Mad Men Review: "Favors "

Wow. What a difference some misplaced storylines can make. "Favors " had characters coming undone and it was so fun to watch. 

Well, maybe not as fun as the throwaway scene with Peggy and the dying rat in her apartment, calling Stan to get the rat and using a booty call as bait, but enjoyable in a different way. I think that rat trap was a metaphor. Everybody was caught in one and blood was being shed.

The irony of Don telling Megan that Mitchell couldn't spend the rest of his life on the run was too much. He should have just given the poor kid the Richard Whitman treatment. Hell, he could have even given him his original name. Why not? Don doesn't use it any more. Instead he decided to take Pete's advice and dropped a bomb at the General Motor's dinner in the hope they might whip out some idea of how to help because of their defense contracts. It had the opposite effect.

That bombshell only enhanced the already seething rivalry between Don and Ted and most especially Ted's contempt toward Don. Don's inability to take anything seriously, and to read Ted's memos, is driving Ted nuts. The newly formed firm is like two intersecting circles. The business they're doing together is too small. In the sections outside the vesica piscis (the almond shape that forms the intersect) float accounts like Sunkist and Ocean Spray. They're just bumping together. It's maddening!

After Ted had a tantrum about dealing with Don that included this glorious Mad Men quote, he took the high road.

Ted: Imagine if every time Ginger Rogers jumped in the air, Fred Astaire punched her in the face. | permalink

When Ted learned the conversation with Chevy was personal in nature, he offered to help and got Sylvia's son a spot in the National Guard, essentially saving his life. Even though Ted has a bad marriage, a crush on Peggy and acts infantile in his dealings with Don, he's a really good guy.

I forget sometimes how close Peggy and Pete were. They tend to do as much as possible to forget it themselves, but tonight their scene in the restaurant when Ted stepped away from the table was just beautiful. It was a good reminder of everything they've been through and, as Pete said, just how well they know each other. He admitted how well she knew him and he could see the attraction between she and Ted no matter how hard they tried to feign ignorance. 

It wasn't so easy for Pete to dismiss the odd desires his mother was having for Manolo, especially after Bob Benson shared a story about how two people who spend a lot of time together can sometimes fall in love and it's beautiful, then slyly rubbed knees with him. I thought Pete was going to toss his cookies. Pete's constantly unkempt hair is surely a sign of just how close to the edge he is, so what this latest revelation will do is anybody's guess.

One thing is for sure. Any hope we had for a happy ending between Bob Benson and Joan is over. 

How about that ending? It was pretty obvious that all of the business with Sally and the keys was going to lead to something, but exactly what she saw and it's impact on Don was incredible to watch. He was sporting Pete's signature "falling apart at the seams" hairstyle throughout had to tell Sally why he was cheating on his wife - again. 

The disappointment was that he lied to her. Don fell down another few pegs and earned his hairstyle when he chose to tell Sally that he was comforting Mrs. Rosen and that it was complicated. I guess he slipped into her because his pants were around his ankles. Because, that'll happen. He had an opportunity to treat Sally like an adult and earn some trust. Sure, it would have been one of the most difficult things he had ever done in his life, but there was no mistaking what Sally saw and he knew it. 

Sally is now back in a position where she's going to be uncomfortable in his home. That's just unacceptable. For all the good he did for Sylvia's son, he did twice as much damage to his own daughter. 

Sometimes I watch and think, will these people ever learn?


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