5Takeaways From Mad Men’s “Favors”

On last week’s Mad Men we saw Roger Sterling and Don Draper travel to California to sign Carnation, while Ted, Cutler and Bob Benson ran the company in New York City. They ended up losing Maneshevitz wine and named the new agency “Sterling, Cooper and Partners.”

This week started slowly but had a very intense ending. Here are 5Takeaways from this week’s Mad Men episode “Favors.”

1. Don and Ted are at it again.

As I’ve mentioned previously, each episode of Mad Men takes place a month apart from each other. In this episode we learn that Don and Roger are in the process of wooing Ocean Spray, while Ted has a lead on Sunkist. For some reason, Ted doesn’t think that the agency should have two juice companies. I don’t really understand why since they have two transportation companies; Chevrolet and Mohawk Airlines. During a meeting between Don and Roger, before Ted and him fight, we see that Roger is an excellent juggler.

Ted believes that Don is constantly trying to make him look bad, but I really don’t this is the case. Don only really tries to compete with people who are trying to win the affections of women. Don might be subconsciously trying to battle Ted because of his “love” for Peggy, but I don’t think so. Don does end up ceding the “juice” question to Ted (more on that later). Ted can be a bit childish sometimes though. He is always complaining. I think he needs to understand that he can’t always get what he wants. He needs to make compromises.

2. Don Draper. Hero?

In this episode we meet Arnold and Sylvia’s son Mitchell. Mitchell is in a little bit of trouble. He sent his draft card back to the United States government in protest. He is 19 year old and clearly does not want to go to war. The government sends him back a “Draft 1A” card. This means he will be the first person to go to the frontlines if he is needed. Arnold and Sylvia are freaked out. Mitchell turns to Meghan actually. She is trying to figure out a way to get him to Canada.

Don has another idea though. First he turns to Pete to see if he can help. Pete says no, but tells him to go to the Chevrolet dinner and ask them. This doesn’t really work and while Don waxes rhapsodically about war, almost loses the account. The next day, Ted freaks out at Don. He can help Don by getting Mitchell into flight school, where he would learn to be a pilot instead of going to war. In turn, Don has to allow the agency to engage Ocean Spray instead of Sunkist. After Don “secures” Mitchell’s safety, Don calls Sylvia to bask in his gloriousness (more on this later.)

3. Another turn in the Bob Benson saga.

There are so many different theories for who Bob Benson is, I really don’t know where to begin. Some people think he is a serial killer. Some people think he Bobby Draper from the future, working at SCAP (this is actually a theory). This week, the gears turned to Bob Benson being gay. Let’s walk backwards for a little bit. Pete Campbell is concerned after a conversation with Peggy that his mother and Manolo (the new nurse) are having a sexual relationship. Campbell is completely disgusted with this idea.

Bob Benson starts to explain that maybe when someone takes care of you so much, you can start having feelings for them, even though there is no sexual relationship. In what happens to be an extremely creepy monologue, Benson says, “Couldn’t it be that if someone took care of you — very good care of you — if this person would do anything for you — if your well-being was his only thought — is it impossible that you might begin to feel something for him?” Benson then presses his knee against Campbell’s knee. Campbell pulls away.

4. Don Draper does something terrible.

It almost seems like Don does something terrible in every episode, but this week might be the worst thing he’s ever done. At the beginning of the episode, we learn that Sally is staying at Don’s apartment with Julie for a couple of days. They meet Mitchell and really think he’s dreamy. At night they do some weird flirty letter, and Julie ends up putting the letter underneath Mitchell’s door. Sally is mortified by the prospect of Mitchell reading her letter. Sally is able to get key’s to their apartment from the doorman and enters the apartment to see Don sleeping with Sylvia.

I feel like if there was ever a show called Mad Women, featuring Sally Draper as a philandering copywriter, we would see flashbacks to this moment as a breaking point. Almost similar to earlier this season when we see Don having his first sexual experience with a prostitute. Don tries to explain himself, saying he was comforting Sylvia, but Sally knows that’s not true. She knows what’s going on. And finally sees the real side of her father.

5. Peggy is lost.

After Peggy broke up with Abe, I think she was under the impression she would enter a relationship with the Ted, but Ted doesn’t seem too keen on this notion. Peggy has rats in her apartment and after seeing a huge blood stain from a rat calls Stan for help. He says he’s not her boyfriend, and Peggy even says it would be worth his while. Stan stays in bed with some blonde though.

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