Mad Men Episode 11: Complicated Relationships

On Sunday’s episode of Mad Men, “Favors,” our favorite characters seemed to confront some of their old — or impossible — relationships. Most notable was Sally Draper, who was shocked and outraged by what she saw when she walked into Sylvia Rosen’s apartment. You pickin’ up where I’m puttin’ down? Don was doing more than just “hanging out” at the Rosens’ apartment.

Last night we were burdened with Sally’s realization that her dad is not the sterling knight she always thought (or hoped) he was. When Sally broke into the Rosens’ apartment to retrieve a personal note her friend forged to the cute neighbor boy (signed with Sally’s name!), Sally caught a glimpse of Don “comforting” Mrs. Sylvia Rosen.

Sally was disgusted, but maybe anyone watching the show can agree? When Don came home drunk, who couldn’t help but empathize with Sally? Don stumbles to his gorgeous and attentive wife with dinner on the table. Dr. Arnold Rosen even brought his son Mitchell by the Draper residence to give Don a handshake for the big favor he did (Mitchell was going to go to prison for a “protest” against the war gone awry, but, Don, with help from Ted, prevented it).

Sally witnessed her not-so-valiant-anymore father cheat on Megan with Sylvia Rosen, and see that his only “punishment” is a smiling Megan Draper and a handshake from Arnold and his son.

That is way complicated for Sally, but as viewers, we’ve seen this nonsense since season 1. Never have we experienced anything like this, but maybe we shouldn’t be surprised; Sally has had her adulthood brought on in the most blunt ways throughout the series, so maybe we should have anticipated something like this. The tension between Sally and her father can only worsen — I wonder if she’ll even be making her way to the city for more visits.

Sadly, I think this is the first time we’ve seen Don care at all about Sally this season.

It seems like he is so hell-bent on forgetting his old life with Betty that he’s set his children aside. Bobby and Jean are hardly mentioned. Sally always adored her father, but, to Don, she’s just an obligation and a chore.

As for Sylvia, I must say I’m not so excited about her being around again – she is just way too boring. Who knows what the complex, brilliant Don Draper sees in the bland, depressing housewife. All I can hope for is that this relationship doesn’t last much longer — maybe the infinite curve ball of season 6 will redirect their love (not just sex) affair.

Also on the hunt is our slightly less mysterious Bob Benson who has finally had some light shed on his character. (He’s gay?) And he made a (not subtle) pass at Pete Campbell, who has spent all season trying to help his dementia-stricken mom, only to find that the newest in-home nurse, recommended by Bob, has been sleeping with her the entire time.

I almost want to root for Bob since he’s just so damn sweet — So far, we’ve seen him bail out 3 characters including Joan, Cutler, and Pete. He is a caring guy, but he really has no chance with Pete.

Peggy finds herself literally hunting a rat in her apartment – is it weird that she still lives there after everything that went down? In the end she gets a cat, but I hope this isn’t the beginning of a catlady-ship.

Who else caught that producer Matt Weiner accidentally (lol its never an accident) put some sexual tension between Pete and Peggy and reminded us of their child (who was put up for adoption somewhere between seasons 1 and 2). We know that Pete and Peggy developed a solid friendship and comfort in each other, but it’s about time that we get to see them actually joking and laughing together. Poor Ted Chaough, who joined them for dinner, was totally left out.

This post was originally written for SWAY the Blog

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