Ho. Lee. Sh*t. Now we're rolling. What an episode.
It opens with Pete and his wife at the doctor, trying to get to the bottom of their conceptual difficulties. By now they've been going at it for a year and a half, and Trudy remains babyless, which is really freaking her out. Pete, on the other hand, came along just to make sure nothing's wrong with his gear. The doc poses a few basic questions, like are they ABSOLUTELY SURE they know how to have sex, then splits them up for more a personal interrogation. Alone with Pete, he asks, "Have you ever fathered a child?" to which Pete replies "No," an answer loaded with about 7 pounds, 6 ounces of dramatic irony. Pete then gets all defensive about his potency, to which the doc assures him that even the great George Washington was sterile.(Lies! McCarthy, blacklist this man.) He suggests that Pete return soon for a semen analysis.
The big news around the office is that Joan is off the market, because Dr. Boyfriend finally came to his senses and realized that his busty little redhead is the biggest knockout in Manhattan. (Took him long enough.) The bride-to-be shows off her new ring to a chorus of squeals, courtesy of the Sterling Cooper secretaries and possibly Sal.
Bobbi Barrett phones Don at work, which doesn't stop her from asking him where he's at. (She's drunk, you see.) She begs him to come out and celebrate the sale of her husband's Candid Camera knock-off, "Grin and Barrett." Don balks initially, but caves after a little persuasion. (It doesn't take much to get him out of the office these days.) When he arrives, all that's left of this alleged "party" is one very wasted Bobbi and a pungent whiff of desperation. By the way, has anyone else noticed that Don's reaction shots to pretty much anything Bobbi says range from "disgust" to "slightly more obvious disgust"? This lady is heinous.
Gee, he sure could use a reminder of what constitutes worthwhile infidelity
oh hey look, it's Rachel, the wealthy Jewess. That's convenient. What's less convenient for Don is that his Season 1 paramour is now hitched, and not all that excited to see the guy who once asked her to run away with him and live "like Adam and Eve." After exchanging a few not-so-pleasantries, she shoots him an icy glare on the way out the door, and he copes with the sudden sting by feigning interest in Bobbi's drunken ramblings. "I wanna have you on the beach," she gushes. So they head to the beach.
In the car, Bobbi is playing a game called "Let's make the guy who clearly doesn't want to talk about anything talk about something," in which she keeps asking Don about things he likes. Being there with him "feels so good," she purrs, to which he frigidly (and honestly) replies, "I don't feel a thing."
There both about to feel a lot of things, though (mostly broken glass in their skin), because an inebriated swerve from Don followed by a near miss of an oncoming vehicle lands their car on its side. They've wrecked, and worse than it even appeared they would at first.
At the police station, Don fails the sobriety test with blurry, flying colors, and has the choice of paying $150 or spending the night behind bars. I wish it was still that easy. Don actually doesn't have the money, though, and the stubborn cop won't cut him a break even threatening to detain him if he doesn't come up with the cash. Don says he'll call someone from the office, and a slow pan up from the legs reveals that that someone is Peggy Olsen. Like Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction, only uglier, she arrives to clean up the mess. She's managed to round up $110 (Don has enough to cover the rest), and even offers to let Bobbi crash at her place until she heals up enough to allay any possible suspicion from her husband Jimmy. It's not expressly revealed yet why Peggy is so willing to help her boss in this hour of need, other than the increasing (platonic) fondness they've already shown for one another, but we already get this sense that maybe there's more to it than that.
Don finally arrives home, slinking silently into the bedroom. Betty is still awake, though, and not nearly as unquestioning as she used to be. "Where the hell were you?" she asks. Don admits he was in an accident, but neglects to mention the part where he was planning to nail a married broad by the ocean. Instead, he blames the crash on his blood pressure pills, revealing to his wife that's not in the best of health (which is actually true). Betty's still pretty livid that he never informed her of this whole high blood pressure thing, but is more or less assuaged, buying the story.
Running a little damage control of her own, Bobbi phones her husband from Peggy's Brooklyn apartment and tells him she's gone to a fat farm, an oddly fitting alibi, considering it's the same sort of place the guys in the office once joked about Peggy disappearing to. (I wonder how many missing person cases in the early 60s landed in files marked "Probably at a Fat Farm.")
The next day, Joan is showing Don's new secretary Jane the lay of the land when the man himself arrives, arm in a sling. He's in such a daze that he doesn't even notice how hot the new girl is. Ken Cosgrove informs Don that Jimmy Barrett wants to drop by, but won't say why, which I think is supposed to sound ominous, but isn't, really. I dunno, I just have trouble believing the douche-y comedian is astute enough to suspect anything. Anyway, Don tells Ken to stall him for a few days.
Back at Peggy's pad, Detective Bobbi is trying to crack the case of The Strangely Helpful Junior Copywriter. "I'm sorry," she says, "but it's killing me. Why are you doing this?" Peggy says she's not really sure, vaguely admitting that Don has done "a lot" for her. Foreshadowing, thy name is Bobbi Barrett. Keep digging, you heinous ho-bag.
Suddenly, Peggy is back in last season's fat suit and lying in a New York hospital bed, where she's asked stuff like what year it is and who's the president. Having a baby broke her brain, it seems, but at least she's getting the answers right. Then the doctor asks if she knows why she's there. When she mumbles through heavy medication that she does not, he reminds her about the bundle of joy- er, soul-crushing sadness that she recently birthed.
Back at Sterling-Coop, Roger and Joan discuss her impending nuptials. Not quite hiding that twinge of wistful nostalgia that had him paying for the Joan-like company of a call girl in last week's ep, Roger puts on a stoic, if cynical, front. "You were just another woman, Joannie," he lies. On her way out of the office, he asks if he can give her "a couple of paddles for good luck." Oh, Roger. You always know just what to say.
Meanwhile, at Jane's desk, a comically obvious number of Sterling-Cooper stooges are trying to look busy whilst sneaking peeks at the new girl's peaks. Joan walks up and shoos them all away like a horny flock of pigeons, then fusses at Jane for showing off said byoobs. When she walks away, Ken Cosgrove strolls up and lets Jane know that he is, in fact, kind of a big deal, then asks fairly awkwardly if she'd like to go see Jimmy Barrett make fun of fat people sometime.
Before she can shoot him down, though, Freddy Rumsen decides to become the funniest person in this episode for no good reason whatsoever by walking up and saying, "Hey, listen to this!" before excitedly yanking his pants zipper up and down for an exquisitely uncomfortable amount of time. Finally he stops, announcing: "It's Mozart! Do you hear it?" Wow, for just a second there, Sterling-Cooper felt a lot like Dunder Mifflin. Mildly horrified, but probably secretly relieved to not have to suffer Jane's rejection out loud, Cosgrove walks away, still shaking his head because, seriously Freddy, WTF.
Back at Peggy'splace, Bobbi's still trying to get a handle on her host's benevolence. At first convinced she's in love with Don, Bobbi then decides it's so she can get ahead at the agency. "You're never going to get that corner office," she warns. "You'll never be a man." Really, Bobbi? Look at her face. She's not that far off. Bobbi does impart some wisdom, though, and that is to A.) Take advantage of being a woman in the workplace, and B.) Treat Don like an equal.
The doctor calls up the Campbells and informs Trudy that Pete's sperm sample is "quite viable." So (just as we already knew) he's not the problem, and hearing that makes him visibly ecstatic to the point of brazen insensitivity. Trudy is pretty heartbroken at the thought that the issues lie with her, and Pete picks probably the worst time ever to opine that maybe they shouldn't be trying to get pregnant anyway. Turns out he likes being the only kid in the Campbell household. Trudy backs down a little bit when he raises his voice, but still quietly reiterates that she "really want(s)a baby." Otherwise, she says, "what is all this for?" "I don't know," Pete admits.
FLASHBACK TIME, PART DEUX
Someone came to visit Peggy at that hospital, and that someone is at her bedside when we rejoin her in 1960. If you've been paying attention to a single second of this episode, you already know exactly who it is, but that doesn't make it any less compelling to watch.
It's Don Draper.
If you've ever doubted just how highly Don values Peggy's potential, it's all laid bare in this scene. "You got a promotion, and then disappeared," he says. "Your Christmas present is still on your desk." Don wants her back at work so much so that he contacted her mother, then tracked her down and showed up himself. "Do whatever they say," he tells her, as long as it will get her out of there. Then, speaking from obvious experience, he adds, "This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened." Hey, if you have to learn how to live a lie, you might as well learn from the best.
Back in the present, Peggy goes for the whole treating Don like an equal thing, and it pays off, literally, in the form of some of the money he owes her for bail. She even takes it a step further, calling him"Don," and wow, do I really fucking like Peggy all of a sudden.
Jimmy finally shows up at Don's office, Bobbi in tow, and it turns out all he wanted to say was thank you for talking to the Utz people. Non-crisis averted, I guess? Maybe he suspects something, but I dunno, guys, it's pretty hard to tell when every word that comes out of his mouth is so fucking slathered in smarm.
Don comes home, on time this time, and encounters an unexpected side effect from his blood pressure semi-lie. He isn't allowed to have salt with his supper. Betty's affectionate reasoning helps her come off the most genuinely sweet she has all season. "Why can't Daddy have salt?" one of the children asks. "Because we love him," she says.
Bobbi's bad memory:
Bobbi: "Where are you right now?"
Don: "I'm in my office. Where you called me."
Joan, on engagement rings: "I've been offered a few, and it's by far the best."
Joan walks in on Roger loudly paddling a ball on a string.
Joan: "Everyone can hear you out there."
Roger: "Nobody knows what I'm doing. It's good for mystique."
Pete, proud of his sperm: "Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, are they?"