating around.
Mad Men Episode IV: A New Hope
Bob recently called SCDP his dream job and said he left his lucrative former gig because it didn't make him happy. Most of the people we've watched grow at the firm—specifically Don, Pete, Joan, and Roger—are pretty miserable there these days. In this past Sunday's "To Have and to Hold," Dawn even remarked that everybody she worked with was always scared, but, you know, Bob never seems scared, and Bob probably should be scared because he always seems to be pissing off someone who's higher than him on the food chain. Peggy escaped to greener pastures because she didn't feel like dealing with the office B.S. anymore. Don hasn't really excelled at his work since Season 4. Roger's been stuck in mid-life crisis mode for at least that long. But despite his sucking up, Benson seems genuinely excited about the opportunities at SCDP, and maybe as Mad Men continues to erode the foundation of the status quo, characters like Bob and Dawn will prove to be the new breed that leads SCDP into the '70s.
OMG Stop Over-thinking This, He's Just an Overeager Accounts Guy!
But certainly a possibility.
Something Vaguely Villainous
An FBI agent doesn't have to equal a villain. Also, a villain doesn't have to be a world-shaking destroyer of everything you hold dear. Bob Benson's ass-kissing can already be construed as the behavior of a bad guy in that it gives him the appearance of a man who doesn't want to work too hard to move up the ladder, but rather wants to advance by becoming besties with the boss. Maybe Benson's aw-shuck's faux-humility will give way to a more darkly manipulative character once he rises to the level of the very people he keeps trying so hard to impress? Maybe Cosgrove will think twice about pulling rank once Benson is in the position to pull right back? You know, if he makes it that far.
A Long-lost Relative of Ginsberg
We haven't seen much of Ginsberg this season, but the show never returned to his family history after the initial bombshell that he was born in a concentration camp—where his mother died—and later adopted.
Speaking of Long-lost Relatives: Bert's/Roger's/Don's Long-lost Son
While having Benson be the long-lost son of anybody smacks of soap, I admittedly love the idea.
A Time-traveling Bobby Draper
Just figured it out: James Wolk is playing a time-traveling Bobby Draper, there to throw Don off the roof as seen in the credits. #MadMen— Ryan McGee (@TVMcGee) April 15, 2013
Because hey, why not?
Just a Regular Guy, But More Importantly: Lady Campbell's Future Lover
Get it, Trudy!
What are your own Bob Benson theories? Let's hear 'em below!