Agent Carter

Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

In the aftermath of Chief Dooley’s heroic but tragic suicide and the theater attack, where I must assume that was item #17, SSR finds themselves with more questions than answers. The quick deduction is that the theater patrons killed each other. Has me wondering if the Battle of Fingal was the same thing.

While investigating the crime scene, Sousa finds the baby carriage. Then finds the canister with “Stark” imprinted on it. Then he accidentally sprays himself with the mystery mist. Thompson comes over to check on Sousa when he hears the coughing. Sousa instantly attacks Thompson. The cops are able to knock Sousa out.

Dottie and Dr. Ivchenko get pulled over for running a red light. Dottie does what she does to get out of the ticket. On the cops journey back to his squad car, he hears over his radio an A.P.B. describing the vehicle and passengers he just pulled over. The cop turns back towards the vehicle to find Dottie’s gun pointed in his chest.

Sousa wakes up disoriented and shackled. Carter is able to fill in the holes of what happened, which jars loose Sousa’s emotional state at that time. He wanted to kill Thompson. He wanted to kill everyone. During a briefing shortly thereafter, Carter asks the question, “what is he after” (referring to Ivchenko). Then Howard Stark appears to suggest its him, Ivchenko is after. Stark is met with considerable hostility, guns and all.

Stark is his usual jovial self amidst arrest and potentially more. With him is a covered box. Inside is everything they need to know about the battle of Fingal. Stark created the gas that had those movie patrons tearing each other apart. It was also the source of the massacre at the battle of Fingal. Stark’s solution is to use him as bait allowing the SSR to set a trap and draw out Ivchenko.

Carter rejects the idea that this is the best course of action. Howard asks to see his stuff. Carter takes him to the lab where ‘most’ of them are. After a mild freakout, Howard Stark has a moment of clarity and attempts to take responsibility, even if it’s not completely his fault. On some level, it boils down to being concerned with how Peggy Carter sees him.

Thompson gives a painful update to the Howard Stark case to a gaggle of reporters from the steps outside City Hall. Howard keeps leaning in to give suggestions as to what Thompson should say next. “Hero” was just one word Howard suggested. SSR agents are spread out anticipating a move by Ivchenko. It worked as shots were fired just moments after Stark took the podium. Jarvis rushes Stark into an alley where a police car is waiting. Before the car is completely out of view, Jarvis realizes that two uniformed cops have been shot and left in the alley. Jarvis just gave Stark to the bad guys.

The new theory is that Ivchenko and whomever else are planning to hit Times Square. Retaliation for VE Day. Carter, Sousa, Thompson and Jarvis convene in an alley to try to piece this thing together. Thompson can’t convince anyone of consequence to cancel the VE Day celebration and no one can figure out the end game, except maybe Jarvis. Jarvis reveals that there is a larger, second vault. If by vault they mean hangar. There is a hangar with plane and cars. The gas was meant to be administered from the air. It seems this may have been all just one massively large attempt for one man to seek revenge specifically for the savage death of his brother at the battle of Fingal.

In Starks hangar, Ivchenko describes his motivation. Stark even willfully turns himself over to be killed if that is the goal, hoping to save many innocent people in the process. Ivchenko has no intention of killing him. Suffering and pain are on the menu today. Then Ivchenko begins rotating his ring while talking calmly to Stark.

Ivchenko joins Howard on one of those spirit walks into Howard’s most ‘shameful’ moment. They stand on what looks like a glacier. Howard, Ivchenko and a plane. Then a man comes running into view.

Soldier: Mr. Stark! Mr. Stark we picked up a signal from the Valkyrie,we think it might be Rogers. Sir, we found Captain America.

SON OF A _____!!! Then Peggy appears holding Cap’s shield. Back to reality, Carter and company run towards the hangar as a plane takes off. As they devise a plan, a last resort needs to be considered. As none of the SSR agents have any experience flying a plane, it looks grim. Then Jarvis volunteers, citing that Stark would want to be stopped at any cost.

Carter makes her way to the control tower where she finds Dottie and Ivchenko. Holding a shotgun on both of them, it seems well in hand. Then Dottie turns around talking in that painfully cheery tone she used that the Griffith, then proceeds to kick Peggy around the room. Peggy gains the upper hand momentarily, but makes a play for the microphone too early. The moment that Dottie starts monologuing is the moment Peggy takes advantage, ultimately kicking Dottie out of the window killing her on impact. With the wing of a parked plane.

Stark is completely under the spell and believes he is flying towards Cap’s signal, not Manhattan.

Ivchenko jumps the drop on Thompson. Almost immediately following, Sousa arrives. Sousa should have already shot him but he advances instead. Ivchenko starts his shrink routine and Sousa just keeps advancing. Then he hears the magic word, “Focus”. Sousa stops dead in his tracks. Ivchenko instructs him to shoot Thompson. Sousa slowly points his gun at Thompson, then hesitates, then knocks Ivchenko out with the butt of his gun.

Sousa (pulling tissue paper from his ears): Was he saying something?
Thompson: You son of a b****

Carter, meanwhile, is at the controls just as she was the last time she spoke to Steve Rogers. The parallels are creepy. Both cases, pleading for the man on the other line to cease their current plan. In both situations seemingly unable to persuade them. Then Jarvis gets on the line telling her he has Stark in his sights.

Peggy tries emotionally to convey to Howard (lost in a trans) that Steve is gone. Steve has died and there is no getting him back. Eventually there is silence, followed by a more groggy sounding Stark. Peggy instructs Jarvis to stand down. Much to Jarvis’ relief.
Apparently, Dottie did not die and has limped away.

Upon returning to SSR headquarters, Peggy enters the office, expecting her usual reception of silence and indifference. This day is anything but that. All of her fellow (male) agents are all standing and applauding her efforts.

A senator walks in the room and asks for Jack Thompson. Then begins congratulating Thompson as if he deserved all of the credit. And if that wasn’t overreaching enough, proceeded to tell the rest of the office what a privilege it must be to work for Jack Thompson. Sousa is incensed. He even attempts to charge in after the Senator and set him straight. Peggy Carter is not out for recognition. On a whim, Sousa asks Carter out for a drink. She says “maybe another time”. He seems a little dejected, but she seems rather flattered. Impressed even.

As a show of appreciation and remorse, Stark offers one of this residences to Peggy and Angie to live for as long as they may require it. Angie is blown away by its size and finer touches.

Angie (to Jarvis): You got a phone? I have to call my mother.
Jarvis: Naturally, (gestures towards the phone) there’s a phone in every room.
Angie: Oh my god! Are you kiddin’ me?
Jarvis: How refreshing to meet a person who appreciates the finer things…
Peggy: I appreciate the finer things, I just don’t want to know what happens in or on the finer things.

Howard is currently negotiating the surrender of his ‘bad babies’ in order to destroy them all. No government, not even the US Government can be trusted with those particular weapons. Then Jarvis says, “Not even this one” and pulls the vile of Steve Rogers blood from his inner jacket pocket. Stark believes the blood sample was lost while under Ivchanko’s spell. So this is Jarvis giving Carter the blood sample. “I owe Mr. Stark a lot, but he does not own my integrity”.

Peggy Carter stands on the Brooklyn Bridge and taking her time, slowly pours the remaining blood sample of Captain America into the river.

In what feels like the typical Marvel post credits scene, we get the answer to the question of will there be a season 2? Or maybe just trying to connect the dots in the existing timeline. Ivchenko is escorted to his cell wearing a metal rig that doesn’t permit him to speak. Once locked in, a familiar voice emerges from the darkness. Anyone familiar with the MCU knew it in the first syllable. Dr. Arnim Zola. The small scientist that assisted Red Skull in the Captain America: First Avenger movie and whose consciousness is found in Captain America: Winter Soldier. All indications point to Dr. Zola using Ivchanko’s expertise as part of a larger plan to grow Hydra in silence. Now this could just be connecting the dots, or it could be an indication of more seasons. Which would be smart. That’s roughly 30 out of 52 weeks where Marvel television could be a staple.

Courtesy of ABC and Marvel

Courtesy of ABC and Marvel

Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

1943 we find the Russian doctor in a wartime camp. He is asked to help by using his “powers” to convince the wounded mind that they will feel no pain. Maybe a little insight into a further plan for this doctor. It was effective enough that a doctor could take a bone saw to a man’s leg and that man feel literally nothing.

Back at SSR, Sousa and the rest take turns interrogating Carter. They could save themselves a great deal of time by accepting that Carter is much better at this than them. Sousa is particularly cold. Dooley predictably acts like Dooley in this situation. However, Jack Thompson is not himself. Nor should he be. Carter saved his skin and at the same time, proved her metal and than some. He is the only one to accepts that none of this is adding up. Regardless of the evidence they think they have, they are still barking up the wrong tree.

Carter: You think you know me. But I’ve never been more than what each of you have created. To you, I’m a stray kitten left on your doorstep to be protected. The secretary turned damsel in distress. The girl on the pedestal transformed into some daft whore. You’re behaving like children. What’s worse, what’s far worse is that this, is schotty police work.

With Dotty in the wind, a misstep Carter was happy to point out, we find her purchasing a baby stroller. Responding to the store clerk’s presumption that she’s not far along (pregnancy wise) Dotty replies with, “it’s coming sooner than you think”.

Jarvis nonchalantly walks into the entrance to the SSR that is disguised as a telephone company switchboard. He finds the lead lady at the end of the row and asks to see Chief Dooley. She play the ignorance card as she reaches for the revolver fastened under her station. Jarvis tries to convey that he’s been here before and that she should just patch him in on the board. With one significant piece of documentation the entire SSR would be interested in.

Jarvis: I’m looking for Chief Dooley
Operator: I’m sorry, I don’t know who that is.
Jarvis: He runs this operation. The SSR that is. I’ve been here before for questioning.
Operator: Sir, I wish that we could help you but we are very busy here, only authorized personnel are allowed in here.
Jarvis: If you could just punch him up on your board and tell him that Edwin Jarvis is here…With a signed confession of Howard Stark. (everyone in the room abruptly stops)

The ‘confession’ has Stark owning up to everything, even things he could not physically done. The confession was supposed to be enough to get Carter and Jarvis freed. Dooley’s many things but stupid isn’t one of them. Again, something doesn’t add up. Instead, they retain Carter and Jarvis and wait to meet with Stark personally a few hours from now. In the meantime it seems that she will be cleaning out her desk.

This charade, and that’s exactly what it is, was all perpetrated by Jarvis in a moment of panic. Stark is not landing in Teterboro. There isn’t going to be a face to face. And Howard Stark did not sign a confession of any kind. With Carter and Jarvis detained, there is little they can do. The Russian doctor who recently began helping Dooley with his dying marriage is left alone. Like last week, he’s communicating with Dotty from across the street using Morse Code. Only this time Carter sees it. Carter writes in down and Jarvis reads the translation as she does so. It’s a time-table. “Prepare for the evacuation, 90 minutes”. To which Carter says out loud, “Leviathan’s coming”.

Her only play is to come clean on the fake confession in order to give a real one and I assume get people out of there in the next 90 minutes. Of course when the conversation transitions from what she did do and what needs to happen next, her pleas fall on deaf ears. Well, Dooley isn’t buying it. Sousa and Thompson might be. There is one last thing that could tip the scales. They found the sphere that hold Roger’s blood on her person. Something she wasn’t willing to divulge until now.

It worked, at least for now. They send a few men across the street to check out the claims of the communication between the Doctor and the building across the street. Dooley will keep an eye on the Doctor. If the Doctor believes he’s blown, this could end badly for Dooley. The word “Focus” and a few spins of his wedding ring, and Dooley is lost in the trance. Inside the trance, the Doctor suggests that after this they have something to take care of.

Apparently out of the trance, Dooley makes a b-line for Carter and Jarvis. He takes them into a small interrogation room. Then pulls a gun on both of them. He leaves them in there, locks the door, then breaks the key off in the door. Dooley with the Doctor evacuate the lab based on a false claim of negligence. The Doctor is looking for Stark item #17.

Thompson and Sousa are canvassing the building across the street. Dotty spots Sousa and retreats back into the room. She waits. Then re-emerges. She sees Sousa’s shadow and continues. Sousa tells her to freeze when she passes him. He should’ve just shot her like Thompson suggested. She eludes Sousa and Jason Bourne’s it down the stairwell (not once touching the stairs). She lands and a man has a gun on her. She smiles and does nothing.

Before the Doctor leaves with item #17, Dooley’s mind begins to break free. He actually says out loud that he feels like he should hold on to this item. The Doctor ramps up the mojo and things go as he’s planned. Dooley left holding a military grade vest of some kind. Dotty picks the Doctor up outside. She says that they’ve been compromised. He’s not shaken. Something about that vest seems to be enough of an issue that he believes the SSR will soon have their hands full.

Dooley heads home to see his wife and kids, but not really. It was all a dream set up by the Doctor. Dooley wakes to find he’s wearing the vest, except now it’s illuminating. Heat coils pulsating. Jarvis gets the agents up to speed on what it is and its volatile nature. As the coils heat up, as his internal temperature increases, it speeds up the heating process. At some point it will explode. So with no real good ideas, Dooley does the only thing he can to save his men. Steals Thompson’s gun.

Dooley gives his final orders. Thompson is to convey the situation to Dooley’s wife. And Carter is to get the man who did this. The vest begins to pulsate much faster. Dooley takes off running towards the outer wall shooting out the window, then he leaps out of the window. He explodes outside a good 5 stories above the street.
Carter thinks she’s got something, with the blood of Steve Rogers and Brannis set to steal something.

Meanwhile, Dotty takes her baby stroller into a movie theater. Turns on a gas valve of some sort, then locking the doors behind her. Cap’s blood is fine, but they discover item #17 is missing. The worst part is, Jarvis knows nothing about it. The gas released in the theater brings on coughing and eventually violent behavior.

An usher escorts a straggler couple to the theater in question. She sees the door has been closed with a crow bar through the handles. She opens it to reveal the remains of a blood bath. Could be very possible that this is what did all the carnage at the battle of Vinall.

Original Image Courtesy of ABC

Original Image Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The old man Carter and the Commandos pulled out of danger in the last episode starts to share what he knows regarding the Russian operation. The plan is to make Russia more powerful than their enemies and their allies. Which could include little girls trained as weapons. This part of the conversation persuades Carter to disregard protocol. Her questions are bothersome enough to Dooley that he asks Peggy for ‘a moment’.

The first thought that comes to mind is that of concern on Peggy’s part for poor little girls being exploited. But it turns out, while that is a worthy reason, Peggy has a theory that not only is Stark not to blame, but that the evidence points to a gun made for someone with small hands. Just wait til she finds out that Dottie is the grown up version of one of those little girls.

Peggy entertains another back to back meeting with Jarvis, begrudgingly. Jarvis explains that Chief Dooley visited Jarvis and the overall sentiment towards Howard Stark may be shifting. Peggy tells Jarvis that Russia is training young girls to be operatives. Then inquires as to how difficult it might be to get a list of all the women Howard has “entertained” in the last year. She settles on the last six months.

Jarvis: I don’t think there’s enough ink in the whole of New York to complete that request.
Peggy: Fine, just in the last six months then, is that possible?
Jarvis: Yes. Yes, I suggest we start with the western hemisphere.
Peggy: Oh, please.

Sousa takes a trip down to the local prison to follow his lead that Peggy Carter is the blonde woman in the yellow dress. The convict in question is Sheldon. The big guy that had the truck filled with Nitromene that Peggy took out then tied to a chair. He does I.D. Carter as the woman who beat him up.

Jarvis take Peggy to a local jeweler who makes diamond bracelets for each of Mr. Stark’s conquests. As crass as that sounds, it does provide them with a list of women. Peggy’s plan is to take that list and rundown each of the non-famous woman so she can take note of each of their wrists. Looking for scars or stress marks that might indicate being handcuffed to a bed when they slept. Jarvis hates this idea, as Jarvis is the one that tends to do the breaking up. While they are crossing names off the list, Jarvis is spending a significant amount of time getting slapped.

Dottie has scoped out a dentist office directly across from the “phone company”. When she walked through the door, she was greeted by the dentist who foolishly gave his staff a long weekend. He believes he’s interviewing a prospective dental assistant. Goes without saying that once he made an inappropriate pass, she ended him. Great vantage point for an assassination attempt. Across the street our Russian Psychologist friend trying to help Dooley is looking across at that very building. Dooley even suggests he open the window. Any minute, she’s going to take this psychologist out. Then there is a reflection from the gun and sunlight. I’m expecting him to hit the deck. Instead, he looks up and gives a subtle head nod. The Dr. is in on it too. They communicate is Morse code. He needs more time to find ‘the item’. Dottie’s new directive is to kill Peggy Carter.

The psychologist has planted the seed the his experience tells him that Dooley is experiencing some martial issues. He uses this as nothing more than a conversation piece in Dooley’s eyes. The bigger picture is that he is using that as a way in. He starts to tell Dooley that he needs to focus on the good times. Then he keeps repeating the word ‘focus’ as he spins his wedding ring. He is hypnotizing Dooley. Sousa interrupts just in time to inform Dooley of what he has learned about Agent Carter.

At the diner, Carter and Jarvis discuss what they’ve found on their latest lead. Which is nothing, then Peggy notices something. The entire diner has vacated. Her training tells her that this is what happens before SSR arrests someone they believe to be dangerous. She even spots the men still left in the diner as high ranking SSR officials. She instructs Jarvis to block the front door while she does the rest.

She runs out the back to find Jack Thompson waiting for her. It looks bad. She cannot go quietly, not yet. She apologizes to Jack then knocks him out. Before she can escape the alley she is intercepted by Sousa. She charms her way out of that one too. At SSR headquarters Dooley jumps into his best Tommy Lee Jones from the Fugitive. Peggy Carter is now a fugitive and will be brought to justice.

Dooley locks a new(ish) agent in a room with the psychologist who begins the hypnosis thing on this poor sap. It works much better this time. The agent answers every question honestly. But with Carter presumed to be a spy, Dooley has locked down everything. So the psychologist can’t access the lab to find whatever it is he’s looking for.

Thompson and Sousa and their men descend upon the Griffith. The no men thing rule that the Madam Fry sticks so tightly to is of no concern to the agents in the lobby. They forcefully find Peggy’s room. She’s hears them coming and is able to elude them. Standing on a ledge outside her own window.

Angie notices Peggy outside on the ledge. Peggy tells her the agents knocking on her door are there for her (Peggy). Angie quickly turns to let them in. Angie is going to buy Peggy time if not throw the SSR off her scent. Which she does beautifully. Up to and including fake tears to sell the bit.

Angie then arranges for a relative to bring a car for Peggy so she can get out of town. On her way out she bumps into Dottie (DANGER!). Peggy tries to get by her but Dottie plants a kiss on her. Wearing Peggy’s own special lipstick. Before she passes out, Peggy pulls back Dottie’s sleeve to reveal the scars she’s been looking for.

Before Dottie can finish the job, the SSR agents come around the corner. Dottie plays the innocent while Thompson and Sousa handcuff and remove Peggy. At headquarters, she is greeted harshly by everyone, especially Dooley. They sit her down and handcuff her to a table. Sousa then places on the table a photo of her from the night club and the fake sphere she left when she swiped Steve Rogers’ blood.

Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Jarvis stands in front of two lackeys attempting to broker a deal of some sort. One would assume its to buy back one of Stark’s “Bad Babies”. It quickly becomes a shakedown. A shakedown that Jarvis is not pleased about.

Jarvis: Your manners never cease to disappoint.

The item Jarvis was attempting to purchase was not a Bad Baby. It was a container the size of a small room. Inside of which looked remarkably like an actual room, complete with furniture, art on the wall and Howard Stark. The SSR is hell-bent on hanging as much as they can around Howard’s neck including treason. Stark can’t hide at home, instead we turn our attention to “the Griffith”. A place that does not permit men at all.

Chief Dooley heads to Germany to chase down Ernst Mueller who is set to be executed in the coming days. How this pertains to Stark is yet to be seen. With the Chief out, Thompson becomes the interim Chief. This means Peggy will be relegated to running down lunch orders. A great opportunity for her to snoop around and get some pictures with the camera pen Stark gave her.

Agent Sousa is working on his own lead that at most will implicate Jarvis and maybe Peggy but get them no closer to Stark. A homeless war vet who won’t talk to cops. Sousa gives a heartfelt story hoping to open this homeless man up, but to no avail.

Peggy heads downstairs to swipe some food for Howard, when she returns, he looks glum. All of his inventions are in the SSR lab. That should be good news. Howard needs Peggy to steal one back from the lab. A proposition that Peggy is not thrilled about. She needs to recover the “Blitzkrieg Button”, a sphere the size of a baseball that has the capability to knock out the entire power grid in the tri-state area.

Mr. Mink the gentleman whose men were trying to extort Jarvis in the cold open, has decided to take matters into his own hands, quite literally. He killed his two lackeys with what looked like a pistol sized Gatling gun. Now he is tailing Jarvis and Peggy. In the car, Jarvis keeps tugging on his right ear when Carter asks certain questions. Could be a tell. We already know that Stark and Jarvis are keeping something from Carter, we just don’t know what or how egregious.

Dooley arrives in Germany to meet with Mueller who is hours from his execution. Dooley wants to know about a specific war battle that ties Mueller to the dead Russians. He offers cyanide as an alternative to being hanged. This way Mueller can rob his captors of the satisfaction of watching him squirm toward death.

Thompson walks into Sousa’s interrogation with a cheeseburger and a bottle of Scotch. Thompson gets the homeless vet to roll over pretty quickly. Later on, Peggy arrives at SSR. She pulls the old switch-eroo pretty easily. However, Jarvis’ tell has her concerned. After lifting the sphere she takes it into a room. She flips the switch and the canister opens. Inside is a vile of someone’s blood. This is not adding up. When she returns to The Griffith, she is adamant that Howard say what’s in the vile. My mind went straight for the ailment that Tony Stark will eventually have, but that was caused by the shrapnel not heredity. It’s so obvious it should have slapped me in the face. The vile contains Steve Roger’s blood. Then Carter decked him.

When Howard comes to, he might have wished he hadn’t. The important play by-play as it pertains to the plot is that the government had 11 viles of Steve’s blood and Howard only had one. The government has all but depleted their supply. Peggy’s bigger concern is to the why. Why all the running around? Why risk her neck to save Howard’s? Especially if he’s not interested in clearing his name. Meanwhile, Mr. Mink dressed as a florist delivery man, got Peggy’s room number and is attempting to sneak in. Leaving Stark vulnerable.

Dottie, Peggy’s new neighbor departs her apartment and discovers Mink. He tells her to go back inside. She does not. He pulls his mini Gatling gun out and points it at Dottie. She tilts her head like a curious puppy and says, “is that automatic, I want that”. Then she runs up the walls and takes Mink out in one swift move. Starting to wonder if Dottie plays the same role for Peggy as Kate (Agent 13) did for Steve Rogers in Winter Soldier.

Jarvis intercepts Peggy and tries to make amends, unsuccessfully. She walks off and Jarvis pulls a u-turn. Howard is sitting with his face in a paper in a shoe shine seat. Jarvis conveys his dislike for the apologizing part of his job description. Then Jarvis departs. Leaving two men reading a newspaper. Howard is no longer reading the paper. Then the man next to him asks to borrow the sports page. Howard begrudgingly complies. The other man was Stan Lee. Patriarch of Marvel comics.

At SSR, Sousa finally entertains an idea the rest of us have already known about. Maybe the woman in the picture from the night club is not actually blonde. Meanwhile, Dooley returns to the office and Thompson has a wrinkle to the story that Dooley will be pleased with. The battle in question apparently never being a battle in the first place, instead a one-sided massacre. This Dooley knew. Thompson pulled the flight log from the day after the battle. One name jumps off the page. Howard Stark.

Peggy arrives home and immediately turns up the radio and breaks a hole in her wall. Dottie, next door admiring her new Gatling pistol, here’s a knock at her door. It’s Angie to see if Dottie is coming down to dinner. Peggy is putting a hole in the wall to hide the sphere that contains Steve’s blood. Back at SSR, Dooley adds Mueller to the evidence wall. Then something strange happens. The typewriter they grabbed from the Man in the Green Suit’s place, started self typing.

You’re not going to want to miss next week’s episode. Two words. Howling. Commandoes.

Courtesy of Marvel

Courtesy of Marvel

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Peggy begins this episode perusing a Shakespearean book of symbols. Last episode ended with Brannis drawing a symbol in the dirt as his life left him. Just outside her door is a shady looking character, a very stalker-ish vibe. My first guess would be the man they call “Green Suit”. Who is now scaling the exterior of the building. He gets to Peggy’s window to discover her gun welcoming him, not his girlfriend Molly. False alarm.

Ray and the Chief from SSR investigate a lead to a motel/brothel or some such temporary residence of questionable activity. In the room we discover the type writer internet situation, suggesting that this is where Green Suit was hiding out.

The following morning, Molly, is evicted from the ladies home for violating the number one rule. “No men above the first floor”. Good thing Peggy refused to aid in Molly’s boyfriend’s ascension up to the higher floors. Despite this otherwise negative moment, at least for Molly, the wheels in Agent Carter’s mind seem to be spinning.

Back at SSR the boys start piecing together what little they have. Brannis apparently has been dead for a couple of years, Green Suit has multiple passports, and they’ve identified the license plate from last week as belonging to Howard Stark.

Carter shows up to the Jarvis residence unannounced. She has a theory suggested by her land lady’s performance earlier. If she can see the vault, perhaps she can find how they got in or where they went.

Thompson and Sousa knock on the main door at the Stark estate. Jarvis and Carter are the only ones there. However, Carter cannot be seen there by SSR agents. Jarvis does his best to distract them from Carter and diffuse any action in the immediate future. The result of which is accompanying the agents ‘downtown’.

Jarvis: This will be novel. I haven’t sat in the back seat of a car in years.

Carter arrives at SSR at almost the same time as Jarvis. Thompson attempts to interrogate Jarvis. The audience knows the truth or at least so far. So this entire exercise simply feels like flat foot’s willing to bend and twist all of the information they have to paint a much bigger and convoluted conclusion. As in Stark hired the men to steal his tech and car. Jarvis apparently was previously charged with treason. Jarvis is rattled but fighting letting it show.

Carter leaves the room on the other side of the glass and comes right back with some paper for the Chief to sign. Thompson then tells Jarvis to ‘think about it’, then leaves for coffee. The coffee line is the Chief’s cue. In the hallway, Carter listens in. The moment Chief Dooley is introduced to Jarvis, Carter comes around the corner to say that she mistakenly had the stolen car report that Dooley previously claimed was lost. Thus giving them no cause to detain Jarvis. She saved Jarvis knowing that the sky would come crashing down on her.

Barely related side note. During the commercial break at the 24 minute mark, Netflix in partnership with Marvel aired (what I believe is) the first television teaser for the new Marvel series “Dare Devil” exclusively on Netflix. It showed literally nothing except the recognizable double D logo in the streets of a city. As they are cross promoting, so shall we. NJATVS will happily be covering the Dare Devil series for you in our typical detailed fashion. So, even if you are not a Netflix subscriber, you can stay caught up by visiting www.notjustanothertvsite.com.

Courtesy of Netflix and Marvel

Courtesy of Netflix and Marvel

Carter brushes off Angie in an attempt to meet up with Jarvis to again try to investigate the vault. She deduces that based on the current use of the sewer system the thief could simply thrown all the tech into a raft and floated the tech away. Then she stops. The treason charge on Jarvis’ record bothers her. Jarvis was charged with treason for forging a general’s signature to safely remove a Jewish woman from Budapest. That Jewish woman in Ana, his wife. And yes, the logistics were arranged by Howard Stark.

They arrive at the sewer’s exit point. Using binoculars, Carter looks across the body of water to a small tugboat. On this boat is a symbol. A heart. Around the heart is a rope that looks like an ‘S’ and a circle. Or more importantly, a more detailed image than the one Brannis drew in the dirt.
Low and behold, a large amount of Stark’s stolen tech sitting alone in the belly of the boat. Carter’s initial instinct is to call it in to SSR. An idea that Jarvis has to convince her to abandon. In this moment, she feels that this discover could earn her some respect. But respect doesn’t clear Stark’s name. She points out that there is a pay phone outside and insists Jarvis call it in. She insists that Krzymeniski not get it. She could stomach Sousa getting credit if she can’t. Jarvis runs across to the ‘phone box’ and calls in an anonymous tip to Sousa. He disguises his voice in an attempt to sound American. It’s tragic.

Carter turns around when she hears a sound assuming it was Jarvis. It was not. A large man in a tank top undershirt, there I assume to protect the stolen goods. Carter fights back and he just won’t go down. He gets Carter in a compromising position and Jarvis takes a metal pipe to the back of the man’s head. Still doesn’t go down. Until Carter uses one the Stark ‘bad babies’ on him. First designed to be a back massager, this item causes muscle spasms until the bones break.

Sousa and Krzymeniski show up to find the Stark stuff all but gift wrapped. Krzymeniski drives the ‘guard’ back to SSR. On the way the guard asks about the British dame. Krzymeniski starts to connect dots we don’t want him to connect. They stop at a railroad crossing. A car rear ends the stopped SSR vehicle. Krzymeniski gets out and begins jawing with the driver. The driver doesn’t hesitate to shoot him in the chest four or five times. The gunman walks around to the side of the car and shoots the guard in the head. Not to be insensitive towards death, but that tied up a couple loose ends nicely.

The death of Krzymeniski hits the SSR pretty hard. Instead of taking it in stride, Dooley decides to put his anger on Howard Stark. They wouldn’t be in a position to seize the stolen goods, or detain the guard, and Krzymeniski would not have been shot if they weren’t on that particular job.

Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The premiere of ABC’s new Marvel show “Agent Carter” starts off exactly like it’s supposed to. Not because it was predictable, but because it’s the way it needed to start. The “I have to put her down” scene from Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger. This is where Captain America’s unwavering pursuit of the greater good compromises his own life. The scene is integral to the way both stories move forward. This is the point where Peggy Carter says her last words before Captain America sacrifices himself. They speak of a future date neither will ever attend on account of Steve Rogers being dead. Or so she believes.

Our journey begins in New York, 1946. We are instantly dropped into the post World War 2 New York where women were expected to resume their previous duties as American soldiers return home. By and large the execution of the period is something that would make the show runners of Mad Man pleased. Peggy Carter shares an apartment with Colleen. A unknowing simple woman who I believe might be a nurse. Peggy gets ready for work with Colleen going on about dating. Peggy grabs the standards (unknown to Colleen) her purse…and her gun. To go to work at the phone company.

Colleen: If I don’t see you, remember we’re going to movies on Saturday. I have the night off.
Peggy: I’ll try. You know how busy the office keeps me.
Colleen: Peg, you work at the phone company. It ain’t life and death.
Peggy: Darling, you have no idea.

One thing if nothing else is abundantly clear, the men in the office completely discount a female agent, or they are seriously intimidated. Regardless, this is the moment when at least the immediate plot unfolds. Howard Stark, father to eventual Avenger Tony Stark (aka Ironman) is also a weapons designer. Only it appears now that something has happened painting Howard Stark as a traitor. During a lovely montage of newspaper clippings and black and white video we see a nice parallel. Howard Stark getting short with the Congress during a Congressional hearing. Almost to the letter but in more 1940’s style politeness to the same exact way that Tony Stark behaved in Ironman 2 when forced to present himself to a Congressional hearing almost 60 years later.

Agent Carter sits in on a meeting in SSR to decide on how to bring Howard Stark in. Carter is the only one who knows better. She attempts to vouch for Stark from experience and her contribution is laughed out of the room. Stark is in the wind and naturally a government agency’s first thought is that he’s fleeing, as traitors do.

Carter heads over to a diner one must admit feels like it will be recurring. There Angie, the waitress, chews the fat with Carter. By the way, I love that Angie calls her “English”. Their pow wow is interrupted by a rude regular. Some might recognize him as Farva from State Troopers or Landfill from Beerfest. When Angie departs and Carter returns to her table there is a note written on a cocktail napkin. “Meet me in the alley in 5 minutes”.

A man emerges from the darkness of the alley. If you were imparted with the details of who would play a major role in at least this episode, you would not have to be a Marvel historian to know who the man in the grey suit and hat is. The specific type of English accent, the stature, the cadence in his delivery. Even if all you knew was the Marvel Cinematic universe that began with the first Ironman (circa 2008), you would know who this is. Jarvis. In the flesh. That’s right newbies, Jarvis the computer was modeled after an actual man.

Jarvis (who Carter doesn’t know yet) says, “Ms. Carter, you’re coming with me.” Then she punches him square in the face and attempts to run off, eluding the man in the car-not Jarvis. The man in the car is Howard Stark. Stark claims the traitor bit is a setup. His ‘Bad Babies’ have been stolen from a vault not intentionally sold by Stark. Bad Babies are the name he gives his inventions that are too horrible for anyone. Howard’s going to flee in order to chase down two of his Bad Babies he knows have already hit the black market overseas. He’s going to need Carter to work the angles at home. Not all bad news, Stark is leaving the help.

Stark: When you’re not humiliating him, that gentleman over there is my butler. Edwin Jarvis. He’ll help you in any way he can.

Jarvis (hands her a business card): Should you need me. Call anytime before 9.
Carter: What happens at 9?
Jarvis: My wife and I go to bed. Seven o’clock, Sherry. Eight o’clock, Bennie Goodman. Nine o’clock, bed.
Carter: You’re new to espionage aren’t you?
Jarvis: Far from it actually. Last summer I caught a cook pocketing the good spoons.

There is a night club owner, shades of Harlem Nights, who has bought something from the sketchy silent broker who goes by Leet Brannis. The club owner wants to do more business but he Brannis stays silent. Carter drops by the club in a dress, an American accent and blonde hair. Can’t say that I enjoy the blonde hair, but who’s being picky. She makes her way into the club owner’s office and mentions a ‘formula’. He is instantly defensive. Then Carter lies on the charm. She gets close enough to kiss him with special lipstick that knocks him out. Only, he’s the one that initiated the kiss. Just long enough for her to crack his safe. Inside the safe is a glowing yellow glass ball. Carter calls Jarvis from the office where the nitromene ball was found. Jarvis explains how to diffuse it safely then attempts to return to his soufflé.

Carter: Mr. Jarvis, you do realize that this job will have some after hours requirements?
Jarvis: So does my wife Ms. Carter, good night.

An agent discovers a blonde woman in the office. He then notices the owner hunched over at his desk. The agent attempts to do something. Then Carter reacts in a way that can only be described as being ‘stapled’. She essentially neutralized the situation by beating the man with a stapler.

The owner comes to and sees his safe door open. He runs over to it hoping they stole something else. From his knees he discovers that’s not true. Then a new man appears. Stoic and silent like Brannis. The owner tries to reason with the man, but in the end takes a bullet to the forehead.

Carter arrives home, engages in small talk with Colleen then grabs a three chemical bottles from the kitchen. She very carefully pulls the core of the weapon from the glass ball canister. She hears a commotion. Colleen has been shot in the head. A struggle then begins with Carter and this assailant. Resulting in the assailant getting flung out of the window. When she goes to see his splattered body, she sees nothing but broken glass. Then she walks over to Colleen and engages in a very uncomfortable crying scene.

During an attempt for Carter and Jarvis to have a public conversation without looking as if they are there to see each other, Carter mentions that she needs to find out what this is. This referring to what’s left of the nitromene casing. Jarvis knows a guy. Anton Vanko. Yep, the same Anton Vanko whose son tries to exact revenge upon Ironman in Ironman 2. At Vanko’s lab they discern what facility could possibly make something like this. The answer is, survey says, Roxxon. Roxxon and Vanko are only two of the most recent Easter Eggs in this episode. The third of which is ‘Project Rebirth’. Project Rebirth references the program that allowed scrawny Steve Rogers to be turned into Captain America. The Vita Ray technology that was used to create Captain America is the same technology that created these nitromene bombs.

In typical Marvel fashion, they create relative technology for these shows and movies that would never seem realistic to us now, but in a period piece like this work beautifully. Our second silent bad guy sits at a desk with a typewriter. He then plugs it into a tin of talcum powder, then twists an old razor handle into it. Extends the razor like the antenna on an old radio. Opens the razor (where the blade should be) and Abra-cadabera we have typewriter internet. The man at the desk types a message. Then waits a moment and the typewriter replies to his message on its own. Everything about these silent killers just oozes of Hydra. But this is Marvel, and I’d hate to jump the gun. The man identifies Agent Carter as a bump in the road.

Carter insists on giving Jarvis the ‘stay in the car’ treatment. Something I’m sure is not likely to remain for long. Carter hops a fence and sneaks into the Roxxon factory to find out what they are doing and more importantly if the nitromene bombs are in said factory. Jarvis’ call on the radio alerts the two men that they are not alone. They search for this additional person. Ultimately leading to Carter finding Brannis closing the doors on a van loaded with these bombs. At gunpoint, Carter questions him about his friend. The other gentleman who has no voice and the same scar on this throat. Brannis claims to have no such friend. Feeling like a little Jason Bourne thing happening here. Then Brannis says something that has to be critical.

Brannis: Leviathan is coming.

Brannis throws one of the bombs to the floor leaving smoke billowing out. Carter begins running down the long corridors of this factory. Calls Jarvis to ask if he’d bring the car around. This is once again, a lovely parallel. She’s running and giving Jarvis no indication of where she is or will be. She eventually jumps off a platform landing on top of the car Jarvis is driving. Fast forward to the big action sequence in Captain America: Winter Soldier. Falcon ran down the hall of a high-rise as the building imploded behind him. He calls out to Black Widow who is with Fury flying their ‘Quinjet’. At the last possible second, Falcon jumps through the glass at the end of the remaining hallway and lands on top of the Quinjet. Just as planned.

Jarvis and Carter race away from the factory in the nick of time just to see the entire area, buildings and all implode. As opposed to explode. All surrounding matter, metal fencing, smaller building, vehicles, etc all get pulled inward toward the factory.

Jarvis: It would seem it works…

The next morning Carter and Jarvis meet for their silly back to back, let’s pretend that we don’t know each other by sitting in separate booths, meeting. Carter is complimentary of Jarvis. Jarvis just hopes his wife will never find out. Jarvis departs and while Carter is feeling a sense of moderate accomplishment, the diner regular is back. And being just as verbally abusive to Angie as before. This time, Carter is going to do something about it. She walks up and strategically places the prong end of a fork into a vulnerable part of this patron’s torso. She then explains how bad it could get. Then suggests he find a different place to eat lunch. And suggests he tip generously. That might just be the end of Farva’s run on this show.

Outside the diner, Jarvis sits in the car observing Carter. He is on a phone with Mr. Stark. This would generally be an unimpressive scene. That is until Jarvis says something that eludes to a bigger plan. The initial reaction is to assume he’s referring to something sinister. I have a theory on it, and that theory would be anything but sinister or negative. But we’ll have to wait and see what unfolds.

Jarvis (to Howard Stark): You’re quite right. Ms. Carter is an excellent choice. I don’t think she’ll have any suspicions at all.

At the diner, Angie engages ‘English’ in a conversation. She then notices Carter circling posts in the for rent section of the newspaper. Angie in a roundabout way suggests that Carter move to her place. Then Carter looks down and sees Colleen’s picture in the obituaries. Classic Spider-man complex. Those closest to you are destined to be harmed as collateral damage. Besides, she is going to see a place eminently. That place, would be one of Howard Stark’s many residences. He doesn’t need it while he’s chasing down is Bad Babies overseas anyway.

Neither Carter, nor Jarvis can find any record of any reference to ‘Leviathan’. Carter intends on visiting the milk company distribution to see if she can’t find the milk truck transporting the implosives. Meanwhile, the man only referred to as the Green Suit who has been chasing both Brannis and Carter, sits at the typewriter again. In his messages he refers to Brannis as ‘the thief’. However, they do share a similar inability to speak and throat scars. This one probably won’t solve itself any time soon.

The following morning, Carter impersonates a health department agent at the distribution center to surprise check their entire facility. In a rather interesting American accent. Decidedly different from that of the identity she used at the nightclub. She finds nothing, but that’s because the truck she’s looking for hasn’t reported back.

SSR has what’s left of the Roxxon factory brought in. It basically resembles what a metal trash might look like when run through a compactor, but instead of soda cans it’s an entire factory reduced to the size of two sedans stacked on top of each other.

SSR travels to Roxxon home office to speak to the head of Roxxon. They are pulling at straws to create a connection from Roxxon to Howard Stark. Which as it turns out, wasn’t that difficult. These two men have a history. And Roxxon has agents working within Stark Industries that confirm that he is trying to build something using nitromene. As an answer to the question of what might have caused this damage. They call Carter in to assist in the sweeping employees for Vita Radiation. Something she probably still has remains of on her person.

As the line progresses down, a suspicious man steps up. It’s the guy from the factory explosion whose name is not Brannis. Thinking quickly, Carter suggests they should be scanning the employees clothes not their person. The radiation would be much stronger in the fibers of clothes than human skin. This prompts our guy to flee, quickly. Carter takes the stairs, turns the corner, borrows a briefcase, and de-cleats this guy with said briefcase.

SSR interrogated this gentleman with no success. They even give him the “you’re not the droids we’re looking for” bit. He still doesn’t bite. Laying on the table in front of both men are a branch (about 18″ long and a solid inch thick) and a long carrot. The boss grabs the carrot and walks out. Leaving another man, Van Ert (the perp) and a branch in a room. The other man walks over and picks up the branch.

Van Ert: You can threaten me all you want, I’m not going to talk.
Agent Yauch: I’m not here to make you talk Miles. I’m here to make you sing. (presents the branch to Van Ert) You’re gonna want to bite down.

Carter has Jarvis drive her out to the suspected location of the missing dairy truck. She finds the man listening to the Captain America radio show (a device that was interesting the first three times they referenced it, getting old at this point). Carter secures him in short order. Suddenly there is a sound outside. Its Brannis attempting to steal the dairy truck. Carter quickly puts her gun on him. Then Jarvis comes around the corner holding a piece of the engine.

Carter: I told you I don’t need your help.
Jarvis: An ideal butler provides service without being asked.

Brannis refers to the Leviathan as a what not a who. An employer it seems, but maybe not just one someone. He also claims that the Leviathan only wanted one thing from Stark. And he wants protection before he shares what that something is. The driver has fled, tied to a chair and all. They depart in the dairy truck when they are eventually intercepted by the man in the Green Suit. Carter and the Green Suit guy face of on the roof of the truck in a pretty intense fight sequence for what it is. Carter stabs his hand to the roof of the truck, drops a cheesy line and pulls both Jarvis and Brannis out of the moving truck. It drives off the road an into a lake. Imploding.

Brannis lies motionless on the road. Carter approaches, kneels and asks about the rest of the what he stole from Stark. She implores him to help in his last moments. “Leviathan is coming”. He reaches over and draws a symbol in the dirt. The symbol looks like a cartoon heart with a curved line over top. I’ve got nothing.

Back at what I assume is a Stark residence, Jarvis stitches up Carter’s wounds. What follows is a conversation about support. Carter worried than anyone close to her might find themselves in danger and Jarvis insisting that she can’t do this on her own. With one mention of Steve’s name we see Carter’s first and maybe largest flaw, she is comparing her efforts to what she believe Steve Rogers could and would do. Then Jarvis replies that as great as Steve was, Steve relied heavily on Carter. A wonderful scene that I’m afraid would lose a great deal of impact if the two participants were not British.

Apparently Carter is attempting to gain entrance into a home for professional women? The supervisor of which has many rules. If she chooses to stay here, I’m sure most of those rules will get broken somehow.

SSR has spent a couple of days now trying to pry apart the remains of what used to be the Roxxon factory. Slim pickings until they discover a bent license plate. If memory serves, as Jarvis drove away during the implosion, the bumper of that car was ripped off. If this license plate belongs to that car, it will make clearing Starks name that much more difficult.

. . .

All week comic book enthusiasts like myself have been counting down to tonight. While Agent Carter was a very very good episode(s), most of us were more excited about the Ant-Man trailer. For those that aren’t aware, and believe me I am no Ant-man historian, this was the big moment of the evening. I know, ‘Ant-Man’ doesn’t really conjure images that seem on the level with a Captain America, Thor, Ironman or Hulk. But I assure you its going to be good. Short of Marvel being the thing every actor wants to get in on, some credibility needs to be given to Ant-Man based solely on the inclusion of Paul Rudd (in an only slightly clever role as opposed the outright comedic roles he’s used to) and Michael freaking Douglas. I’m not the biggest Michael Douglas fan in the world, but Michael Douglas doesn’t sign on for this role at this point in his career for something that is not expected to be big.

I’m sure social media will be inundated with the Ant-Man trailer in the morning, so I will refrain from giving you the cliff notes. One thing is curious. The motivation for Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is his daughter. An element Marvel has not done in their current cinematic universe. This is a story of second chances. And I would be remiss if I didn’t say that hopefully this will mean the inclusion of Wasp as well. There are significant rumors that as this Avengers story progresses, not all of the Avengers team will continue on. Which is why we are seeing the inclusion of Ant-Man, Wasp (hopefully), Quicksilver (Avengers 2) and The Scarlet Witch (Avengers 2). So even if you think “Ant-Man” has got to be stupid, I strongly suggest you give it a chance. Besides, since 2008, when has Marvel not been impressive?

Courtesy of Marvel

Courtesy of Marvel

Twitter.com

Twitter.com

 

Tonight as part of Marvel’s Agent Carter 2-hour premiere, NJATVS will be live-tweeting the show.  While you’re watching tonight’s event, keep your phone, tablet or computer out, pull up the NJATVS twitter feed and hit refresh…frequently.  Just another way to bring the NJATVS audience into the fold.  And it goes without saying, feel free to chime in as we go along.  Audience participation is not required, but would add to the experience.

-NJATVS Staff