If this week’s episode of Agent Carter had ended just two minutes earlier, I would have declared it an almost-perfect episode of television. As it stands, it remains my favorite of the season (and possibly the series) so far, because it played to every single one of Agent Carter‘s many strengths, while moving past most of the issues that have held this season back.
To begin with, this is one of the most self-contained episodes of Agent Carter we’ve seen so far. Sure, everything is still in service of the season-long narrative, but the episode has actual events happening with a beginning, middle, and end. Realizing that Whitney Frost will need to recreate the exact events that led to the creation of Zero Matter in order to increase her power, both Frost and Peggy infiltrate a Roxxon facility to steal the atomic bomb that is being stored there. There’s a reason the heist formula is used so often in television and movies, and that’s because it’s a reliably fun way to showcase strong characters in an action-packed environment. Considering characters and action are the two things Agent Carter does best, it’s no surprise that the show excels in this format.
Rose (Lesley Boone) and Dr. Samberly (a return of the always funny Matt Braunger) join Peggy, Sousa, and Jarvis to make a team that leans much heavier on the comedic aspects of the show than previous episodes. Certain scenes in this episode dive straight into slap-stick territory, which is absolutely fine by me. This show has always worked best when it decides to be more of a comedy, and this episode is proof of that.
The heist ends in a mixed success for Peggy and the team, as they manage to keep the atomic bomb out of Whitney Frost’s hands, but Peggy is impaled by rebar after falling from a ledge. In my mind, the episode should have ended here. A fun episode with a dark and uncertain ending would have been a perfect way to entice audiences before the special two-hour episode next week. Unfortunately, the episode continues and Peggy receives medical attention from Sousa’s new fiancee Violet. I don’t have anything against Violet, but of course she can magically tell that Sousa is “in love” with Peggy and is the reason he moved to Los Angeles.
Oh, love triangles. How I detest you. It drives me crazy that this show includes one of the best platonic male-female partnerships on all of television with Peggy and Jarvis, but still feels the need to engage in forced romantic drama like this. Who is this for? I can’t imagine a fan of this show thinking, “I like this show, but do you know what it needs? A bullshit love triangle!”
Everything else about this episode worked incredibly well, but the final few minutes left a bitter taste in my mouth that stains an otherwise perfect episode.
4 pieces of pie out of 5. “That pie was you? Your pie was in me? I like pie. Pie’s good”
Calvin is slimy and corrupt, but seeing him get manipulated by Whitney in this episode almost makes me feel bad for him
The memory-eraser device gag in Hugh Jones’s office was pretty clever, and reminded me of Men In Black. “How many times have you flashy-thinged that poor woman?”
After seeing him play nothing but comedic roles for most of his career, I was worried about Ken Marino playing an intimidating mob boss, but Manfredi was convincingly scary and unhinged this episode. I can’t wait to see more of him.
Best moment of the episode: the slow-mo walking shot of the team (complete with Samberly tripping, Jarvis forgetting where he parked the car, and the best possible song choice)
This episode featured a team of misfits working together in a superhero universe, with a mostly comedic tone. All of my doubts about Damage Control have pretty much disappeared.
Peggy’s impalement tonight made me realize something important about what we know about her character’s fate. While we know for certain that she survives whatever challenges she faces during this show, we don’t know for sure that she’s never harmed. Unless you count the One-Shot (which has already been basically written out of canon), we’ve never seen Peggy walking in any of her future appearances. She’s sitting down in her 1953 interview seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and in her deathbed later that same movie, and she’s sitting down at a table in Ant-Man. It’s totally possible–albeit unlikely–that Peggy could lose her ability to walk or be otherwise injured before the series is over.