Director: Stephen Williams
Writer: Lindsey Allen
Cast: Hayley Atwell, James D’Arcy, Chad Michael Murray, Enver Gjokaj, Shea Whigham, Kyle Bornheimer, Lyndsy Fonseca
Synopsis: Carter and Jarvis investigates the women that Stark has been involved with, believing that one of them may have been used against Stark and killed Krzeminski. The cat is out of the bag when Sousa tells Dooley that Carter is a traitor, and all agents are tasked with taking her down. They eventually corner her and Jarvis, but Carter fights them off with spectacular ease. New S.S.R. asset, Dr. Ivchenko is pulling some ominous strings and attempts to steal Stark’s weapons. Dottie comes out of her assassin hidey-hole once more when she’s tasked with killing Carter.
Verdict: Fresh off of the success of last week’s episode, Marvel are swinging for the fences as they score yet another home run. It seems, as the series ends that whilst it took a few episodes to find its feet, Agent Carter now stands proudly as a pinnacle of the female-driven storytelling that fans have been campaigning for all this time. A perfect delivery off of well-built tension as we near the end of the series. My favourite best bits include “CRUTCH FASTER,” and “Premature evacuation.”
Spoilers ahead, beware!
The fact that Marvel have created a female-driven show that is so effective in its delivery is intriguing to say the least. I really have no doubt that this will serve as a poker chip for arguments being made that more super-heroines can enter the MCU in the coming years without worry, and rightfully so. This weeks episode ‘A Sin to Err’ took all the respect and promise that Carter had ‘earned’ in the eyes of her male colleagues and had it ripped from her in an instant. That’s something we’ll be focusing on this week, blind spots.
For a show that is so driven by sexism and the battles fought in its name, namely Carter fighting for a place in the world that propagates it, this week seems to have a particular focus on the male characters. This isn’t a bad thing, nor does it undermine the sexist themes that Agent Carter has been exploring. In fact, we see the vulnerabilities and insecurities of some of the male characters. We see their relationships falter and crumble, as with Dooley and his wife, the physical superiority and capability of women in the form of Carter taking down Thompson with ease (Dooley himself is shocked to hear she took down so many men, which triggers an S.S.R-wide search) and Yauch, who feels he lacks respect in the workplace and if oft unnoticed.
Dooley seems to genuinely trust Carter and her hunches at the beginning of the episode, building off of the personal achievements of the last episode. But Carter unknowingly brings a snake into the house of the S.S.R in the form of Dr. Ivchenko who starts to poison his surroundings. Particularly emphasis seems to be placed on Ivchenko’s ring which may be a nod to comics-staple the Ringmaster. Frankly, what we can see from this is that Russia was absolutely crazy when it comes to war-time tactics. Hypnotism? The Assassin Little League? You can’t write this stuff, but I’m glad somebody did because it’s engrossing and fun as heck to watch. All the alarm bells were ringing in my head when Ivchenko seemed to pick at our characters biggest insecurities in an attempt to help them only to start exuding the One Ring vibe. But now we’ve witnessed Thompson and Sousa’s insecurities from previous episodes and now Dooley’s and Yauch, who – rather brilliantly in terms of writing – has been wandering around in the background for quite some time now, completely in line with his insecurities at the S.S.R. CURSE YOUR SUDDEN BUT INEVITABLE BETRAYAL, IVCHENKO!
Simultaneously, whilst Dottie is being… Dottie and hacking and slashing her way into a prime sniper position to communicate with her boss, Ivchenko, we gain some curious insight into her being. Her brutality seems to be completely unaffected by any sort of impulse control. As we’ve previously seen, her desire for things and her tendency to slip into other roles (“Ooh, an automatic pistol, I need this”/”I’m Peggy Carter…”) emulates that of a child, so perhaps her training stunted her mental growth. Evidently, that doesn’t seem to stop her from pulling a super-slick sleepy-time kiss of Carter’s inevitable demise. Arguments have been made about Dottie’s sexuality residing in the realm of lesbianism, evidenced by a) this kiss, b) being raised in an all girls ‘school’ (I don’t particularly like this argument, it’s outdated and somewhat stereotypical) and c) out of all of the bedrooms, Howard Stark didn’t venture into Dottie’s. Regardless of how thin the evidence may be, that’s neither here nor there.
One not-so-hidden treasure this week is Angie, who has lost out on a lot of roles in her Broadway auditions. However, she really shines in her ‘acting’ (how meta) when she helps Peggy hide from her… frenemies? at the S.S.R. Angie puts on a virtuoso performance that leads to Jack revealing that he calls his grandmother Gamgam. A really nice touch. But Angie’s excessive crying is something that makes Jack and Sousa uncomfortable enough for them to scarper from her room so that Peggy can hide there… for now. Later in the episode, we do see Angie snooping in Dottie’s apartment, but it does seem that Dottie has already vacated the place. If not though, I just have one thing to say… I WILL NOT BE HAPPY IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO ANGIE.
With only two episodes left to go, there are still so many questions left unanswered, but something tells me that Agent Carter might be prone to a second season, so for those watching ardently, don’t expect utter resolution by the end of the season. If they do decide to resolve it all in one season and you’re not expecting it, it’ll be a pleasant surprise. In terms of hopes for the remaining episodes: Give us a Peggy/Dottie fight off, someone who can finally stand up to Peggy in terms of hand to hand combat – and look, it’s also a woman, thank goodness. As it currently is, Agent Carter plays everything in what feels to be close to home, a constant ebbing and froing of the good guys vs. the bad ones. I’d be extremely surprised and rather joyful if the season ends on something BIG, to blow up the scale so to speak, where it feels like the S.S.R. couldn’t possibly handle the situation. Oh, and give us plenty more easter eggs, we love those.
(5 / 5) The next episode will air on February 17th for the US 9/8c, as always, UK watches may want to consider streaming online. The official site for Agent Carter can be found here.