“Couldn’t it be that if someone loved you, if someone took really good care of you—very good care of you—if this person would do anything for you, if you’re well being was his only thought, is it impossible that you might begin to feel something for him? When it’s true love it doesn’t matter who it is.”—Bob Benson

Was there any ever doubt as to why Don was working so sedulously at getting the Rosens’ son out of Vietnam? Of course, it had to do with Sylvia. Like Betty describes Sally’s field trip, it’s “just another excuse to make out.”

Don doesn’t care about work. Sunkist? Let Harry look into that. What’s that? Ted has a connection with the international guard and all I have to do is acquiesce to him on business matters? Whatever you say, Ted. Oh, Ted, before you go, why do you keep sending me all of these damn memos? You know I’m not reading this shit, right?

Sally is going to be a profoundly disturbed person. “See, not all surprises are bad,” says Roger after juggling some plump Sunkist oranges. Well, in Sally’s case they’re mostly bad—traumatically bad. Last year, she walked in on her date to the Codfish Ball—the always charming Roger Sterling—receiving fellatio from Megan’s mother. Now she bumbles into the Rosens’ apartment to find her father schtupping the downstairs neighbor. What’s next, seeing Pete’s mother and Manolo getting it on?

After Don basically gets high fived by the entire Rosen family (Dr. Rosen: “Don, I owe you”) and Megan, Sally just breaks. “You make me sick!” she yells from the kitchen table and bolts for her room. Don tries to pacify Sally, explaining that he was merely comforting his friend,[1] as they are huddled on opposite sides of a closed door. [2] Sally is able to rein in her disgust a little bit and Don walks away closing another door.

Ted’s marriage is suffering from the same malaise that plagues Don’s marriage with Megan. “The point is, even when you do come home you’re not here,” Ted’s wife says wistfully. “I just wished you liked being here more.” Everything she says rings true, but the difference between Don and Ted (as far as we know) is that Ted doesn’t cheat on his wife. He had a clear opportunity with Peggy and he turned it down. At the end of “Favors,” we see Ted come home to peacefully watch television with his children, piggybacking his son away affectionately. This isn’t exactly an indication that his relationship with his wife has improved but it is an indication that Ted is committed to his family and wants to work things out.

Pete Campbell one-liner of the night: “I told you we needed a nurse and you sent us a rapist!”

Pete’s mom is all mixed up in another messy Alzheimer’s episode. She intimates that she is sleeping with her male nurse, Manolo, but judging from Manolo’s manner that isn’t necessarily inconceivable. This naturally makes Pete irate. She also mistakes Peggy for Trudy, saying that she is glad they were able to reconcile for the sake of their child. Peggy is understandably spooked by that.

I was absolutely smitten with the scenes between Pete and Peggy in the restaurant. They have such a checkered history but with that history comes understanding; Pete avers that she is one of the few people who really knows him. Pete also seems to have moved past his resentment of Peggy’s success which is the reason he lost interest in her in the first place. “At least one of us ended up important,” he tells her.

Even though Pete and Peggy are my second and third favorite Mad Men characters respectively, I wouldn’t want to see them get back together. I do enjoy being teased about the notion though, particularly with the amount of trust I have in Matthew Weiner to not deliver on that tease (q.v. the Don and Joan scene from season 5.)

Remember last week when Ginsberg asked Bob Benson if he was a “homo?” Remember how Bob didn’t answer that question? Well, it looks like the Bob-Benson-is-gay theories were spot on. But really, can we blame the guy? Who wouldn’t fall for Pete Campbell? Have you seen those sideburns? I bet Pete was torn between his antediluvian views about sexuality and the urge to tell his mother that he isn’t so “unlovable” after all.

This development puts his affair with Joan in a new light. I suppose it’s possible that he’s bisexual, but he seemed way more ebullient rubbing knees with Pete than taking an ailing Joan to the emergency room. I’m going to say that his fling with Joan was solely about furthering himself at the agency.

But seriously, let us all mourn for the sanity of Sally Draper. That poor girl.

Additional Notes:

Other favors:

  • Dr. Rosen gets Mets tickets as a favor from a patient.
  • After being accused of loving Ted, Pete invokes his best Bob Benson and says, “Well, I need an account and he’s been generous.”
  • Peggy offers to make it worth Stan's while if he helps her eradicate the rat.

Don on Mitchell: “He can’t spend the rest of his life on the run.”

“But first you have to stop the war.” “I can’t stop a war, Ted.”

“You were a sour little boy and now you’re a sour little man. You’ve always been unlovable,” says Pete’s mother upon receiving the news that Pete is firing Manolo. This dovetails with the stress that this season has been putting on Don’s past shaping the person he turned into.

Peggy hysterically duels with a rat in her apartment. She manages to ensnare it in a trap causing the rat to bleed out on her floor, but the rat’s gait is only hampered. It’s still moving, albeit sluggishly. She’s afraid to look for it or finish the deed. This is the main symbolism in “Favors,” providing a parallel with Sally catching her dad, the rat, cheating on his wife. I hope that blood doesn’t stain the floor.


[1] Come on, Don! You can give a better pitch than this piffle! Hell, the she-was-just-a-pool-waitress lie was more plausible than that!

[2] Sally was also seen with her ear pressed to the door before she covertly entered the Rosens’ apartment.