Monday, June 10, 2013

Mad Men: Favors

Oh my God...

Last season, Sally Draper walked into a room and found Megan's mother Marie performing fellatio on Roger Sterling in "At the Codfish Ball". But that was a walk in the park compared to walking in on his father having sex with his neighbor.

Sally Opens Doors 
Sally's discovery of Don and Sylvia having sex was definitely the biggest development of the night. We've seen many sides of Don Draper in the past six seasons, but I have never seen him caught in such a tense and world-shaking situation as he was. Jon Hamm was amazing at portraying the sense of imminent doom Don must have gone through in his chasing after Sally, the incredibly uncomfortable scene at the dinner table and the even more uncomfortable and damaging explanation he ended up giving to his daughter. 
There was certainly an element of despair in Don being caught. He is, after all, a man that suffered a lot of anguish guarding the secret of his identity for so many year. But this situation was especially poignant for Don because it involved Sally. There's been a lot of Don trying to be a better father this year (from the extra time we've spent with Bobby to Don's call to Sally after the incident with "Grandma Ida"). At many moments it seemed like the closest Don could have to a healthy love connection was to his children and now that seems to be gone. 
I also thought the episode built fantastically to Sally opening the door. Sylvia is right to point out Don did all he about her son's A-1 status for her. Even though he tried to calm his feelings for a while, we know there's something deep within his psyche that makes him long for her. Especially in a moment in his life in which he is carelessly looking for any kind of happiness. He goes as far as to endanger the agency's biggest account on the thought that he might get Sylvia. He does get her to bed, but an incredibly high prize. (Also interestingly, and fitting with the season's themes, we get a contrasting Teddy Chaough reconnecting with his wife and children).
I wonder when, where and at what stage of Don and Sally's relationship next episode will pick up.

Bob's Out
Is this the big mystery behind Bob Benson? The internet had an immense amount of crazy theories. But he ended up not being a secret agent or a ghost. He was just gay. I actually wasn't waiting for a big reveal concerning his identity, but did expect him to play a big role in the future of the agency. I started to doubt my theory when I heard he had been cast in a new CBS sitcom (which means he will probably not be in much of next season, even if Allison Brie did manage to appear on the show while being on Community for the past few years). Still, there was something incredibly sad not only in Bob's truth, but also the way he chose to reveal it. It would be difficult for me to exactly find the words to describe how sad and lonely Bob Benson seemed when he put his knee against Pete Campbell's and asked him if he wouldn't fall in love with someone who took care of him all the time. At least he didn't suffer the same fate as Sal (who was fired back in season three's "Wee Small Hours"). Bob Benson seems to be sticking around.
Even though she should be happy he isn't a murderer or a completely crazy person, this is still some pretty bad news for Joan. Unless, and this my crazy theorist side talking, Bob Benson is so much of a sociopath that he actually misread Pete Campbell as being gay and was wiling to play along to advance his career?

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