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So hey, did you notice that last credit during the opening titles there? The one that said DIRECTED BY JOHN SLATTERY? Badass.
We open with Don, Roger and Allison on the old-fashioned kind of conference call – i.e., three different phones in the same room on the same line – with Lee Garner Jr. The one-sided phone conversation is one of the greatest things to ever happen to comedy, and this is no exception. And oh my god, they have to get out from underneath this guy. It’s like humoring a toddler, only if he has a tantrum the result is financial ruin instead of just a headache and a few dirty looks from everybody else in the checkout line at Target. They’re trying to reassure him that they can totally handle the new restrictions on tobacco advertising – no teens smoking, no athletes, no low angles or anything that makes the smoker look superhuman. (Like the one of Don that opens the episode. Cute, Mr. Slattery.) Low angles make people look superhuman? That seems kind of ridiculous even by today’s marketing standards. Don is having trouble keeping his cool and reaches for a bottle. That could probably go without saying at this point I guess. “Why is this empty?” he wonders aloud. “Because you drank it,” Allison whispers. Roger says there are ways around some of the restrictions – just because they can’t use athletes doesn’t mean sports are off limits. “Bowling, for example, would be a natural fit. (pause) Bowling is a sport. How about horse racing? (pause) Lee, the jockey smokes the cigarette.” Comedy gold!
Faye Miller (psychologist lady) and Peggy interrupt to get Don’s okay on the official hypothesis for the Ponds focus group they’re holding. Don says he likes Peggy’s “ritual” idea – the angle that the nightly routine of looking at herself in a mirror will appeal to their coveted “females 18-25″ demographic. They need some subjects. “Can I grab a few from around here?” Faye asks Don, gesturing vaguely toward all the young women running around. “Help yourself,” Don says, like he’s offering her the leftover bean dip she found in the fridge. Roger leaves Don to fend for himself with Lee, but Don’s paying attention to his mail, including a little card from the apparently-not-dead-yet Anna. “Stephanie doesn’t think we look as old then,” it says, and there’s a photo enclosed of the two of them standing together, posing stiffly like people did before cameras were so ubiquitous. It’s cute.
And Roger actually does have a real reason to abandon Don – he has to tell Pete that the Ponds guy thinks Clearasil is too close to his product. It’s a conflict, so they have to drop the cheaper account, which is Clearasil. Clearasil, the account that Trudy’s dad owns. The account Trudy’s dad yanked out from underneath Pete after Pete made the admittedly asshatty assertion that he wouldn’t consider adopting a child if Trudy couldn’t conceive. (Although if I remember correctly that was mostly because Pete’s mom made the even asshattier threat to write him out of the will if he did such a thing. Plus he was maybe a little sore on the whole issue of adoption at that point perhaps. But still.) The account that Trudy subsequently had to beg her dad to reconsider so that Pete could have a decent portfolio when he was trying to abandon the sinking ship that was Sterling Cooper. That account. So now Pete gets to tell his father-in-law that they don’t want his stupid Clearasil after all. Pete would rather eat glass, but Roger calmly reminds him that he’s been good to Clearasil, sales-wise, so that should soften the blow. “Protect the agency,” Roger says, chucking him on the shoulder. “You’re a partner now.” “Tonight, if possible,” Lane adds, with a smack to the other shoulder. This is what it means to be one of the guys, Campbell! Getting hit on the shoulder a lot, and risking your already-precarious relationship with your father-in-law. Lee Garner Jr is still on the phone, and they just cannot take any more of his utter toolitude. “Oh my god, there’s some kind of fire,” Don blurts suddenly and hilariously. “We have to go, okthanksbye!” Whew. Allison notices Don’s photo. She asks who it is, and he tells her it’s a dear friend, which is actually more information than I would have expected from him. “Is that the letter from California?” She wonders, trying to make some pleasant small talk, but no dice. Sheesh, Don, surely there’s some middle ground between “Yes, that’s the cancer-ridden widow of the war hero whose identity I stole, let me tell you all about it” and “Yes, now go file this so I don’t have to look you in the eye.”
Pete Campbell, master of the rare Vertical Headdesk.
Poor Pete can’t even mope in his own office – he walks in to find Harry at his desk. “Cosgrove’s getting married,” he tells Pete. Aw. (I will always think of Ken as he introduced himself in the pilot: “Ken. Cosgrove! Accounts!”) He’s about to get a rich father-in-law just like Pete’s! Where are they finding these heiresses? Anyway, Harry thinks Pete should have lunch with him and Ken, but Pete’s reluctant at first to fraternize with “the competition.” Harry convinces him that they’re all better off if they keep in touch. “Worst case scenario, Kenny brags too much and you steal an account from him.” Pete just sighs and does an upright **headdesk** on the giant post in the middle of his office.
Peggy’s in the elevator with a girl from LIFE magazine who’s holding an envelope with a big “REJECTED” pink slip on it. Sheesh, LIFE magazine. A curt letter would have done. “I’m sorry, that looks like bad news,” Peggy says, but the girl (Joyce) tells her they’re not hers – they’re a friend’s. More specifically, they’re a friend’s nudes. Peggy takes a peek and says she can understand why LIFE wouldn’t want them, but she thinks they’re beautiful. Joyce’s primitive gaydar goes “Beep? Maybe?” But Peggy’s mostly just thrilled to meet another young woman who’s not a secretary, and it seems mutual, sapphic undertones or no.
Well, the first guy knocked her up the night before he got married, and then there was Duck freaking Phillips, and now Karl From Lost almost certainly has no idea what he’s doing. So yeah, maybe broadening the applicant pool isn’t a bad idea.
Pete meets Trudy’s dad at a bar to deliver his bad news. “I hope you know I’ve always done my best to make you happy,” he begins, avoiding eye contact. Trudy’s dad is surprisingly calm while Pete stammers and hems and haws about how he hopes their relationship doesn’t change, but Tom interrupts: “I heard!” He grabs Pete’s frightened and confused face and kisses him on the cheek. “You crazy kid!” He laughs. “Jeannie was with Trudy at the doctor! Congratulations!” Then, when he sees that Pete is confused and floored: “ah, shit.” This conversation isn’t about Clearasil, it’s about Trudy, knocked up at last! Aww. So I guess we’ll go ahead and pencil in that Clearasil conversation when there’s not so much champagne and joy around. “If it’s a boy it’s a thousand dollars!” Tom says. “If it’s a girl, $500.” Well. That certainly puts things into perspective Hey, Trudy, your dad thinks you’re half as good as your imaginary, longed-for brothers! Nice. Note: Pete’s real smile is actually faker looking than his fake smile. Go figure.
Trudy is just getting off the phone with her drunk remorseful dad when Pete walks in, and she’s mortified. She wanted to wait until their anniversary to tell him, and she’s so sorry he didn’t hear it from her, but of course he doesn’t care at all and hooray! Who knew they’d turn out to be the realest, most functional marriage on the show? “It feels much different than I expected,” he says. “How would you know what this feels like?” Trudy grins, oblivious. “Well, I didn’t know about my secret love child until after it had been secretly adopted away, which I learned whilst getting let down not-so-easy after confessing my love for its mother while still married to you, so I guess this is pretty different,” Pete fails to respond. She only took her mom to the doctor with her because she was afraid she might be disappointed, or that something was really wrong. And let me go on record as saying that I will be very surprised indeed if this pregnancy progresses normally. Although to be fair, this show is like 75% ironic foreshadowing, so I get a lot of false positives with the other 25%. Pete tells her what he couldn’t tell her dad about the account. “A conflict. I’m familiar with the term, Peter, you use it all the time,” she interrupts adorably as he explains the Clearasil situation. She offers to intercede again, but Pete wants to man up and do it himself.
One of these things is not like the other.
Joan fetches Allison, who is apparently one of the stray “girls” lying around the office that Don let Faye Miller borrow for her focus group. “Why don’t you have to do it?” Allison asks Caroline, who’ll be watching her desk. “Oh, we’re old and married, they don’t want us!” she says, earning a withering look from Joan. Joan is automatically exempt because the whole place would fall to pieces without her, excuse you very much, lady I’ve never seen before. Faye changes her clothes and removes her jewelry (including/especially her wedding ring) before starting the discussion. She actually asked for (and didn’t get, amusingly) a misspelled nametag – “I like to correct it in front of the girls; it makes them trust me” – but she improvises. A simple “Those jerks forgot my nametag, isn’t that typical!” works just as well. Peggy, Don and Freddy watch through the one-way mirror, or two-way mirror, I can’t ever figure out which makes more sense. “She’s amazing!” Peggy gushes.
As Faye builds up her carefully constructed rapport with the girls, Peggy idly tries on Faye’s wedding ring, to which Don responds with an exceedingly charming smirk: Ha! Caught you being a girl! Seriously, Don and Peggy need to hang out. He needs to have a night out with her like he did with Lane, only without the whores. He needs friends. Anyway, Faye starts with Peggy’s hypothesis – she tries to get the girls to talk about their beauty routine. Megan, the receptionist, explains that she’s “of French extraction,” and uses her mother’s method: wash with water only, then pat her cheeks with her fingertips.Well that’s a recession-friendly regimen. Suddenly it’s like a sorority house in there, with all the giggling and camaraderie and, eventually, crying about men. Stop fulfilling Freddy Rumsen’s stereotypes, ladies, sheesh! Anyway, all the sad rejection talk is weighing pretty heavily on Allison, who’s just sitting in the back muttering sad things about being noticed and occasionally glaring mournfully right at Don through the mirror. Uh oh. After Dottie’s tearful “I feel like I gave him everything, and I got nothing!” hits too close to home, Allison has to run out, sobbing.
Don, on the other side of the glass, has been growing steadily squirmier as Allison has gotten sadder, and he looks appropriately mortified when she finally bursts into tears. Peggy, for some reason, feels sort of responsible and excuses herself to go after her. She pulls Allison into Don’s office and tells her gently that people cry in these things all the time. “I can’t even say anything,” Allison sniffles, “cause I know he’s right out there, through the glass.” This whole thing is so much sadder now that we know her better. She’s not a golddigging Jane Sterling wannabe, she’s just a smart, capable girl in love with the wrong guy. Happens to the best of us, kiddo. Anyway, Peggy inclines her head and makes that “arooo?” confused dog expression I love to see in humans. Allison reads Peggy’s confusion as hostility: “Will you stop it? I realize you must have gone through everything I’m going through…” Whoa! Hold it right there! “He’s a drunk, and they get away with murder because they forget everything,” she’s rambling as Peggy goes from zero to “your problem is not my problem, and honestly, you should get over it” in like 12 seconds. Poor Allison thought she had a confidante, and poor Peggy is reminded that the entire office has just assumed for years that she got her job because she slept with Don. Ouch on both sides, ladies.
Ken. Cosgrove! Accounts!
Ken (!!!) meets Pete and Harry for lunch. The thing about Ken is that he was always so freaking jolly; he served as a nice contrast to the entire main cast of a show whose main theme is pretty much the exact opposite of contentment. But he’s actually kind of grumpy today. Harry leaves to take a phone call: “Order for me: Caesar salad, no dressing.” Harry has gotten decidedly douchier. I guess someone had to pick up the douche slack now that we’re minus one Paul Kinsey. Ken’s left McCann, and at his new agency he’s “moving along, laterally, but I don’t know that it’s a love affair.” They’re trying to land Mountain Dew right now but he thinks it’s ridiculous that the agency thinks they can bring the whole Pepsi company with it. But hey, Ken’s getting married, Pete’s having a kid, they’re both doing just fine. “Another Campbell. Just what the world needs.” Pete smiles a little “touché” smile.
Don is standing at his office door, terrified of the sad little husk of Allison he knows is lurking behind there somewhere. He walks in, all “glad you’re feeling better about whatever mysterious Woman Thing has you all worked up, which no doubt has nothing to do with me or my fucked up life.” She gets up and closes the door. “I’m very embarrassed…” she starts, but Don says people cry in those things all the time. Allison gives him a great, incredulous, bitter “that’s not what I’m embarrassed about!” with “you stubborn smug asshole” left unspoken. When he responds with “…” **vague gesture with coffee mug** she finally says, pleadingly: “This ACTUALLY HAPPENED.” Sure, but ask Peggy Olson and her secret love baby how easy Don Draper makes stuff never-have-happened! “I know,” Don says, suitably abashed for the moment. Allison holds it together. “We made a mistake, and I feel like it’s awkward, and it’s better for both of us if I move on.” Don, stoic but sincere: “I don’t think that’s necessary. We’re both adults.” But she says no, she’s pretty sure it is, and she heard about a job at a magazine, and she thought it might be interesting, working for a woman, by whom, presumably, she would never be tempted to be mounted awkwardly and drunkenly after the office Christmas party.
If it were physiologically possible to cry vomit, this is what you’d look like right before.
“I would appreciate it if you could write me a recommendation,” she finishes, bravely. “Absolutely,” Don says, but actually, even better, why doesn’t she just write whatever she wants and he’ll sign it? Sigh. Don. For someone whose job it is to know what people feel before they feel it, you are totally fucking clueless when it comes to actual humans. In his mind, he just said “Of course I’ll help you, and to make up for my assiness I’ll even let you decide what you want in the letter so you can be as glowing and flattering as possible.” Because hell, what could be better, in the mind of Don Draper, than the opportunity to have other people see you exactly the way you want them to? That’s the whole point of his entire character! But what Allison heard was “Sure, I’ll do you that favor, but I don’t want to be troubled with thinking about you for ten minutes, and I don’t want to give you any actual compliments on your capabilities, so why don’t you go ahead and take care of that tedious task for me between filing stuff and making coffee.” She’s kept herself pretty composed, but that just stomps all over her very last nerve and unclogs her very last tear ducts. She grabs some random decorative object and throws it at the wall behind him. “I don’t say this easily,” she sobs, “but you are not a good person!” She storms out of his office and past all of her staring coworkers. Wow, what a truly fantastic performance, girl whose name I didn’t know till a couple of weeks ago. Really.
Joan pokes her head in and asks what’s going on. “I’m going to need a new secretary,” he mutters, with the “because I’m a stubborn smug asshole” left unspoken. Joan has seen this exact situation a million times before – not with Don, till now, but she knows it when she sees it. “Would you be open to Allison returning in a couple of days?” she asks, since she probably has a prepared speech specifically for retaining spurned secretaries. “If that’s she wants,” Don says. Joan: “Really?” Don: “…No.” Well, shit. My new favorite actor on the show and there she goes. Also, she’s been his secretary for like three years, right? She moved with him to this new agency. She’s FANTASTIC. Way to say the exact wrong thing at the exact right time, and good luck replacing her. After Joan runs off to attempt exactly that, he (surprise!) pours himself a drink, and in a pretty awesome sight gag we see Peggy’s head appear at the top of the screen, peeking Kilroy-Was-Here style through the glass partition above wall that separates their offices, for what I’m guessing is not the first time.
Tangentially related, barely plot relevant Joan screencap of the week!
Peggy’s intercom buzzes and she has to hurriedly, awkwardly climb down from her desk to answer. Heh. Joyce is here to see her, says Megan, she of French Extraction, which sounds more like a sex act every time I type it. Joyce invites Peggy to an “um..I don’t even know what to call it” thrown by her friend the rejected photographer. Hey, Bert Cooper sighting! I didn’t notice the first time around, but there he is, just hanging out on a couch in the background, eating an apple, being gloriously weird. Anyway, a thing that Joyce doesn’t even know what to call sounds pretty fantastic to Peggy. Joyce writes an address down on Megan’s notepad (“Thanks, sweetheart,” she tells Megan, Roger Sterlingly) and tells Peggy it starts at 9, but she’ll be there at 10. Peggy is fascinated by her. “She’s kind of pretentious,” Megan observes as Joyce leaves. “I know,” Peggy says proudly.
Pete, meanwhile, sits down for a chat with his father-in-law while Trudy shows her mom “the maid’s room.” Really? That’s what you do when you have a baby in an expensive Manhattan apartment in 1965? You get a live-in maid? Even the Drapers let Carla go home occasionally. Anyway, before Pete can get past “We need to talk” Trudy’s dad is all “I know what you’re gonna say: You need a new apartment! I understand!” See, cause he bought them this one, back when they were first married. But Pete’s an actual partner now. He’s a provider, dammit, and Tom just doesn’t get that. Which flips a tiny little switch of awesome in Pete’s brain. “Every time you jump to conclusions, Tom, you make me respect you even less,” he chuckles. Wait, what? Was that an insult or good-natured banter? Tom can’t tell. All of a sudden, Pete is decidedly in control of this conversation. This will not be a simpering apology. This will be sheer Peteriffic awesomeness. “Look, you gave us Clearasil, and we’re grateful, but there’s only so much business it’s going to do.” Tom bristles that hey, that’s in Pete’s hands. “I’m done auditioning,” Pete says. The idea was that if they did well by this account – which they have done – that they’d get a shot at the bigger one. “Because right now, I have bigger business than Clearasil.” GO PETE GO! “Clearasil was conflicted out by a bigger company,” Pete says, throwing that huge devastating news out casually as a goddamn dependent clause, “And I’m trying to build a business here.” So what does he want, Tom asks, the cough syrup? “I want all of it,” Pete says matter-of-factly, with an implied “Duh!” The syrup, the cough drops, the Vap-O-Rub™, all of it. Because really, “Who’s done a better job for you than I have?” Tom humors him and says “Well, you’ve given me something to think about.” “Really?” Pete says like a guy who knows his wife’s got a bun/upper hand in the oven. “Seems pretty simple to me.” Standing ovation! And this exchange tops it off:
Tom, muttering: “You son of a bitch.”
Pete: **smirk; shrug**
No, Peggy! There’s no coming back from…REEFER MADNESS!!! **comically ominous E diminished 7th chord of doom**
Downtown, in another world, is Peggy, venturing wide-eyed into the Warholy scene that will soon define her generation. Nice timing, Peggy. She finds Joyce, who tells her she looks “swellegant.” Davey, the rejected photographer/host, has one of his stereotypical “Art™” films showing in one of the huge rooms of this warehouse they’re presumably squatting in. “Is there beer or something?” Peggy yells as a guy in a bear costume strolls by. Well, Joyce doesn’t have any beer at the moment, but she does have this DEADLY MARIHUANA CIGARETTE!!!! (”I’m Peggy Olson, and I want to smoke some more marijuana.”) Joyce playfully bites at her ear as she leans in to give Peggy a hit off a joint. Peggy giggles. “I have a boyfriend,” she says, sort of apologetically. Oh right! Poor Karl From Lost would be utterly, um, Lost, at a place like this. “He doesn’t own your vagina,” Joyce reminds her. “No, but he’s renting it.” Ha! Peggy is having a ball. This is totally her scene. Get Lost, Karl From Lost! You’re cramping Peggy’s swellegant style!
Don sits in the dark in his office until the noise of the floor buffer reminds him that everybody else is gone. He stumbles home to his Fortress of Brownitude and sits at his Olympia typewriter. “Dear Allison, I want you to know I’m very sorry. Right now my life is very” is as far as he gets, because really, how do you finish that sentence at this point? He could try, I guess, but he doesn’t. Time to sleep it off on the couch. That poor innocent couch, dragged into all this against its will. You let your kids sit on that couch, Don?
“Dear Penthouse Forum: I never thought this would happen to me! My cute young secretary had to come let my pathetic drunk ass into my sad apartment…”
Peggy is finding the film more interesting than she thought. Which is why everyone loves marijuana! “It’s…rhythmic!” Joyce introduces her to Abe, a cute writer, and Davey Kellogg, the photographer/filmmaker who’s throwing this thing. When they ask what she writes, she’s proud to say she’s a copywriter for an advertising agency, but of course Davey’s all snooty about it. She’s not intimidated though – when she says they’re always looking for photographers and he haughtily asks why he would EVER do that, she’s like “um, so you can get paid to practice your art?” Duh! Abe is more well-meaning but still keeps asking what she really writes. “That is writing!” She says, shaking her head like she doesn’t understand why everyone is so confused. And suddenly, oh no, police raid! Everyone’s running for exits but Peggy’s still kind of giggly. She is loving this. She and Abe find a closet to hide in. “I feel like I should kiss you,” he says, sort of surprising himself, then he does. Ah, making out with strangers in closets while hiding from the cops at druggy fartsy parties. That’s exactly the sort of thing no young woman should be deprived of, so thanks, Don Draper, for helping that whole secret Campbell love child thing Never Have Happened. Joyce rescues them from the closet, and Abe wants to follow the story (“Are they beating people?” he asks, a little too excitedly), so Joyce and Peggy go skipping out onto the street, hand in hand, giggling like little girls.
The next morning at SCDP, Don meets his new secretary, who is comically old and as close to the opposite of Allison as you can imagine. Let’s not forget she was chosen by Joan, probably with an implied passive-aggressive “See if you can maybe not break this one’s heart, jackass.” Pete proudly announces to Don, Roger and Lane that he’s in the midst of signing Vicks Chemical. Apparently it’s about $6 million, which means they’re that much closer to telling Lee Garner Jr to go fuck himself or the nearest vulnerable closeted art director, whichever works best for him. “It’s truly spectacular news!” Lane gushes. Don’s surprised by how impressed he is. “How’d you swing that?” Pete: “I guess as the president would say, I turned chicken shit into chicken salad.” The president would say that? Is that LBJ’s equivalent of “Ask not what your country can do for you”? Wow, this really is the beginning of the end for America. Anyway, they’re taking the new clients out for lunch, and Pete’s proud but not too proud. I’m proud too, Pete! And I’m extra proud of Vincent Kartheiser, who pretty much learned how to act on this show. (cf: Angel, which is a performance I found myself liking better when I watched it again and thought of Connor as a young alternate universe Pete.)
Don asks the cartoonishly old and cranky Mrs. Blankenship to reschedule Dr. Miller, which she comically misinterprets as “reschedule Dr. Miller to immediately.” So Faye shows up and they decide they might as well talk about the Ponds focus group, which she says shows that Freddy’s old-fashioned notion is the right one: Girls just want to get married. “Hello 1925,” he finishes for her. “I’m not going to do that.” When she says she can’t change the truth, he says “a new idea is something they don’t know yet, so of course it’s not going to come up as an option. Put my campaign on the air for a year and hold your group again; maybe it’ll show up.” Ahhh, the return of “It’s Toasted!” and “Carousel” Don. Always so nice to see you, sir. “You can’t tell how people are going to behave based on how they have behaved,” he says, demonstrating his talent for spelling out major themes of his character and indeed the entire show. He basically tells her, again, that what she does is pointless and hacky. They go in there, they dig around in people’s brains, and then people start talking just to be heard. And not only does it have nothing to do with his job, it’s also nobody’s business. And I think he’s actually kind of sticking up for Allison here. He feels guilty, but he also thinks her heartbreak was exploited, and she may still have left, but she would have done it in a more dignified, less public way. “Well, you’re the client,” she smiles coolly. “That’s right,” Don responds, coollier.
Peggy is glowing from her adventure, gushing to Joey SweaterVest about Davey Kellogg’s work. “They’re not pornography, they’re just nudes. Like Renaissance paintings.” Suddenly she asks if he knows that Malcolm X was shot last Sunday. “Yes, Peggy,” he says patronizingly. “Well did you know who he was?” He barely looks up from his drawing: “Ever read the stuff between the ads?” Heh. Another secretary – part of the focus group earlier – comes in with a card for them to sign, on account of the office is sending a bottle of champagne to the Campbells. Which, ha, here, Trudy, throw back a few glasses of bubbly to celebrate your pregnancy! You’re drinking for two now! Peggy, out of the loop, might assume it’s an anniversary card, since, as was pointed out to me by a more astute observer, Peggy’s first encounter with Pete – presumably the one that knocked her up – occurred the night before his wedding, so she probably knows when their anniversary is whether she wants to or not. When she sees a stork on the card, she freezes. She hands the card back without signing, because this situation demands a little more acknowledgment than that. “I can’t believe that guy’s married to her,” Joey mutters. “I would get her SO pregnant.” Ha! She finds Pete in his office. “Congratulations,” she says warmly. “Ah, yes! A six million dollar account should shut Lane up for awhile.” Ha. No, Peggy says she just wanted to tell him how happy she was for both of them. Again with the “great acting choice or great director?” because Pete starts to stand up, but doesn’t really get all the way there, so he’s just left for the rest of the exchange in this awkward little-boy position. He thanks her, genuinely, and after just a tiny glance, she walks off, to her office, where in a very nice bit of symmetry she does the more traditional horizontal **headdesk** mirroring Pete’s **headpost** earlier.
Pete Campbell, master of the **headpost** AND the **sitstand**
Peggy lies corpse-like on her couch, not exactly brooding about Pete, just kind of recovering from her unexpectedly visceral reaction, when Joyce calls and invites her to lunch with a bunch of her cool hip groovy pals. So there’s Peggy, waiting for the elevator among a group of stereotypically 60s Austin Powers hepcats, the very embodiment of the direction the decade is heading. On the other side of the SCDP glass doors is Pete, surrounded by Trudy’s dad and Roger and the good old boys crowd he’s been trying to get respect from for as long as we can remember. There’s a big divide between those worlds, and they glance over at each other with genuine affection and a little amusement. “Look where we ended up, despite all that.” It’s a really nice moment, touching but not cloying, probably because of some note-perfect acting. And I have this horrible, terrible thought I feel guilty about immediately: If all the Trudy stuff is in fact horrible ironic foreshadowing, and if Alison Brie is needed on Community (which you should be watching), then as much as I love her I might not be too terribly surprised or angry if Trudy died in childbirth or something and these two finally had their chance. I’m so sorry, Trudy! I’m just saying, worst case scenario, right? Best of a tragic situation, if there happens to be one! That’s all!
Outside his Fortress of Brownitude, Don’s elderly neighbor is pushing groceries down the hall. “Did you get pears?” her husband asks, repeatedly. “We’ll talk about it inside,” she says, and that’s the end. So what the hell does that mean? There was a lot of marriage talk this week, so maybe it means Don longs for the kind of companionship he doesn’t know if he’ll ever have again. Maybe he sees the kind of nightmare companionship he’s extracted himself from by breaking things off with Betty. Or maybe Don’s neighbors just don’t like to talk in front of the weirdo drunk across the hall. Either way, we never find out if she got pears. It’s a cliffhanger! Dun!