"It's All About What It Looks Like, Isn't It?" - Pete Campbell
Against the backdrop of a Vietcong sneak attack that we now know as the Tet Offensive, The Collaborators was full of ambushes and subterfuge where blurred lines were crossed and re-crossed and deception to oneself and others destructive to heart and home. Office gossip about Heinz passed from Stan to Peggy, whose boss thought nothing of taking that little nugget of information and leveraging it to his advantage. Megan, six weeks pregnant with Don's child, miscarries, but keeps the secret from him until after she has shared it with Sylvia, who feels guilt over her liaison with Don. Pete, happily ensconced in his pied a tierre in the city has sex with Cos Cob neighbor Brenda but is exposed when the woman's husband beats her. Trudy, whose "don't ask, don't tell" policy dates to Pete's sexual assault on an au pair in their building , immediately tosses Pete out on his ear.
But if there is narrative ballast to be found, it is clear that Matt Weiner draws our attention back to Don. Arnie can't seem to make it through a meal without being called away, which makes his wife the perfect target for Don's aging Lothario. He's already fulfilling Dr. Faye Miller's observation that he only likes "the beginnings of things,"  drifting away from Megan and quite clear in his intentions with Sylvia - and while there may be some bizarre fidelity to Don's edict to live each day like it is his last, to compartmentalize "this" from everything else, he simply tumbles down the same rabbit hole that ejected him from Ossining and his first marriage. Don surely chuckled inside when Sylvia admonished that neither of them "fall in love," for her experience in this type of deception may be new, but his track record is long and he knows how this story ends. When Megan shares the news of her miscarriage with Don, his reaction to the question of whether he wants children is anodyne, "I want what you want." Well, of course he does. Two kids in his first marriage didn't slow him down, why would one?
For the first time in a long time  we flash back to young Dick Whitman's childhood. We pick up his backstory as he and Abigail  move in with her sister, who lives in a brothel.  Abigail is pregnant with Adam but that does not stop house "rooster" Uncle Mack from having his way with her, or stop Dick from peeping into their liaison. That an adult Dick Whitman would be conflicted and compulsive about his sexual desires and a "whore child" who is then exposed to the very lifestyle that conceived him may have intimacy and commitment issues is unsurprising. Perhaps this is where Don's view of the world as largely transactional stems from, believing that all problems are solved with money. 
As a counterpoint to Don's predations, the maintenance of his grudge against Herb, the lecherous car salesman whose vote was secured for the Jaguar account by providing him an evening with Joan , has an odd nobility. When Herb hatches a scheme for the SCDP team to foist on the car executives, Don deftly undermines it, maneuvering the other Jaguar members into overruling the agency's recommendation. The hearty "fuck you" handshake he gives Herb as he walks out of the meeting more than makes up for the temper tantrum Pete pulls on him afterwards.
And Pete has every reason to be hot. His reaction to Don's performance is merely displaced aggression at his own impotence, something that has been his fatal flaw. Pete has stewed in Don's shadow for nearly a decade and his attempts at everything from blackmail to slipping into Don's adulterer's ways have always fallen short. It is no surprise that when given the chance to have his pick of role playing with a prostitute, Pete chose to be her "king,"  but Pete's is a history of a man without a kingdom. At root, it is unclear what Pete wants in life. Back in Season 2, he professed his love for Peggy, telling her it was she who he should have "chosen" instead of Trudy , and lashed out at his father-in-law for pulling his company's advertising because Pete seemed unfocused on starting a family. 
As the years passed, Pete seemed to have found some equilibrium, but domesticity has not suited him whatsoever. He telegraphed his own marriage's demise when he referred to it as a "temporary bandage on a permanent wound,"  but Pete's is a prison of his own making. Cos Cob may be an emotional cemetery without the aromas or noises of New York City, but Pete's yearning is for more than just a bakery's chocolates or the Botanical Gardens. Addicts are told "when I focus on what I want, I focus on what I do not have" and Pete focuses all of his attention on the things he does not have - the recognition he thinks he deserves, the affection he wants or the have-his-cake-and-eat-it-too dual life that Don pulled off so effortlessly for so long. And like an addict that engages in compulsive behavior that death spirals, Pete's shenanigans finally caught up to him. Trudy, who made vague reference to permitting indiscretions, cannot countenance suburban scandal that affects her ability to plan the Easter egg roll or 4th of July celebration. She kicks Pete out after finding out he had sex with a neighbor and he is left to get bootlicking junior account man Bob Benson to surreptitiously buy him toilet paper, too ashamed to admit he is now on his own.
Meanwhile, the dark arts of advertising carry on. Peggy and Stan, whose relationship started so tempestuously  carry on late night phone chats as each toils away at their job. Except now, Stan has shared what he thinks is harmless office gossip that Peggy passes along to her boss, who is all too happy to use it to try and secure "the Coca-Cola of condiments." Peggy rightly sees the murky morality behind taking advantage of this type of "intelligence," but Ted sees his tactics as proper in the skirmishes that occur between agencies. In this way, Peggy and Ted perceive their jobs much differently. He is obsessed with negative comments, perceived slights and juvenile gags at his competitors' expense  and she sees her job not as a game or her role as a soldier in a battle between two mens' egos, but as a career.  That these missed signals, and more importantly, these tactics, might come back to haunt Stan and/or Peggy goes without saying.
And so it goes. At its core, Mad Men is about lying - to others and to yourself - in the service of ensuring that the surface looks shiny and new, which makes the fact that the main characters work in advertising so exquisitely apt. People may do anything to avoid feeling anxious , or want to apply calamine lotion that scratches the itch of "newness"  but doing so helps them avoid dealing with the more mundane job of figuring out what it is they truly want and who they really are. When Don's identity theft was nearly exposed in Season 4, Dr. Miller, who had done so much to draw Don out, suggested that addressing some of his unresolved feelings might help him. Doing so, she told him, might help him feel more "comfortable" with his life. "And then what?" he asks. "Then you're stuck trying to be a person just like the rest of us."  We all know how that worked out.
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1. Souvenir, Season 3, Episode 8. Though it should be noted, there is no suggestion Trudy knew of Pete's reprehensible attack on poor Gudrun.
2. Tomorrowland, Season 4, Episode 13.
3. Season 3 was bookended with flashbacks to Don's conception and birth (Out of Town, Season 3, Episode 1) and his father's death (Shut the Door, Have A Seat, Season 3, Episode 13).
4. Archie's wife is not Don's mother, a prostitute who died in childbirth is. While some say that makes Abigail Don's step-mother, I'm not sure that the term is apt.
5. Don made reference to his upbringing in a whore house. See, Signal 30, Season 5, Episode 5.
6. Don gives Sylvia money after one of their early morning assignations. He also paid a prostitute for sex (Public Relations, Season 4, Episode 1 and The Good News Season 4, Episode 3) and has made other allusions to money as a substitute for, or definition of, acknowledgement and appreciation ("that's what the money's for" - The Suitcase, Season 4, Episode 7; "I gave you money and I said thank you" - The Beautiful Girls, Season 4, Episode 9).
7. The Other Woman, Season 5, Episode 11.
8. Signal 30, supra.
9. Meditations In An Emergency, Season 2, Episode 13.
10. The Mountain King, Season 2, Episode 12.
11. The Phantom, Season 5, Episode 13.
12. Waldorf Stories, Season 4, Episode 6.
13. After submitting "the letter" to the New York Times, Don receives a prank phone call from Ted, who pretends to be Senator Kennedy. Blowing Smoke, Season 4, Episode 12. When recruiting Peggy to CGC, he asks her what terrible things have been said about him. Commissions and Fees, Season 5, Episode 12.
14. Commissions and Fees, supra.
15. The Doorway, Part 2, Season 6, Episode 2.
16. The Wheel, Season 1, Episode 13.
17. Tomorrowland, supra.