Dee Discusses: Agent Carter 1×4

Posted: January 28, 2015 by Dee in Agent Carter, Dee, General Media, Marvel, Recaps, Television
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There will be spoilers for the episode in this recap. Duh.

I’m at this horrible in the middle place with Agent Carter where I realized we’re halfway through the season now and it might not get a second one, while at the same time I need the next episode immediately. I want all of the episodes, but then it’ll be over, and my heart will break. This was definitely the best episode of the four, although since they’ve all gotten better with each one, that’s par for the course. Previously on Agent Carter, Peggy Carter was tasked by Howard Stark to try and clear his name. He was being charged with treason for selling weapons to the enemy. She has to play a double agent to her own group the SSR to try and figure out who took Howard’s weapons. She teams up with Howard’s butler Jarvis. She actively has to deal with the sexism and prejudice in the workplace, while being the best agent in the office that no one knows about, and she’s also coping with a broken heart over the loss of her love Steve Rogers/Captain America.

Howard Stark returns this episode, smuggled back into the country secretly, in order to give Peggy a specific task. He wouldn’t tell her what it was, and she could tell from Jarvis’ nervous behavior that they were hiding something. Peggy realized that Howard was smuggling a vial of Steve’s blood, and she understandably punched him in the face. He sported a black eye for the rest of the episode. It’s interesting to note that this reveal comes quickly after Agent Thompson (HATE HATE HATE) tells Peggy that no man will ever treat her like an equal and that’s just how it is. Of course we as the audience want to kick him in the face, and so does she, but it does play into her ultimate fury at Howard too. Howard and Jarvis didn’t trust Peggy to tell her the truth, and to spare “her feelings,” or so Howard says at first. She was being used and not treated like an equal, and while Howard says it’s mostly because he trusts literally no one, it feels like a personal attack. It is such a shame to see Howard run back into a hiding, because the chemistry between the two actors is undeniable. Not in a romantic sense. They butt heads because they have very different backgrounds and personalities and this is a highly emotional situation. I do hope if they get a second season and Howard’s name is clear, we’ll see him more often. All of their scenes, much like her scenes with Jarvis, are very engaging to watch.


So the crux of the matter is that Howard was there to get Steve’s blood, because there are only so many samples left. They have a fairly vicious fight about Howard’s intentions; he claims it could be used to help people, Peggy points out he probably would just use it to make money. It’s probably an in-between. I think until now it would be easy to forget that the Super Soldier project was partly Howard’s baby too. It was his brilliance and money that worked with Erskine in order to get it done. It’s a good reminder that he also loved Steve, and that he was a self-made man, he came from a poor household. It was good to get all this backstory on him, considering Howard’s a difficult character to swallow. I like that he’s not simple or even likable. In the future we know he is not a good father, and you can see all the flaws and reasons for it right here. He’s selfish, arrogant, and trusts no one. He’s also brilliant and savvy and at heart means well (ish?). I like how complicated the characters are in the Marvel universe, and I think Agent Carter is doing a particularly good job of bringing out the shades of grey in their leads. Peggy is furious and seems to be done with Howard for now, but that might not be the end of it. Jarvis also snaps at his employer for treating her shabbily, and that he was tired of cleaning up his messes/apologizing for his behavior.

Also a cameo from Stan Lee!

As for the rest of the episode, Thompson is given control over the department as their boss goes to Russia to try and figure out who the dead bad guys are. He is awful to everyone, as per usual, although he does seem determined to get to the bottom of everything. He can be a jerk and a good cop, I guess. Not that he is a cop. Good agent? Sousa believes that a man by the wharf has information about who was there during the explosion (Peggy and Jarvis). He tries to play to the man’s experience as a vet and emotionally connects with a story about his leg, but it doesn’t work. Thompson instead comes in with a much more direct attempt: he offers the homeless vet food and liquor in exchange for the info. It works although the info doesn’t actually help them. A bad guy attempts to get into the female apartment building to kill Peggy, but he is killed quickly and efficiently by her new neighbor Dottie. As soon as Dottie showed up everyone (myself included) started speculating about her being a bad guy or a spy of some kind. So we were all proven right, huzzah. My guess right off the bat is that she’s a Black Widow. There is more than one, and since the next episode goes to Russia, we’re probably going to get more on the Red Room. The trailer for Avengers 2 implies that they might get into Natasha’s backstory, and if they do, this could be an excellent place to set up the Red Room and the KGB’s control of the Black Widow assassins. Could this be Yelena (one of the Widows in the comics)? That would be amazing, just saying. Since Leviathan is also a Soviet version of HYDRA, it seems like this would fit in nicely with what they’re trying to set up.


Next week we get to see the Howling Commandos return, which will be marvelous. If you’ve forgotten, they were the team that Bucky and Steve were a part of during the war. They were made up of POW men that Steve saved on his first adventure while looking for Bucky. They all have a lot of affection and respect for Peggy, so they should be proving Thompson wrong very quickly with his statement that no men will treat her as an equal. The Commandos definitely will. This was such a good episode. It was emotional, pushed forward the plot and the character development, plus gave a continued nod toward Captain America continuity. We got to see a new foe (or is she?) in Dottie, and for right now it has forced conflict with Peggy and Jarvis. I hope those two mend their friendship at least. Howard is still wanted for treason so that storyline is going to have to be wrapped up eventually, probably by the end of the season.


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