Remember what I said about how Mad Men's Pete Campbell was becoming a tragic figure? Well, that may be, but it doesn't mean he isn't still a complete jerk.
Way Too Much Information
Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) is on the train reading Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 (am I weird or does that seems like a really unlikely choice for Pete to be reading on the train?) when his casual friend Howard (Jeff Clarke) drops down across from him and starts bragging about the girl he's just set up in an apartment in the city. Dude, isn't the point of the clandestine affair the whole, y'know, clandestine part? Although that's part of why I've never even been tempted to have an affair: the whole keeping secrets and having to remember which lie you told who ... meh. More trouble than it would be worth.
Rory Gilmore, Nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!
At the station on the way home, Pete runs into Howard's wife (Alexis Bledel), who's stranded at the station having locked herself out of their car. As Pete gives her a lift home, it becomes increasingly clear that she not only knows that Howard's having an affair, but that Pete's covering for him. So, given that Pete is a sleazy little ferret who always tries to work every advantage, he sleeps with Howard's wife while Howard's in the city with his mistress.
I Want The One I Can't Have
Pete then becomes obsessed with Howard's wife, so much so that he tricks Howard, an insurance salesman, into thinking he's about to make a sale so that Pete can get invited into their house, where he presses himself onto her and tells her to meet him at a Manhattan hotel at a predetermined time. Having come to her senses about having slept with a sleazy little ferret, she doesn't show. And some poor innocent maid is going to have to clean up the martini glass Pete throws at the hotel room wall in frustration. Jerk.
Correcting The Course
Megan (Jessica Pare) at first seems like she's stepping out on Don (Jon Hamm), which puts Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) in an awkward position. But it turns out that Megan was auditioning for a play. She doesn't get it, but it makes her realize that she gave up too soon on her acting dreams. To her shock, Don takes it exactly the right way when she haltingly tells him that she wants to quit advertising, first suggesting that she take a job at a different agency so they aren't having to deal with the awkwardness of working and living together, then making it as easy as possible for Megan to quit her job. They really do work well as a couple.
Taking the Plunge
They're really starting to press the point that Don is losing his edge. Ginsberg (Ben Feldman) and Stan (Jay R. Ferguson) are arguing whether The Zombies project the right image for a rock-themed commercial, the client is openly gay, and Don can't even recognize that the (terrible) band the client wants aren't The Beatles. And when Megan gives Don a copy of Revolver to start getting hip, he turns it off after a couple minutes. Although who can blame him: Who tells a Beatles novice to start with "Tomorrow Never Knows"?
Okay, who's gonna go flying down the open elevator shaft Don eyes so portentously near the end of the episode? And will it be accidental or not? My money's on Pete. Roger still seems way more centered than he used to be.
"Do they explode or something?"
-- Pete doesn't know why Roger is offering him two sets of skis.
"I've had men pay attention to me since before it was appropriate. They don't care what I say. They just watch my lips move."
-- Apparently, being married to a philandering insurance agent makes Mrs. Dawes bitter.
"I don't know where she is. Do you know where Abe is?"
-- Peggy tells Don she is not Megan's keeper.
"I read a 30-page dossier that fails to use the words 'fake whipped cream.'"
-- Stan is not a fan of their new client, Cool Whip.
"I was raised in the '30s. My dream was indoor plumbing."
-- Don wonders aloud to Roger whether he's doing the right thing by allowing Megan to follow her dream.