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Have a Seat: “Signal 30”

Posted on April 16, 2012 by

This season, we’ve been delving into the psyches of not only Don, but Peggy, Joan and Betty as well. For Don, it seems like his flirting days are over. Peggy is still trying to make it in a man’s world. Joan fought against her soldier husband to the point it ruined their marriage. And even Betty had a cancer scare.

Behind the scenes, we’ve been noticing a smug looking Pete Campbell lurking in the shadows. After one-upping Roger and bragging about the return of the Mohawk account, Pete’s cocksure ways have only grown, and in Draperian fashion. Sick of the suburban life with his wife and child, Pete is looking for the next step, the next purpose in life. He may have bullied his way up the corporate ladder, but his hunger remains.

It’s been suggested that the person that Pete idolizes most is Don. Kind of hard to believe, after they’ve butted heads multiple times, including the moment where Pete tried to tattle on Don’s true identity. But deep down we know that Pete Campbell’s hate for Don is only fueled by jealousy; he only wants to be “the man”.

Last night’s episode only proved that. While watching the gruesome traffic safety video “Signal 30” at a driver’s ed seminar, he catches a pretty young blonde. He attempts to flirt her up by puffing out his chest and bragging (yet again) about his family. He seems to have sold her on a Sunday trip to the gardens. For once, it seems like Pete is reaching a new level of what he calls success.

Meanwhile, we are treated to the return of Lane who was absent the last episode. He seems to be in high spirits. England has just won the World Cup, and the topper is that one of his closest friends in the States wants to do business with Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. This is Lane’s first true account, and he seeks coaching from Roger on how to seal the deal. The following dinner with Lane and friend only seems to connect them on a personal level as usual and he is unable to use Roger’s tactics to butter him up.

Disappointed with the lack of progress, Roger calls in the reinforcements. Roger, Don and Pete bring Lane’s friend out only to arrive later at a brothel. (Even Pete manages to land a hooker.) The night ends with a hung-over cab ride home, where Pete derides Don’s abstinence from the sexual activities. Pete complains that Don will be back after his “honeymoon days” with Megan are over. Don fires back that he’s made the right choice of wife this time around and doesn’t want any part of it anymore. Pete seems to think Don’s gone soft.

The next day at SCDP, Hell breaks loose. Lane gets a frantic phone call from his wife to find out that his friend got busted by his own wife and that the account is officially lost. Lane bolts into the conference room for some answers. Roger, Don and Bert offer their apologies and deny responsibility. However, it’s Pete smugness about the whole affair that fires Lane up to the point of a fist-fight. The other guys are too much in shock and curiosity to try and stop it.

This is where Pete gets his comeuppance. And by that I mean an ass-whooping at the hand of the jolly ‘ol Englishman. Beaten and scarred, both men sulk back into their offices.

Pete takes losing the fight in a physical and metaphorical sense. He takes the day off early only to bump into Don in the elevator. “I have nothing”, Pete laments while fighting back tears. The following day at driver’s ed, Pete notices the young girl getting cozy (to put it lightly) with a beefcake man more her age. It seems whenever Pete seems to be moving up, he only goes back to square one.

BAMF: Lane, who not only saw his native country win the World Cup, he seems to be on the cusp of landing the car manufacturer Jaguar on their first push onto U.S. soil. That is until…

Maddest Man: …the other boys take his friend out for “fun” and Lane loses the account. While he won the fist-fight with Pete, he complains to an attentive Joan. How awkward was their kiss?

MIA: Ginsberg. He’s like the John Turturro of the show. Oh, and also, Fat Betty. Bam-ba-lam.

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