Monday, June 10, 2013

Top 6 Looks from Mad Men S6 E11: Favors

That had to have been one of the saddest Mad Men moments ever. Earlier in the season, we had a sinking suspicion that Don and Sylvia were going to caught, only we were sure that it was going to be a dramatic encounter with either Megan or Arnold. We figured we were wrong, once the affair “ended,” and went about our days theorizing character deaths and sexualities. The room was thus filled with gasps when the adulterous reunion of Don and Sylvia was discovered by poor goddamn Sally Draper, who is old enough to know what’s happening, but not old enough to deal with it (Does that age exist?).

This episode, transparently titled “Favors,” wasn’t so much about the actual acts of favors (although there were a lot of them), as it was about the roles that people play and the motivations and numerous expectations that go along with them. We might be able to easily answer the question of what makes someone a good friend or parent or co-worker, but it becomes a bit more complicated when we try to occupy multiple roles at the same time, especially when two or more of them are in direct conflict with each other. Don occupies the most complex position when he is looking for assistance from his work partners and clients because he is trying to help his wife help their neighbor-friends (one of whom is an ex-lover) with their child, colossally letting down his own daughter after getting caught rekindling his affair. You know, typical simplistic Mad Men storyline.

Ted and his bland wife are having marital problems (surprise...), but Ted steps up to the plate and realizes that while he’s being a great ad man and boss, chumming around with Pete and Peggy and buying them so many drinks they have a sincere moment...he’s letting things go at home. Whether he enjoys it or not, we see him go home at the end of the episode to be an actual, functional father to his children (although he pointedly does not wake up his sleeping wife for family time).


  • PEGGY: Did she go to China for that tea?
  • SALLY: You hate that Daddy supports my dreams. He doesn’t think I’m just a pain in the ass!
    BETTY: Your father is a hero! (double ouch, given how the episode ends)
  • PETE: And he’s in love with you too.
    PEGGY: You’re the one who’s in love with him!
  • TED: Imagine if every time Ginger Rogers jumped in the air, Fred Astaire punched her in the face.
  • DOROTHY: I suppose there’s a way I could mistake your tone for concern.
  • PEGGY: Oh! Why didn’t you say so? You can bring her!
  • TED: Don’t be an asshole, Don.

Top Looks of the evening:

6. Manolo’s Swishy Suit n Stash

Manolo was a welcome addition to an otherwise incredibly depressing episode this week. Anya really enjoyed this nurse/boyfriend from his first appearance in an all white ensemble paired with a perfectly brushed stache. Manolo upped his game for a night out with poor old Mrs. Campbell, with a silk cravat and lovely pocket square. If we weren’t sure how Bob Benson ran into him before, we are now! Watching Pete gratefully tip Manolo off the books, while Peggy learns of his mother’s...infatuation...was perfection. Watching Mrs. Campbell confront her son was much less entertaining. Another ouch moment in an already painful episode, especially when she forgot her purse. Couldn’t resist capturing Mrs. Campbell’s bedazzled old lady take on Wendy’s fly away to Neverland nightgown, which Anya thought was great (in a terrible way) from hat to toe.

5. Julie’s Great Friend Greens

Who didn’t have a junior high friend like Julie growing up? While Serious Sally is quizzing herself in the cab on the way to Model UN, Julie wistfully stares out the window thinking about Mitch’s hair. Not that Sally doesn’t care about boys, she just has room in her brain for all kinds of knowledge, unlike Jules, who doesn’t know a thing about Eleanor Roosevelt. Julie thinks that she’s being a good friend when she signs Sally’s name on their sleepover list of things the like about Mitch and slides it under their door (or maybe she’s just being a bitch, but we’re not sure that she’s crafty enough for that). Regardless of her intentions and helpfulness, Julie certainly turns it out in her accessorized-to-a-T Model UN outfit. She may only be going for, as Betty put it, “another excuse to make out,” (Sexpert Julie has been to second base twice!) but her fun and girlish floral-printed dress is undeniably adorable. Poor yourself a glass, Julie. We're sure you earned it after a grueling day of pretending that you gave a shit about international politics.

4. Peggy’s Cat-Lady-in-Training Outfit

Girl. This is a surprisingly great outfit, despite its title, but Peggy had a rough week this week. We knew that fucking rat in her apartment couldn’t be a good omen, and when she came back to a trail of blood, Anya shouted “tell me when it’s over!” and hid her face. This reaction felt justified when Peggy, another strong feminist, called Stan in the middle of the night to kill the dying rat under the couch. We all have our weak spots. It was a little heartbreaking to watch Pegs put on her sexy voice, only to learn that Stan has another girl in his bed, one he shockingly won’t bring over for a rat killing expedition. When Peggy’s attempt to find a man to save the day falls through, she does what many women have done before and since...she gets a cat. At least Peggy’s problem can be solved by the cat’s prey drive, and not by its companionship skills. We like that she clearly wore this outfit to work, and isn’t just sitting on the couch with the cat in a housedress. The jacket is snappy, the pattern is sharp, and we love the buttons and the fit. Peggy has found her style, and we like it!

3. Sally’s Affair to Remember Attire

Poor. Sally. No one had a great time on Mad Men this week, but Sally probably got the worst of it. From our glimpse of her dealing with newly svelte Betty to her traumatic experience breaking into the Rosen’s apartment, Sally is set up to be a truly damaged child (as if she wasn’t already by the Draper parenting style). She looks like such a schoolgirl, and the dress really emphasizes how young she is. The thick, bright red stripe down the center is striking, especially because Julie’s outfit has a similar pattern...but her stripe is white. From the dialogue, it seems like Julie is (or wants to be) the more worldly and experienced teenager, but it’s clear that Sally has more experience with the adult world than she ever wanted, despite never having been to second base.

We’ve seen Sally glammed up, with her miniskirt and go go boots, getting her first period, trying out more adult hairstyles, but this outfit takes us back to baby Sally who so desperately wants her parents’ approval. Down to the knee socks and plaid, this outfit is perfect for revealing to us that even though Sally oftens speaks precociously, she is not at all ready for what she sees when she looks through that doorway in the Rosens’ apartment. Sidenote: HAVEN’T YOU PEOPLE EVER HEARD OF CLOSING THE GODDAMN DOOR? They’re almost lucky it was Sally that walked in, since they clearly don’t care about damaging their children’s psyches.

2. Pete’s Peacock Plumage

Pete looked unusually nice in his gray three piece suit. The tie and pocket square are a nice color on him (bringing out his one remaining attractive feature, his eyes), and for some reason it kind of gave us bird vibes. Dove gray? Peacock blue? Besides, we can’t say no to some alliteration. When Bob popped cheerfully into the office thinking he and Pete were going to lunch, we knew things were going downhill fast for him. We picked up on the fact that Bob was being less than honest about how he knew this fabulous nurse, since he told Ken his dad died when he was explaining the delivery to Roger’s mother’s funeral. We did not expect Bob to basically come out to Pete in the middle of a Monday morning.

Pete seems like the LAST person you would want to confide in, not least because he’s an insensitive shmuck. It was almost touching, but again, mostly sad to watch Bob try to explain “true love” to Pete of all people. He took is about as well as could be expected, with a “tell him it’s disgusting!”, but he let the knee touch linger than we would have guessed. It’s clear that Pete is very lonely, and enjoys flattery in any form. We doubt Bob has actual feelings for Pete (Well, who the fuck knows with that squirrelly suck-up), but he’s a shrewd dude, and we were honestly surprised that Bob took a chance saying any of it. Maybe he just couldn’t resist the suit!

1. Peggy’s Personification of “Brains, Beauty, and Ambition”

Peggy nabs the top spot in our countdown this week, with a green and black look. We just can’t get enough of Peggy’s work clothes lately, girlfriend is nailing it. We loved the dark trim against the green, and the reappearance of what we’re calling “the funeral hat”. She wore the suit in two extremely different environments this week, and it served her well. Coming out of a meeting where she clearly just presented, Peggy looks like she belongs in the room with the big boys in her tailored jacket and skirt. She is formal and put together when she is forced into babysitting Pete’s mother and enduring an incredibly awkward conversation. We grimaced all over the place when we realized that Peggy didn’t really have a handle on just how bad Mrs. Campbell’s condition is, and when she brought up the child they had together... it was tough to watch.

That painful conversation fell by the wayside later in the episode, and we’re just hoping Peggy wasn’t drinking to excess because of it.  We see the suit sans jacket while she’s having dinner (but mostly drinking) with Pete and Ted. With the jacket off, it was a cute sleeveless number, and she looked very comfortable in her role as “beauty, brains and ambition”. It was nice to see her relax and let go, and have an honest conversation with Pete. The two of them actually bonded! While it was happening, we were just waiting for Pete to lose his shit when Peggy mentioned what his mother said, but it ended in the two of them genuinely giggling! Might be the nicest moment in the episode.


Post a Comment