Mad Men dialed the action back up again in tonight’s showing of “Favors.” What were your thoughts? Tell us here, and catch a promo for next week’s episode!
In Mad Menseason 6, episode 11’s, “Favors,” we witnessed dynamic changes in the offices of SD-CGC (is that the name they finally decided on?).
Megan is visited by Sylvia and Arnold’s son, Mitchell, who admits he’s protested his Vietnam drafting after being deemed an I-A, meaning it’s assured he’ll be serving. We can see the guilt practically pouring out of Don’s conscience. Arnold and Don get drinks together, and Arnold admits that he knows Sylvia hasn’t been truthful.
Ted, Peggy, and Peter get chummy at dinner, and we affectionately see Pete tell Pegs, “You really know me.” It’s been awhile (we’re talking season 2) since we’ve seen any romantic Pete and Peggy interactions- could there still be something there? Ted also says that the three of them together is the agency he’s always dreamed of- does that mean Don is on his way out?
Meanwhile, Ted is having problems at home. His wife complains that even when he’s with her, he’s not fully there. And Ted continues to have problems at work, clashing with Don and the other execs over account matters.
Sally meets Mitchell for the first time, and can’t get over his oh-so-’70s flowy locks and patterned pants. She and a friend daydream about what’d it be like to steal a kiss, and we see the tension growing between Sally and Megan. Megan just wants to fuel her acting career, while Sally just wants to be a normal teenage girl.
Pete’s mother is falling for her new nurse- the one that Bob Benson recommended to him. When Pete tries to tell his mother it’s wrong, she lets him have it, telling him he’s always been “unlovable.” Tough love, eh?
Peggy’s freaked out by a rat in her apartment, and who’s the first person she calls? Stan, of course! He denies her advances, and Peggy is left alone in her Village abode.
Don tries to leverage his klout with GM to help Mitchell avoid service. It didn’t go over so well bringing up the war at a client dinner, and Ted heavily reprimanded Don for doing so. However, being the good guy as always, Ted pulls through and is able to help Mitchell and Don- as long as they call it a truce in the office.
Is Don only helping out Mitchell to get to Sylvia? Sylvia is eternally grateful, but it doesn’t change much about her situation with Don, except that she continues the affair in secret. Why does Don still care so much about her?
Bob Benson tries to reassure Pete that the nurse is taking exceptional care of his mother, but while he’s doing so, he makes a subtly-suggestive advance at Peter, touching his own knee to Peter’s while saying “When it’s true love, it doesn’t matter who it is.” Is the mystery of Bob Benson finally revealed? Ginsburg did ask him earlier in the season is he was straight, to which Benson only smiled politely and remained silent- was it a clue?
In the most pivotal moment of all, Sally walks in on Don very clearly engaging in adultery with Sylvia. The last few scenes are powerful, showing key characters – Peggy, Peter, Ted, Don – ultimately alone. In twisted irony, Arnold personally thanks Don for helping his son and showers Don with praise. Meanwhile, Sally can’t even look her father in the eye.
Mad Men season 6, episode 11 had a chillingly fitting name, “Favors.” Don did his for Sylvia, Bob did his for Peter, Julie did hers for Sally, and Ted did his for Don- but did anyone really get anything in return?