Eventually, Roger caves and offers Harry $1,100 to switch offices with Pete. I doubt that will make him happy. Pete looks like he's even more stressed out than usual (at one point, someone asks if he's balding). He also seems to have moved in to Don and Betty's suburban nightmare home from the first two seasons, where Trudy greets him in a striped muumuu.
What might make Pete happy? Going to the rival firm that courted him last season? It seems to be a distinct possibility.
Meanwhile, when Peggy's not busy dating the cool journalist dude, she's still working as hard as possible to prove herself to Don. Her next project: Heinz baked beans. And Peggy, ever-striving to modernize advertising, has created a "bean ballet" ad.
Seriously. Bean. Ballet. Beans dancing into a can. "Spinning in air with bean perfection," Peggy explains.
Even with Don coming in to try to seal the deal, the Heinz dudes aren't having it. They want something simple (again: old-fashioned!), like beans sitting on a hot plate or people holding picket signs that read "We want beans!" (the Heinz folks didn't get the memo about the real-life protests going on outside the door).
Peggy seems utterly upset when Don doesn't try to convince Heinz to accept her artsy beans. At the party, she sarcastically reminds Don that she'll be working this weekend on the new bean ad, and both Don and Megan shoot her daggers.
At work the next day, Megan confronts Peggy about her what she said, implying that she was the only one working on the project. Peggy clearly resents Megan for multiple reasons — she still can't believe Don married her (earlier, Peggy noted that she didn't buy them a wedding present) and that Megan is working with her. At the height of the fight, Megan says to her, "What's wrong with you people? You're all so cynical. You don't smile, you smirk." Oh, to be young in 1966 and not hardened by the advertising business.
Lane Pryce is having issues, too. With Joan on maternity leave, a slew of replacement Joans (if there ever could be such a thing) have not been handling expense accounts well. Per a phone conversation with his wife, Lane seems to be having trouble paying for his son's schooling.
But it's tough to feel bad for the man when, in the phone conversation with his wife, he practically molests a photo of a girl, Delores, he found in a stranger's wallet that was left in a cab Lane took to work. When he calls to locate the owner, apparently Delores' boyfriend, he basically has 1966 phone sex with her ("Oooh, do you work in a big building?" she asks, which gets Lane all hot and British bothered). Later, when he returns the wallet to Delores' boyfriend, Lane holds on to the photo.
JOAN'S MAMA DRAMA
I think I missed Joan the most during the 17-month break. Yes, she had a baby boy. No, she didn't tell Roger the baby is his. And Greg's still off in Vietnam. So Joan's meddling, awful mother (guest-star Christine Estabrook, recently seen playing a similarly awful/meddling real-estate agent on "American Horror Story") is there to help annoy/be a bad person.
It's sad to see someone as great as Joan come from someone as bad as her mother. It's not that she's apparently an alcoholic (when her mom takes $10 to buy formula for Joan's son, Joan asks her if she's getting his formula or hers. Ouch. Joan burn). it's more because her mom says stuff like Joan's "not at her fighting weight" and implies that she's going to lose her job when she spots the SCDP "equal opportunity employer" ad.
Late in the episode, Joan decides to visit the office with her child to scope things out. The front-desk receptionist doesn't even open the door for Joan when she struggles with her baby carriage, and Joan should have, with good reason, slapped her. There's a bit of tension between Megan and Joan (look, she's Joan. Don loves her) before she goes in to talk things over with Lane.
Lane puts her to work immediately on the books, which leads Joan to cry about worrying that they're looking to replace her. Lane reassures her immediately that no cadre of secretaries could do what she does, which leads to the one moment in the episode where I actually liked Lane. They laugh a bit about the birthday party Joan missed.
Wondering what happened when "Uncle Roger" meets Joan's baby? He says, "Let me see that." He holds the baby, with cigarette in mouth, as Joan beams next to him. Sigh.
We don't see Betty Draper Francis in this episode, but when Don drops the three kids off at their mom's house, which looks like some sort of Gothic castle, Don tells Sally to "give Morticia and Lurch my love," which was probably the funniest line of the episode.
So the "joke" ad about equal opportunity employment seems to have worked, as a group of black applicants show up in the SCDP lobby looking for work. Y&R sent the SCDP gang a wooden African statue, just to prove how racist they really are.