Pete's been feeling his oats at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce on this season of Mad Men, and now it's time to delve into why.
Back in High School
A native New Yorker, Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) hasn't found his feet in the suburbs yet, although his wife Trudy (Alison Brie) seems to have acclimated quite nicely. The most alien thing? He's stuck in a summer night course at the local high school, taking driver's ed so he can get the driver's license he didn't need in the city.
While snickering at the graphically bloody accident films in class, Pete attracts the attention of high school ingenue Jenny (Amanda Bauer), and most of the episode finds the disillusioned ad man inching towards an attempted seduction of a girl roughly half his age. But he can't even do that right, because when one of her hunky classmates shows up in the class, the previously-intrigued Jenny forgets all about the creepy old guy who had been hitting on her.
Shown Up at Home
Pete allows himself a moment of homeowner's pride when he drags out his toolbox in the middle of the night to fix a leaky kitchen faucet, but during a dinner party with Don (Jon Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) and Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton) and his wife whose name no one can remember (it's Cynthia), the faucet breaks, sending water to the ceiling. By the time Pete has his toolbox out, Don has already whipped off his shirt and fixed it, in the process reminding Pete that he'll never be that cool.
Work is Even Worse
Lane (Jared Harris) tries to land the Jaguar account by himself, but the client (David Hunt) wants to be shown a good time. So Pete, Don and Roger (John Slattery) end up taking him to a plush midtown brothel, where everyone but an abstemious Don pairs off. Not only does a guilty-feeling Pete think the now happily-married Don looks down on him for his indiscretion, they end up losing the account because the client comes home with chewing gum lodged, shall we say, somewhere highly inappropriate.
Things Are Tough All Over
Lane ends up challenging Pete to a fistfight during the partners meeting after absorbing one sneering insult too many. But though he has the satisfaction of bloodying Pete's nose, Lane is embarrassed to lose his first account, a humiliation that's compounded when he ill-advisedly kisses Joan (Christina Hendricks) in his office. The fact that she's so understanding about it is what really makes it painful to watch: He's not even worth getting offended by. Meanwhile, Ken gets chewed out by Roger, who learns through Pete that the copywriter has developed a successful pseudonymous sideline as a science-fiction writer. Ken claims he's quitting, but the show ends with Ken sitting in bed, writing a new story (under a different pen name) that's pretty obviously about Pete and his increasingly sad little life.
Which of Pete's indiscretions was more disturbing: his conversations with the high school student or the prostitute? What do you suppose the other employees are doing for a little cash on the side?
"Saturday night in the suburbs? That's when you really want to blow your brains out."
--Don really doesn't want Megan to drag him out to Trudy's dinner party.
"I'm sorry, there are no bakeries -- or Greenbergs -- in Cos Cob."
--Trudy understands why Pete is so touched by Megan's hostess gift of brownies from Greenberg's Bakery, which they can't get in Connecticut.
"I can't believe how much I loved watching you fix that sink."
--Megan entertains a drunken Don's pass during the car ride home.
"I know cooler heads should prevail, but am I the only one who wants to see this?"
--Roger is into Lane and Pete duking it out.
"What do I do here? Truly?"
--Lane reveals an existential crisis to Joan.