May 162012
 

Do you remember what Don said to Peter in the pilot ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes?  He told him what to expect if Pete continued to behave like an a-hole.

Don: “Campbell,  advertising is a very small world.  When you do something like malign the reputation of a girl from the steno pool on her first day, you make it smaller.  Keep it up and even if you do get my job you’ll never run this place.  You’ll die in that corner office a mid-level executive with a little bit of hair who women go home with out of pity.  You wanna know why? ‘Cause no one will like you.”

In the past two seasons, I was beginning to think that Pete was becoming more human; refusing to attend Margaret’s wedding, showing maturity toward Peggy and joy at Trudy’s pregnancy.  But in Signal 30, Middle executive Pete is slowly becoming this pitiful character. Leering after a teenage girl, whoring, and in A Little Kiss, his hair loss is questioned. Pete isn’t only a bit heavier and balding, but he’s becoming angrier, and meaner. This can’t be good. My only hope was his silent weep in the elevator with Don.

Yet lately Pete’s become even more reprehensible. The way he stalked Beth in The Lady Lazarus was very dark, and with the continued references to death and suicide this season, I am now more concerned about his mortality.   There’s one line of Pete’s has been haunting me since we first heard it in Meditations in an Emergency, when he was facing the possibility of nuclear annihilation:  “If I’m going to die I want to die in Manhattan!”  I truly hope that Pete Campbell will live out the duration of Mad Men, to kill him off would be criminal.

Oh Pete, please don’t give up.

 

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  45 Responses to “Peter is Fulfilling Don’s Prophecy.”

  1. Interesting post — thanks.

    I recently took another look at both parts of ” A Little Kiss” and there is a scene with Pete and Howard Dawes on the train and Howard says something like, “I will be dead by Christmas.”

    Next episode is “Christmas Waltz” and I really hope it isn’t Pete, but maybe it is Howard and Pete will have to deal more directly with not giving up vs. Beth Dawes.

    • Howard is a life insurance agent who loves to indulge in insurance humor, including the comment that his wife is more concerned that she is taken care of if he dies, than what he does alive.

      Howard also would know the odds of a man his age dying in 1966. Howard is a man of about 35. The odds are he will be alive by the end of the year.

      And the odds that 32 year old Pete Campbell will be alive as well.

  2. Peter is also following Don’s alternative path–the way he could be in the future if he continued his thoughtless “lifestyle”. It’s sort of like “A Christmas Carol” where he could see what his life will be like if he doesn’t change his ways. It looks like Don is genuinely changing his ways. He and Pete will end up in very different places if things don’t change.

  3. So many seem convinced that Pete or Roger are going to die this season. I just don’t see it!

    In more than 4 1/2 seasons of MM, no major character has died. While very important to storyline, the characters that have been killed by the writers have all been peripheral….. Anna, Gene, Adam, Pete’s father. It makes much more sense to me that this pattern will continue.

    Polly, I agree with your suggestion about Howard. Just think how his death and the ramifications of a Trudy, Beth, Pete eternal triangle would drive the plot. Remember, the only thing that seemed to prevent Beth from jumping in with both feet is her marriage to Howard. I could also envision Henry Francis dying and Betty deciding that she needs Don back in her life.

    • Sal may have lived on the periphery, but he was not a peripheral character !

      • Unless you saw an episode I missed, Sal was not killed. I, and apparently many others; hope to see him again!

      • Sal was fired because their client from Lucky Strike unfairly complained about him. I would love to see him too and since Lucky Strike is no longer a client, maybe it is a possibility that he be rehired. That would be great.

    • Yeah…I agree that Henry is a possible goner, but I think with him admitting that he “bet on the wrong horse” the dynamics of his job potentially going nowhere would really drive Betty crazy (especially since we know what happens to Rocky’s presidential bid).

      Just think how the plot might be moved forward if Betty had to go to Don for money to support the kids, especially when Henry Francis told her she didn’t need to ask for anything when she divorced Don!

      p.s. Your name is making me thirsty! :-)

    • If Henry eventually has financial problems due to being out of the political loop because he backed the wrong horse, Betty could find herself in the absolutely worst possible situation, not being able to exact revenge on Don for marrying Megan in the way of alimony and having to cut back on her upper middle-class lifestyle that she has been accustomed to all her adult life, first with Don and now with Henry. This is not what she bargained for when she married Henry. Remember at the end of season 3 where Henry and Betty were in a lawyer’s office, a lawyer Henry knew through his political connections, that Henry told Betty not to seek alimony from Don, to break all ties with him and that he would look after her. And that is exactly what Betty did in good faith.

      I know this thread is all about Pete but since Old Fashioned and Polly both brought up the possible demise of Henry Francis I think my response is appropriate.

      • Did Betty actually do that? such bad judgement even for her. I remember when Henry said that and it seemed like both Betty and the lawyer were telling him it didn’t make sense. The lawyer would have advised him differently. I don’t think Don would allow Henry to be responsible for his kids, he is too proud and he want’s to take care of them

        • Right before Henry’s comment to Betty, the lawyer present made a remark that implied that Henry and Betty had already had sex. She denied it. Then Henry asked for a moment with Betty.

          Henry is NOT stupid. He knew where this potential divorce could head. Remember he is a political operative and back in 1966, even operatives had to be very careful of their marital situation. Why have his name dragged through the mud in a messy divorce trial? Remember Henry was already divorced. He would know how messy they could get.

          So what did Henry suggest to Betty? To fly to Reno, get her divorce, not ask for child support and that he would take care of her: essentially for her to make a clean break where she would not have any more ties to Don. Betty agreed. Perhaps one could argue she reluctantly agreed. But she did agree to Henry’s suggestion. Betty did not pursue alimony from Don and she did marry Henry.

          You might call it bad judgment but you have to remember in season four Don was a pathetic figure and single that he was heading towards the abyss. Yes Betty might not known how bad it was for Don but I do NOT believe she ever envisioned anything like Don marrying his much younger secretary, that Megan would become a rival for her children’s affections, that Don would live in swanky apartment in Manhattan and be happy married and deeply in love with his new wife.

          If she had any inkling of that possibility, I don’t believe there would have been anyway she would have married Henry. Instead she would have adopted the same strategy as Jane Sterling and taken Don to the cleaners. Now she is regretting she did not do that. And she is becoming more and more bitter after she saw their apartment and after meeting Megan for the first time (in The Beautiful Girls when she picked Sally up at SCDP, Megan was sitting at the receptionist’s desk but paid no attention to her at the time).

          As for Don’s attitude towards Henry and the kids, at the end of season three in the Pierre Hotel, Don phoned Betty and told him he would not stand in her way of pursuing a new life and with Don already knowing about Henry Francis (Roger told him), Don would have been extremely naive to believe that HF would not become an important part in Betty’s life. And in turn he understood by only seeing his kids every other weekend, Henry would assume the role of a virtual full-time father to his 3 kids.

          You say Don is too proud and he would want to take care of them. I agree. But Don is also a realist. Remember at the beginning of season four, he is now living in an apartment in the city, single and being slapped in the face by prostitutes. In no way, shape or form was Don equipped to take responsibility for his kids more than every two weeks on the weekend.

          And finally in episode 5 of season four Don confessed to Dr Faye in retrospect may have told us how important it was for him to find a woman who could be a good step-mother to his kids. Don said to Faye: “When I see them, I don’t know what to do. When I drop them off I feel relieved. And then I miss them…it’s not going well…”

          • I think it was in Season 4, “Hands and Knees,” when Don is worried about the DOD investigation, he has a meeting with his accountant, Frank Keller, and tells him to set up a trust to take care of his kids and that Betty can access before the kids are of legal age (or something to that effect). Of course, this is set up in the event that Don needs to run away or is otherwise not around.

            So, even though Betty did agree to Henry’s suggestion to make a clean break from Don, without any financial strings attached, Don has already set up a trust to take care of his kids.

            It isn’t clear if Betty was ever in a position to take Don to the cleaners as it seemed that Betty would have had to prove that Don was not faithful if he contested the divorce. Henry was impulsive and wanted Betty to get divorced as quickly as possible, which is why she headed to Reno.

            Although Roger clearly is more wealthy than Don, he is paying alimony to Mona and probably something to his daughter and will now be paying alimony to Jane because in both cases he initiated the divorce. Don, on the other hand, did not initiated the divorce with Betty and appears to not have the financial burdens that Roger has with Mona and will have with Jane. In fact, Don is able to have the apartment he does because he does not regularly support Betty and the kids, or Anna anymore, and he seems to have prospered from being a partner as well as the sale of Anna’s house and the house in Ossining.

            The sad thing is that Betty initiated the break-up with Don, followed Henry’s advice not to seek alimony, and fired Carla, which led to Megan going to California with Don and ultimately to their marriage.

            Looks like a pattern of bad judgment or bad luck for Betty all the way around. Henry Francis is Betty’s life raft, but somehow she doesn’t see that or appreciate him, which is just another piece of Betty’s sadness.

          • Polly, you summed it up better than I could have done. Well done.

            And your point of Don NOT having to support Betty and the kids any longer together with the profit he made on the sale on both houses is something Betty should have taken into consideration if she like Jane Sterling had consulted a lawyer and weighed all her options. Don was not as poor in season 4 as his depressing personal life may have led one to believe. And a lawyer would have uncovered that. Don could not imho covered his tracks.

            But the question then becomes why did Betty decide on this course of action? Imho, she allowed emotion to dominate her decision-making process. She was so repulsed by the idea of having married the son of a 22 year old prostitute, that she wanted absolutely no connection to him while apparently overlooking the fact he would still see their children on a limited basis.

            And Betty also felt confident when he saw Don out with Bethany Van Nuys who she called a 15 year old that Don had hit a new low, was living it up and becoming increasingly dissipated, and did not see him as a threat to her being psychologically healthy in the future. Who would ever want to marry someone so pathetic and had so much baggage as Don has? For most of season 4 Betty could stare down from her lofty perch in suburbia, married to Henry and consider Don riffraff.

            There is no way as I have written earlier that Betty could have imagined Don marrying his 25 year old French-Canadian secretary who he got to audition for the role of his kids’ stepmother in CA. Don’s marriage to Megan was completely against the grain.

            And Betty finally after seeing the Draper apartment and meeting Megan for the first time, Betty finally began to realize how terrible a mistake she had made by marrying Henry in haste and not socking it to Don.

            And finally if Henry runs into financial problems because he has backed the wrong horse, Betty’s life raft may soon take in water. And if that happens her whole world could fall apart. Can we say nervous breakdown?

          • Don marrying Faye would have been against the grain. Don marrying his 25 year old secretary is not.

          • Did you see the stunned reactions in the office to Don becoming engaged to Megan after they learned of the news? Did you happen to catch Twitter after the Tomorrowland episode was aired in 2010? Total surprise, shock, and horror abounded. Very few people saw it coming. And you could include Betty Francis in that group.

            When Betty first heard from Don about the engagement she instantly thought of Bethany van Nuys.

            I not going to give a blow-by-blow account of all of Don’s affairs but I think I can make a case that Faye Miller represented Don’s type a lot more than Megan Calvet did.

            Here’s the list:

            a) Midge, freelance artist

            b) Rachel Menken, Dept store owner

            c) Bobbie Barrett, wife and manager of her husband’s career in show busiiness

            d) Rich girl in the Jet setters–took Don to Palm Springs

            e) Stewardess in Baltimore

            f) Suzanne, school teacher

            g) high-class prostitute who slaps his face, says she has a family

            h) Bethany van Nuys, actress in operatic productions

            i) Dr. Faye Miller, consumer researcher

            What do they all have in common?

            1) They are NOT employees of the firm or secretaries (Faye was working for SCDP on a contract basis)

            From Joan in Season 1 episode 5 “5G”:

            “I always wondered why he ignored me. Perhaps he’s so good looking he can go outside the office whenever he wants. Most of the fellas can’t.”

            2) Except for Bethany, who he never went to bed with and the girl in the Jet Setter, Don usually was attracted to women closer to his age range.

            3) And Don was mainly attracted to women who either had their own careers, own businesses, were in show business or were wealthy.

            4) All born in the USA

            And when you throw Betty into the mix, Don clearly was attracted to a certain type of woman since Mad Men came on the air.

            And that type of woman had little resemblance to Megan Calvet, 25 year old French-Canadian and Don’s secretary.

            If Don had married Faye it would NOT have been a big surprise. Don and her were seen around the office being very friendly towards each other. And she was often in his office alone with him.

            But nobody at the office ever saw Don and Megan acting that way towards one another. Notice in past episodes how Don treated Megan. He rarely gave her the time of day until The Beautiful Girls when Megan hugged Sally after she fell.

            Sure Joan said that men marry their 25 year secretaries all the time but the comment imho was based more on Don’s current state of mind than Joan’s own foreknowledge. Like everyone else, Joan was caught completely off guard.

            And finally Don did not even know himself he was going to propose to Megan when he landed in CA. Don’t forget Faye told Don she would call him when he got back on Tuesday to rekindle the flame.

            If you really feel Don’s marriage to Megan was NOT against the grain, then I do believe you must also believe that Roger and Jane’s marriage was not against the grain either.

          • Well done, Techno. But I do say that think Roger’s marriage to Jane was a standard issue second marriage older man marries much younger woman. Don did the same. Pretty standard. Whether Don and Megan deteriorate the way Roger and Jane did or not remains to be seen. God willing, I’ll be watching and discussing! :-)

  4. The prophesy I constantly think of is Peggy in Shut the Door Have a Seat, saying to Don, “I don’t want to be here just so you can kick me when you fail.”

    And what do we have through season 4 and season 5…Don uses her as his emotional punching bag when things go wrong personally and professionally. Peggy nailed it, and it’s coming true.

  5. Great point, Nordic! Yes, Peggy completely nailed Don on his behaviors. But I do think that, as Barbara mentioned, Don is changing his ways, and I believe Megan is a big part of that.
    Old Fashioned, as to the possibility of someone dying this season, I don’t think it will happen, at least physicaly. But there has been a lot of references to death this season, so it leaves one to wonder, but I sincerely don’t think MW would kill off a any character. If he did, it would have to be completely believable and not just a ‘shock’ to have us scratching our heads yet again.
    I do think that Pete is getting lonelier, but his spoiled attitude is making it worse.

  6. Pete’s demeanor and attitude has definitely changed for the worse. We have not seen Trudy much but I wonder if she has noticed a change or has she directed all her attentions on the baby. She has always been his biggest cheerleader

    • Don’s words in the first episode have proven to be prophetic. Pete has alienated most of the people in the office because by his own self-admission he is not good with people but mainly because he has indulged in gratuitous ridicule and cheap shots and has gone out of his way to cast aspersions on people behind their backs.

      Yes Pete feels he is entitled. But he is also a bully and mean-spirited.

  7. Sal is up there with Peggy as one of my favorite characters. I’d hope that Sal would have come to terms with his sexuality by now and return as an openly gay character. It seems as though MM makes an effort to include gay characters but fails to give them any dimension other than the brief look into Sal’s conflicts. Would love to see Sal adapting to the fashion changes coming down the pike too.

    • I do not see Sal coming out of the closet any time soon; if he was 20 years younger, maybe. Even in NYC it was dangerous to be gay, subject to ongoing harassment by police, the few bars where they could meet were generally mob-run. Maybe he’d freelance for SCDP but I don’t see him back on staff, don’t know how tuned in to the youth wave he’d be.

      • Floretta, I know you are right…my make-a-wish for Sal was just that–wishful thinking. Your comment about the youth wave touches on something that seems to be a big driver in MM this season. Just curious, would we expect creative directors at ad agencies to be younger than Don? Maybe it’s my older generation squint but I see high-end clients like Jaguar seeking out an older target audience. Heck, Freddy Rumsen would be a dinosaur by 1966.

      • He seemed somewhat tuned in to trends. He saw that commercials were going to be a key part of the ad industry. I imagine that he’s either working free-lance, or that he’s been hired to do something in-house, kind of like what Don did for the furrier, but on a larger scale.

  8. The symbolism related to death and suicide has been noteworthy but when you couple that with the theme of season five according to Matthew Weiner of “every man for himself” one is the faced with the idea imho that the idea of personal survival will dominate the episodes, which they have.

    And part of understanding the dynamics of survival is to understand how one goes about surviving or the steps one can take to do a better job of surviving. And since this thread is about Pete, I will devote this post to how successful he has been in surviving 1966.

    But first in season one episode 12 Nixon vs Kennedy, the episode where Pete reveals to Don that he knows his name is actually Dick Whitman and is about to reveal what he knows to Bert Cooper, Don tells Pete, “You’ve been given everything. You haven’t worked for anything in your life.” For me that comment by Don forms the basis to judge whether Pete has sufficient life skills to survive.

    Pete has survived so far mainly because of his business talents and not his personal life skills. He is college-educated, young, ambitious to a certain extent, always keeps his ear to the ground (snoopy), convinced his father-in-law to give him the entire Vicks account, and now is a partner at SCDP. In the common vernacular, Pete is going places or a man on the move and knows the lay of the land.

    And from that mini-biography it is not hard to project that Pete now has a healthy income, lives in the suburbs with a stay-at-home wife, Trudy and has one daughter. The majority of Americans in 1966 had not survived as well as Pete has.

    But Pete has one huge flaw tied to being a rich man’s son: He feels ENTITLED to everything which not only includes his job status and place in the advertising world but also to indulging his sexual appetites without any restraint or without any thought that the women have permitted or enjoyed his sexual advances. This is the position of an overseer to a slave or a king to a commoner or a rapist to his victim. The symbolism of Pete going through a STOP SIGN while driving with Beth in Lady Lazurus is noteworthy.

    And Pete would hold this belief regardless if he was married or not.

    First Pete knows about Don’s escapades outside the office and considers him a mini-Don. What is good for the goose is also good for the gander. That is also part of Pete’s ENTITLEMENT mentality. As he rises up the firm’s organizational chart, to the victor goes the spoils.

    But despite this ENTITLEMENT mentality, Pete has one major problem in the sexual arena: He is physically inept, possesses a personality devoid of sexual charm, and to the extreme repugnant to some women. Notice unlike Don who had a number of affairs, other than Peggy, Pete has never slept with his “sexual conquests” more than once. And that includes his latest conquest, Beth. You could actually give him the nickname of “one-night-stand Pete.”

    And in the very first episode of the series, we see Pete trying to “feel up” a young woman at his bachelor party in a bar. The woman keeps rebuffing Pete’s advances but he keeps pushing on until she threatens to make a huge scene. Imho, Pete finally backs off not because of the woman’s threats but because he doesn’t want his colleagues to suspect he is a pervert. And the woman feel Pete is so creepy she moves and sits beside Ken Cosgrove. But the look of entitlement is written all over Pete’s face as he is forced to cease and desist.

    And in turn this prompts the drunken Pete to knock on the door of Peggy’s apartment and convince her to sleep with him just before he is to be married to Trudy. And this is the same Peggy that Pete made fun of at the office when he first saw her in Don’s office and where Don tells Pete this is her first day on the job. Pete felt he was entitled to sex with someone before he tied the knot and for him to choose Peggy who he had previously ridiculed in the office is a sign how far Pete was willing to stoop to satisfy his belief of ENTITLEMENT.

    And with Trudy the sense of ENTITLEMENT, with the sanction of his mother, for Pete extends to putting his foot down and insisting they would never adopt a child. In Pete’s world he is ENTITLED to having a child of his own regardless of what the doctors say.

    In season 2 episode 6 Pete meets a blond girl in the elevator who was just at SC to audition for a Playtex commercial, goes to her apartment and has sex with her. Obviously this has “casting couch” written all over it but Pete only wants what he wants, not what the girl wants.

    And there was the sexual interlude with the au pair in Pete’s building while Trudy was away where Pete basically forced his way onto her because he was in a power position to do so.

    But it is Signal 30 where the chickens come home to roost in a driver ed class where Pete is learning how to drive. He is attracted to a young woman there who can be no more than 20 who he engages in chit-chat and asks her to accompany him to NYC one Sunday afternoon. Then the all-American jock “Hanson” (handsome) comes by and steals her from Pete. Next Pete needs to get his sexual pleasure from a prostitute who says “your my king”, again settling for chopped liver rather than steak, then Don chewing Pete out for cheating on Trudy, and finally been knocked down by Lane in a fistfight at work.

    And when Pete confesses to Don in the elevator, “I have nothing”, he is talking about the underpinnings of his ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY being suddenly eroded. And what is Pete without his ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY? A ship without a rudder, a man who hates himself, a male adult who cannot navigate life on his own, and a man who has not learned the necessary survival skills to cope and is consistently frustrated and dismayed because he now believes that he no longer has the upper hand or is not in the catbird’s seat. A man with an ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY who no longer feels entitled to anything is one dangerous hombre.

    And finally with Beth, we see Pete’s anguish boiling over especially after Howard tells him he is splitting Thanksgiving with his girl in the city and with Beth when he tells Howard he should devote all his attention to that city girl and he will go to bed with Beth over Thanksgiving, with Howard then saying, “Good luck with that.” And don’t forget his daydream in his office earlier in the episode.

    Do you remember Don’s scene with Andrea in Mystery Date where he strangled her to death in a dream sequence? Could Pete be brought to a point where he does that for real?

    And when you throw in the symbolism of the rifle in season one still in Pete’s office and the continued look of “quiet desperation” on Pete’s face, one can tell he is headed for the abyss despite his success at work.

    Can Pete literally survive in his current state married to Trudy? Sure he can. A lot of men do. But imho Pete is powder keg and the fuse could go off at any time. What could trigger it? Perhaps we might see in the remaining episodes. That could include rape, murder, suicide or murder-suicide.

    Yes none of the major characters in Mad Men have died yet in the series, but there’s always a first time.

    • Interesting assessment. I do think Pete’s DNA-level sense of entitlement is a major unfulfilled portion of his life. I’m not sure that is his sole motivation but I do agree that Pete goes off the reservation under two conditions:
      1) Drunk
      2) Feeling he’s been slighted something he’s owed

      Those two are toxic combinations and #1 makes #2 much much worse.

  9. I keep thinking about when Don pushed the call button for the elevator and when the door open, there’s no car – just the abyss of an empty elevator shaft. I know that some have speculated that Don really didn’t see that, otherwise he would have reported it to the maintenance folks in the Time Life Building.

    Before the season is over, I think somebody will take a big plunge down that dark shaft.

    I’m not sure who. Maybe Pete or possibly Bert, but it’s bound to happen. No scene or reference ever happens on Mad Men without some kind of payoff later.

    • Elevator shaft = Macguffin.

      • One way I’ve seen a MacGuffin described is: “A device or plot element that catches the viewer’s attention or drives the plot. It is generally something that every character is concerned with.”

        If that characterization is correct, the scene with the elevator shaft is too fleeting, for that definition to apply, since only Don saw it. Of course, a number of viewers have wondered about whether it meant something.

        Offhand, I can’t think of other times in the show, when Hitchcock’s plot device was used. Sooner or later, if someone or some thing is brought into the picture, there has always been a payoff – eventually.

  10. Pete is my unabashed favorite character — I love the unloveable who want to be love. That’s just me. There’s a support group out there I’m sure. So it’s no surprise that the S1 prophesy has been haunting me all year. Why else shave Vincent Kartheiser’s head except to emphasize the prophecy? Why have the fist fight if not to punctuate that no one likes Pete?

    The other thing that bothers me IS the hairline. Is Vincent Kartheiser committed to getting his head shaved for three years? That has to limit roles. But he claims he doesn’t know what happens script to script so unless he’s lying, I’m going on faith that he didn’t get told “you’ll get a great year, shave your head, but I need to tell you this is the last year”.

    So yes, I think in S5 we have “Pete has fulfilled Don’s prophecy”. Yet I still have hope. So here’s what I, an uber-Pete fan clings too:
    1) MW is not that lazy. Pete’s suicide was forecasted on Salon.com in EP3 I think. The suicide watch is on full alert across the internet. So…normally I’d say this is reason alone to say Pete will not commit suicide or actually murder anyone. The only pause I have with declaring “the end” to this worry is that it’s so obvious that we think Matt won’t do it, so he will.
    2) MW likes to torture Vincent (per the Paleyfest) about killing him off. I just don’t think they’d joke about that if it were true. And Vincent also gave an interview to the Rolling Stones and the asked where would Pete be in 2012 and he said “dead” and that he “probably swallowed a bullet by now”. As spoiler-phobes as they are, I can’t see him joking about it if they were to kill him.
    3) It’s the 5th season. They can’t keep putting Pete out there is raw and on the edge. SO…here’s my big fanwank. Pete settles into a different mode besides “balding and hated”. Two years is a long dang time for him to just be this way. It feels like they are building to something. Since he’s already AT the prophecy, I think he moves past it.
    4) “Lady Lazarus” to me was a pivotal episode. It featured Don, Peggy, & Pete. The three solo-title characters. They each had a role in the montage (along with Megan), but I got the future for these three is: “Don is NOT dying”, “Peggy is shining”, and “Pete is being”.
    5) Pete IS the primary rainmaker of the business. I see this as the big season of change and I think Pete will be ultimately surviving in this scenario.

    Note: I will be seriously dismayed if they don’t change Pete’s status in the agency due to the end of three years at the agency. It’s been hinted “expecting good things at Christmas”, “what were you promised”, etc… And if Pete leaves, the agency dies. So I’d like to see this finally addressed.

    • Vincent only has to have his head shaved during production. Looks as if it has grown back already, from what we have seen in interviews. A role like Pete would be worth a few weeks of shaved head once a year.

      • Well filming was Aug 11-Jan 12 (~6-7 months). And hair only grows back 1/2 in per month. So it would take until April or May for it to look normal. If they go back to filming in Sept, that gives May-Sep for normal hair. So about 1/2 yr normal hair, 1/2 yr hiding the weird hair under bangs.

        And yes a role like Pete is worth weird hair for half a year but it would limit what roles he could pursue off-season I would think.

    • Sue B:

      Deep down, I don’t think MW will kill Pete off, but it would not surprise me if he was involved in a life-threatening situation (car accident–after all Pete is a poor driver) that woke him up, at least in the short-term. Beth’s note of Pete going through a stop sign had an ominous ring to it.

      And knowing how MM works (hiring actors for recurring roles and Alexis Bleidel granting an interview), I see Beth reappearing in Pete’s life before the end of this season. Episode 11 is titled The Other Woman. Could it be then?

      • I think that’s likely. Being part of the Q&A for just a two-episode guest shot seems odd.

        I wouldn’t mind if something uber-dramatic happened to Pete (in fact it would fell satisfying giving the long slow buildup) just so long as:
        1) Pete doesn’t die
        2) Trudy nor Tammy die

        Killing of Trudy is just all sorts of wrong. And I don’t think my heart could stand it if Pete lost his child.

      • Episode titles are just a tease. A Little Kiss had all of us breathless after that long layoff speculating who was gonna get smooched. It turned out to be a song.

        The Other Woman? It’ll probably be a painting, or somebody’s stepmom. Who ever knows these things? My wish is that Joanie is the other woman fir Don.

        • When you analyze the episode titles for season five, I don’t think they are as obscure or meaningless that you think them to be:

          Episode 1 & 2 A Little Kiss

          The meaning of Zou bisou bisou

          Episode 3 Tea Leaves

          A preview of Betty’s problem with weight gain.

          Hiring of Ginsberg as a threat to Peggy (and now to Don)

          Don and Megan at dinner with the Geigers (Heinz) -a preview of episode 7

          Episode 4 Mystery Date

          Implying someone you spend the evening with someone who you did NOT know well or how the date would turn out, causing one to become frightened

          Don and Andrea

          Peggy and Dawn

          Sally and Pauline

          Episode 5 Signal 30

          An allusion to a major car crash. Wasn’t that what Pete Campbell went through in this episode in a metaphorical sense?

          Episode 6 Far Away Places

          Didn’t Ginsberg take Peggy to a faraway place called the Holocaust?

          Didn’t Roger and Jane go on a LSD trip?

          And didn’t Don and Megan travel to Plattsberg, NY?

          Episode 7 At the Codfish ball

          Didn’t Sally drink a Shirley Temple?

          Wasn’t there fish served at the Cancer benefit?

          Episode 8 Lady Lazurus

          Didn’t Megan try to re-invent herself?

          Joan’s comments on second wives and their playbook

          Beth re-emerging after her sexual encounter with Pete

          Marie Calvet having oral sex with Roger to climb out of her depression due to her relationship with Emile

          Episode 9 Dark Shadows

          Dark shadows signify autumn has arrived.

          Dark Shadows was a soap opera. That was referred to in this episode.

          Dark shadows also could indicate something ominous or threatening that could prefigure future problems or disaster.

          Dark shadows could indicate a change in human nature or a change in the overall environment such as the contention between Don and Michael Ginsberg.

          And Roger and Jane may be on a collision course due to what happened in this episode. Roger taking his ex-wife and having sex with her in her new apartment will stay with Jane and make her even more bitter and angry at Roger.

          In other words the titles do tell us where the story lines are going but you have to probe to get at the truth. But we are all adults. We should expect no less from ourselves.

  11. When Don told Pete in the first episode of the series, “Cause no one will like you,” it did NOT register with Pete because he frankly doesn’t care if people like him or not.

    Does Pete openly seek to ingratiate himself with his colleagues or the secretaries?

    Why do both Roger and Lane despise Pete? Pete has burnt his bridges.

    Why did Don not leap to defend Pete from Lane?

    Pete believe he is the center of the universe and he doesn’t have to care about anyone else except himself. And in the first season Pete told Peggy he considers Trudy “another stranger.” Has their relationship gotten any better?

    Pete really is one scary dude now. Why? Because he has already fulfilled Don’s prophecy.

    • I haven’t seen season 5 yet (but I bumped into most of the big spoilers already, so I figured it was safe for me to look at this stuff), but I dunno, my impression of Pete in seasons 1-4 was that he wants more than anything to be liked, admired, appreciated. Trudy seems to genuinely love him, but outside that relationship he has no idea how to earn favor besides being an ingratiating little weasel. He’s not charismatic. And a big part of why people don’t like him is because he’s so awkwardly transparent about how much he wants to be liked.

      That he reeks of desperation and loneliness is actually one of his more charming traits. Take that away and he’s just predatory.

  12. […] Tons of goodies on Basket of Kisses: Pete fulfilling Don’s prophecy, the significance of Megan without makeup and Jane not having an […]

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