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What’s with all the ORANGES?: Mad Men “Favors” review

“God can turn off the lights at any moment.”

A rather uneventful Mad Men episode chewed away by the last ten minutes of “Favors,” which ended with Sally catching Don in the act of hooking back up with Mrs. Rosen after the severe roller coaster of emotions during the two’s last phone conversation. At this point, Sally’s really seen it all: first, it was Megan’s mom giving Roger a beej. Now, it’s her own dad gettin’ it on with the neighborly Mrs. Rosen. And she hasn’t even been to second base yet! I am dying to know whether or not she’ll fess up to Megan, and if all of this will enfold into some war of its own, considering the Vietnam parallel. “You don’t get to talk to me,” Sally says to Don, who insists he was “comforting” Mrs. Rosen (ha!).

There’s a definite maturity developing in Sally’s character (also: she is growing by the foot, it seems), yet she remains shy with the bohemian Mitchell Rosen babe she digs (that ass! And his been to Paris!). That situation is probably going to be even more awkward, considering the newly-acquainted affair between their parents. I think we know who’s really to blame for this: the promiscuous Miss Julie, who secretly stuffed the “Top 5 Things Sally Loves About Mitchell” list under his door.

But Mitchell’s probably not going to be sticking around much longer anyway, seeing as he’s “1A” status, and could at any given moment be drafted to the war—causing quite an uproar for the Rosen parents. After Don speaks to Sylvia and realizes how upset she is, he is then on a quest to save Mitchell from the draft. He of course ends up sealing a deal per Ted, who says he can get Mitchell in pilot training (if he cuts that hair!). But this is only after Don puts the company on the line at the Chevy dinner, bringing up the politics of war in spite of his own agenda.

I loved the drunken dinner with Pete, Peggy, and Ted. It’s as if in that moment everything about everything business-wise came together. They’ve made it. They’re sitting in a fancy restaurant drinking whiskey sours, and Ted flew them there on his own personal plane. I mean, what more could they want? Pete’s thread of insecurity however still comes out, when he calls out Peggy for being in love with Ted and vice versa, “at least one of us ended up important.”

We get a look inside Ted’s home life for the first time, and like all families, he has his troubles. His wife, who calls him out for missing dinner, seems dissatisfied with his partaking in the home life. “Even when you do come home, you’re not here. You’re obsessed. And I can feel how disappointing this all is compared to your battles at work.” Poor Ted, who’s mostly just dealing with Don’s bull shit at the office. And even if he is in love with Peggy, Ted’s remained very professional in keeping them from reaching that “point” again (who could forget that kiss?).

So, “what about Sunkist?” Ahh yes, the juice drama. Also, FYI: Don doesn’t read the memos. Ever. But apparently there are theories that oranges can mean something bad. Like really bad. If you remember at the beginning, Roger is juggling a bunch of oranges in spite of the Sunkist deal, which Ted is obviously against. Now consider the crazy symbolism of oranges in the Godfather trilogy: could a tragedy really be underway, and do the oranges have anything to do with it?

All drama put aside, Pete’s mom has been in a pretty good mood as of late, minus the fact she still has no idea what’s going on. Or does she? I mean, the sexy relationship with her and her “caretaker” is definitely odd, and I’m sure for Peter picturing his mother doing any sort of “thing” like that is a bit weird. Which, Pete’s been so doubtful the past four or so episodes. Think about it: even his wacky old mother is getting laid. He knows he could never get Peggy, Joan denied him, the blonde girl next door ended up being a crazy, and well, who’s left? My developing theory is that he might be turning in another direction. You know, “testing the waters” with the suave Mr. Bob Benson. Yes folks. If you noticed the subtle knee caress between Bob Benson and Pete, then there you have my theory. Bob has made a gay joke in the past, but this is the first time he’s cued via nonverbal context.

A lot to look forward to this week, and of course, that inevitable feeling of bittersweetness that comes as we arrive at the season’s tale end. So will Sally confess to Megan? Better yet, will Sally and Mitchell ever get to make out? Is there a giant Mad Men world war underway?


  • “I’ve seen blind people juggle, but somehow it’s beyond me.” – Roger
  • “I’ll be fine! I’m not a child.” – Mrs. Campbell
  • “Trudy dear, don’t deny him; don’t reject his caresses.” – Mrs. Campbell 
  • “Did you go to China for that tea?” – Peggy
  • “You’re not staying in a mid-town hotel with all those boys!” – Betty
  • “You hate that daddy supports my dreams!” – Sally
  •  “Diplomacy club’s another reason to make out” – Betty
  • “If the check comes, I’m sending it to Ocean Spray.” – Pete
  • “At least one of us has ended up important.” – Pete
  • “I had a very strange conversation with your mother.” – Peggy
  • “I get baseball tickets, mostly the Mets.” – Arnold
  • “I think he got a lot of girls as an ex patriot revolutionary.” – Arnold
  • “You don’t have to make a federal case about it.” – Ted
  • “Why don’t you join this company and read a memo once in a while?” – Ted
  •  “I’d like my mother to myself this evening!” – Pete
  • “You are a sour little boy, and you’re a sour little man.” – Mrs. Campbell 
  • “You’ve always been unlovable.” – Mrs. Campbell 
  • “Things I like about Mitchell: His ass. How he smiled at me. His shoulders. His red shirt.” – Sally
  • “There’s a rat in my apartment!” – Peggy
  • “Your floor smells like pee!”  – Julie
  • “When there’s true love, does it matter who it is?” – Bob
  • “Don’t tell me how to get boys.”  – Julie
  • “I was comforting Mrs. Rosin. She was very upset.” – Don

(photo via Sound on Sight)

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Kaitlin Duffy is a writer from Cleveland. When she's not blogging or pondering the great complexities of the world and outer space, she is finding rare vinyl steals, visiting new places, laughing often, Instagramming everything in sight, watching movies, or working on her first feature Port de Cleve.