At SC, Sheila shows up for a lunch date with Paul, who happily greets her. There's a good moment where the receptionist in the background takes this in appraisingly, then runs off to dine out on the salacious news. Paul has Pete and Ken in tow, which allows Pete to crow obliviously about how he and Paul are going to California. Ken, who reads a room slightly better than Pete, that is to say AT ALL, pulls him away: "Come on, Campbell. Time to find something else to put in that mouth." There's another great moment of background business as Joan starts walking toward them and does a course correction as soon as she sees Sheila, as Paul tries to claim he was going to tell Sheila about the trip at lunch. You might not see what the big deal is, as it's a business trip and is only, as Pete told Trudy earlier, for a week, but the thing is Paul apparently promised he'd go to Mississippi with her to register black voters (presumably as part of the effort advanced by the NAACP and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee). He confesses that he finds the prospect scary, for which you can hardly blame him, but tells her the business trip is important. "I'm not allowed to talk about it." She knows something's up now, Paul, because when have you ever heeded that particular directive? But in the broader picture, I certainly admire him for taking part in such an important civil movement, but...how long is he going for? Is it okay with his bosses? Most importantly, is there a decent chance he'll never, ever come back?
We stay with Sheila and Paul as they enter the elevator, and Paul makes a show of telling Hollis to call him by his first name before introducing Sheila as his girlfriend. Sheila, however, is not concerned with appearances at the moment, asking if Paul ever really planned on going down South with her. Paul points out that while they have grocery stores all over the place, he can't just walk into an ad agency, which seems to mean he really is going to quit his job. Wow. Between this development and Joan's pregnancy, I wonder if there's going to be a cast shakeup in Season Three. It's not something I'd want, but I'd respect the show's penchant for organic storylines. Sheila says she can't believe Paul's attitude, as all he does is complain about SC and the people there, and it's not that she shouldn't speak her mind or that she's not in the right, but I still think her point might be better made AFTER THEY GET OFF THE CROWDED ELEVATOR. On the other hand, this is probably the sort of exchange that makes Hollis's day. Sheila tells Paul that regardless of what he does, she's going. "I guess I'll just hop in Billy Kaplan's bus with ten strangers." Not the first or last time someone's going to say that in this decade, I'd imagine. Paul seriously whines as he asks why it can't wait, and if that's his go-to method of persuasion, he probably will get shot down South.