Mad Men Thread: Favors


The Season-6 freight train gained momentum with another kick ass episode, Favors. It had everything I love about Mad Men from 60’s fashion to the generation gap writ large to a Moshe Dayanposter on a goyim’s wall. Nobody in the MM punditocracy has figured that one out, but another reference loops back to the Sharon Tate theory:Mark Lindsay lived in the murder house with Terry Melcherwho was the *real* target of Mason’s psychotic rage.

Favors was an apt title for this week’s installment. There was more “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” action than at a session of the Greek Parliament. Well, maybe not more but just as much. There’s a lot of ground to cover this week, so here we go:

Here’s to you, Mrs. Campbell: Pete’s mom is in love with her dashing Spanish nurse, Manolo. There was a great scene between her and the Pegster wherein Mrs. C confused her with Trudy and told her that Manolo was a goer. Nudge, nudge, say no more. Koo koo ka choo…

Peggy shared this insight with Pete who was disgusted. Pete was disgusted a lot in this episode except for the great moment he shared with Peggy while on the road with Ted (Sky Pilot) Chaough. Pete and Peggy were actually nice to one another as they ruminated about their shared past, Pete’s daft mother, and the obvious chemistry between the Pegster and the Tedster.

Bob and Pete sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g: Not realy, but Bob Benson almost declared his love for Pete in their “Manolo the degenerate must be fired” scene. I’m unsure if this will turn out to be Bob’s big secret but I didn’t see this coming. Pete clearly understood what Bob’s leg creep meant and used the word “disgusting” as he moved his own limb away. He was allegedly referring to Manolo, but Benson caught his drift. I’m not sure where they’re headed with this, but I somehow doubt that Pete and Bob are now gay married and living in condo on Fire Island, but ya never know.

Frenemies, a love story: The ongoing saga of Ted and Don’s unbromance was central to the episode. Ted’s fury with Don boiled over after the latter mentioned Rosen the younger’s draft status at a meeting with the Chevy guys. It’s business 101 that you never bring up a depressing subject with clients, but Don is so detached from the company that he forgot this basic rule. Don was hoping to get some help for Sylvia’s kid from the Motowners. It turned out that our boy Ted is not only as dovish as Don, but he’s got juice in the modern sense as opposed to Sunkist or Ocean Spray. Ted may just be able to save Mitchell’s cute little tush (according to Sally) from getting shot off by the Viet Cong. Speaking of Sally:

Sally and the keys: Sally and her little friend Julie are in Manhattan for “diplomacy school,” which Betty described as just another excuse for kids to make out. Even Betty is right occasionally. Sally and Julie think that Mitchell Rosen is a cutie pie and Sally’s sidekick slides a letter under the Rosen’s door to help Sally’s cause. In the immortal words of Rick Perry, “oops.”

In classic Don Fucking Draper fashion, he cannot leave well enough alone and keep his pants zipped while helping young Rosen avoid becoming cannon fodder. I’m convinced that Don’s motive was partially guilt over cuckolding Arnold, but he did what Don does and was in the process of “comforting” Sylvia when Sally walked in to retrieve her missive to Mitchell. Holy pandemonium, Batman.

For the first time since Betty learned that he was Dick Whitman, we see a baffled and dazed Don, totally bereft of his Draperesque suaveness. This is a bigger blow because Don’s relationship with Sally actually matters to him. Yeah, he’s a crappy father but he loves Sally and their previously rocky relationship is now on the rocks. Sally is too damn smart to buy Don’s lame and incoherent explanations.

The semi good news for Don is that Sally’ is unlikely to tell anyone what she saw since-like Pete with his mother-the mere thought of her daddy doing the nasty with anyone is, in a word, gross. The whole thing will make Sally even more jaded and cynical. I wonder if she’ll be calling Weird Glenn any time soon?

I know there’s a lot of stuff that I’m missing, but this episode had so much going on that I even forgot to lament Joan’s absence or discuss Peggy’s rat problem at any length. Suffice it to say that when Stan refused to make a rat call, Peggy did the sensible thing and got a cat. Hmm, I wonder if she called it Moshe? Probably not, unless it’s a one eyed tom cat…

Speaking of Motown, here are the Four Tops with an ode to Don Draper’s lack of impulse control:

5 thoughts on “Mad Men Thread: Favors

  1. Seeing Don devastated like that is still hard to watch, even knowing what an asshole he is. I think he genuinely LIKES Sally. He loves his kids, may even love his wife and/or ex-wife, but he really likes Sally, she’s the most like him, and her disappointment and hurt is the worst thing that could happen to him.
    Though “it’s complicated” is like the worst thing to say to a kid, because a) not that stupid and b) no, it’s really not.

  2. I have never seen even a clip from Mad Men and all I know about it is what I’ve read through your recaps, Adrastos, but I have a question: why is that wall covered in vaginas?

  3. I’m not an expert on Mark Lindsay so sorry about that.
    Dennis Wilson was the other primary target of the Mansonites. Hmm, that makes them sound like suitcases instead of nutcases.

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