On the D/L – Agent Carter
Season 1 Episode 7 – “Snafu”
Penultimate episode of Agent Carter already? Where does the time go? It has been an absolute joy to watch this series unfold over such a short time and this episode was no exception.
Last week was definitely a game changer as far as the narrative goes with Peggy caught and having no apparent escape route. This plot point added a great sense of urgency to the episode as things moved forward in other areas particularly towards a conclusion for the Leviathan arc that we’ve had all season.
To prevent herself from being branded a traitor and thrown in prison Peggy was forced to come clean about everything that she’d been doing and it results in a brilliantly written conversation where she speaks to her colleagues candidly for the first time since this show began. She points out the way she has been treated and how easy their outright dismissal of her made running a side investigation without them noticing. It was interesting that Jarvis was the one who pushed her over the edge in this regard when he turns up with a fake confession supposedly signed by Howard Stark that portrays her as someone who simply fell victim to Howard Stark’s charming nature.
It was clearly something that had been bubbling up for a while and it was definitely well needed as it finally forces her colleagues to notice her and recognise her skills. This is especially evidenced by the fact that she’s the only one that notices Dr. Ivchenko’s secret morse code windowsill messages. It did look painfully obvious in this episode but the intent was appreciated.
Focusing on the gender issues in this episode was a clever choice as there likely won’t be time to explore it in the finale. Having the SSR reluctantly accept Peggy as the only person who really knows what’s going on and is in the best person to lead them is necessary to help the finale move along. I like that all of the “good guys” are on the same page now and will be able to work together.
It was a nice touch to keep the complex character that is Thompson from jumping to conclusions. He saw what Peggy did in Russia and has gotten to know her pretty well of late. His instincts tell him that something’s not right about this so it’s great that the episode didn’t ignore the history these two characters have. It made everything feel more real as the characters were confused by what was going on.
Dr. Ivchenko continues to be a really awesome villain here. I am fairly convinced that he is the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Dr. Faustus given his propensity to be able to mind control people. I like that we got some insight into how he does it by showing us Ivchenko manipulating their perceptions and showing them exactly what they want to see.
His mind control was used on Dooley and it gets him into a really precarious situation. He is strapped into prototype armour built by Howard Stark (A Stark building armour, hilarious) with the added catch of it being unstable and prone to explode with no chance of freeing the man inside. Given the focus that Dooley was given in the episode with a look into his home life and such it was a little obvious that a death was coming his way.
Not that this made it any less effective because the death worked so well. It was fitting and heroic as well as raising the stakes in a very real way. I loved his final line where he made Peggy promise to “get the son of a bitch who did this”. It was an epic sendoff and great to see that he realises that the only way to victory is with Agent Carter leading them.
I was impressed that the episode managed to get a little Peggy/Jarvis banter in there. The way they bickered when trying to escape the interview room was hilarious. I liked Jarvis’ questioning of what could happen when they smash the glass in and Peggy’s matter of fact explaining of the danger that faced both them and any potential people on the other side of the mirror. Capping it off with them still being attached to the table was a great touch as well. Nice to know that humour blends in pretty seamlessly even in a high drama episode like this one.
Dottie is a good character but I still feel that the way she acts is a little off. She just comes across as a little over the top to me and I find it hard to watch her scenes sometimes. No doubt about her being a credible threat and the terrible things she does are oddly magnetic to watch. No doubt there will be an extended fight between her and Peggy next week and that’s something I very much look forward to seeing.
A fantastic episode that builds the tension and sets the stage for next week’s finale wonderfully by bringing together all of the previously established elements and moving them forward.
Peggy’s discovery at the end of last week’s episode formed the backbone of the narrative here as she finally got to speak candidly to her colleagues who were forced to reinvent their opinion of her after learning the truth. She calls them out on how easy it was to sneak around them due to them completely ignoring her and treating her like a second class citizen. By the end of the episode they are completely on board with her competence and ready to face their next challenge.
Dr. Ivchenko continues to be a great villain with some insight into how his mind control works being shown to the audience through his manipulation of Dooley who has a really heroic sacrifice in this episode. His death worked and had meaning as it helped to raise the stakes as well as speeding up Peggy’s acceptance by her colleagues.
I sometimes find Dottie to be a little too over the top but her actions speak much louder than words. She is often quite brutal in the way she does things and definitely comes across as a threat. There is surely an epic fight between her and Peggy next week and I look forward to seeing that as well as how it all wraps up.