PEGGY OLSON'S PROMOTION IN (1.13) "THE WHEEL"
Many fans of the show had made a big deal of Peggy Olson's promotion in the Season One finale, (1.13) "The Wheel". Actually, many also focused upon Peggy's upward mobility from the secretarial pool to her position as one of the firm's copywriters - a professional. I had just finished watching this episode for the second time and another thought came to mind.
It finally occurred to me that Don had given Peggy that promotion in order to spite Pete Campbell. Pete had informed Don that he managed to acquire the Clearsil account due to his father-in-law being an executive of the company. One could say that Pete was simply being an asshole by trying to shove the achievement in Don's face. But I also suspect that it was simply another tactic of Pete's to win Don's approval.
Unfortunately for Pete, the tactic backfired. I suspect that Don - feeling satisfied and perhaps a little smug over winning the Kodak account - had decided to strike back at Pete for the latter's blackmail attempt in the previous episode, (1.12) "Nixon vs. Kennedy". He promoted Peggy and handed the Clearisil account over to her in order to embarrass Pete. It was one of the most childish and despicable acts I have ever seen on that show. And yet, because Pete was so unpopular with many fans, a good number of fans failed to notice that Don had used Peggy to get back at Pete.
I find it amazing that both the critics and fans have accused both Betty Draper (Don's wife) and Pete of being immature characters. Yet, time and again, Don has proven that he could be just as childish or even more so than either of these two or any other character in the series. But so many seemed blinded by his "man's man" facade and good looks that they have failed to realize how emotionally stunted Don can be.