But "Then they were fools" is actually the Don Juan line imo.
True, but saying it would show that Pete understood the Don Juan role as opposed to just desiring it.
What Pete said was something about how he wanted to hear what she had to say. Which could be the same idea, claiming that he alone is the person who would listen to her. Except that it seems like as played at least in that moment, he really was listening to her when he said it--very carefully, even asking for a (slightly jokey) explanation of what she said. And the next day he brought up what she said to Harry. He was trying to analyze what she said/did to understand the meaning.
I don’t think he was trying to analyze it objectively, though. I think he took it very, very personally – that that Earth, as seen from space, is somehow sad and vulnerable, and it upset him that she thought of him that way. I think she was looking for a kindred spirit – someone who is also vulnerable – and he IS, but he wasn’t capable of hearing that because it conflicted too much with how he wants to be perceived by women / in sexual relationships.
I mean, I'm not disagreeing that Pete wants things to be all about him, to "be the king." And one could easily bring it back to that by saying that Pete just wants to be the white knight who's better than other men--he's never completely altruistic. But in this case Pete was confused by Beth, he was trying to understand her. He was frustrated, but I don't think in this case it's quite accurate to just say that he feels entitled to women's attention and angry when he doesn't get what he thinks he's deserved. He can be like that, absolutely. But in this case he really was getting some mixed signals and the woman really was the one who took what she wanted for her own purposes and then cut him off--but not completely, because that heart was a total "WTF does that mean??!" moment.
Look at Beth's hobo story, for instance. She doesn't like New York--which Pete takes personally and gets defensive about. She's bothered by the homeless while he can think of New York and "not see them" (just as he enjoys the sound of traffic that bothers Trudy and Trudy doesn't hear the faucet that bothers Pete). But then she gets into that whole story of how her trouble is she "makes eye contact" with them and gives them a nickel and they follow her. So Pete's the hobo she made eye contact with. Except she didn't give him a nickel, she used him for something she needed. She didn't sleep with him because she felt sorry for him.
Then there's the whole question of why the homeless follow her. One could say she's an easy mark. But the reason eye contact means something to the homeless is they are treated as invisible. Someone actually seeing them is a big thing, and they're desperate for that nickel. So it's just a really interesting and kind of ambiguous story that both does and doesn't map onto her interaction with Pete.
Pete wants to be admired as an alpha male, and he’s constantly comparing himself to people (Don) he thinks are genuinely admired and loved in that way, whereas he believes he’s not appreciated by anyone. Yes, Trudy appreciates him, but she’s a bit of a steamroller (or, perhaps, a domineering mother), and while on one level he truly values her, her feelings for him don’t fulfill his fantasies of how he wants to be loved. He struggles to maintain what he sees as his appropriate gender role in that relationship – yes, he’s the provider, but her parents have supported their home purchases, and he can’t do manly things like fix the plumbing.
When Beth seemed very willing, for a few minutes, to accept his “rescue” from her emotional and sexual loneliness he was able to feel like the hero he wants people to see in him, but what Beth wanted wasn’t a white knight; she wanted a soul mate. I believe, in her mind, that she’s the hobo – she’s looking for the person who’s going to understand her, and Pete gave off that vibe (the vibe of invisibility? or maybe a big-eyed lost puppy look?). Then, when she realized Pete wasn’t what she was looking for, when they couldn’t bond over the vulnerability of life on Earth together, she decided that Pete wasn’t worth risking her personal financial insurance (her husband). Manipulative, maybe, but I don’t think consciously so. I think she took a risk, didn’t get her expected outcome, and decided not to double down on her bet. The heart on the window was, I think, a repeat of her “I’ll remember you fondly, I’ll even fantasize about you” statement on the phone. But then she erased her heart and went on with her life. It made me wonder if she has, perhaps, been in this situation before.
Someone someplace said they never liked Pete because he was "like a girl" and not in a good way, and while I don't know completely what that meant I thought in this ep he was the one in the traditional MM girl role. (Interesting since Peggy is often trying on the traditional male role this season.)
Well, what I find interesting about Peggy and Pete is the difference in the way they react to their assigned gender roles. Peggy has never seemed to me to be comfortable in a traditionally feminine role. I don’t even think she enjoys trying it on. She doesn’t like babies, seduction is a mystery to her, and she’s incapable of suppressing her own opinions in order to butter up a man’s ego. Nor does she really seem to understand that women who are able to negotiate that role are real people: Her comment to Joan that “someone dumped you?” and that Megan was “one of those girls who are good at everything!” to me mirror the way Pete admires but doesn’t understand Don’s masculinity and all its problems. The difference is that Peggy doesn’t seem angry that she’s no good at being feminine*, whereas Pete’s very conflicted about not being the type of man he wants to be.
*Until recently. She’s been getting a lot of messages lately that she’s not “the wife” – Abe didn’t want to marry her; Joan told her she’s not the kind of girl that Don Draper marries; she failed at being his fake wife in the test kitchen, etc. I suppose we’ll begin to see if she goes through some kind of crisis to parallel Pete’s later this season.