Well, they did it. They finally made me hate Pete. I've chronicled my unabashed love for Pete on this blog before, but... I just can't. He is such a crazy weird idiot, guys. Such a freak. Whatever kind feelings I once had for Campbell are now face-in-my-hands horrors at watching him work his pathetic, improvised machinations.
A lot of other stuff happened in this episode, and I don't want to dote on Pete too much because he was such a small part of it. But allow me this brief, spoiler filled rant...
Pete is an impotent character. The fruition of his years long quest to become Don and Roger, during which he never once registered their unhappiness and desperation, has left him so stripped of power that he's chasing phantoms of excitement. Having "made quite a name for himself," Pete's sole motivation remains coveting whatever his peers have, in this case Rory GIlmore, aka Alexis Bledel (who looks fantastic with her hair all did up). The wife of Pete's asshole train buddy, she seduces him? kinda? in a weird way? Pete entraps her in his usual date-rapey way and they have some creepy reckless sex. Pete then decides he wants another piece of the Bledel, but she'd rather leave it at that. After some vague complaints about why women have all the power he decides to take matters into his own reckless hands and go to dinner at his train buddys house.
What the hell is this guy's problem!? He's got Alison Brie at home and he makes tons of money. He misses living in Manhattan? Move back to Manhattan! Don't terrorize another lonely suburbanite with your total weirdo craziness. Fuckin. Pete. Campbell.
Okay. Done with that.
This week we got a nice peek into the Peggy, Megan, and Don dynamic. Megan is taking auditions on the side, hiding them from Don, and she puts Peggy in the middle of her obfuscating, thinking Peggy will be happy for her. Instead, Peggy is royally pissed and unashamed about it. Because Peggy works hard and Peggy loves what she does. Peggy's having a rough season, but I like her honesty and her low tolerance for bullshit. After confessing to Don that she doesn't share her passion for advertising, Megan quits the agency to pursue acting, with Don's reluctant blessing.
The dynamics and repercussions of this were interesting. Peggy was proud of Megan, even a little hopeful. "Pursuing your dreams" was still something of a novel idea at the time, not a plague of the suburban middle class. Especially for a woman, though maybe not a rich Manhattan woman. Joan is derisive and we get to see a little of her old snark, but she's obviously office mom at this point. Don is sad, lonely, etc. But he demonstrates a lot of self awareness and sympathy by telling Roger "I don't want her to end up like Betty." Good for you Don.
So while I was hoping they'd drag out Peggy vs. Megan for a few episodes, this was still very good. Everyone on the show keeps moving forward, wanting new things, trying new things.
Everyone that is, except Don. It was a great turn, using the a very experimental Beatles song to montage everyone's progress, and then stopping it suddenly along with Don, essentially turning his back on the new generation. We used to admire Don's open mindedness, now he doesn't even understand why music matters so much now. In the meantime Peggy and Stan are passing joints and writing ads, Megan is meditating in acting class, and even Roger is kinder and more empathetic after trying LSD. Maybe Don could use some. But then, what are we to expect from someone who grew up dreaming of indoor plumbing? I liked his argument with Peggy. They have a sort of explosive dynamic, the kind that two people who know each other far too well. And their trying to mimic Don and Megan's repartee was awesomely uncomfortable.
Pete's one redeeming moment. "So you don't like my eyes?"
We are due for more Joan. Eventually they have to come back to her and Roger right?
Thinking they'll bring back Alexis Bledel. Cause you don't cast Alexis Bledel and not bring back Alexis Bledel.
And yes, that was Mr. Belding in the last scene.
Also, have I mentioned recently that I fucking love this show?