Agent Carter Recap: Ep.4 – The Blitzkrieg Button
“Agent Carter” is at its best when the focus is squarely on Hayley Atwell’s Agent Peggy Carter and her trusty sidekick, Jarvis. And with only eight episodes in this mini-series, taking away valuable Peggy Carter time to develop supporting characters rarely feels like the best use of time. Combined with an odd tone that alternated between silly and sternly serious spy drama with every other scene and this episode didn’t click as well as some others.
On the decided plus factor in this episode was Dominic Cooper returning to reprise his role as Howard Stark. One of the cooler aspects of his casting is how closely Cooper resembles Iron Man/Tony Stark from his original comic book appearances and he seems to enjoy playing the dashing playboy.
Stark is back in town to check on the gadgets Peggy and Jarvis found on the freighter. Since the SSR is still convinced Stark is a traitor, he had to sneak his way back to New York aboard a train with an assist from his smuggler acquaintance, Mr. Mink.
But like most crooks, Mink gets greedy and he has his two goons try to weasel more money from Stark via Jarvis. Fortunately, Peggy makes the save.
With SSR scoping out Stark’s mansion, Peggy takes him to The Griffin, home of chastity watchdog Miriam. Between the caveman thinking of her SSR co-workers and Miriam trying to keep the women chaste, Peggy always has way too many obstacles from completing her mission and it’s gotten a bit old. Imagine watching a Captain America series where a third of each episode was devoted to Steve Rogers being reminded how different the women are from his era and not having a place in society after being a war hero. Agent Carter on the field = great fun; Peggy dealing with the SSR and Miriam/Angie = check that “Age of Ultron” countdown time.
Peggy gets Stark into a dumb waiter just before the smell of testosterone set off Miriam’s alarms. Miriam figures Peggy used the dumb waiter like so many girls before her trying to sneak a guy in, but Stark is already upstairs getting lipstick plastered on his face courtesy of one of Peggy’s floor mates.
Stark needs Peggy to grab one particular invention, the Blitzkrieg Button, which will create an instant blackout throughout the city. Only problem is Stark doesn’t know how how to turn the power back on so he pleads with Peggy not to tamper with it, which practically forces Peggy to open it once she gets into the SSR labs. But the lights don’t suddenly go dark, it’s a vial with Steve Rogers’ blood in it.
Stark apologizes for lying, but says Steve’s blood could be used for vaccines to cure people. Peggy reasons Stark’s wallet will get a bit fatter if he can monetize Rogers’ super serum blood and demands he leave her room by the time she’s back.
I complained about this a few episodes back so it’s only fair to commend the show for casting Meagan Holder as Vera, another of the girl’s at The Griffin. While it’s unlikely a woman’s boarding home would be integrated in the 1940s, in a universe with thunder gods and alien races, there’s no reason Marvel Studios can’t have an America a bit more ahead of its real world counterpart in regards to ending segregation earlier. Nicely done.
Mr. Mink is tracking Peggy to get Stark’s whereabouts and gets as far as The Griffin when Miriam refuses him entry. He tries the vent and runs into the new girl, Dottie, who is intrigued by his automatic handgun and snaps his neck in a move that would make Black Widow proud. How much more impactful would that have been had it not been the character introduced last week, but Peggy’s pal Angie?
In this week’s tedious SSR subplots, Chief Dooley goes to Germany to question a Nazi prisoner about the battle of Fennell where the two Russians Peggy encountered in the first episode originally died. The prisoner tells Dooley no Nazi killed anyone during the battle and they were massacred before the Nazis arrived.
While Dooley is away, Thompson gets to try on the chief hat and he quickly goes power mad telling everyone they’re working overtime to find answers as to Stark’s whereabouts. Thompson has somehow gotten it in his chauvinistic head that Peggy’s name is “Marge,” who he considers only worthwhile for taking lunch orders. Sousa continues to close in (very slowly) on Peggy’s mission as he finds a bum who saw Jarvis make the call tipping SSR about the freighter with Stark’s inventions.
Jarvis tries to make good with Peggy, but she’s not having it. Jarvis scolds Stark who was observing at a shoe shine and next to him, Stan Lee (!) asks to borrow his sports page. Now that was a well timed cameo.
Peggy smashes a hole in her wall to place Rogers’ blood while Dottie admires her new gun and Dooley hears a message from the secured typewriter coming in.
Next Week: We’re promised a lot more action as Peggy reunites with The Howling Commandos for a new mission that may very well be the series’ standout. I can’t wait!