Amazing episode, after an understandably slow start. Let's get to it.
Pete and Trudy enter a long hallway, from down which they can hear loud music playing, and we learn that while they find the neighborhood a little sketchy, Trudy feels that it's important for Pete to be there, as the attendees include people that work for him. Pete asks her to rein that assessment in: "Some of them don't feel that way." Heh, I like that he's aware enough of how things really are to warn her, and yet manages to spin the truth into a story that will satisfy her. Maybe he really should be moving up in the advertising world. Once they reach the main room, we note that the party is crowded and rather noisy indeed, and Trudy makes a beeline for Harry and his heretofore-unseen wife, Jennifer. Incidentally, I neglected to point out that in Trudy's bitter griping last episode about not yet being a member of the Mommies-To-Be club, she mentioned that Jennifer is pregnant, right before Harry told us the news as well. There's some slightly awkward discussion of the lack of a place to put coats and the fact that Harry's kind of hammered, and while I can understand if Jennifer isn't too thrilled about office parties given Harry's affair, her attitude makes me hope that Hildy's home sitting this one out. Trudy and Pete head over to greet Peggy, who's being hit on by a bespectacled guy who asks if she really works for these "stuffed shirts." Weird angle to take, given that he turns out to be a buddy of Paul's and also went to Princeton, but regardless, Trudy, with genuine warmth, greets Peggy and asks her to introduce them to her friend. Peggy: "Eugene, whom I just met [hee] was telling me that at Princeton, Paul used to dress up like a girl." The host himself then appears, and if the makeshift ascot around his neck is representative of his sartorial choices outside the office, I'd appreciate it if he'd give dressing in women's clothes another try. I'm sure he could come up with an appropriately literary drag name. "Harlot Bronte," perhaps? Pete dismissively asks if there aren't enough "subterraneans" in the Village that Paul had to come out here (we'll learn that he's residing in Montclair, New Jersey), and Paul, brandy of course in hand, pompously responds, "I'm here because this isn't Greenwich Village. This is America." I'll use my own Princeton education to come up with this witty rejoinder: Baaaaaaaarf. Quick cut back to Eugene, who slurs that Peggy is a "button," and then we're on to Ken, who's grossly hitting on a girl whose gender isn't the only reason she wasn't one of Paul's classmates. Sal and a woman (not his live-in, I don't think, not that it matters anyway) flee the scene none too soon, and then we're with Joan, who's bitching to Paul that her man actually has to be at the hospital when he's on call. Paul babbles pretentiously for a while about the booze he's drinking, and then they're joined by a young woman who just happens to be African-American, and works at the "Food Fair" in South Orange and also is Paul's, as he puts it, "baby." Paul then gets called offscreen to deal with a crotchety neighbor, but before he goes, he tells the women not to talk until he gets back. I didn't think I'd say that about someone sporting that neckwear, but you have to admire his instincts. Joan, however, doesn't obey, soon coming out with this sentiment: "When Paul and I were together, the last thing I would have taken him for was open-minded." Wow, accomplishing the twin goals of revealing you had Paul first and dropping a racist bomb, all in one sentence. Too bad Joan's not interested in writing copy. Sheila, being nice and also somewhat at a loss, compliments Joan's shiny new purse, and Joan insincerely thanks her. This seems like a good time for a new paragraph and a shower.