Two images encapsulate Mad Men Episode 6.11, Favors, for me. First, Roger juggling. Not just because it’s awesome, but because everyone has balls in the air, everyone’s juggling, and everyone’s inevitably going to drop a ball.
Second image, Peggy getting a cat. Favors is about favors, specifically sexual favors. Don does a favor for the Rosens, and that results in sex. Manolo treats Mrs. Campbell with favor, and she interprets it sexually. Bob Benson does favors for Pete and hopes Pete will reward him with sex. Julie does a (mean girl) favor for Sally, who panics because it could lead to sex.
And Peggy. Peggy who is in the midst of all this sexual innuendo for and about her; Mrs. Campbell thinking she’s Trudy, she and Pete having a moment, she and Ted decidedly not having a moment, Peggy is so scared of the rat that she offers herself as a “favor” to Stan, and he turns her down. So she gets a cat.
That cat? That’s everyone’s compromise. That’s Bob Benson walking sadly away from Pete. That’s Manolo getting fired. That’s Sally saying “Okay” to her dad when it’s anything but okay. That cat is what you get instead of what you thought a favor would bring you.
(P.S. I was away for the weekend—out of town wedding on Sunday night. So I thought I’d watch when I got home Monday night around 10pm. Except EVIL FLIGHT DELAYS. I got home around 3am. Thanks Anne & Jim for doing such an amazing job filling in.)