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Pete (Finally) Gets the Beat Down He Deserves, Mad Men “Signal 30” 

Photo Credit: Ron Jaffe/AMC

I know I’m not the only one who enjoyed seeing Pete get his clock cleaned. I was surprised that it was Lane who called him out, and I have to say I’ve got a whole new appreciation for him. Jared Harris can do no wrong in my opinion (I love him in everything he does, including his turn as an extremely bad guy on Fringe right now). While he plays the proper, reserved English gentleman most of the time, in “Signal 30” he ups his game. There’s the aforementioned fight with Pete, but in a fit of passion or emotion, he kisses Joan. Her response is so classic and so perfect. I love that she got up, opened the door, and then resumed their talk. I liked both of these unexpected developments, although seeing Lane beat Pete up was the highlight of the episode.

Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/AMC

Pete’s a difficult guy to like and he’s played with an oily charm by Vincent Kartheiser that I actually kind of like. I see him as a whining toddler who wants everyone to notice and applaud when he does one little thing right, and ignore and forgive when he does something wrong. He’s always looking for ways to make himself look good, especially at the expense of others. He’s always looking for ways to get ahead and he’ll cross anyone to make that happen. I’m surprised no one’s called Pete out before and I was delighted when Lane finally had enough of this snarky, entitled pratt. Even better is that none of the other partners would intercede to stop the fight. We know Don and Roger have had issues with Pete, but I love that even Bertram Cooper won’t step in.

Did Pete really think he was going to win this faceoff? I would venture to guess that he wouldn’t have participated in the fight if he didn’t think he could win. I mean, I hoped Lane had the skills to back up his challenge but I would’ve been happy to see him get in a few good licks and then have someone break up the fight. I really just wanted to see Pete humiliated. And he was by more than just this fight. He was also outmanuevered by Handsome Hanson. First of all, I think it’s gross that he was hitting on that teenage girl. I don’t care how old she was, he needs to grow up. Second, I love how quickly and easily Handsome moves in on Pete’s territory. I mean, what’s not to like about Handsome? He’s exactly what every teenage girl dreams of (and if he looks familiar, you’ve probably seen Parker Young on Suburgatory).

In addition to being humiliated at work and during his driver’s ed class, Pete also feels judged by Don. Don doesn’t judge Roger’s misbehavior because he’s unhappy. Don, of course, is happy so he’s currently being faithful – a nice and kind of surprising change. But what’s Pete’s excuse? Does he cheat because he can? Does he cheat because most of the time everyone else is doing it?


I feel like a lot of things are happening this season, much more than any other season and much more quickly. Maybe it’s because the world these characters live in is changing so quickly and the writers are trying to reflect that in the storylines. Whatever it is, I like it.

Mad Men airs Sundays at 10/9c on AMC.

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