Tonight's episode of Mad Men centered on Peggy and Pete and the continued the steady march to a fractured and painful future. The big changes in store for them, and perhaps all the characters, is self-realization. Let's get to it.
The episode's biggest news is that Pete's wife Trudi is pregnant, previous difficulties it seems have been resolved in that area. Pete gushes about being an expectant father, but we know he already is one, and his mentioning that he didn't know how it would feel makes him seem even more loathsome. But, Pete also has a quandary on his hands - he must tell his father-in-law that the Clearasil account has been dropped by SCDP because of a conflict with the larger Ponds account. But Pete doesn't break the news lightly to his father-in-law, instead, he takes the opportunity to blackball him into handing over more of his business. And Pete stops trying to be the good guy he knows he truly isn't and simply shrugs at being called a son of a bitch, recognizing that the statement is totally true.
Peggy, on the other hand is having a different realization about herself. When she meets a cute lesbian who works for Life Magazine in the elevator of the building they both work in, they strike up a friendship and Peggy, like Don did in Season 1, ventures into the kind of party that she doesn't normally attend; there's pot smoking and people in bear costumes and artsy types who don't understand why one would bother doing their craft for money. It's clearly the beginning of something eye-opening for her.
Don, for his part, is also forced to move forward. After his secretary and one-time dalliance Allison makes a scene, he almost brings himself to express some genuine emotions for her in a letter, but can only get through a sentence and a half. Like he sometimes does, he takes his frustration out at work, specifically at psychologist/sociologist Dr. Faye Miller, who SCDP has retained to help them make use of focus groups. When her results show that Ponds should be marketed with the not-so-subtle hint that it helps young women get married, Don rails against saying "hello to 1925" and Dr. Miller.
The episode ends with Pete and Peggy, two characters that have been central to everything that Mad Men is and has been since the beginning. Their relationship has, obviously, contained a lot, and now we see not only how far apart they are, but also how they represent the two forces beginning to act upon our characters. When we see them standing on opposite sides of the glass door, him with old men in dark suits and her with young kids in pastels, the divide couldn't be larger, or more severe.