Mad Men’s favorites are calling in favors this episode as we approach the end of season six. Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) deals with pests in her life (including the desperate Pete Campbell), Don’s (Jon Hamm) favors are crossing the line, and young Sally (Kiernan Shipka) solidifies her Daddy issues when she sees something that can change everyone’s world for good.
And Bob Benson reveals more of himself this episode; have we cracked his code finally?
Peter’s senile mother Dot (Channing Chase) visits the office with her new caretaker Manolo (Andres Faucher). Peggy entertains Dot, but the old bird mistakes her for Trudy and asks about their child! Awkward, Pete and Peggy sired a child way back in season one.
Sylvia (Linda Cardellini) and Dr. Arnold’s (Brian Markinson) kid Mitchell (Hudson Thames) is dodging the draft and had dropped out of college. He seeks downstairs Canadian neighbor, Megan’s (Jessica Paré) help. Arnold explains the dire situation over drinks to Don. If guilt is a motivation for Don, he’ll find a way to help if he can but at what cost?
Upon talking with Pete, Don broaches the subject of helping Mitchell at the firm’s Chevrolet dinner. The right wing arms manufacturers are not quick to talk about the war or helping his plight.
Roger (John Slattery) and Ted (Kevin Rahm) get Don out of this awkward rabbit hole with the client. Don’s been slipping out of creative and now is struggling with business etiquette. Where is the confident and controlling Draper we all know and love? Has his love for Sylvia blinded him from his business and family obligations?
At SC&P two sales leads, Ted and Don assemble their opposing juice teams. Ted has Ocean Spray about to sign and Roger and Don have Sunkist. Both juices are important clients but they must only present to one.
Manolo drops off Dorothy to visit Pete at his apartment, where Dot admits to Pete she and her nurse are getting intimate. Pete’s infuriated and threatens to fire Manny for his perversions. Mom tells Pete how it is, “You’ve always been unloveable”. She leaves Pete, forever alone, with a face not even his mother can love. Where is Pete’s redemption this season? All signs pointing to Pete suffering this year!
At Peggy’s apartment, a blood trail goes from her bedroom door to under the couch. It’s not the blood of another harpooned boyfriend, we’ve got a rat trapped under there. She calls on Stan (Jay R. Ferguson) to help her clean it up, but he is otherwise occupied. Not even the tease of a snog will entice him uptown, he is already with company.
Ted is willing to help Don with Mitchell’s draft problem by calling in a favor to a high ranking general that taught him to fly. They agree to drop Sunkist and get along. Ted seems to be dominating at the company as Don’s distractions sustain.
Ted assumes Don doesn’t have many friends, so that this is important. Meanwhile, Ted struggles at home as his wife feels neglected.
When Pete confronts Bob Benson (James Wolk) about his nurse hire, Bob talks of love and affections. Bob nudges Pete’s knee with his in a very suggestive 60 frames of video. Do these two-seconds of leg touch reveal that Bob is not only gay but in love with Pete? Or is it that ‘60s Pete can’t take a leg touch from another man. Oh, Bob, you sly enigma, you!
At the end of this episode our heart takes a jump!
Sylvia is grateful for Don’s assistance with the kid’s draft problem so they rekindle their affair at Sylvia’s house. Mitchell and Arnold are gone for the day. Sally was pranked by her friend and heads back to the apartment building to retrieve a love letter written to Mitchell. The doorman gives Sally master keys to the apartment complex. Sneaking in the back door of the Rosens. She doesn’t initially see the letter on Sylvia’s kitchen floor. What she does see is her dad and Sylvia doing the deed!
She’s startled and drops the keys, startling everyone.
Finally some drama that hits close to home. How will this affect Sally’s relationship with her father, but more importantly is she going to tell her mom or Megan?
The young adult is now under a lot of pressure to do the right thing. Don tells Sally that he was consoling Sylvia, and that it is complicated. Sally stays locked in her room, obviously upset.
Don’s world can start to crash around him at any moment. The chaos is consuming his life. Arnold and Mitchell come down and thank Don for his efforts. Don’s in a cold sweat and goes straight to bed.
On the next Mad Men, the penultimate episode for the season we’re teased with a hunting trip for Pete, the trouble with Sally and Don wearing a turtleneck like some beatnik.
Let’s see if Sally told Betty about the affair or if she follows her father’s lead and starts to keep dark secrets.
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