Thankfully, we get a break from that session, as Pryce comes into Pete's office to find out how it went with Tom, and Pete has to tell him he didn't get the chance to break the news. Pryce suggests he take care of it ASAP, especially since, to Pete's irritation, Roger already told Pond's that it had been dealt with. Pryce starts to leave, but Pete calls him back, prompting Pryce to lean back out from around the support beam, and I'm starting to think that thing should get separate billing in this episode. It's gotten more screen time than several of the series regulars. Pete tells Pryce his happy news, and Pryce opines, referring to the Tom situation, that it "should take the sting out of all this." Pete looks a little hurt, but Pryce, to his credit, apologizes and shakes Pete's hand, saying that it's "the very best news." As far as SCDP is concerned, he doesn't know the half of it.
Night Cream Girl is now in tears about her ex, like, I wouldn't mind the deal where I get paid to go to therapy, but the point, I suppose, is that what she cared about was getting married, and now that the relationship is over she feels like she has nothing. Allison then breaks down, like, we're talking wracking sobs here, before leaving the room, and Peggy whispers that she feels kind of responsible, to which Don gives a rather hilariously guilty look before nodding his assent that Peggy go check on her. When she's gone, Freddy crows that he was right -- the girls just want to get married, and they'll buy anything that will help. Ugh. Seeing the social change that's going on in other subplots this season just makes this harder to watch.
And speaking of which, Peggy finds Allison crying at her station and leads her into Don's office. Things start off pleasantly enough, with Peggy telling her that she's been in a bunch of these things and people cry as a matter of course. "I think it just feels good to talk." Pretty funny coming from a woman so tight-lipped about her life that a priest almost shook her by the shoulders to get her to open up, but Allison isn't laughing as she says she can't even say anything, since "he" is right there. Peggy seems not to get it at first, but Allison continues that she doesn't know how Peggy can stand it, with how hot and cold he is. Peggy says Don's name, but Allison misinterprets her slowness on the uptake as dissembling, and tells her to stop it, as she realizes Peggy must have gone through everything she has. Peggy's ire starts to build as Allison continues that Don is a drunk, and they get away with murder because they forget everything, and in the emotion of this scene it's easy to overlook how significant this is, but I'm pretty sure this is the first time on this show anyone's openly referred to anyone else, particularly someone successful like Don, as a "drunk." Add to that the constant presence of someone in AA now, and I think the show is making it official that Don doesn't have a problem with alcohol; he has A Problem With Alcohol. Peggy, however, isn't interested in the nuances of Don's drinking, as she vehemently tells Allison, "Your problem is not my problem. And honestly, you should get over it." On the one hand, it feels a little dated for the character to have what feels like a defensive reaction toward Don, but it also could be related to the fact that she was in an analogous situation with Pete and held it together, and besides, I'm not arguing with her on the merits. As much as I enjoyed Allison, at this point I feel like Don is a known quantity, so... do what you need to do, but this is your life and vocation we're talking about here, so maybe don't use the focus group as an excuse to make a scene. Anyway, Allison begs Peggy to leave her alone, and in frustration, Peggy leaves.