Good Lord, what a series of events, many of them unfortunate. Pete is taking a Driver's Ed class, finally, and his discontent with suburban life is demonstrated by his inappropriate crush on a teenage girl and a leaky sink, metaphorically dripping the moments of his life away. In an effort to make it seem like suburban life isn't hell, Trudy invites the Drapers out to Cos Cob on a Saturday night, and although there's probably nowhere Don would less rather be with the possible exception of the Rye Town Francis Spookhouse, he's nowhere near equal to Trudy's powers of persuasion, and it's worth it when Trudy seductively sings "Zou Bisou Bisou" and… oh, wait. The Cosgroves attend as well, and when the women head off to the kitchen, Pete fawns over Don like a schoolgirl, with talk of an ex-Marine shooting at a pregnant lady and Don fixing the sink that Pete thought he had under control hardly serving to diminish his enthusiasm.
Rebecca Pryce wants to hang out with her English friends, drinking English beer in English pubs and watching English soccer, and Pryce gives it game go as England wins the World Cup. This leads to Edwin Baker, SVP of Jaguar, letting Pryce know that they're in search of a new agency, so surely downing a pint of two of Sam Smith was worth the sacrifice. When Pryce comes back to SCDP crowing about the new business he might be landing, Pete gets old-school pissy with him. Roger, for his part, tries to help, but when Pryce's British friend turns out to be a but of a supahfreak, it's up to Roger to bring the client, with Don and Pete in tow, to a drunk whore party, and soon Pete's in the bedroom, surrounded by some girl with a great body and lots of trashy décor. Later, Pete lashes out at Don for apparently judging him, saying he was just doing his job, but Don earnestly wants Pete to think about what he's doing before he does something that might cause him to lose Trudy. Things come to a head when Pete mouths off to Pryce, and Pryce challenges him to a fisticuffs duel, like he practically slaps him with a glove, and he ends up knocking Pete to the floor. In the aftermath, Joan comes in to see Pryce with some ice to get the story, and Pryce confesses that he feels like he doesn't fit in, and right there, he kisses her. I thought that would take longer, but although Joan doesn't reciprocate, it doesn't ruin anything, which might mean it will actually lead somewhere.
My head is spinning like I just took Lane Pryce's fist to my face; what else? Oh, Ken blows Peggy off while with an apparent client, breaking their "pact" of going everywhere together when SCDP business is concerned, but Ken later confesses that the dude is from Farrar Strauss and is looking for Ken to get published in the fantasy/sci-fi-hybrid arena. All well and good, but when word gets around, Roger lectures Ken on his divided attentions, and Ken claims he's giving up his second career, to Peggy's mild disappointment. She'll be happy to know that he doesn't actually do so, especially since his writing is used as a closing voice-over.
In case you just decided to skip to the end, PRYCE PUNCHED PETE IN THE FACE!
Well, women certainly took it on the chin last episode. Let's see if we can find someone else to do so this week, shall we?
We open with audio only, on the screech of brakes followed by a thudding crash, but we don't have to worry about the lives of any of our show's characters -- yet. Instead, the video shows a Driver's Ed class watching the cautionary and episode-eponymous film Signal 30. Everyone is sitting with apple-polishing grave looks on their faces, save one Pete Campbell, who looks amused as an audience member at an above-average Catskills show. And it might seem inappropriate for him to be giggling at such tragic violence, but while I wouldn't put it past him, I feel compelled to give him the benefit of the doubt and theorize that he's actually laughing at the production values, which are so bad that the real film actually has a disclaimer about them. Would that many other films I've seen were so honest. Pete's amusement causes a comely young (like, high school young) blonde to turn around, but far from being offended she seems taken with his levity. And he seems taken with her... takeness (among other things) as John Slattery's direction takes us allllll the way down her leg, to the point where I wonder if Pete's really into women's footwear. If you'll remember, the esteemed Mr. Slattery also directed "The Rejected," an episode that featured some other indulgent camerawork of which I was not a fan, but as I noted at the time, his efforts with "Blowing Smoke" were a huge improvement. Don't reverse the trend, Silver Fox. But speaking of directorial touches, the tapping of her foot soon is matched by a repeating sound...
...and then that night, presumably, Pete and Trudy lie in bed in the dark, with Pete's eyes wide open as he listens to the same sound, which is that of a dripping faucet. He asks Trudy if it goes on like that all day and she sleepily murmurs that she supposes it does, "but I don't hear it." Of course, the idea that Trudy dragged Pete out to the suburbs kicking and screaming is rather well-developed, so you probably don't need me to tell you how their differing level of sensitivity to this nuisance underscores that notion. Then again, I don't have anything better to do.
Rather than lie in bed and stew about it, however, we cut to Pete checking out the sink and then opening a tool box and the look on his face is so determined that even the tool box doesn't have the heart to be like, "Really?" A quick shot of Pete's legs stretching out from under the sink leads to him checking it again... and the leak is apparently fixed. Pete smiles, apparently unconcerned with what Chekov would have to say about the early introduction of the faucet.