Things were much more subdued this episode, compared to Mystery Date where Don killed his subconscious fantasies. This focused more on Pete, and his inability to be the man he pretends to and so desperately wants to be. That man happens to be Don, who isn’t interested in telling Pete how to cheat, or even having dinner at his house.
Pete, having grown up in Manhattan, never learned to drive and is taking driving lessons now that him and Trudy live in the ‘burbs. He becomes too interested in a young girl in his class, Jenny, and they flirt while laughing at the instructional driving film Signal 30. It was creepy watching Pete get so excited about the thought having sex with another woman, not that he hasn’t done it before. At their next class he invites her to go out to the botanical gardens.
Trudy insists that Don and Megan come by their house Saturday night for dinner, but Don wants to cancel. Megan at least worries about the fact that her husband has little to no friends now and is more than happy to show up at the Campbell’s, even though she can’t remember the name of Ken’s wife, who will also be there.
Earlier Ken had ignored Peggy when he ran into her a diner, he later explains that the man he was with was a publisher. At dinner, Cynthia tells everyone about the subject of Ken’s book and his little side career. He even has a pen name, Ben Hargrove. As the ladies retreat off to the kitchen, the faucet bursts, and Don being the strapping man he is quickly fixes the plumbing issue. Everyone, especially Pete who had thought he fixed it the morning before, seem to be in awe. While driving home Don has Megan pull over, and so turned on by him fixing a sink they have sex on the side of the road. Don even says he wants to “make a baby.” For some reason this made me think of when him and Betty were driving home and she threw up in the car, early in her pregnancy with Baby Gene. What a difference a wife makes.
Lane celebrates England winning the World Cup with Rebecca and some friends at a pub. There he meets Edwin Baker, an executive at Jaguar who wants him and SCDP to work on a campaign. Lane is excited about the news but the boys think he needs help to land the deal, he thinks being English is more than enough. Roger even helps him by telling him what to drink when he has his next meeting with Edwin. The dinner didn’t go the way Lane planned, so Pete, Don and Roger take over and take Edwin out for lobsters. He insists that he wants to have “fun,” so Roger takes them all to a brothel. Because Roger would. Don stays at the bar and has his drinks comped by the madam, who at first pegged him for a cop, then insinuated he was gay.
When Roger goes off with a redhead, Pete goes into a room with a young blonde girl who has her first time with him. In the cab on the way home Don and Pete sit in silence until Pete says he feels like he’s being judged. It’s obvious, even to Don, that Pete wants to be him but he can’t even sleep with a hooker right. And he, of course, knows that the last person Pete should be trying to emulate is him. Before he goes home, Don tells Pete that if he had married Megan to begin with, he wouldn’t have cheated on her and that Pete is lucky to have Trudy and the baby at home.
The next morning in the office, Roger tells Ken to basically give up his writing career, after all his didn’t work out the way he wanted it to. He says that SCDP has a lot to offer, more than just job security, but Ken wants to be more than just Ken Cosgrove, Accounts. I’m sure he doesn’t want to end up a bitter, old guy like Roger still slinking around the office when he’s 50.
Lane asks Joan to leave the conference room and then tells the guys that they lost the Jaguar job because Edwin’s wife told Rebecca about Roger taking them all to the brothel. His wife found out because he still had chewing gum on little “sportscar” – wink wink, nudge nudge. Pete says that Lane didn’t secure the deal because he thought he was a “homo.” When Lane first had dinner with Edwin I wondered if maybe Edwin as gay and was maybe romantically interested in Lane. Of course Lane isn’t gay, he’s just English.
Naturally, the only way to settle this was to challenge Pete to a duel, and he was more than happy to try to prove himself. I love the way Roger and Bert instigated the whole thing, “this is medieval!” Even though they both got each other pretty well, Lane ends up knocking Pete out. [Editor’s Note: Imagine DivaJulia quoting Smokey from “Friday”…
Sorry for hijacking the post, Brittani. I’m such a 12 year old boy.]
Joan tries to comfort Lane in his office, and he questions his position at SCDP. He kisses her, she gets up, then opens the office door. He apologizes and then Joan says that he shouldn’t feel too bad about the fight. Everyone wants to punch Pete.
In the elevator with Don, Pete starts to cry and tells him that he has nothing. Ken tells Peggy that he is giving up his writing career, but later starts writing under another name, Dave Algonquin. His story seems to be about Pete, “The Man With The Miniature Orchestra.” Pete, completely broken, watches as his driving class crush gets a hand slid up her skirt.