That’s what I’m talking about Marvel! You finally brought it on this one. I’ll spare you the backhanded compliments. But this episode had it all!
To set the scene – The S.S.R. has Agent Peggy Carter in captivity for betraying them and she needs to get them on her side before Leviathan gets away. What she’s yet to understand is why they’re in town and what they’re up to – although she should have an idea.
All of the back and forth in the interrogation room, lies, and confessions lead to some very eye-opening moments for the characters in such a way that you’ll feel the relief they experience when they find out what’s really going on, and the grief when they realize how serious their situation really is.
If I had to sum up my thoughts on why this episode was so great in two words, I’d say “Shea Whigham.”
Whoever is responsible (writers, directors, producers, etc.), thank you for letting Shea do his thing with Roger Dooley. Depth of character (for all the characters) always felt a bit lacking all season, but getting to know Dooley the way we did was both heartfelt and engaging. I don’t care if anyone says it felt forced, it was worth it! I’ve enjoyed watching Shea on Boardwalk Empire and seeing him pop up in movies for the past few years now and we will enjoy him for years to come.
So what was great about the rest of the episode?
Obstacles – Everyone had an impossible hill to climb. The S.S.R. had the task of getting answers out of Peggy. As willing as she was to get them on board with what she knew, they only wanted to hear what they wanted to hear, giving her the opportunity to call them out on their ignorance toward her – WOMAN POWER! When Peggy discovers that Leviathan has infiltrated the S.S.R., things get crazy in a great way pretty fast.
Subtext – Thanks to the past 6 episodes, plenty of drama bubbled to the surface in this episode. You can feel the meaning behind every line – which I found a refreshing addition to the series. Peggy’s desperation, Dooley’s obsession, Sousa’s feelings of betrayal, and even Jack’s jealousy (does he have a thing for Peggy?)
High Stakes/Tension/Drama – The whole episode is a race against the clock, but with Peggy trapped or locked up the entire time, you wonder how she will ever save the day. Through the back-story and secret reveals, you can’t help be sucked into the thoughts and emotions as time runs out. Once Peggy figures out exactly how much time they have, she pulls out all the stops to get the S.S.R. on her side. But is that enough?
Character Development – If someone you knew called you out for your shortcomings, you can’t help but either give them credit for being so right, or you call them out for being so wrong (you know yourself that they’re right even if you deny it). In either case, you’ll likely get mad, but that’s the range of emotions Peggy put everyone through. And when you’re locked in a cage, the last thing you want to do is upset your captures, but she does that too. And still, you get the feeling that she learned all these tricks in spy school – proving how good she is. I have to give props again to Dooley’s character for the range of emotions he went through on this episode. Maybe they had to keep him subdued this whole season so his performance this episode would feel stronger. Whatever the reason, Dooley earned a lot of respect as a character this episode.
New Action – Action is always best when it’s something you haven’t seen before. Dottie’s descent down the stairwell was incredible, both realistic and impressive. If I see anyone do something like that again, I’ll know where I saw it first (unless another show or movie I haven’t seen has already pulled off this stunt – which is possible).
I’ll end this recap on a positive note, but I found it unfortunate to see Leviathan’s plan in motion so recently after I saw the movie KINGSMEN. For whatever reason Hollywood comes out with similar movies with similar plot elements at the same time, I’m thinking the same situation came into play here. I won’t go into more detail than that…
So there is one episode left before Season 1 of Agent Carter ends and we’re back to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. With episode 7 delivering in such grand fashion, I can’t help but keep my expectations high for the season finale.