12 June 2013

Mad Men Recap: "Favors"

I try not to read other people's recaps before writing my own, but I read Matt Zoller Seitz's on Monday because I couldn't help it, and it's very worth the read. And while you're there, check out the URL because it's hilarious. So here's my half-talk-back/half-becklectic-original attempt at figuring out what the heck is wrong with these people.

Somebody please give Sally a break. Her mom is BETTY FRANCIS, she's way less cool than her friends, and she keeps walking in on grown men in the middle of grotesque sex acts. It's so funny how when Don and Sylvia are alone together, their sex looks passionate and inevitable, yet when it's Sally looking at them, all we can see is pale, hairy thigh flesh. What Don was doing to Sylvia when Sally walked in looked unnatural and disgusting. I can't even look at him right now. He's a pasty, smoke-sweaty mess.

At least we can all breathe a deep sigh of relief, since Megan's hippie apparition from last week didn't end up meaning she had died here in New York. She's alive and well, and she's trying to help Sylvia's moron kid dodge the draft. Don takes up the cause for some murky reason (is it because he was in the military once too? because he wants Sylvia to like him again? because he wants Megan to like him again? nope, definitely not that one), and eventually he succeeds in keeping the kid out of Vietnam. Ted offers to get him recruited by his old pilot instructor as long as Don agrees to stop RUINING everything ALL THE TIME.

While Don's sweaty body works on all that stuff, Pete has to deal with his mom's new sexual relationship (maybe? maybe not?) with her male nurse, Manolo. He bows and walks backwards out of rooms like that "extra primo good, sir!" guy from the end of Trading Places, which is a plus, but he's friends with Bob Benson, which is a squiggly minus. How does Bob know these people? What is Bob up to? Were Bob and Manny secret lovers? Is Pete going to be Bob's new secret lover? Is Bob actually gay, or was that a ruse to throw Pete off balance while Bob's asexual plans unfold further? IS BOB GOING TO KILL MEGAN OR NOT?!?!?!?!?!

All I know is that the Pete/Peggy scene at the airport bar is amazing, and I want to watch it over and over. They finally have perspective on that first year in the office together, and they're totally different people. "At least one of us ended up important," he opines with nary a hint of that signature Campbell Bitterness. Remember when they had that kid? And here Ted thinks he's left out just because they're laughing without him. Buddy, you have no idea.

So what are we to make of Bob Benson's sexual advances? I'm confused because up until now, I assumed Bob's platonic interest in Joan meant that he was an asexual man desperately in need of a beard. Now that he's hit on Pete, I guess I'm reminded of the not-quite-out men who cling to strong yet delicate, acerbic yet empathetic women like a sailor in a storm. Either way, he's using Joan, and I don't like it.

Here's a list of people Bob Benson might end up murdering & why (& if it would make me happy):
1. Megan Draper. I'm not sure Bob's even met Megan, so unless there's some untold backstory there, he'd be killing her simply because he's a psycho and she fits his profile. It wouldn't make me happy per se, but it would be fulfilling a lot of meaningful hints (her star shirt, her miscarriage, her hippie party ghost).
2. Pete Campbell. I guess he'd do it to get ahead at work, or possibly to claim a piece of Pete as his own if he continues to be rejected sexually. I would be very happy about a very gruesome death for Pete, not because he's a 100% evil person who deserves to be murdered, and not because I wouldn't miss him, but because some jerks need to get what's coming to them. It's tv.
3. Michael Ginsberg. Bob certainly blew his top at Ginsberg the other week in a way that I've never seen him scream at anyone else. I wouldn't be happy about Ginsberg dying, but I might be relieved that the whole "alien messages" thing would be put to rest. Frankly I'm nervous Ginsberg might kill someone.
4. Roger Sterling. I'm just always scared Roger's about to die. It would make me very unhappy, but I can't say I'd be surprised.
5. Don Draper. The guy's gotta die sometime. I'd be happy. Just get his humpty-dump white behind out of my BRAIN already. Sheesh.
6. Ted Chaoueuu. I have nothing against Ted, even though he's showing himself to be more complex than I thought, but look at his face. He looks like he's asking to get murdered just by blinking.

Sorry, Ted.

photos courtesy amctv.com

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