He's staring at her intensely to give his words the maximum possible gravity, and she's just as deliberately intermittently looking away, but she finally makes up her mind what to do, smiling mirthlessly as she tells him she could have had him forever. "I could have shamed you into being with me. But I didn't want to." Pete's smile fades as he says he doesn't understand, so she closes her eyes and steels herself before telling him about having his baby, and giving it away. He's stunned, so she repeats herself, and tells him, with an almost dreamy recollection, that she wanted other things. He repeats that he doesn't understand, but the answer is sitting right before him -- Peggy's new haircut, the pearls she's wearing, the expensive suit -- they're all symbols of the independence and self-reliance she craved, which are things she could never have had with Pete, and certainly not with him and their child. (Now they might be able to make a relationship work, but that's a different story.) Peggy attempts to put it into words, though: "One day you're there, and then all of a sudden, there's less of you. And you wonder where that part went, if it's living somewhere outside of you, and you keep thinking maybe you'll get it back. And then you realize it's just gone." I think she's talking about herself, not him, in attempting to explain that the part of her that could have been with him is gone, sacrificed on the altar of moving up in the world, but it could of course dually refer to his hot-and-cold behavior toward her back in Season One. (It also eerily applies to Don, and is almost a paraphrase of what he told Anna last episode, which again reflects how similar the two of them are.) Pete heartbreakingly asks why she would tell him this, and she looks regretful as she apologizes, putting a caring hand on his shoulder before leaving. Confession, absolution, and doing things you'd never otherwise do. It's a little long to be a mantra, but that's what's going on. I'm just surprised that Sal didn't try to jump Kurt's bones somewhere in here.
Episode Report CardCouch Baron: A+ | 2978 USERS: B
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