Don’s Favorites

 Posted by on April 24, 2013 at 12:45 pm  Mad Men, Season 1, Season 6
Apr 242013

don_sylviaEvery once in a while we get little call backs on Mad Men–déjà vu moments, scenes that are reminiscent of something else. Sometimes it’s the way that a character says something. Sometimes it’s a situation.

Don:  So, what looks good here?

Sylvia: It depends what you want.

Don: Well, I’m hungry, I’m in a good mood, and I’d like some guidance on the Italian menu from my favorite Italian.

(Don and Sylvia at an Italian restaurant–The Collaborators)


Rachel_and_don_do_lunch_in_babylonRachel: Don’t you know any other Jews?

Don: You’re my favorite.

(Don and Rachel having lunch while he  asks her for advice on how to handle an Israeli account–Babylon)




  33 Responses to “Don’s Favorites”

  1. Nice Catch, MC! And last week’s episode had a lot of call backs, that’s one I missed.

  2. So it’s safe to say that his favorite is always the one in front of him? Or just the only one of [insert item/group here] that he knows?

  3. Mad Chick, nice catch. This does seem to be the Season of Echoes, doesn’t it?

    Sylvia is the first of Don’s women since Rachel to even mention religion. (A brave stance for her to take, considering the nihilist she’s sleeping with.)

    What I’ve noticed most are the ongoing parallels between Betty and Megan, the most obvious being Betty’s new hair color. Don’s responses to Megan’s moments of independence (her performance at his birthday party, the hula dance in Hawaii, her love scene at work) are as nasty as he was to Betty over her riding hobby and the yellow bikini. (“It’s desperate.”)

    I know that there are ways Don treats the women he wants, and they’re different from how he treats the women he thinks he has. Even so, it’s a shock to see him repeating himself in such obvious ways.

    • Even so, it’s a shock to see him repeating himself in such obvious ways.

      But it shouldn’t be, should it? The woman across the table or next to him in bed may change, BUT HE IS STILL DON. So it doesn’t surprise me that he keeps reacting the same ways. He always seems so…put out!…that HIS WOMAN would not think of him and what he would think first.

      • He’s also still Dick. It’s like he’s always wearing the skin of the modern man, but can never change how the whorehouse kid inside feels.

        … Finally realizing what the name “Don Draper” means. OHHHHHHHH.

        • The real meaning of don draper? Adder porn? Ad nerd pro? Give a hint!

        • he’s not “wearing’ don’s identity, like a suit. he’s “donning” it. 🙂

        • They’re both hypocrites pretending to be something on the outside but are a completely different person in reality on the inside. Sylvia is pretending to be a pious, “Godly” person when in reality she’s commiting adultry and deserving of Hell according to her own belief system. She is also pretending to be Megan’s friend when in reality she is stabbing her in the back. Who is really the better actress, Sylvia or Megan? At least Megan is honest about the fact that she’s just acting/pretending. This affair bothers me more than most of his past ones because in addition to just cheating on spouses they are both pretending to be good friends with the jilted spouse. Makes it even worse for some reason.

    • Out of the Don Draper Book of Wisdom (and the horse’s mouth):

      “people don’t change”

      How true, how true.

    • Thanks, Anne!

      I thought of Betty when Megan and Don were having dinner with the soap opera couple. I think it was the smoking. I don’t remember seeing Megan smoking before. Or at least, not that much. She seemed especially determined to have her cigarette even *after* Arlene told her to watch it with the smoking because it causes wrinkles. (I remember Betty’s stepmother Gloria mentioning the wrinkles & smoking connection too, by the way.)

      • Megan’s smoking has really stood out this season. In “Far Away Places” she even asked Don to open his car window because of his smoking,the first time anyone ever mentioned that in Mad Men. Is she trying to be closer to Don? The scene with her and Sylvia smoking was really noticeable because it wasn’t with a drink or dinner like most occasional smokers do.

  4. Loved when Sylvia ordered that Steak Diavolo. So wicked!

    And that restaurant/seduction scene splicing between the two positively rocked. Haven’t seen that DD since S4. Only hint of him in S5 was when he was ramming through the gears and maxing out the RPMs of the test-driven Jag after having drinks and flirting with Joan.

    Missed ya, big guy. Welcome back!

    • I can’t stand Don Draper, at least half the time. But I could not agree more.

      • I was talking to a co-worker of mine about the show and shes not a die hard fan like I am but she was disgusted that he was cheating again. I was actually relieved (to be honest). She was extremely shocked. I had to explain that Don Draper isnt Don Draper without some of his womanizing/seducing ways which is why we fell in love with him at the very beginning. Sorry, but him frolicking and happy with Megan started to bore me. Also I explained that I actually liked Sylvia. Besides Betty and Rachel, shes amongst my top favorite of his women…and I’m a huge fan of Freaks and Geeks!! 😛

        She eventually saw my point and agreed.

        • My teenagers turned me on to Freaks and Geeks (and too bad that it wasn’t a cable show that ran at least a few years).

          One of them spotted Linda Cardelini first – boy was I pleased about that (good show Matt Weiner!)

          My son really likes Don Draper. He was really disappointed when he saw him in bed with Sylvia after all his Season Five fidelity. I expected that he would revert at some point.

          And I’m with you – a happy and faithful Draper is kind of boring.

      • I’m mouth agape shocked when someone says that they despise DD.
        There is more to dig into this guy than Ulysses.
        I wish they would do a one man theater episode with Don.
        Hamm would finally get his overdue Emmy.

  5. I immediately thought of Rachel when we 1st saw Don having an affair with Sylvia. Sylvia, just like Rachel, started feeling guilty of the affair. Rachel felt guilty but kept going up until Don was ready to skip town with her, thats where she cut him off.

    I’m wondering where/when Sylvia’s cut off point will be…

    • Rachel was cooler than Sylvia somehow, but yeah I see the comparison. Maybe Sylvia being married is the difference, making her seem less independent than Rachel. I miss Rachel. Didn’t we see her briefly last season, married now? Someone help me here. I can’t remember the exact nature of the Most recent Rachel citing.

      • Don saw her at a restaurant, I’m gonna say season 2, and she was there with her husband. I think Don was there with Bobbie.

      • Rachel was more independent (though Menken’s was her father’s business) and her character was established before she and Don jumped in bed. Plus, as with Faye, Rachel and Don began as adversaries and Don had to win her over. In fairness, Betty might have required a little courting at one time herself but we never saw it.

        Sylvia’s more in the pure mistress camp. I’m digging her though. Like that little Liz Taylor hairdo (or wig) of hers too. *Growl* 🙂

        Anyway, I suspect she will be gone by mid-season (if the shelf life of Don’s past mistresses are any indication) but she has been a nice guest addition to the show.

        • Maybe not. The whole abortion discussion between Megan and Sylvia leads me to believe that Don will knock up Sylvia, and we know her views on that issue.

          • Yes, I think they’ve really planted the seeds for that development, so to speak. The dynamic between Don and Rosen is even more interesting, to me, because it’s so unfamiliar — when had Don solicited a man’s friendship before? (See today’s other thread, I guess!) This entanglement is not going to be one that Don can slip out of so easily.

  6. I thought that when Sylvia said, so tenderly, “I want peace for you,” that that was the beautiful and the kindest thing he might ever had heard. I loved the episode from start to finish.

    • And I think Don almost choked up when she said that — he mocked her cross, but didn’t expect that reply. Funny, I like Sylvia too, but this all can’t end right.

  7. Not sure where I should post this because it has to do with season 5 as a whole. I just rewatched Signal 30 which took place before any of the Jaguar dealings and this season’s Don with Sylvia. In that episode, Lane called Pete a “grimy pimp” which certainly has come true on more than one occassion. Lane told Joan that she could do his job when he was feeling worthless. This has also come true although Lane garnered more respect (except from Pete) than Joan has this season. When Pete thought Don was judging him for his activities at the bordello, Pete warned Don about how Don will be once Don’s honeymoon is over. Don told him that if he met his 2nd wife before the 1st, he would not have had the need for a 2nd wife. So we know that Pete called it right too. And apparently still thinks that way about Don because he offered Don his apartment in episode 4, season 5. I never recall one episode being so telling of what is to come.

  8. Huh, I was just watching The Doorway again, and when the #1 Fan corners Megan at the Royal Hawaiian, she says “To Have and to Hold is my favorite!” Later, Megan says about her, “That woman really knew me.” I know, in a show that’s been running this long, various people are likely to call something their favorite, but Megan is a dark haired beauty, and Don does see her as prostituting herself, cheating on him, in her alternate life on the show.

  9. Mad Chick,

    Great catch! There may be another parallel between the two scenes and women. In the restaurant scene w/Rachel, she’s sharing her classical education w/Don by explaining the Greek meanings of Utopos. One of those meanings is “the good place” or paradise. In “The Doorway” we find out that Sylvia has been sharing her classical education w/Don by giving him “Inferno” to read. Which is the opposite of paradise, but the Dante also wrote “Paradisio.”

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