“Lady Lazarus” is a slow moving episode that foreshadows trouble for Pete and the Drapers. At work, Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) is finally on top, getting recognition for his success but seemingly uncomfortable with his prowess. Even when Roger (John Slattery) takes pride in Pete’s triumphs regarding a current client, Pete is solemn.

Pete’s home life, meanwhile is a mess. He cryptically complains that “they”—meaning women, possibly alluding to Trudy (Alison Brie), always get to decide everything. So perhaps while he is thriving at work, he is emasculated at home with a wife and a young child. Every day he takes the train to work with a buddy of his, Howard, a life insurance salesman. This week, Howard is trying to convince Pete that SCDP’s insurance policy does not cover him and his family , mentioning suicide as a possible deterrent.

Again, we have an allusion to Pete’s death, a running theme this season on ‘Mad Men’. First, Howard talked about hoping to die before Christmas as a joke. In ‘Pilot 30’ Pete was seen watching horrible car crashes and in ‘Lady Lazarus’ Beth made note of what a bad driver he was. When Pete and Trudy host a dinner party in Cos Cob Don speaks of wanting to “blow your brains out” living in the suburbs. And there’s Pete’s behavior; he has very much played the part of a dead man walking this season.

Pete knows that Howard keeps an apartment in the city to entertain a lady friend some nights, leaving his wife Beth (guest star Alexis Bledel) alone. Distraught, when Pete finds Beth at the train station pick up he offers her a ride home, which leads to late night tryst. Pete finally has a brief twinkle in his eye in this moment of passion. He tries to reunite with Beth, but he is constantly rebuffed. Finally, in his desperation, he invites himself over for dinner to Howard’s feigning an “insurance emergency.” He secretly invites Beth to rendez-vous at a hotel but she never shows, and he is crestfallen.

It hard to explain exactly what has happened to Pete this season, from being supposedly deeply in love with Trudy and his new baby, to cheating with a hooker, to now engaging in a passionate tryst with Beth. Pete is deeply unhappy in his personal life despite success at work. Is he following the Don Draper guide to life? Or is it something far more insidious? Could the memory of Peggy’s pregnancy be haunting him? Is Pete headed for self-destruction?

Last week’s warning about Megan (Jessica Paré) not pursuing her true passions rises to the surface when she auditions for an off Broadway play instead of attending a work dinner. Caught in this white lie by Peggy (Elisabeth Moss), Megan confesses that copywriting is not an enticing career to her; she wants to pick up acting again. Peggy is furious and claims she “cannot lie” to Don (Jon Hamm) about Megan’s desires in the text of their close relationship. Peggy obviously feels Megan has gotten everything handed to her and doesn’t appreciate it, whereas Peggy had to fight tooth and nail for a scrap of respect at SCDP. It’s no surprise then that Don turns around and blames Peggy’s harsh mentoring as the cause for Megan’s departure. But nothing could be further from the truth: Megan simply fell into a job that was convenient, but not her passion. Don, at least outwardly, approves of the decision, but because he was so enamored with Megan’s work previously, it could be a rocky road ahead for their relationship. Joan puts her own spin on the situation, noting that Megan will be nothing more than a failing actress with a rich husband, just like Betty had been.

As I noted previously, Don was very happy with Megan playing Mrs. Ad Woman to Don’s Mr. Ad Man. Will the relationship crumble if Megan succeeds at acting? Or fails like Betty? Or she stops to have children? Something tells me Megan followed her father’s advice to the detriment of her marriage.