Agent Carter 1.1: Now is Not the End & Agent Carter 1.2: Bridge and Tunnel

AGENT CARTER airs Tuesdays at 8pm on ABC

AGENT CARTER airs Tuesdays at 8pm on ABC

HEY WHAT’S UP Y’ALL. LONG TIME NO SEE. What better time to come out of my recapping hermitude than for the premiere of Agent Carter, aka SHIELD: Origins, aka HYDRA: The Prequel.

THE SHORT OF IT: yes, this show is awesome, definitely watch it. Fun, exciting, well-paced, well-written, worthy of Peggy Carter herself.

THE LONG OF IT begins, as always, under the jump!

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We begin with a flashback to Peggy Carter listening to Steve Rogers put his plane full of nuclear bomb down in the ocean. Her whistling teakettle draws her out of her window-staring, and she pours herself a cup and sits down at her table to read a newspaper (Sunday, April 21, 1946). Howard Stark’s (Dominic Cooper) picture is plastered over the front page, STARK FAILS TO CONVINCE THIRD DAY OF TESTIMONY EXPECTED CAPTAIN AMERICA ALLY YET TO EXPLAIN WEAPONS SALE printed above it. A brief flashback to Howard flying Peggy and Steve behind enemy lines establishes that he’s Flirty and The Best Civilian Pilot Peggy Has Ever Seen.

Caro Emerald’s peppy “That Man” plays over a montage of Peggy getting ready that includes flashbacks of her kicking about 40 asses from Captain America: The First Avenger and Marvel’s Agent Carter short. We see that she’s taken at least two bullets since 1945. Her apartment is cute as hell, as is her roommate Colleen (Ashley Hinshaw). Colleen tells Peggy not to pop the bed into the wall, since she’s exhausted from her shift at the factory. They let ten girls go to make ten spots for discharged GIs, and Colleen laments that she had to show a guy from Canarsie how to use a rivet gun.

“Ugh, I think I have tuberculosis.” she adds, as Peggy hands her a tissue.

Peggy thanks Colleen for letting her borrow a shirt since Colleen wasn’t there to tell her no. Colleen waves it off, says it looks better on Peggy anyway, and adds that it might be good for purposes of attracting a mate (a man to date).

“Don’t hold your breath. Especially with tuberculosis.” Peggy answers, shortly but with good humor. Colleen smiles adorably. Their whole relationship is adorable, honestly. I hope nothing terrible happens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“You know, there’s a difference between being an independent woman and a spinster.” Colleen tells her.

“Is it the shoes?” Peggy retorts. “Clock out, pull the curtains, and sleep. Peggy’s orders.”

Colleen’s already settling into bed, but she reminds Peggy that they’ve got a movie date Saturday night. Peggy says she’ll try, but that work keeps her busy. Colleen laughs. “Peg, you work at the phone company. It’s not life and death.”

Peggy finishes packing up her purse gun and smiles at Colleen. “Darling, you have no idea.”

AGENT TITLE CARD-TER

Peggy, in a VERY snazzy red fedora/blue and white suit combo—I mean, she’s basically Captain America while Cap is on ice, so it fits—walks through a sea of gray suits to her job at the New York Bell Company.

fedorable

fedorable

(I was totally delighted by that because my mom, who was the most Peggy Cartery woman I ever met, worked as a lineman for BellSouth when the Bell company was still a thing. I don’t know if it was a front for her real job at a secret spy agency, but if you had known my mom, you’d be like: probably.)

Peggy walks past all the ladies at the switchboard and waits for the one on the end, Rose, to let her into the super secret SSR office. Almost immediately, a red light starts glowing and klaxons kick up. Peggy’s boss, James Dooley (Shea Whigham), tells her that they need all hands on deck. “All hands” means “all hands that are not weak delicate lady-hands, which as we all know are only suited for folding laundry and tending babies,” and Dooley tells Peggy to (wo)man the phones. She calls Rose and has her forward all calls to the briefing room before breezing past an annoyed Dooley.

I’ve seen people—men, I’ve seen men—complaining about all the sexism Peggy faces at her job, citing it as a mark against the show. I would like to cordially invite these men to Kiss Me On My Buttock, because A) it’s not only accurate for the time period, but accurate FOR TODAY, B) many women can relate, B.5) many men cannot relate and that’s FINE, not everything has to be accessible to boys, and finally C) if you think that watching a woman having to fight to be taken seriously and still get disrespected at every turn is annoying, imagine having to actually live that. lol.

I work a garbage retail job where I WEAR A NAMETAG with my ACTUAL HUMAN NAME ON IT, but my name might as well be Honey or Sweetheart because I get called those more than anything else. And a refusal to identify women as human beings instead of a pet-named monolith is the most gentle of the sexism we face! Seeing Peggy constantly proving herself (not having to prove herself, actually proving herself, even if it’s not acknowledged by her colleagues) is a good identification point for the female audience. This isn’t a show that panders to the male audience, which I appreciate.

The gathered SSR agents watch a newsreel about Howard Stark, the main points being: he’s a genius weapons developer, he’s rich, and he’s a toootal sluuuuut. He’s also defending himself before congress on charges of selling weapons to American enemies. It’s all a callback to the Iron Man movies, even down to the saucy responses during the congressional hearing.

CONGRESSMAN: Did you knowingly sell military-grade technology to enemies of the United States?

HOWARD STARK: Not knowingly.

CONGRESSMAN: Did you do it unknowingly?

HOWARD STARK: By definition, that would be impossible to answer.

After the reel ends, Dooley explains that Stark’s been treating the congressional hearing like a joke, and has in fact skipped the latest one and disappeared. He puts Agent Jack Thompson (CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY? WHAT??) on lead for the investigation, and Thompson sketches out a plan that involves grounding Stark’s planes and freezing his bank accounts. “There’s a girl at First Federal who wants to owe me a favor.” he says smugly.

THE FUCK DOES THAT EVEN MEAN.

“Sir, I really must object–” Peggy begins.

Dooley cuts her off. “Why am I not surprised?”

Peggy says that she worked with Stark during the war, and that he’s a lot of things, but he’s not a traitor. Dooley says that even though she was Captain America’s liaison and that probably brought her into contact with lots of people, the war’s over. “Let the professionals decide who’s worth going after.” he finishes.

As the agents pack up to leave, one of them (Kyle Bornheimer) leans over to the one next to him and says “Sounds like Carter knew a lot of guys during the war.” You’re gonna know a lot of guys when you go to the hospital with your DICK stuck up your OWN BUTT.

“What’d you say, Krzeminski?” the second-cutest agent in the SSR, Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) snaps immediately.

“I wasn’t talking to you.” Krzeminski says, unfazed.

“You owe the lady an apology.”

“Oh, you standing up for her now, Sousa? You better hurry up. I don’t have all day. No? Oh? Okay.” Krzeminski leaves the briefing room with a nasty Man Laugh.

Sousa shoves his chair back and stands up with a crutch, angry but a little unsteady as he walks past where Peggy’s in the doorway. She tells him she wishes she hadn’t done that, but that she’s grateful. Sousa’s angry because she’s an agent but they treat her like a secretary, and she says that he’s not the only one angry about it.

Thompson walks back with a folder and asks her to file some surveillance reports, since she’s “so much better at that kind of thing”

“What kind of thing, Agent Thompson, the alphabet? I can teach you. Let’s start with words beginning with A.” Peggy answers, grabbing the folder.

Thompson laughs at her. “Thanks, kid. Adios. Auf wiedersehn. Aloha!” he says, waving and walking off.

“Poor guy.” Sousa says. “Heard he got his personality shot off at Iwo Jima.”

I know my affections are being toyed with and something terrible is going to happen to or about Sousa eventually, but I’m pretty charmed right now.

WHO WEARS A TIE THAT SHORT WITH PANTS THAT TALL. his tie is one inch long.

WHO WEARS A TIE THAT SHORT WITH PANTS THAT TALL. his tie is one inch long.

L & L AUTOMAT

Peggy reads a newspaper with a photo of Steve on the front. She’s approached by a waitress, Angie (Lyndsy Fonseca), who mentions that she “saw him once at a USO show in Passaic. You could eat him with a spoon.”

Peggy’s pretty down, which Angie picks up on. She asks what’s wrong (and calls her English). Peggy says that in the war, she had a sense of purpose and responsibility—now, at the phone company, she’s connecting the calls but never gets to make them. Angie sits down across from her and tells her that she had an audition that day, but didn’t get more than two bars into “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t.”

“We all gotta pay our dues, even if it takes awhile.” Angie says sweetly. “You got talent. It’s just a matter of time before Broadway calls.”

“I’m afraid I can’t carry a tune.” Peggy says.

“Doesn’t matter when you got legs like yours.” Angie assures her. Peggy smiles gently. Hayley Atwell has chemistry with the half-eaten prop food on the table in front of her, to say nothing of the adorable Lyndsy Fonseca, so while I’m ELATED that Peggy’s got female friends and that the show has already established that she likes being around and interacting with other women, I’m also like “NOW KISS.”

This beautiful moment is interrupted by another patron rudely complaining about a BLT and bitching directly at Angie.

PEGGY: Is he a regular?

ANGIE: Yeah. But a regular what, I’m not allowed to say on the clock.

Peggy gets up to get some pie when Angie leaves. Automats look so cool. I like cubbies with small doors and I like pie, so combining these just makes perfect sense. When she gets back to her table, there’s a note written on a napkin.

She looks around, but doesn’t spot who could have left it. Instead of enjoying her pie (pie that she ALREADY PAID FOR, which I know because I GOOGLED HOW DO AUTOMATS WORK) like a normal person, she goes out into the dark alley. She’s met by a well-dressed British guy (James D’Arcy), who tells her that she’s coming with him, and ominous headlights illuminate the alley. Peggy wastes no time and busts the guy twice in the face before running off. The doors in the alley are locked, so she turns and shoots the car’s tire flat. It drives into a pile of trash, and Howard Stark leans out of the driver’s-side door to ask if she missed him.

Motherfucker, send a telegram or something. Carrier pigeon. Whatever. Anything’s better than running her down in an alley.

INSIDE STARK’S CAR, DRIVING TO A DOCK

Howard explains that this whole “weapon-selling traitor” thing is a misunderstanding. While he was in Monaco, someone tunnelled into his room of “bad babies”–inventions that are too dangerous for even his friends to know about, but that he had ideas for and was thus compelled to build. They were stolen and started selling shortly after. He’s concerned that the SSR, in targeting him, is leaving the actual bad guy free to sell the weapons to anyone, like hypothetically “some nut that wants to be the next Red Skull.” He tells Peggy he knows they’re not “using her right,” and that he needs someone he trusts on the inside. There’s nobody he trusts more than Peggy. She reminds him that he is, in fact, trying to make her turn traitor to prove that he isn’t one, but he just puppy-dog eyes her for like fifteen minutes until she agrees to help him.

THE DOCK

Peggy follows Howard down to his small boat, which will take him to a larger boat. She asks where he’s going, and he tells her that some of his weapons have already sold overseas and he wants to go take care of them, but that a particularly gnarly one is about to be sold in New York—which is where Peggy comes in. It’s a formula for molecular nitramene. In the wrong hands, it’ll level city blocks.

Howard hops out of the CUTE-ASS BOAT to grab Peggy’s hand and tell her that the guy she pulverized in the alley is his butler, Edwin Jarvis, and he’s there to help her any way he can.

“I owe you one, pal.” Howard tells her, pulling her in for a hug, which she returns.

NOW KISS

NOW KISS

“There are only a dozen fences who can handle something this hot.” he says, getting back into the boat and tossing the rope onto the dock. “You just gotta learn which one. And I figured you’d never have any trouble finding a man.”

“The trick is finding the right one.” Peggy answers. Howard smiles at her and boats off to his larger boat.

Peggy chastises Jarvis for being a huge creep in the alley, and he says he’ll remember not to be such a creep next time if can find where the memory center of his brain went since she punched it out of his head. He gives her his number and says she can call him at any time before nine pm, which is when he and his wife go to bed.

“You’re new to espionage, aren’t you.” Peggy says kindly.

“Far from it. Last summer, I caught the cook pocketing the good spoons.” Jarvis answers, very proud of himself. He’s adorable. I want a Jarvis.

Jarvis opens the backseat door for Peggy and asks what’s going to happen now.

“Now? I go to work.” Peggy tells him, hopping into the front seat.

SILLY SEXIST RAPSCALLIONS HEADQUARTERS

Peggy notices a few photographs of Howard canoodling with a blonde in a boat on workaholic Sousa’s desk. To throw Sousa off the trail, she lies that Howard must have really liked that girl for him to get on a boat, since he’s afraid of water and can’t even swim. He asks how she knows that.

PEGGY: He tried to kiss me on V-E Day. I knocked him into the Thames. We had to get frogmen to fish him out.

IDK GUYS THAT PART DOESN’T FEEL LIKE A LIE.

Sousa is a little discouraged. I like that nobody at the SSR is incompetent, per se. They were one step behind Peggy at almost every turn–Peggy’s main advantage is that she’s underestimated but just as competent as all of these men are (probably moreso, but not outrageously/unrealistically, at least not at the general investigative work they do. The dangerous spy shit? Yes, very much ahead of everyone else’s game), but also:

1. she has information they’re not privy to,

2. doesn’t play by the rules AT ALL, and

3. is a reckless monster with no self-preservation skills when it comes to getting her job done.

There’s a reason she and Steve got on like a house on fire, and that’s because probably every house they ever went into together ended up on fire somehow, thanks to their mixture of Heroism and Boneheadedness.

At that moment, Dooley, Krzeminski, Other Agent (all of these SSR men look alike to me, sob. They might as well all be Chad Michael Murray.), and Thompson all congregate in the briefing room. Peggy asks WTF that’s all about, and Sousa tells her it’s a super secret briefing for super secret agents, and they are not invited. Peggy steals Sousa’s coffee cup and invites herself into the briefing room with a few more cups and a pitcher of coffee, having removed her jacket for a softer and flutterier silhouette while she spies on the spies. They’ve located a fence named Spider Raymond (Andre Royo), who owns a fancy club they’ll have to infiltrate. He’s too paranoid for more than a bare-bones team. “Only things he lets slide are blondes and money.” Thompson informs us and also Peggy. I can’t wait to see her disguise herself as a giant bag with a dollar sign on the side!

Dooley calls Peggy out on hovering, and she says that the real reason she’s there is to ask for a sick day.

DOOLEY: What’s the matter, you got a headache?

PEGGY: Amongst…other things. Ladies’ things.

GATHERED MEN: WHAT THE FUCK. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK. HOW COULD YOU. HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT AROUND US JESUS CHRIST GODDAMMIT. I MUST PUT OUT MY EYES AND PUT OUT MY EARS THAT HAVE BEEN BEFOULED WITH THIS KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR CURRENT WOMBLY BLOODS. TO THE MENSTRUATION HUT WITH YOU, UNCLEAN ONE.

GATHERED MEN: WHAT THE FUCK. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK. HOW COULD YOU. HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT AROUND US JESUS CHRIST GODDAMMIT. I MUST PUT OUT MY EYES AND PUT OUT MY EARS THAT HAVE BEEN BEFOULED WITH THIS KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR CURRENT WOMBLY BLOODS. TO THE MENSTRUATION HUT WITH YOU, UNCLEAN ONE.

Dooley, disgusted, tells her to “Take the day, go shopping, whatever makes you feel better.” Peggy, chipper, thanks him for his understanding and leaves.

THE MARTINIQUE

The Martinique is jumpin on like a Tuesday night. Spider Raymond is meeting in an upstairs room with Leet Brannis (JAMES FRAIN). Leet Brannis? 1337 Brannis? I know it’s a Marvel comics character, but that name can’t be real. Maybe it’s an anagram? I put it through an anagram generator and got a few gems:

BLASE INTERN
BREAST LINEN
LESBIAN TERN
BLASTER NINE

Brannis is completely silent as Raymond tries to make conversation. He assures Brannis that anything Brannis wants to liquidate, Raymond’s willing to pay for. Brannis leaves silently. Raymond mutters “Nice talking to you.” when he’s gone.

Brannis passes a blonde in a sparkly dress and Veronica Lake waves on his way out of the club, and SURPRISE IT’S PEGGY IN A WIG.

that's not a lighting or makeup or camera effect, hayley atwell just glimmers gently at all times

that’s not a lighting or makeup or camera effect, hayley atwell just glimmers gently at all times

Her usual look is so un”sexy” (in the sense that it’s not meant to appeal to a man) that seeing her dressed up like this is really jarring. Even the red dress in Captain America was nowhere near this level of cleavagey, sparkly glamour. She walks past a photographer and turns down an old man who asks her to dance—he gracefully takes no for an answer and leaves her alone, this series is crazy unrealistic—and charms her way into Spider Raymond’s office easily, reapplying her lipstick (Sweet Dreams 102) beforehand.

She wastes no time in telling him she knows he has the formula, and sits in his lap to seduce him out of his reluctance to talk to her. He tells her it’s not on him before grabbing her and kissing her. They’re briefly interrupted by a guy who immediately backs out of the office, leaving Peggy to drop the unconscious Raymond down into his chair with a grouchy “Well, that was a bit premature.” KNOCKOUT LIPSTICK, I LOVE IT.

Peggy opens Raymond’s combination dial safe with her watch face, and is immediately bathed in a golden glow. “Crikey O’Reilly,” she breathes, removing a glowing ball of something from the safe. PEGGY. MY DOVE. MY SUNSHINE. MY DEAREST OF HEARTS. Don’t touch the glowballs with your bare hands.

She calls Jarvis from the office phone, demanding his immediate help.

JARVIS: Jarvis residence.

PEGGY: They’ve weaponized it.

JARVIS: Ms. Carter?

PEGGY: Do you know anyone else handling high explosives at this time of night?

Jarvis tells her that he’s got to put a souffle in the oven for his wife, but Peggy’s like “FUCK YOUR SOUFFLE THERE’S A BOMB.” Jarvis puts her on hold with the phone in front of his radio, and she makes a hilarious face at his hold music.

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He comes back with instructions left by Howard: the bomb is glowing orange, which is Bad News because the nitramene has been activated, and cracking the shell on the device would create an implosion with a blast radius of 500 yards. Rendering it inert requires a mixture of sodium hydrogen carbonate (baking soda) and acetate. Peggy already has a plan. Jarvis’s wife comes home, and Jarvis tries to excuse himself from the conversation.

Peggy, annoyed, says “Mr. Jarvis, you do realize that this job will have certain after-hours requirements?”

“So does my wife, Ms. Carter. Goodnight.” Jarvis answers, and hangs up. Peggy makes another hilarious face.

Agents Chad, Michael, and Murray walk up into the club like “what up, you don’t really want to know about any of our cocks.” They’re stopped by the least effective bouncer in history, but get to mingle when they show their guns (but not their badges? Anything identifying them as law enforcement?). A creepy moustache in a greenish suit observes the bouncer telling another security guy about the agents’ presence. He’s credited as Green Suit, but I’m going to refer to him as a moustache, because that is what he is.

Peggy puts the bomb into her bag and heads for the door, but it opens before she can leave. A man walks in and notices Raymond taking a nap in his chair. Before he can get his gun out, Peggy grabs a stapler off the desk, swings it open, and slams it into his face three times to put him out of commission.

I LOVE PEGGY’S FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY. Peggy hits hard, fast, and first, never allows anyone to get the drop on her for long, and she has an economy of movement that we haven’t seen before in the MCU. Not even Steve Rogers fights this efficiently.

Don’t get me wrong, I love watching Scarlett Johansson backflip off of guys’ faces, but this is real Bourne-series shit. The hits land hard in every fight she has—you can almost hear the percussion of the concussions she deals out—and most importantly, Peggy gets hit too. I don’t like seeing women in pain as a rule, but I also can’t stand invincible heroes, and this nails the balance of showing her as human, but also showing her as an extremely capable and well-trained human. The fights in the show are exciting, but not flashy or unrealistic.

Peggy is so suddenly, explosively good at violence, which I absolutely wasn’t expecting. We got a little of it in Captain America (having the mouthy recruit step forward to unbalance himself before she punched him, all her shooting, etc.), but the sheer amount of combat they let her engage in here is a delightful surprise. Furthermore, it’s appropriate for Peggy stylistically and character-wise. She can’t afford to give an opponent the upper hand, so she does her best to make sure they don’t get any hand at all. She uses everything at her disposal to put these men down as quickly as possible. It’s brutal. I’m obsessed.

Peggy makes her way past the moustache on the stairs and weaves through the crowd, at one point dancing with the man who asked her earlier to avoid being spotted. Back up in Raymond’s office, he wakes up and sees that the nitramene is missing. Distraught, he doesn’t notice the moustache until the moustache is standing right there, and immediately tries to reason with him, since he was planning on buying the bomb. The moustache shoots him in the head.

WELL. That brings me to my first of only two problems with the show, and the MCU in general. This is only the pilot episode, but the only brown actor in it with a speaking role is killed. I checked on IMDB, and it doesn’t look like the almost all-white cast is a trend that’s gonna change. This is really unfortunate (especially because I know there were lots of brown people in NYC in the real-life forties. My mom’s family was there!). There’s cognitive dissonance for me because it’s based on a movie where the central premise was a shrimp got put in a box and turned into a great big hunk, but New York City is 99.99999% white? Come on. When you create a work of fiction, you’ve got to consider how you’re presenting the world that you’ve made. You should do better, Marvel.

My second problem is that IT’S A HUGE SAUSAGEFEST. There are so many dudes on this show, and Peggy’s great and Angie’s great but I need more.

These are the two observations that have gotten me the most argumentative commenters in other recaps, and to anyone thinking of debating me here, I repeat: Kiss Me On My Buttock.

ANYWAY. Peggy escapes into the Most Brightly Colored And Easily Followable Cab In New York, which the moustache notices, obviously.

PEGGY’S APARTMENT

Peggy is surprised to find Colleen at home, where she was sent due to a fever. Damn, these ladies have some understanding-ass bosses. I had a 103 fever and was coughing up bloody phlegm into my hands last year and was told I’d be considered absent if I went home two hours early. Peggy ditches her wig and turns on the stove to make Colleen some tea. Colleen is delighted by Peggy’s beautiful dress and the fact that she was out. “I’m really proud of you. I knew you were too great a catch to be alone for too long.” Colleen says. Sells Peggy she wants all the deets in the morning. Peggy smiles until she turns over to go back to sleep, then grabs baking soda, vinegar, and whiskey off of their Everything Shelf. Seriously, the lard is stored next to the borax and the rice krispies are stored behind the vinegar. I know your apartment is small, but you can organize the stuff on your shelf so you don’t accidentally drink Lighthouse Cleanser.

Peggy brings all the stuff into the bathroom, mixes the baking soda and vinegar and puts some into an empty perfume bottle. She carefully opens the bomb, but hits he core on the outside casing by mistake. She manages to spritz enough science fair volcano juice onto it to neutralize the nitramene, and sits back in the smoky bathroom, relieved. She goes to drink a shot of bourbon, but hears a crash from the room.

Colleen doesn’t answer when Peggy calls. Peggy ventures out, worried and on guard. She pulls the blanket away from Colleen’s face to reveal that she’s been shot in the forehead and is dead. Moustache creeps up behind her, which she spots in the mirror in time to kick backwards and snap his femur in half, turning to duck his shot and disarm him. He pins her to the wall long enough for her to yank his collar down and clock the y-shaped scar on his throat, and shoves him away from her. He tries to press her face onto the hot stove, but she manages to plant his hand down on it instead, making him scream a tiny weird baby scream.

This is the first fight where we really see how Not Fucking Around Peggy is, and how thoroughly Hayley Atwell sells this incredible choreography. It would be so easy to half-ass it, but she clearly worked hard to make this seem effortless and authentic, like a trained fighter would, and I fully believe her as a certified kicker of asses.

She eventually sends his ass bodily out the fucking window, but he’s not splattered on the ground when she goes to look. Overcome, she sits next to Colleen’s body and cries, little hiccupy sobs that go on for a long time. NO. I DON’T WANT TO WATCH HAYLEY ATWELL CRY. WHO DID THIS I WILL KILL THEM.

Farewell, Colleen. :(

L&L AUTOMAT

Peggy and Jarvis sit back to back in separate booths. Jarvis says he doesn’t want to be callous, but he needs to know if there’s any way Colleen’s death can be traced back to Peggy. There isn’t—Peggy wasn’t on the lease, and had only known her for a few months, since Colleen was the first one to extend a hand to her when the war ended. Oh no :(

Peggy’s really upset, wondering if agreeing to help Howard was worth it and feeling guilty because she just wanted to feel useful (and powerful) again, and it got an innocent person killed. Jarvis doesn’t offer her any platitudes, and tells her that they won’t know if it was worth it until it’s all over. This is tragic retrograde foreshadowing—after Cap 2, we know that very little of this was actually worth it, and everything gets worse and worse and Peggy will live long enough to see all her friends die and everything she worked for literally burned to the ground, but likely won’t even be cognizant of it.

God, everything is so sad. AT LEAST THAT HASN’T HAPPENED YET.

Peggy tells Jarvis they need to find out WTF is up with the nitramene bomb. Jarvis knows just who to talk to.

STARK INDUSTRIES TECHNOLOGY COMPLEX

Jarvis introduces his contact as Dr. Vanko, meaning he’s Mickey Rourke’s dad from Iron Man 2, meaning Howard Stark dicks him over at some point. Or something. I don’t remember much of that movie, because I don’t care about Iron Man. :( Vanko explains that the alloy included with the nitramene is made of [unintelligible] and carbon. Peggy wants to know what refinery would have made something like that, and conveniently, there’s only one left.

Vanko mentions that the nitramene (which is not volatile but IS still active, to Jarvis’s dismay) still emits low levels of vita radiation. “Vita Rays?” Peggy asks. Vanko confirms it, and starts to explain, but Peggy folds up her map of the Roxxon refinery and says “I know what they do.”

SSR HEADCORTS

Peggy opens up Steve’s file (stamped INACTIVE :[[[[) and pulls out the picture of him looking defiant and tiny. She flashes back to his crash again, and how they were gonna go dancing at the Stork Club. Lost in the memory, she doesn’t hear Sousa come in. Sousa awkwardly tries to back out of the room, but he hits a shelf with his crutch and startles them both.

“I can assure you I don’t do this often.” Peggy says.

“You know, after I got hit, I was in the field hospital, and the chaplain asked was there anybody I wanted to send my effects to? Should, you know, the worst happen.” Sousa tells her. “I told him I didn’t think my dad had much use for two pairs of green socks and an old paper bag. Let him remember my life, you know?” They smile sadly at each other. “’Course, I didn’t die, which was inconvenient, ’cause the chaplain had already trashed my footlocker. I’m still missing half my stuff. Can’t find my leg anywhere.” SOUSA WTF. What a delight.

Peggy laughs a little. Sousa goes to leave, and Peggy says softly “Daniel? You’re one of the lucky ones.” He doesn’t answer as he exits.

Peggy puts Steve’s file back and removes Dr. Erskine’s VitaRay gauge.

HOTEL

In a spooky darkened room, the moustache sets up a weird machine and typewriter to start gchatting with Mysterious Forces. It asks why the f he didn’t manage to get the nitramene, and with all the bitchiness contained in his weird moustache, he types AGENT CARTER, MARGARET and requests permission to murder her. Permission is obliquely granted.

ROXXON, ROXXOFF

Peggy and Jarvis sit in the car outside the refinery, scoping out the security situation, which is pretty beefed up for being a mostly disused location (“a mothballed facility,” according to Peggy).

PEGGY: Keep your eyes open.

JARVIS: But I’m coming with you.

PEGGY: (amused) Mister Jarvis, that cook with the spoons—was she a large woman? Violent?

JARVIS: Well, no, she was quite diminutive actually. But she had a vicious tongue and extremely long–

Peggy leaves in the middle of his sentence. “Fingernails.” Jarvis finishes quietly, and starts playing with the radio she gave him.

Peggy clears the electrified chain link fence in seconds, her presumably protective gloves and shoes kicking up sparks as she goes. She turns on the VitaRay reader and sneaks in quietly, smashing a patrolling guard into the wall after jerking the strap of his rifle up against his throat to keep him from yelling. HARDCORE.

Miles Van Ert (JAMES URBANIAK) (!!) pulls a nitramene glowball out of the glowball oven and neutralizes it I guess? Anyway, he holds it with really long tongs and absolutely no PPE, which is dangerous because it’s clearly fine to hold with your hands but you could easily drop it with tongs, and if it WASN’T fine to hold with your hands, then tongs are still not the way to go. I’d like an inquest into this man’s qualifications. Brannis is also there, putting on a milkman coat from Daisy Clover farms. I feel like this might be a reference to something, but Inside Daisy Clover is the only thing I can think of and that would make zero sense.

“I’m taking a pretty big risk doing this. The least you could do is smile.” Van Ert says.

i will do no such thing

i will do no such thing

Peggy watches them from behind a big thing, and outside, Jarvis sees a truck pull up. He tries to call Peggy over the radio, which is turned WAY WAY UP FOR SOME REASON, and Van Ert and Brannis are alerted to her presence. She hides a little more, and when Van Ert goes to find her, she’s standing above him in sunglasses and blinds the shit out of him with a bright light. Brannis, having stolen the glowball out of the glowball cooler-offer, makes a run for it. Peggy chases him to a milk truck and is forced to stop shooting at him when he opens the back doors and reveals a whole bunch of nitramene bombs.

Brannis reveals the y-shaped scar on his throat to Peggy, and reaches into his pocket. He has an electrolarynx, and uses it to tell Peggy that “Leviathan is coming,” and they’ll contact her soon enough. “You’re not gonna like the future, such as it is.” he warns, and hurls the nitramene in his hand onto the ground. “Thirty seconds, Agent.” he says, and gets into the milk truck.

Peggy calmly tells Jarvis to pull the car around as she darts out of the facility. Jarvis drives toward the gates, but security is waiting to shoot at him as he drives.

PEGGY: Meet me on the access road.
JARVIS: (Britishly) DO YOU KNOW I’M BEING SHOT AT?
PEGGY: NOW!

Jarvis blows through the gates and up to the facility, where Peggy yells at him to keep driving. She jumps onto the roof of the car as he drives by her, and pokes her head down to look through the windshield and yell at him some more. He asks frantically if she would like to maybe get into the car like a normal person, and she’s like “oh lmao right I forgot” before sliding into the passenger’s seat. The bomb goes off and the force of the implosion starts to pull the car backwards, but only manages to yank off the back bumper and license plate. Jarvis stops when the tornado of fire and debris dies down, leaving nothing of the refinery behind.

SSR

Thompson rudely interrupts Sousa’s meeting with Dooley about tracking down Howard Stark. He managed to talk to the guy Peggy face-stapled and stuck in a broom closet, who said that there was a blonde in the room with Raymond. “So we’re looking for an angry blonde.” Dooley mutters. “Anyone try my house?”

Thompson also has the camera from the photographer, who thinks he got a shot of the blonde. Dooley tells Thompson he’s thinking about kissing him. But Sousa’s right there so I don’t understand this choice??? Sousa’s been taking a call the entire time, which turns out to be re: Roxxon’s blowing up and disappearing in the night.

L&L AUTOMAT

Peggy praises Jarvis for doing a good job, and tells him his wife would be very proud of him. “She must never, ever know.” Jarvis says, solemnly terrified. I’d like to meet Mrs. Jarvis soon. Jarvis asks what Brannis said to Peggy.

“Leviathan.” Peggy tells him. He says he’ll check Howard’s files to see if it comes up, if the SSR hasn’t confiscated them all. As he gets up to leave, Peggy tells him to get some sleep. Jarvis says that he likely won’t be able to sleep for days, and stalks out of the automat looking like Mrs. Jarvis is about to be in sexy, sexy danger.

Peggy writes down the address on the bottle of Daisy Clover milk she’s holding, and looks up when she hears Angie’s dickweed customer yelling for her. Angie comes out, and he bitches about the eggs, saying he got fed better when he was a POW for three weeks. Angie takes the plate, and he tells her not to get smart with him anymore, because her “brains aren’t your best feature.” He slaps her on the ass as she walks away. Peggy gathers up her belongings and leans down next to him, jamming his fork into his side.

“Just so we’re clear, this is pressed into your brachial artery. It may be dull, but I’m determined. Keep smiling.” Peggy orders. The guy grunts and plasters a grimacey grin onto his face. “Once you start to bleed, you’ll lose consciousness in fifteen seconds, and you’ll die in ninety unless someone comes to your aid. Now, given your recent behavior, how likely do you think that is to happen? To prevent this not entirely unfortunate event from occurring, I suggest you find a new place to eat. Do we understand each other?” The guy nods, pained. “Oh, one more thing. Tip generously.” Peggy says, putting the fork down and walking out. Angie looks in through the kitchen and sees him making a horrible face and piling bills onto the table, and smiles confusedly.

Peggy puts on her sunglasses and walks down the street. Inside a car, Jarvis is talking on a car phone and giving Howard a martini recipe.

Suddenly, things get super ominous: “You’re quite right. Ms. Carter’s an excellent choice. I don’t think she’ll have any suspicions at all.”

PART DEUX

The second half of the two-hour premiere/episode 2 begins with an excerpt from The Captain America Adventure Hour, brought to you by Roxxon Motor Oil. The thrilling tale involves Captain America rescuing Betty Carver, a beautiful triage nurse, from Nazis. The Nazis are played by a ham. Like a literal ham that the sound effects guy slaps repeatedly to make punching noises.

L&L AUTOMAT

Peggy glares at the radio with its helpless Betty Boop-voiced version of her. She asks Angie to turn that shit off. Angie obliges, still mad that another actress beat her out for the part of Betty Carver. She does an adorable yet very terrible reading of one of Betty’s awful lines, and Peggy humors her dryly.

Angie notices that Peggy’s looking at apartment ads, and gives her a head’s-up on an apartment in her building that was recently vacated by a girl who spent all her time crying to her mother on the hall phone. Peggy says that’s sad, and Angie says “Yeah, maybe the first couple times.” She talks it up, finishing with “Plus, I’d be your neighbor, so that’s not nothin’!” and a bright, excited smile. GOD JUST MOVE IN TOGETHER.

Peggy says it’s a nice idea, but she’d hate for Angie to get tired of her.

“You don’t strike me as the crying on the hall phone type, English.” Angie assures her. Peggy notices Colleen’s obituary, remembers that everyone she likes dies, and tells Angie that she’s actually going to see another apartment right now that is very far away from Angie so Angie will never die ever.

“At this hour? You sure you’re reading the right kind of want ads?”

“Comes recommended through a friend!” Peggy says indignantly.

PENTHOUSE SUITE

The friend is Howard Stark and it’s his giant apartment, used mostly for “entertaining.” Jarvis gives Peggy a tour, during which Peggy jams a scone in her mouth and tries not to fall in love. All is for naught when Jarvis shows her the master bedroom. She flops down immediately on the bed. This is cute, and Hayley Atwell’s body language reinforces how young Peggy actually is—she’d be late-twenties at the most at this point, with a large chunk of her life given over to the war. I love that we get a series to get to know her and see how she develops as a person, because there’s a lot of interesting change and growth between her losing Steve and founding SHIELD, and founding SHIELD and leaving SHIELD.

But for now, she’s “got two foreign agents with no voiceboxes fighting over a milk truck full of experimental implosives.”

“Just another day at the office.” Jarvis says. He tells her he’ll take her to the Clover Dairy facility, but Peggy tells him he’s already almost died once, and she doesn’t want to put him in danger anymore. Peggy gets off the bed and opens up the wardrobe, finding an array of sexy costumes.

She grabs the doctor’s coat she finds with an excited “Oh! This could prove useful.” Jarvis makes a face, and she throws the coat at him. “Don’t be lewd.”

Jarvis goes to leave Peggy for the night, but tries to convince her again to take him with her. “I could be your second pair of eyes.” he says cutely, his foot jammed in the door like when your puppy wants to go to work with you and you have to gently smush his face in the front door until he gives up and goes back inside. Peggy argues, and eventually resorts to telling him he’s popped a button (Jarvis: “No!”) to distract him and close the door.

HOTEL

The moustache chats some more over the typewriter with his boss, and tells them that Brannis stole the bombs. His boss answers that Leviathan isn’t really into that answer, and the moustache is concerned. He’s ordered to track down Brannis.

SOME GUY’S APARTMENT

The moustache has stuck some guy’s hand to the table with a knife, and I showing him an adorable little business card (gold rose border!) with LEET BRANNIS typed on it. The guy has no idea who or what that is, so the moustache shows him another card with NITRAMENE. This gets some recognition—the guy wants nothing to do with it, and told Spider Raymond that a Gino DeLucia in Bensonhurst would buy it. The moustache pulls out his red notebook and finds that DeLucia’s address is already in it. He shoots the guy in the head and retrieves his knife, stepping over the body of a woman as he leaves.

DAISY CLOVER DAIRY FARM EXCEPT IT’S NOT A FARM IT’S A BOTTLING AND DELIVERY STATION BECAUSE THERE ARE NO COWS

Peggy’s whole plan is dressing up like a nerd and harassing milkmen. She demands to be shown all of the trucks for inspection. “Let’s hope I don’t find cheese where the milk’s supposed to be.” she huffs angrily, doing a lot of hilarious facial Acting. She walks around, gesticulating and kicking tires. Her inspection sheet just has NO READING written a few times, then her grocery list. She manages to sneak away and scan the trucks with he VitaRay reader, but finds nothing.

“One of your trucks is missing.” she tells the boss milkman, who answers desperately that there’s a Sheldon McFee who’s been out sick for a few days and uses his truck to commute. Peggy storms off, kicking a tire and telling him to put some air in it.

SSR WAREHOUSE

A flatbed truck pulls in with the balled-up remains of the Roxxon refinery. Yeesh. Dooley says they have to find the technology that did this, because it could give the atomic bomb a run for its money.

KRZEMINSKI: You think it’s magnets?

Thompson tells him that there’s a bunch of stuff in there that doesn’t carry a magnetic charge. Krzeminski’s like “Well EXCUUUUUUSE ME, Sir Isaac Newton.”

Thompson says “That’s gravity, you dumb ape.”

Dooley says he thinks Howard Stark did it, and takes Thompson over to the Roxxon main offices. He orders Krzeminski to start prying the ball apart with a crowbar.

SSR OFFICE

Peggy acquires an address for Sheldon McFee, and offers some advice on horse races to Sousa before asking him to cover for her while she checks on McFee. He agrees, but a tech drops off an envelope of photographs taken by the society photographer at the Martinique and Peggy can’t leave until she finds out if she’s in any of them. Krzeminski chooses this moment to come in and pass off his work to Sousa, who locks the pictures up in his desk and heads out.

Peggy, needing to go in like six directions at once, calls Jarvis from the office phone’s no-trace line and tells him to dump Stark’s car, since it’s likely full of vita radiation that can be traced back to the Roxxon facility, which the SSR is now investigating.

ROXXON MAIN OFFICES

The Roxxon CEO, RAY WISE!! (the character has a name but I don’t even want to look it up) offers Dooley and Thompson scotch. When Dooley mentions that it’s 10:45 in the morning, they each get an ice cube. Thompson tastes his, but puts his glass down under the strain of Dooley’s disapproval. Ray Wise answers their questions, detailing his history with Howard Stark (buddies, then Stark banged his wife), and says that he thinks it’s industrial sabotage because Stark tried to buy that particular refinery in January, but Ray Wise turned his offer down. He explains that Stark has been working on developing molecular nitramene, which, when weaponized, involves a concussive blast and then a vacuum. Exactly what happened to the facility.

Ray Wise goes on to explain that the nitramene supposedly has its roots in vita radiation, which Thompson identifies as VitaRays.

SSR OFFICE

Peggy eats lunch with her feet on her desk and subtly waits for a bunch of people to leave the office, so she can sneak over to Sousa’s desk like a thief in the night. She tries to pick his lock. Her desk phone starts ringing and she lets it ring out, but Sousa’s rings immediately afterward and startles her into smashing her head on the desk. “Bloody hell” she mutters, and sees Sousa coming back to his desk to answer the phone. She manages to get back to her desk after he sees that it’s empty, looking like she’s been chilling there the whole time, and takes the call that was meant for her. It’s Dooley, requesting that she bring the VitaRay gauge to the Roxxon office. She leaves Sousa to wonder if she’s an invisibility wizard of some kind.

ROXXON OFFICE

Once Peggy arrives, Ray Wise immediately says “Wow, I didn’t know our government had such good taste in secretaries. What’s your name, darling?”

“Agent.” Peggy snaps.

“That has a lovely ring to it.” Ray Wise answers. So will your ears when she knocks your head into a wall, pal.

Dooley asks if she’ll stay to check the women for radiation, since Thompson volunteered but was already told it’d be inappropriate if he did it. Peggy agrees, and immediately hightails it to the bathroom to make sure no radiation is lingering on her own self. Her watch sets the meter off, so she says “Sorry, Nana” and tosses it into the trashcan.

THE WANDING LINE

Peggy wands one lady and recognizes the next person in line as Van Ert, the man she blinded in the Roxxon facility. No radiation registers on him, but as he walks away, Peggy has the good idea to ask if the men change clothes at the office. Ray Wise says there’s a locker room for them, and Peggy explains that low-level radiation would wash off skin with a hot shower, but it would cling to clothing way better. Van Ert bolts immediately, and Thompson and Dooley give chase.

Peggy asks Ray Wise where Van Ert is headed (the lobby) and asks if there’s a stairwell. She jacks a guy’s briefcase on the way down, and takes Van Ert down by hitting him so hard in the legs with it that I think his kneecaps fly out of his body and roll down the hallway. Thompson cuffs him, and Peggy asks politely if there’s anything else she can help them with.

SSR SECRET TORTURE CHAMBER

Dooley lays a literal carrot and an actual stick down on the table between himself and Van Ert. What a fuckin’ drama queen. He tells Van Ert that he’s looking at the electric chair for industrial sabotage/treason charges, but that if Van Ert can give him a bigger fish, he’ll let him off the line. Van Ert doesn’t believe him, and says so. Dooley just smiles and says he wouldn’t lie; he’s law enforcement. He warns Van Ert that once he leaves the room, the deal is off the table—Van Ert, predictably, lets him leave the room. He takes his carrot with him.

Thompson’s up, and he strolls over to pick up the stick and sit on the table in front of Van Ert, who tells him he isn’t gonna talk. Thompson says he’s not there to make him talk. “I’m here to make you sing.” Thompson holds the stick up. “You’re gonna wanna bite down.”

Van Ert does, and Thompson starts whaling on him. “I’d hate to see what would’ve happened if you’d left the carrot.” Sousa says to Dooley from behind the two-way mirror. Probably a healthy snack, you pervert.

Dooley gives Peggy the night off, saying women are too fragile to witness punches of this magnitude. Peggy puts an obvious effort into not rolling her eyes, tells them to play nice, and heads out to do some real work.

STREET OUTSIDE THE L&L AUTOMAT

Peggy complains to herself that Jarvis is so slow, “a penguin could get here faster.” She tries to avoid talking to Angie, who is trying to get her attention with a new apartment ad. She finally manages to get Peggy to come inside, and reads the ad off to her. It sounds great, actually, plus CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST UPON REQUEST, and when Peggy reluctantly agrees that it would be perfect, Angie says “The only thing that could possibly make it better is if you lived next to me. Oops, you would!” she chirps, pointing at herself. “3C if you need a cup of sugar!” Oh my god. Angie, you adorable little muffin, you want the P (eggy) so bad. But who doesn’t, honestly.

Peggy, horrified at the thought of putting this precious weenie in any danger whatsoever, balks immediately. Angie, a little heartbroken, says she’s starting to think that Peggy doesn’t like her, and Peggy tells her that Peggy herself just wouldn’t be a good neighbor.

vlcsnap-2015-01-15-18h40m45s7
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This is a romcom misunderstanding of epic proportions.

Peggy is saved from further disappointing Angie by Jarvis’s untimely arrival. He gets out of the car to open her door, but Peggy yells “Too late!” as she jumps into the passenger’s seat. Jarvis is also a little heartbroken. Peggy is RUINING LIVES.

ON THE ROAD TO MCFEE’S HOUSE IN JERSEY

Jarvis is listening to the Captain America radio show, which in this installment is just elaborate product placement for Singer sewing machines. Betty Carver is cheerfully sewing up some soldier pants when Nazis kick the door down and tie her up. Peggy, disgusted, turns it off. Jarvis enjoys it, though “The real thing is considerably more impressive.”

“Are you trying to buzz me up, Mr. Jarvis?” Peggy asks cutely. Jarvis just says that he was glad she called him and is letting him help her.

“Well, you are faster than a train.” Peggy allows.

“How flattering.”

Peggy asks if he disposed of the old car, and Jarvis says he left it in Hoboken with the key in the ignition. He laments that it was a waste of a good car. Peggy says “Well, it was used in the commission of a crime. You don’t park that sort of thing in a garage.” HA. Tell that to all my cousins who still have cars and garages.

SSR OFFICE

Thompson has beaten Van Ert into unconsciousness, and also likely some expensive dental work, as the stick has been bitten in half. He got Brannis’s name, and Sousa is on the phone waiting for the name and address of the milk truck driver. Thompson says that the driver isn’t the brains of the operation, anyway.

Sousa says, “More like the Krzeminski of the operation.”

“Joke’s on you, pegleg. I don’t know how to drive a truck.” Krzeminski answers smugly.

Dooley’s mostly concerned about tying this whole thing to Howard, but there’s no evidence in that direction. Sousa gets the name and address, and the agents head out. Also heading out is the moustache, who is at

SOME FANCY BAR

and has attained McFee’s address as well. He leaves the bar full of dead guys (briefcase full of bloody money untouched on the table), wiping his knife on the way out.

MCFEE’S HOUSE

Peggy tells Jarvis to mosey on back to town, she’ll take it from here. Jarvis is put out because he thought she wanted more than just a cab service, but she tells him that she’s got her own ride out—the milk truck. She gets out of the car and goes over to the milk truck in the driveway, opening up the back to see the metric shitton of nitramene bombs glowing gently in there. She hears static from a radio and creeps into the house, where McFee is getting ready to listen to the Captain America radio show. Peggy tries to sneak up behind him, but steps on a creaky floorboard. It doesn’t matter, because before he can even get his shotgun up, she kicks it out of his hand and beats him like a rented mule. The sound effects of her destroying his body are augmented by ham slaps and lobster squishing on the radio. Peggy slams him through a coffee table just as Betty Carver says, breathlessly “Captain America, what would I ever do without you?”

“Why does this keep happening?” Peggy mutters.

vlcsnap-2015-01-15-18h42m20s185

She continues grumbling as she cuffs McFee’s unconscious ass to a chair, wondering why nobody ever has civilized interrogations anymore. Before she can continue her uncivilized interrogation, she hears the milk truck almost starting up, and runs out to point her gun at Brannis.

She gets him out of the car and jacked up against it. “Car trouble?” she asks, gun to his head.

“Nothing that can’t be fixed.” Jarvis answers, strolling around the back of the truck with part of the engine in his hand. Peggy is super mad that he stayed behind when she tried to make him leave.

“I thought you’d be more impressed.” Jarvis says.

“Well, I’m not. I told you, I don’t need your help.”

“An ideal butler provides service without being asked.”

“Ugh, put it back. I need to drive this thing out of here.”

Jarvis does as she says. Peggy puts the electrolarynx up to Brannis’s neck and asks about his employers, but he wants protection before he gives her anything useful. Jarvis pssts her and tells her to ask about Leviathan, and we learn that they’re not a who, but a what. Peggy tells Jarvis to go retrieve McFee, and he heads inside. Brannis confirms that he robbed Stark’s vault and betrayed Leviathan to sell the contents on his own, but that Leviathan only ever wanted one thing from Stark. He doesn’t tell Peggy what it is, insisting on protection.

Jarvis runs back out with the shotgun, but McFee has escaped. Peggy piles them all into the milk truck and they head back out on

A DARK ROAD

Peggy asks if Jarvis is comfortable in the back with the bombs.

JARVIS: Perfectly, thank you. These racks of explosives are distracting me perfectly from the smell of stale milk.

PEGGY: (chipper) Oh, good!You did say you wanted to help.

She orders the driving Brannis to take the Lincoln Tunnel back to Manhattan, and tells him to stop fidgeting: “Nothing’s going to happen.” YOU JINXED IT, SILLY.

Suddenly, the moustache jumps out of a tree and onto the roof of the truck, firing down into it with a gun.

ANOTHER DARK ROAD

Thompson wakes up the napping Dooley to point out McFee, running with the chair still tied to him. When they pull up next to him, he sits down in it, winded. They put him in the car and question him, but he just tells them that they wouldn’t believe what happened if he told them.

THE FIRST DARK ROAD

Peggy climbs out of her door to fire on the moustache, getting shot in the leg and losing her gun in the process. She yells for Jarvis to shoot upward, then swings up onto the roof of the car and kicks the moustache. Jarvis tries to make Brannis pull over, but he doesn’t, even under threat of shotgunning. He has to do double duty keeping the explosives from breaking and driving when the moustache shoots Brannis in the arm. Peggy fights the moustache on top of the speeding truck until one of the bombs falls and she hears it getting ready to go off. She yells for Jarvis to grab Brannis and jump clear of the truck, then punches the moustache into submission, pins him to the roof with his own knife through his hand, and says “This is where I get off.”

She yanks Jarvis and Brannis out of the truck and flings all three of them onto the road (echoing when Steve got Sam and Natasha out of the car in Cap 2). The truck goes into the lake off the edge of the road (without the moustache on top???) and explodes/implodes, causing a flash bright enough for Dooley and Thompson to see. Peggy limps over to Jarvis, who confirms that he’s okay—but Brannis broke his fall. Brannis is bleeding from the mouth on the ground, and can’t answer any of Peggy’s questions because his electrolarynx is broken. She begs him to help her stop Leviathan, and he draws a symbol in the dirt next to his head. It’s a heart with a wavy line through it. He can’t explain further due to him dying, so Peggy just erases the symbol and walks back to the car with Jarvis as sirens wail in the distance.

Later, the other SSR agents arrive at the empty crater that was formerly a lake. Krzeminski laments that he used to go skinny-dipping there as a kid, which Thompson is not interested in imagining. Dooley sees that the footprints belong to a woman, and the agents decide that these prints, McFee’s account of being attacked by a lady, and the blonde at the Martinique must all be the same woman. CORRECT. Dooley asks if the pictures were gone over yet, and calls for Sousa, who has found the hotel room key that the moustache dropped. OH NO, PEGGY’S NAME WAS MENTIONED IN HIS CHATLOGS!! I hope he got rid of the papers.

JARVIS’S HOUSE

Jarvis stitches up Peggy’s leg wound. “You’re quite good at that.” she says.

“Yes, Mr. Stark’s zippers are under considerable strain.” Is he telling us Howard’s got a big dick? Sweet haha.

“You’re very fortunate.” Jarvis tells her eventually.

“Missed the bone by three inches.” Peggy agrees.

“That’s not what I meant–”

“Then look me in the eye and say what you mean.”

Jarvis says that she’s fortunate he didn’t listen to her and was there to help. She’s defensive and sarcastic because she doesn’t like being wrong, but Jarvis just gently says he doesn’t know if she’s being arrogant or ignorant. Peggy says it’s probably both. She explains that she doesn’t want to put people in danger by letting them get close to her, so Jarvis asks if her solution is to just remove herself entirely from the world she’s trying to protect. He realizes he’s resting his hand on her shin, and jerks it away before continuing.

“There is not a man or woman, no matter how fit he or she may be, who is capable of carrying the entire world on their shoulders.” he says.

“Steve was.” Peggy answers, not looking at anything. She moves her head sharply, as if trying to shake her emotion off.

“From what Mr. Stark has told me, Captain Rogers relied heavily on you. For courage, strategy, and moral guidance.” Peggy, tearful and smiling awkwardly, still can’t look at Jarvis. “You were his support. Your desire to help others is noble. But I doubt you’ll find success unless you allow others to help you.”

Peggy is silent for a moment, then says “As you were.” Jarvis resumes stitching her up as she exhales heavily. Everything about this scene is perfect, from his supportive position below her in the frame to Peggy’s absolute fear of even the potential of more loss being explored and developed as a flaw she’ll work on, instead of a positive quality that shows how ~tough~ she is. I really like this show.

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ANGIE’S APARTMENT BUILDING

Angie and Peggy walk past a few other residents, who are—according to Angie—a legal secretary, a lounge singer, and a slut. Peggy’s nervous about the interview she has to do for the apartment, but Angie assures her that the interviewer, Miriam, is a pussycat. MIRIAM DOES NOT LOOK LIKE A PUSSYCAT. She allows that Peggy has great references, but questions Peggy’s limp (“Caught my heel on a cobblestone.”) and doesn’t like the fact that Peggy has been below 23rd street. THE HORROR. Angie makes a face through the window behind Miriam, and Peggy makes one back.

“How long do you see yourself working for the telephone company?”

“Only until I’m married, Ms. Frye.”

Miriam likes that. She explains the rules to Peggy: dress demurely, curfew is 10pm, no drinking, no men above the first floor. “Is that clear, Ms. Carter?”

“Perfectly.” Peggy says, smiling at Angie when she nods behind Miriam. I wouldn’t let any men above my first floor if I lived in a hotel full of hot ladies, either. HEYOOO.

LOOK AT THIS LADY READING A SPICY MAGAZINE RIGHT THERE IN THE LOBBY

LOOK AT THIS LADY READING A SPICY MAGAZINE RIGHT THERE IN THE LOBBY

SSR OFFICES

Thompson, Dooley, and Sousa are standing around Sousa’s desk, looking at photographs. Peggy approaches nervously when Dooley calls her over, but he just asks her to settle a debt. “Is this Joe DiMaggio?” he asks, pointing at a man in the photo.

Peggy, relieved, says “I don’t follow boxing.” Dooley laughs and leaves Thompson, who is apparently super gay for DiMaggio, to pay off Sousa on the bet that Peggy wouldn’t even know who DiMaggio was. Peggy is mildly offended that Sousa bet against her, but the fact that he doesn’t have a clear shot of her face at the Martinique makes her feel better. Sousa says he’s determined to find out who she is, and Peggy’s like “LOL, good luck.”

SSR WAREHOUSE

The radio show plays over Krzeminski’s exploration of the scrapball, drawing a direct narrative parallel between Peggy and Captain America (she basically is, at this point) and how something terrible is about to happen when Krzeminski finds the bent-up license plate off Stark’s car in the wreckage.

GODDAMMIT WHY DIDN’T YOU FRONT-MOUNT THAT SHIT.

Please like & share:
  • OMG: “You’re gonna know a lot of guys when you go to the hospital with your DICK stuck up your OWN BUTT” Ahahaha

    • sam

      laura i spend 95% of my waking hours thinking up graphic threats for hypothetical situations where i’ll need to threaten somebody. it’s SO EMBARRASSING.

  • Peggy Carter is one of the best characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I’m very glad she got a good show especially after the mess that is (/was – I haven’t seen any episode of the second season) Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D.

    Thing’s I loved:

    – The chemistry between between Peggy and Jarvis. He is the perfect butler and I agreed with you re: Ms Jarvis.
    – The awful radio play was hilarious during the farm fight. The play was horrible but the effects were decent.
    – I like that the sexist jerks were actually competent. They reached most of the conclusions that Peggy made and they would be ahead of her if she would not have inside information and stop sabotaging them.

    • Chris

      YES to the last. A competent antagonist is the best accessory for a hero/ine.

    • sam

      i ended up trying and sticking with agents of shield for the first season SOLELY because of the female characters and trip. i’m not caught up on s2 yet though. i’m mad that the female characters on AOS are so likeable >:( it’s like a pile of poop with diamonds in it. i’m gonna get the diamonds obviously but i’d rather not deal with the poop (coulson, ward, etc.), you know?

      YES i was thinking i was gonna hate jarvis, because i can’t stand characters whose main personality trait is British, but he’s fantastic. i want one.

      THE HAM!! THE CRUNCHING LOBSTER!! WHY WAS LOBSTER SO CHEAP BACK THEN??!

      Absolutely! It makes the tension and the stakes so much more real if she’s beset on all sides by actual threats, either to the world (leviathan) or to her personally.

  • KatyH

    I don’t know if you ever watched Fringe, but the typewriter set-up is very similar to something in that show.

    There are problems with the show yes, but Peggy Carter is the superhero we deserve.

  • Chris

    I adore everything this show chooses to be. :)

    My dad and I were cackling through the sick-day scene. And the radio show. Man, he was even willing to miss the first 6 min of the college football National Championship to finish the episode.

    THOSE BULLET HOLES LOOK LIKE ENTRANCE WOUNDS. WHO SHOT AGENT CARTER IN THE BACK?!

    • sam

      HOLY SHIT that’s like maximum dad interest levels!

      NOOOO I DIDN’T THINK OF THAT! I’M SO FURIOUS. WHO WOULD DO SUCH A THING.

  • sam

    I never did, but it’s on my list now that it’s over! Haha, the typewriter thing really got to me, creepswise.

    Exactly. I’m willing to give it time to improve, which is not a luxury I afford most shows, and that’s all down to Peggy/Hayley.