Harry's babbling to Paul about how taxes are a disincentive to hard work, but before I start to think of warm sandy beaches, Burt loudly announces to his "fellow companions in mediocrity" (i.e., everyone currently on the open floor) that they can all fuck off. He knocks some stuff off a few desks on his way toward his office while Harry repeats some misinformation about Burt's plans, Pete smirks, and Paul wonders if the firings aren't starting again. On cue, Hildy tells Pete that Pryce wants to see him, and Pete almost shits his pants right there as Harry and Paul walk away with "There but for the grace of Brits go I" written all over their faces. Pete stomps off to take his medicine, or so he thinks...
...while John Hooker gets snarled at by Burt: "Drop dead, you Limey vulture!" After Burt enters his office and continues to rail loudly and incoherently and Hooker's all "Well, I never!" for a moment, Joan approaches and snits that she's going to have to dispense psychotherapy to the girls in the typing pool, thanks to his mishandling of the Burt situation. Hooker condescendingly says that "you Americans" can't handle their emotions, but Joan, unbowed, reiterates that Peterson's wife is sick, and if Hooker had merely spoken to his girl, she would have informed him privately, "and if you had talked to me, I would have been waiting with his coat and his Rolodex." Hooker tenuously takes this mention of "decorum" to transition into asking that he be addressed formally by the girls on the switchboard: "I am not 'Jaahn.'" Joan faux-innocently replies that that's how they address the secretaries, and John steps up the condescension as he starts to say that as he's explained, in England...Joan: "A truck is a lorry, and an elevator is a lift. I've got it, Mr. Hooker. Despite your title, you are not a secretary." She just gets more awesome, although so does her dress size. What's with all the padding? Is she still shedding maternity weight? Or is she pregnant again? (For that matter, did she actually have the baby? Don't want to assume anything after that first scene, and I'm thinking if she actually had, she might not still be around, especially given her comment to Peggy later.) He acidly replies that he's "Mr. Pryce's right arm," not his typist. Joan sunnily agrees: "I assume you will let him know when Mr. Peterson has left the building." I appreciate the final slam on Hooker, but unless Pryce is very deaf I think he'll have a handle on that one all by himself.
Pete enters Pryce's office like he's about to open a door in The Lady Or The Tiger, but brightens when the first thing Pryce mentions is Burt's departure. Pryce adds that he likes Pete, although he "can't speak for everyone here," and Pete ignores the possible veiled insult in favor of saying he likes Pryce too. Pryce, bemused, says Pete doesn't know him (but...he knows Pete?) and Pete replies, "But I will make that effort, if given the opportunity!" Let your dreams of the Creative side die, dude. Pete then launches into a stilted and uncomfortable (to watch, anyway) explanation of why he hasn't been more welcoming socially, and Pryce, rather than explain the British social order or even reply "That's okay, really" merely offers Pete a chair. Pete won't be shot with his eyes closed, though, pointing out that he's being asked to sit on the heels of his department head being removed, and Pryce offers an apology for the miscommunication of intentions before coming out with it -- Pete's the new Head of Accounts, although the specifics and announcement are pending. Pete asks if this is truly certain, and Pryce says yes, but slyly puts a finger to his lips. Heh.
Downstairs, Pete asks Hildy to get Trudy on the phone. Once inside his office, he does a little dork-ass celebratory dance, and I (a) feel genuinely happy for his good fortune and (b) snicker at what I know is coming. He's the only character that simultaneously brings out the best and worst in me. Anyway, he pours himself a little drink and then gets on the phone with his wife, who says she's meeting with the Docent's Committee from the Met. When Pete asks how they are, she asks with genuine surprise, "Since when do you care?" Since never, Trudy. He's just in a very good mood. He tells her the happy news, and she's overjoyed even to the point where she gives his early drink a big thumbs-up. However, when Pete muses that he should give his mother a call, she replies, "Oh, Peter. Don't go to the well -- there's no water there." Well, I certainly am willing to believe his mother's life has been a constant uphill battle to rehydrate. Anyway, after Pete blurts that he forgot even to ask the new pay