Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Recap-turing Marvel’s Agent Carter: "Now is Not the End"

Previously on Captain America: The First Avenger, Peggy Carter - professional badass - made the mistake of falling in love with a man with a death wish, aka a hero. So Steve Rogers got fridged, literally, and almost a year later Peggy’s still pretty cut up about it as shown via flashbacks as Peggy stairs wistfully out of the window. There’s no time for mourning though, because the war may be over but Peggy Carter’s battle has just begun. 

New York City, 1946. Peggy Carter goes through her morning routine, which is shocking domestic especially when interspersed with a montage of flashbacks to Peggy’s war time heroics. Kettle boiling - butt kicking - cup of tea - EXPLOSIONS! The one consistent thing is that Peggy Carter’s hair and make-up is always flawless. 

Never fear though, because if we can count on one thing, we can count on the Stark men making trouble. They’re always in need of rescue because they pissed someone off… well they pissed someone off more than usual. Let’s face it, someone is always a little bit pissed at the Starks. Headline reads: CAPTAIN AMERICA ALLY YET TO EXPLAIN WEAPONS SALE. Apparently it’s not a savvy marketing campaign. 

FLASHBACK: PINA regulars will know how much I love those but as it’s a flashback to Captain America: The First Avenger, we can forgive it. I did wonder why they thought all these flashbacks were necessary but then I remember that not everyone rewatches the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe every six months. 

Anyway, Howard wants to fondue but Peggy brushes off his inappropriate flirting because he’s the best civilian pilot around and they kind of need him. Bigger Headline reads: STARK FAILS TO CONVINCE THIRD DAY OF TESTIMONY EXPECTED. Things are not looking good for everyone’s favourite lovably science rogue. 

Getting ready for work montage - are those bullet scars? Of course they are because you can’t be a soldier returning from war trying to integrate back into society without some kind of awesome battle scars (and the trauma that comes with them). Ironing - WAR - *40s music* - EXPLOSIONS - stockings - VIOLENCE!

Peggy’s just putting the bed away when in walks her roommate/possible girlfriend (I’m kidding, but at the same time I’m not). Colleen says her feet are killing her - she’s obviously angling for a foot rub but Peggy’s got to get to work at the phone company. *wink wink* Also Colleens upset because sexism. 

Colleen: They let 10 girls go yesterday. 
Peggy: Did they sat why? 
Colleen: Because 10 more GIs got discharged. 

In case anyone had any doubts this is a show about sexism and it’s amazing! 

Colleen jokes about tuberculosis (which Steve Rogers does not find funny at all) and Peggy borrows her clothes without asking. It’s pretty clear that these two ladies are very close. So close that they have to mention boyfriends so nobody catches on that they’re actually in love. Also they’re still trying to deal with the patriarchy. 

Colleen: You know there’s a difference being an independent woman and a spinster.
Peggy: Is it the shoes? 

Don’t you worry your pretty little head about that patriarchy Colleen, Peggy’s got you covered. Peggy loads her gun and orders Colleen to get some rest. Then Colleen makes the mistake of making a date with Peggy and we all know how well those plans work out. 

TITLE CARD and I’m not crying I just have some female solidarity feelings in my eye. 

Peggy - wearing the best red hat in existence - walks through a crowd of men wearing grey and black suits. In case you weren’t already aware that Peggy Carter is not only the hero of this show but the hero of AMERICA she’s wearing red, white and blue. She’s taken on Captain America’s colours because she’s taken on Captain America’s duties. 

She arrives at the phone company - wait does she actually work for a phone company? PSYCH! Phone company is actually a front of the SSR, I guess that makes it easier to monitor people’s calls. Peggy has a brief but Bechdel test passing conversation with a woman called Rose who works on the switchboard. Rose likes Peggy’s hat. Same Rose, same. 

Peggy leaves the switchboard, which is manned entirely by women, and heads into the SSR offices, which is where all the men are apparently. Peggy is *Chris Traeger voice* literally the only woman in this place, which obviously means she’s there to answer the phone. At least that’s what Chief Roger Dooley seems to think. 

When there’s an emergency a big red light flashes and an alarm sounds because spies are not at all subtle. They’re not subtle about their sexism, either because when Chief Dooley says all hands on deck what he wants is for Agent Carter to man the phones. Peggy doesn’t even blink at his suggestion she just picks up a phone and calls her mate Rose at the switch to get the calls forwarded to the conference room. Peggy Carter gets shit done. 

Turns out all the agents of the SSR have been called into the conference room to watch a little movie about everyone’s favourite Millionaire… Playboy… and possible TRAITOR? Howard Stark is basically Tony in better clothes (I just did that late 40s style). He dates lots of women, and makes a lot of weapons, which he may or may not be selling to “the enemy”. 

Newsreel footage of Howard’s hearing is basically a direct copy of the one from Iron Man 2, except in black and white. But it gets the point across. Like father, like son. Howard might be an asshole but he’s probably not handing WMDs over to the bad guys… on purpose anyway. 

When movie time is over, Chief Dooley continues with the briefing. His weapons have turned up on the black market and in the arsenals of enemy states and Stark’s treating it like a joke. We all know how well the government takes a joke, but then again if I had 6 house and 6 offices I’d probably treat everything like a joke as well. Anyway Stark’s gone missing and now it’s a fugitive of the state… also Peggy looks pissed so that’s pretty scary as well. 

Agent Thompson is put on lead. I’m assuming it’s because he’s tall and blonde because he doesn’t appear to have any other redeemable qualities. He does the usual, freezes his bank accounts, grounds his planes. This makes Peggy role her eyes because A. there’s no way that’s going to even slow Howard down if he wants to leave the country and B. he might be an asshole but he’s her asshole. 

Chief Dooley: I’m aware of your record agent. I’m sure being Captain America’s… liaison brought you into contact with all sorts of interesting people but the wars over, let the professionals decide who’s worth going after.

OH NO HE DID NOT. That was one big mistake, especially if he’s actually aware of her service record. That’s basically the end of his career right there, as well as every other asshole in the room who laughed along with him. He’s going down, Peg’s yelling timber. Some other asshole thug that I am not going to bother learning the name of (I’ll just call him dick #1), says something under his breath about Peggy knowing a lot of men during the war and Victor I mean Agent Daniel Sousa tries to come to her rescue. There are two problems here, 1. dick # 1 thinks Sousa is only a step up from Peggy on account of he’s disabled and 2. Peggy does not need ANY man to fight her battles for her. She’s like thanks but no thanks. 

Peggy: I’m also more than capable of handling whatever these adolescents throw at me. 

Sousa still doesn’t like it, and it’s like I know man. It absolutely sucks when people dismiss you or make assumptions about you based solely on your gender but by assuming she needs your patronising assistance is almost as bad. Besides, seriously Peggy can take care of herself. Just look at how she handles Agent Penis Johnson Thompson when he asks her to do his paper work because she’s so much better at that kind of thing. 

Peggy: What kind of thing is that Agent Thompson, the alphabet? I can teach you let’s start with the words beginning with A.

Sousa also makes a joke but it’s not nearly as good as Peggy’s. 

Later at the L&L AUTOMAT where people go to eat pie and flirt with waitresses, Peggy is reading more about Howard Starks fuck-ups, only it’s worse because he’s dragging Steve’s name down into the mud with him. Headline reads: CAPTAIN AMERICA ALLY IN HOT WATER and it has a picture of Steve. 

Angie (about Steve): I saw him once at a USO show… you could eat him with a spoon. 

Peggy’s like: been there done that and then he died so she really enjoys having see his picture everywhere she looks. That doesn’t hurt at all. But as Peggy obviously likes Angie she does not punch her in the throat as much as she wants to. She can’t really blame her anyway, Steve does look very delicious. Angie calls Peggy “English”, bats her eye lashes and everyone is in love, including Peggy, which is probably why she opens up about her patriarchy problems. 

Peggy: During the war I had a sense of purpose, responsibility. But now I connect the calls but I never get a chance to make them, do you know what I mean? 

At this point I’m pretty sure Angie is a little weirded out because Peggy just described the job of a switch board operator, which is supposed to be Peggy’s job. So she just decides to share a story about her work, which is not full time waitressing. No no, she’s an actress. And actress that missed out on yet another part. I think the message of this story is that you have to keep trying or something but I have to say she lost me right at the beginning. It seems to make Peggy smile though so that’s all that matters - although that might have been the fact that Angie complimented Peggy’s legs. 

Just in case all these women talking to each other and careers and life and stuff confused you, a rude customer cuts in to remind the audience about the menz. 

Then Peggy gets a note that says to meet in the alley in 5 minutes. Either she has a death wish, or she thinks Angie wants to her alone to take a closer look at her legs. But whatever she decides to go out into the deserted ally at night just because a napkin told her to. DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME KIDS.

She is met in the ally by and Englishman sneaking out of the shadows telling her that she’s going with him. She reacts with the appropriate level of violence for such a situation… which is to say she knocks him out and makes a run for it because there’s a car, which is a lot harder to punch. Peggy shoots it instead and out tumbles the fugitive of the hour, Howard Stark. 

Howard: Did you miss me? 

Peggy does not dignify that with a response but she does get in the car so I guess she must have missed him a little bit or maybe she figures she can get a confession out of him with her womanly whiles (she probably could and you know it). She does not get a confession. Howard insists that he was set up when someone broke into the sub-basement vault where he keeps his “bad babies” - inventions too dangerous for anyone. Even his friends. 

Peggy: Which begs the question - why invent them at all? 

Good question Peggy but Stark looks hurt because, didn’t she hear him. He just made the weapons too awful for someone to use. He’s not the one that’s going to actually kill anyone. He’s not the bad guy here Peg. And the reason he can’t tell the truth is not because he has any measure of guilt in this situation but because “Apparently it’s not to big a jump to see me cutting a hole in my own vault and making some money on the sly. 

Peggy kind of agrees because that does sound a little bit like something Howard Stark would do, which is exactly why she’s the only person that can clear Howard’s name.

Peggy: You can’t be serious? 
Howard: I try not to be but sometimes it slips out anyway. 

This is bigger than just Howard, the SSR are looking for the wrong guy and he needs someone on the inside that he can trust… “and Peg there’s no one I trust more than you.” 

I kind of understand why so many people sleep with him, he’s kind of persuasive and he knows just the right thing to say. Because when Peggy starts to sound sceptical he pulls the one card he knows she won’t be able to resist.  Those SSR folk are using Peggy right, she’s better than them, she deserves more than they give her. Peggy Carter is a lot of fantastic things but she’s also a little proud - not that she doesn’t deserve more respect than she gets because she does but there’s a part of her that genuinely thinks she better than all the dicks she works with. It might be true but it’s also exactly what Howard is using to entice Peggy into helping him. Howard Stark: master manipulator. 

Peggy: You’re asking me to become a traitor to prove you’re not one. You do see the irony? 

Howard: You want a mission that matters, this is it. My technology in the hands of some nut that wants to be the next Red Skull. You have no idea how bad that could be. Right now you’re the only one that can stop that. 

What makes him such a master manipulator is that what he says is true, he just knows exactly what truth to tell people to get them to do what he wants. Peggy is also a great manipulator but she does it in a very different way. She becomes whoever she needs to be for that person to talk without any prompting. These two, together, now that’s a terrifying idea. 

Howard is like the coolest person ever, which means he knows how to make an exit. So he gives Peggy a hug (calls her pal), and tells her that one of his “bad babies” is going on the blackmarket very soon. It’s up to Peggy to stop it, but he left his Butler Jarvis for help. Then he hops into a speed boat and rides off into the sunset leaving Peggy to clean up his mess. 

Howard: I figured you’d never have any trouble finding a man. 
Peggy: Trick is finding the right one. 

And off Peggy goes to find herself a man. And by man I mean a criminal selling bombs on the black market. Just what every girl needs. You know what else every girl needs. They need a Jarvis. An adorable uptight domestic god that thinks he’s badass when actually he’s basically a kitten. He’s gonna need Peggy to take him under her wing if he’s going to get the hang of this whole espionage thing (catching the cook stealing the good spoons doesn’t really count). Like not approaching women in a dark ally without introducing himself. 

Mr. Jarvis: Call any time before 9. 
Peggy: What happens at 9. 
Mr. Jarvis: My wife and I go to bed. 

The next day - or maybe just a couple of hours later. I’m not sure if Peggy Carter needs to sleep at all but not the point because resident good guy Agent Sousa is looking at pictures of Howard Stark with yet another one of his many lovers. They’re on the same boat Peggy saw him leave on the night before, which is good for Sousa because he’s on the right track but bad for Stark. So Peggy does something very naughty that really shouldn’t be that shocking considering she’s a spy. She lies. Or at least I think she does. She tells Sousa that Howard must have really liked that girl because he’s terrified of water and he can’t swim. She knows his because he tried to kiss her on VE day and she knocked him into the Thames. 

But wait didn’t we just see Stark head out in his boat? Naughty Peggy. 

She doesn’t have time to dwell on her lies because she’s distracted by what’s going down in the conference room. Mainly that she wasn’t invited to the table. Neither was Sousa but Peggy’s not really in the mood for solidarity right now so she grabs the coffee pot and wonders into the conference room banking on the fact that Thompson and Chief Dooeley won’t even notice she’s there. On account of women aren’t people. 

Thompson has word on someone selling one of Stark’s bad babies. Only they don’t call them bad babies because they’re not part of the cool club. A club owner called Spider Raymond (because this is actually a James Bond movies but better because Peggy Carter). He only has two weaknesses, blondes and money. Peggy gets all this information before Chief Dooley even makes a comment about how long she’s taking to pour the coffee. Thompson suggests she stick around because she might learn something but Peggy’s like it’s cool you told me everything I need to know already. She checked out the moment they started talking about what they were going to wear (an actual conversation that happened). 

Then Peggy pulls the one card that can bring down any cis man in matter of moments. She mentions her menstrual cycle because these men might have probably seen people blown up in front of their eyes but the moment a women says she’s on her period they’re rendered speechless. Chief Dooley tells Peggy to go shopping or something, which is kind of upsetting because thats what he genuinely thinks will make her feel better. But also kind of cool because it suggests that the women in his life have played the period card in order to get a shopping trip. 

Later that night at The Martinique - the fancy club that plays jazz and sells weapons of mass destruction. It’s very fancy, lots of drinking, smoking and dancing. Above the dance hall there a man in a spiffy suit that we can assume is Spider Raymond. There’s also another guy who is evil. Like so evil. Like he could not be anymore obviously evil. He’s so evil that he doesn’t speak he just listens to Spider Raymond going on and on about what else he might have got out of Stark’s basement and how much money they’re going to make. 

Back in the main club there’s a blonde wandering past the dance floor. SURPRISE: it’s Peggy. She’s rocking a blonde wig and fabulous dress, proving once again that she is flawless. A skeeze asks her to dance but she brushes him off quickly with her smooth American accent before making her way over to security. Also there’s a guy taking photos which will become relevant later on so store it away. Peggy implies that her body is for sale and security lets her walk right on up the stairs and into Spider Raymond’s office. You see this is one of the many reasons that misogyny is bad for men as well. If they thought of women as actual people then they wouldn’t get themselves into these messes. 

Before she gets to Spider Raymond’s office Peggy takes some time to reapply her lipstick: the aptly named “102 Sweet Dreams” because Peggy doesn’t just use misogyny to her advantage (as best she can) but she also uses the tools of femininity as her weapons. This show is amazing okay.

Peggy flirts her way into Spider Raymond’s office with ease. It only takes a couple of seconds before she has the doors closed and he’s eating out of the palm of her hand. He tells her most of what he knows without much trouble but unfortunately he gets a little over eager and goes for a kiss before Peggy is ready. It’s kind of good timing though because that’s the moment security decides to poke his head in and check. All they see is Spider Raymond making out with a hot blonde, little does he know that Spider Raymond is unconscious thanks to “102 Sweet Dreams”. 

Peggy: That was a bit premature. 

Can it be a thing that Peggy constantly makes jokes about men’s sexual inadequacy because that would make me so happy.

One magic/science watch later and Peggy is opening Spider Raymond’s safe to find the formula. Except she doesn’t find a formula, she finds something that glows orange and makes her say “crikey o’reilly”, which is probably not good. It’s a glowing orb that is probably going to go boom, this is way beyond Peggy’s pay grade, she’s going to need some help. 

At the Jarvis residence, Edwin is listening to the wireless in an apron - all in all a lovely evening really - when he is unceremoniously iterated by a phone call from Peggy Carter who doesn’t even bother to say hello she just launches right into the whole glowy-boom problem. 

Peggy: Do you know anyone else handling explosives at this time at night? 

Jarvis says that he does not know anyone else handling high explosives at this time of night but as he works for Howard Stark I think that’s a lie. I’m sure Howard handles explosives at all times of the evening. But then again maybe Howard has more respect for the importance of an evening meal. Jarvis promises his wife a soufflé, and what Mrs Jarvis wants Mrs Jarvis gets so either he loves he very much, or she beats him. Either way he really needs to get that soufflé on. Peggy’s all, do you not understand the severity of the glowy-boom problem, because it trumps a soufflé. Jarvis has to concede that imminent incineration is the higher priority right now, so he put the phone down next to the radio (like it’s hold music) and goes to find the instructions Stark left in case of emergency. 

Turns out Peggy was right, glowing is not good and it will generally lead to boom. Handle with caution and add a bunch of chemicals that I am even going to begin to try to remember. The important thing is that Peggy seems to have a handle on it because she’s smarter than me. And now a very cranky Mr Jarvis has to go because his wife is home and he hasn’t even put the soufflé in the oven. 

Peggy: Mr Jarvis, you of realise that this job will have certain after hours requirements? 
Mr. Jarvis: So does my wife Miss Carter. 

Go Mrs Jarvis. Bow-chika-bow-ow. Get it girl. (If you are a real person, which I am not completely sold on yet). 

Back at the club the cavalry has arrives (and I don’t mean Agent May because that would actually be helpful - anyway, don’t call her that), I mean Thompson and that other guy who’s name I can’t be bother to learn. They stick out like sore thumbs but they think they’re super cool, flashing their guns around. 

Security bursts into Spider Raymond’s office to warn the boss, but all they find is an angry Peggy Carter who beats them up with a stapler. Yes. It is as cool as it sounds. She then walks right out because all the men around her still refuse to acknowledge that she is a person. Except that one guy she passed on the stairway. He saw her, but he doesn’t clock her as a threat because she’s a woman. Still he did not look like a nice person. He’s definitely got an evil face. 

Peggy darts through the crowd and dances with the skeeze from earlier to avoid Thompson’s gaze. It doesn’t take much to convince him that she’s change her mind, it is a women’s prerogative after all. 

Back in Spider Raymond’s office, the evil looking guy from the stairwell is pointing a gun at the big bad gangster boss who is trying to explain that the blonde stole what he was there to buy. It’s not his fault. Stairway badguy does not care at all. He shoots Raymond in the face and it’s not because he’s black. Although he was the only person of colour in this show. And he was a criminal that died. This show might be amazing in the way he deals with sexism but it’s not doing particularly well on the race front. 

Agent Thompson: Maybe we shouldn’t have spent all that time changing our clothes? 

When Peggy gets home she’s super surprised to find her bed occupied by her roommate/lover Colleen. Peggy rips of her wig so as not to arouse suspicion and then enters into general chit chat. Colleen is pretty excited when she sees what Peggy is wearing because she thinks that Peggy’s finally got herself a man (you know one of those things that keep you entertained while your lady friends are working). Colleen can’t celebrate right now though because if she was too sick too work, then she’s too sick to gossip about boys. Peggy sighs fondly and offers to make Colleen some tea, because she’s English, that’s what they do. 

In the kitchen Peggy does not make tea, instead she finds all the chemicals she needs to defuse the bad baby right there because ladies know these things. She takes it all into the bathroom and does the science thing using some tweezers and a perfume bottle (using the tools of femininity again) to deactivate the glowy-boom. After which she pours herself a much deserved drink, which she doesn’t actually get to enjoy because there’s a sound from coming from the apartment and it’s not a good sound. 

It is most definitely not a good sound because when Peggy leaves the bathroom she finds Colleen dead. That means that this show - despite being an incredibly amazing triumph of female empowerment - has fallen into the same traps as its male driven counterparts. This episode - the first episode - features two significant deaths. A POC and a woman. Even something like Agent Carter, which is leaps and bounds above the rest, still has room for improvement. Let’s see the introduction a permanent POC and no more fridging Peggy’s female friends please. 

Peggy doesn’t like that her lovers friends keep getting murdered so she burns the badguy with her stove and then throws him out the window. Also the guy has a scar on his neck, which might be important later on but he’s gone now and it’s time for Peggy to mourn. And mourn she does. She sits down on the bed next to Colleen and cries. 

Back at the AUTOMAT, Peggy and Jarvis are having a heart to heart that is so emotional they can’t even look at each other. Either that or they’re doing that spy thing where they sit back to back so that no one knows they are together, except it’s super obvious. It just draws more attention really, but I guess it looks dramatic and it’s a staple of the genre so I can forgive them. It’s still stupid though. 

Jarvis asks the practical questions first - can the murder be traced back to Peggy? She says no, because no one knew she was living there except for Colleen on account of society frowns on same-sex romance, I mean Peggy was new in town and she hadn’t had time to get to know anyone yet. I am very thankful that they put that in the conversation though, because that’s one of those things that a lot other TV makers might not think is important because they think they’re audience is stupid. Anyway back to the emotion. 

Peggy: I seem to have a habit of losing people closest to me. Perhaps losing is too nice a word. I get them killed. 

Dammit, someone give Peggy a hug. Angie, get over there! 

Peggy: When Howard came to me I was damn happy to see him. I’d been wallowing since the war. Wondering why no one would give Agent Peggy Carter a shot. So I grabbed the chance… but I mucked it ip and now Colleen is dead because of me.

See right there, that is what make this show so brilliant. Peggy is strong, she’s witty, she’s badass, she’s sexy, but she’s not perfect and her fundamental flaw is pride/vanity. She needs validation. She needs to publicly humiliate the people that put her down. She had good reason, don’t get me wrong, but it’s still a flaw that will get her into trouble. It’s also a flaw that makes her a dynamic, and incredibly human character. 

Jarvis hands Peggy a hanky because he’s lovely like that. He tells Peggy that she’s a war hero, which is true and that she’s a credit to her profession, which is also true. But that doesn’t answer the question on Peggy’s mind: Was is worth it? 

Change of topic so that Peggy doesn’t ruin her make up. Where does Mrs Jarvis think Mr Jarvis is when he goes off at all hours of the night to help Peggy? Well she thinks that one of Starks more amorous admirers is refusing to leave. Peggy thinks that is rather believable. Also he might know a scientist that can help with the whole bad baby situation while Stark is MIA. All in all, Jarvis is a pretty excellent side-kick. 

Dr. Anton Vanko otherwise known as Whiplash’s dad, is working at Stark Industries and he’s there to help, until he’s discovered to be a traitor and banished to Siberia so he can raise a supervillian son. But for the moment, he’s here to help. Anyway the glowy-boom uses vita-rays. You know those magic things that helped bake tiny Steve into a beefcake. Peggy knows all about them. Also conveniently there are only three refineries that it could have come from, which is quickly narrowed down to one for convenience. I know when I commit I crime I want to make it as convenient as possible for any renegade vigilante law enforcement to find me. Off to Roxxon Oil - but first a Steve Rogers sidebar. 

Peggy pulls out the project rebirth file and gets lost in the picture of skinny!Steve being his generally adorable self. Flashbacks to Captain America: The First Avenger, because they know how to tug on my heart strings. Peggy and Steve and the date they never got to have. She is jolted from her memories when someone enters the filing store room, which I imagine is rather shocking on account of filing is women’s work. It’s just Sousa though, he understands or at least he tries to. 

In the war, Sousa thought he was going to die. The Chaplin came and everything. Asked him if there was anyone he wanted to send his stuff to back home but he said no because it’s not like his dad could use his junk and he wanted the people he loved to remember him as he was. 

Daniel: Of course I didn’t die, which was inconvenient because the Chaplin had already trashed my foot locker. Still looking for half my stuff. Can’t find my leg anywhere. 

HAHAHAHa, amputee humour is the best. Peggy likes it. Anyway the point is the war was bad and Sousa lost a leg so Peggy needs to stop mooning over Captain America already. Or something. IDK I just don’t trust Sousa because I have issues but so does Peggy so it works in this case. Then Peggy tells Sousa he’s one of the lucky ones and I’m not going to lie if I was in Sousa’s position I would have punched her. 

Once he’s gone she can find what she was really looking for. She wasn’t just there to stare into Steve’s beautiful eyes, that was just a pleasant bi-product of the actual goal, which was a vita-ray detector. 

Badguy from the club - the one who shot Colleen - Peggy’s new nemesis - is sitting in a hotel room with a super special type writer that might be connected to the Internet. It’s basically email via type writer. He’s calling in for instructions, it kind of reminds me of the whole Winter Soldier thing. Do you think he knows Bucky? (Please be aware that I refuse to acknowledged what is actually happening to Bucky at this time, instead I am pretending he is on an extended ski-trip). Anyway badguy implicates Agent Carter by name and asks for permission to terminate. He gets it. It’s not looking good for Peggy. 

Roxxon Oil. Night. Peggy and Jarvis pull up outside the nasty looking fence and Peggy goes to jump out. Jarvis tries to insist that he’s going with her but Peggy won’t have it. He’s not prepared for combat. (No the spoon stealing cook doesn’t count no matter how long her fingernails were). 

Can I just say how much I love that Peggy and Jarvis’s relationship reverses the traditional gender roles. The woman would usually be in Jarvis’s position begging to be allowed to come along for the action sequences. He’s also there to provide emotional support and moral advice (as at the AUTOMAT) and he shown in the domestic sphere - he was interrupted at home while cooking. Jarvis has been given most of the roles that would usually fall to a female love interest and it’s beautiful. 

Peggy leaves Jarvis with the car and a radio. Then jumps the fence and heads off to face the bad guys, who she finds pretty quickly. A scientist making more glow-boom orbs and that guy that was silently judging the late Spider Raymond earlier in the episode. Peggy’s location is compromised so she uses one of those flash sticks from Men In Black on a henchmen and then runs after the judgey-mute who’s got the glowy-boom. 

She thinks she’s got him when he opens a milk truck to reveal that it’s full of glowy-boom orbs. That’s a lot of boom. Judgy-mute has the same scar on his neck as the guy that shot Colleen. He can’t talk. He has no voice box or something. I’m not a doctor, I’m just guessing. Anyway he’s got an electronic device to help him talk. He insists he’s just an independent businessman trying to make his mark. He doesn’t murder people. He just sells to people who murder people. What the clients do with the product that is designed to kill is not his problem. 

He loses his cool when Peggy mentions the other guy. The one that killed Colleen. Evidently they are not friends and if that guy is around they they might as well give up now. Leviathan is coming. Pretty defeatist attitude really but it does explain why he drops the glowy-boom risking his own life in his escape. Luckily it doesn’t explode right away - giving Peggy Carter 30 seconds to get the fuck out of there or go bang. 

Peggy radios Jarvis to bring the car around, which he kindly obliges even though 30 seconds isn’t much warning and it involves denting Mr Starks car by ramming a fence. Then he gets shot at. Not really Jarvis’s cup of tea. Peggy runs. Jarvis drives. Peggy jumps and lands on the roof of the car because she’s actually Indiana Jones. And they make it out, just in time. Well the bumper gets dragged back into the explosion but as Peggy and Jarvis are okay and the car is still driving they don’t really worry about the bumper, even though they probably should. They did accidentally destroy an entire building. Not the most covert operation really. 

Back at base, Sousa is trying to bond with Chief Dooley when they’re interrupted by Agent Thompson. Who just has to snake all the attention from Sousa. The way Dooley’s face lights up when Thompson enters suggests that poor Sousa never even had a chance. Thompson found the photographer from the club and he thinks he got a shot of the blonde. DUN DUN DUN! Also this happened: 

Chief Dooley (to Thompson): I’m thinking real hard about kissing you right now son. 

I’m not saying that Thompson is sleeping his way to the top, but I’m not saying he’s not either. If he’s not doing it yet he will be soon because Chief Dooley is definitely gagging for it. Slut. 

Before they can start making out in front of a traumatised or possibly jealous Sousa, they are interrupted by a phone call saying that someone blew up Roxxon Oil and now they can’t find the building. Bet Sousa’s pretty happy about interrupted Chief and Thompson’s moment. 

One final trip to the AUTOMAT, Peggy and Jarvis are having another super inconspicuous back to back spy conversation. Peggy’s looking at a milk bottle and Jarvis is looking to get laid. After which he will check Starks files for any mention of Leviathan. But first, sex. 

Mr. Jarvis: To be perfectly honest. I’m not sure I’ll sleep for days. 

I repeat: Get it Mrs Jarvis. 

After Jarvis leaves to get laid, Peggy witnesses the same asshole customer from earlier harassing the lovely Angie. He’s yelling about powdered eggs and smacking her ass and Peggy is having none of it. As soon as Angie heads back to the kitchen to spit in his food Peggy makes her movie. She grabs the fork off the asshole customers table and  presses the fork to his brachial artery. She calmly tells him to leave or she will cut him so he bleeds to death. He takes option one - and leaves a generous tip for Angie at Peggy’s request. 

This moment is so important because while this show is filled with celebrations of femininity and showcases the many ways that Peggy uses misogyny for her benefit or even subtle defies it, this is the moment where she fights for another woman. She threatens a man with violence because sometimes peaceful protests don’t work and Peggy is willing to use force when necessary to protect people, especially other women. And that is feminism. 

Finally let’s add a little intrigue to the intrigue. Is Stark good? Or is he bad? Jarvis is watching Peggy and he says this to Stark over the phone: “You’re quite right Miss Carter’s an excellent choice. I don’t think she’ll have any suspicions at all.” DUN DUN DUN! 

To be continued…