Agent Carter
“The Blitzkrieg Button” – Agent Carter

Well that was unexpected!

This episode Agent Carter definitely has some very strange twists and turns to it, and some of them come completely out of left field (although I think I guessed some of it right) … but I guess before I get to that I should kind of explain how we got there in the first place.  If your call if you recall from last week’s episode Peggy has managed to further alienate the other agents within the office by acting like a complete bimbo when they were interrogating Jarvis with regards to the license plate found at the scene of the Roxxon Oil Refinery explosion.  We’d also seen her & Jarvis find Starks’ missing inventions and Krezminski get killed.

This week’s episode sees the return of Howard Stark as well as several new villains and as I previously mentioned a very unexpected twist.  The episode starts with Jarvis negotiating with some hoodlums for the release of a special package & when the initial negotiated amount of $50K is not sufficient, they attempt to shake him down for an additional $100K.  However Peggy is able to knock all of the baddies down and then Jarvis and her open the door of the rail car to find Howard Stark playing pool quite comfortably within!

Taking Howard back to his penthouse mansion Peggy realizes that she cannot let him go in as it is being monitored by agents of the SSR (by the way no one else has admitted or mentioned the similarity between this acronym (SSR) and the Waffen SS … I wonder if there is a hidden message somewhere?) therefore she has to smuggle him into her boarding house which as we already know from the last episode is monitored very closely by the dragon lady for any infractions – one of the most severe being having a male above the first floor!

However, Peggy manages to sneak Howard into her room by hiding him in the laundry shoot and although Howard acts the same as we’ve seen Tony act in the Iron Man movies (a real ladies man) she eventually manages to get him safely into her room.  In the room Howard gives Peggy a camera-pen which he has already invented and asks her to takes pictures of all of his inventions which have been captured by the SSR to make sure that they have everything.

Meanwhile at the HQ the chief and Thompson are having a conversation and it comes to light that they have identified both parties from Leviathan (I guess we can assume the man in the green suit was also killed and they found his body) as they didn’t really have any other way of knowing what he looked like I don’t think … considering the size of the explosion, that’s actually quite surprising!  Anyways, they’ve pieced together the fact that both of these men were supposed to have died in a specific battle during WWII. The chief determines that he will need to travel to Germany to a certain Colonel who was in that battle and find out from him if he has any details of what really happened.  He puts Thompson in charge and then sets out to Nuremberg.

Now while I don’t think it’s built into the show (I could be wrong), but when Thompson took charge of the team and the view of his face – the first thing that struck me was that this could be how HYDRA infiltrates SHIELD.  He’s a bit too blonde and blue eyed and it wouldn’t surprise me if there is some relation that we find out further down the pipe.

Eventually the Chief makes it to Nuremberg and interrogates the Colonel who informs him that while the Russians and Germans were there the Germans came later and had nothing to do with multitude of Russian dead.  It was something else that killed them.

Thompson meanwhile has taken a very different tack on the whole keeping things going and is very much taking charge with all of the other agents and is very strong minded with regards to what he wants them to do.   Sousa wants to go and fingerprint the phone that they received the tip off from and “persuades” Thompson that he should be allowed to do that.When he gets to the dock he finds two homeless people playing cards and after speaking to them for a little bit, realizes that one of them has some knowledge of what actually happened and takes him back to the station with him.

Carter meanwhile has been relegated to a secretarial role by Thompson and has been asked to get the lunch order for all of the “real agents” she uses this opportunity however to sneak into the lab where she is able to take photographs (using the camera pen) of all of the inventions which she then takes back to her room to show Stark. When the pictures are developed Stark informs her that there is one device that she needs steal back from the SSR as it is too dangerous to leave with them as they could inadvertently turn off all the lights in Manhattan and no one would be able to ever turn them back on again!

Interrogating the homeless man that Sousa brought back from the dock (and while there is a whole scene about the fact that he and the homeless man are actually the same even though they are dressed differently and have returned from war etc etc) he is unable to get any detailed information out of him and in reality it is Thompson in his normal douche bag way that basically bribes the man with food and alcohol to give up his secrets. It turns out the homeless man did see something – namely a well dressed man and a lady with dark hair at the docks just before the police showed up.

When Peggy breaks into SSR and steals the device, she opens it and discovers that it holds a vial of blood – not the machine that Stark told her about.  She immediately confronts Stark about the issue and blasts him for not being as honest with her as he should have been.  She asks him what the vial is and he admits that it is actually Captain America’s blood and that the government had 10 vials and he had one (he also alluded to the fact that the government has almost run out of their supply which leads us all question what have they been doing with it) and he wants to use his supply to find the secrets to a host of human ills.

I think you’re a man out for his own gain no matter who you’re charging. You are constantly finding holes to slither your way into in the hope of finding loose change, only to cry when you’re bitten by another snake. You’re a man who says “I love you” whilst looking over a woman’s shoulder into the mirror. Steve Rogers dedicated his mind, his body, his life to the SSR and to this country, not to your bank account. I made the same pledge, but I’m not as good as Steve was. I forgot my pledge running around for you like a corporate spy. So thank you, Howard, for reminding me who Steve was and what I aspire to be. For all I know, you did steal your inventions.

Now while all of this has been going on it turns out that the thugs that were initially trying to shake down Jarvis are employed by a Mr. Mink and he is very unhappy with their lack of performance and decides that they need to be punished with a mini-gatling gun … not before stating that he will take care of Stark though. He manages to track Stark and Peggy down to the boarding house and is about to break into her room but before he does so is confronted by Peggy’s new roommate Dottie (I was right!) who basically snaps his neck!  Bye, bye Mr. Mink – we won’t miss you!.

When Jarvis tries to apologize to Peggy on Stark’s behalf we get one last surprise for the episode … the always awesome Stan Lee in one of his trademark cameos.

Review

OK lets talk about the big bad villain of this episode … Mr. Mink …  he wasn’t really scary was he?  His little gun while somewhat cool was also a bit too silly and it wasn’t really possible to take it seriously. A Tommygun or something would have been much more effective.

It was quite funny to see Howard act just like his son and be a complete womanizer … I guess the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree.  We had a couple of big surprises this week, Steve Rogers blood & the government using it for something – Peggy’s response to this was excellent … you could see that she actually felt some pain and her giving Howard a punch to the fact was oddly very satisfying.  We also got to see another new twist in Dottie … is she a precursor to the Black Widow project as has been speculated or is there something /someone else at work here?

Peggy is always solid and is able to make us believe in the world that she is inhabiting, but of course the coolest thing aside from Dottie is Stan Lee.  He’s never going to win an Oscar but its always great to see him making his cameo’s!

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I'm a geek! I love all things SciFi and Fantasy and have done since I first read LOTR as a kid. Escapism to fantastic worlds filled with weird and wonderful creatures initially for me was via books and comics, but with the recent surge in popularity of this fare in film and television also - I'm in a state of bliss! As the editor of Zone Six, I've been lucky to meet some other awesome authors and writers that share this love and passion. The great Ray Bradbury said - "Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn't exist yet, but soon will .. it will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again."

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