Agent Carter 1×04 “The Blitzkrieg Button” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

We’re halfway done with the first of hopefully many seasons and Agent Carter continues to prove that it’s the best thing Marvel’s done on a small screen.

Episode Summary: Howard Stark returns in order to ask Peggy to retrieve one of his found devices. Dooley takes a trip to Germany in order to speak to an assassin on death row about the massacres that had occurred. Thompson’s left in charge and it’s the worst decision in the world. Sousa finds a witness and learns that a brunette female is involved in the case. Dottie Underwood is most certainly not just the girl next door. And when Peggy learns the truth about what’s inside the Blitzkrieg Button she’s reminded of the promises she’d made to become someone she hasn’t been in a while.

Review | Analysis: There is no show on this planet that simultaneously makes me angry and happy. And there is no character on television I loathe more than Jack Thompson. That said, what the rest of the show’s done with this week’s episode was wonderful. Cooper and Atwell are the perfect partners for one another when playing such distinctive characters. And when it comes down to the kind of emotional scene they ended with, the two actors were most excellent.

For starters, I really want to get into the way the series showcases Thompson and Sousa in the light that it does. If writers are trying to win some kind of a most disgusting “protagonist” character then they’re nailing it with Thompson. It’s to a point where every time his face shows up on my screen, eye rolling intensifies. In the words of the best boss ever, “I hate looking at your face, I want to smash it” also “why are you the way that you are? I hate so much of the person you choose to be.” And on the other hand, we have Daniel Sousa who genuinely wants to do good while remaining noble. Continuously having Thompson target him (I’ll get to Peggy in a bit) makes me wonder if it’s got anything to do with maybe Daniel being Peggy’s mysterious husband in the future. While he’s pretty much a massive a&$hole to everyone, singling Daniel out the way that he does is atrocious. Once you target a person based on race, sexual orientation, mental state, or physical status, then you’re pretty much ranked as a lowlife terrible human in my book. All those aside, the fact that Peggy and Daniel are the male and female targets of the series and yet the strongest in multiple ways only intensifies my need to have the two of them team up eventually. Daniel should be a part of their team and I’m hoping that’s what’ll happen once he realizes Peggy’s the girl in the photographs.

Thompson’s sexist character gets tiring very quickly and as the series progresses, he shows off that nastiness more and more. Stating that it’s some kind of a universal law that women will always be ranked lower than men was nothing short of disgusting. Without getting a profound discussion on feminism because I won’t stop, Thompson couldn’t be more wrong and I cannot wait for Peggy Carter to effortlessly prove that to him. Some men will always be arrogant bastards like Thompson is, but he was so out of line this week that he needs to be put in his place. What should be a universal law of some sort is that everyone should treat each other the way Steve Rogers would treat them. And the fact that he’d be nowhere near as successful if Peggy weren’t by his side goes to validate the importance of her role as an agent and a woman. Peggy Carter excels are her job, there aren’t many people in the world of Marvel as iconic and as the series moves forward I can already see her changing lives.

And since we’re on the topic of Steve, the way Carter’s heartbreak is written continues to floor me. I’m a sucker for love stories and especially the kind that involves strong, independent women. And at the end of the day, it’s insanely frustrating when women who are in love are perceived as though they’re weak. It takes more courage to love than it does to close your heart to the world. The love story between Peggy and Steve was always beautiful and even now when he’s gone, it’s remarkable to see how much he inspires her. It’s beautiful because it was a healthy closeness and there’s simply not enough praise for those kinds of relationships.

That’s why the scene where she confronts Howard is so powerful. While they’re both so completely different and operate in prodigiously different ways, at the end of the day, they do care deeply for Steve Rogers and each other. It was entirely wrong of Howard to point fingers on Peggy’s emotions after he chose not to tell her, but in a sense it’s slightly understandable. Anyone would be grieving in her position. Anyone would be in pain and angry over what’s occurred. However, the call wasn’t his to make and that’s essentially where the whole issue lies. Howard’s choice to lie is the first, and making a call on Peggy’s emotions is the second. There’s no denying that Howard Stark is flawed – but he’s respectable because he knows it. Although he lies, he knows he isn’t doing a great thing. He knows he can be vile and selfish, but he’s tolerable, because at the end of the day, like Tony Stark, his heart’s in the right place.

Their confrontation however was so strong, and as stated in the beginning of the review, Atwell and Cooper were genius during the scene. They both responded to each other’s emotions with such raw expressiveness. Filled with frustration, genuine remorse, and perplexities, the scene was all about the future and I can already see how Stark’s exceptional growth as Peggy will undoubtedly (and well, hopefully) inspire him to make better choices. All in all, it was astounding to watch Peggy fight the kind of fight goodness has inspired her too. It was stunning to watch Atwell manifest the right amount of poignancy to showcase the whirlwind of emotions taking over Peggy at the news. And because it was raw and composed it didn’t take away from the message she wanted to make sure Howard heard loud and clearly.

The ghost typewriter is extremely cool and extremely creepy and while there’s a part of me that hopes it scares Thompson and all the misogynistic men away, I’m excited to find out what Leviathan has in store with it.

The episode lacked a bit more of Jarvis, but seeing how Stark was involved it made sense for him to step aside temporarily as the male lead. As entertaining as it was to watch them drive around, the best part of his character came at the very end when he stood up to Howard – reminding him that he’s wrong and he cannot always clean up his messes for him. If that’s not a commendable move on his part, then I’m not sure what is. It’s so good to finally know the secret the two of them have been hiding from her because now that the biggest thing’s out in the open, it’ll be easier to be open with one another.

Dottie Underwood’s mysterious character finally shows her impeccably rad true colors as she pulls a black widow on Mr. Mink killing him on the spot. I cannot wait for the show to explore her origin and let it’s viewers in on the the black widow project although the words won’t be said as boldly. What’s more epic than adding another badass woman to a series of fantastically established females? Not many things.

There are numerous wishes I have that I’d like to see become a reality on this show and one of them is for us to watch Peggy reach a point where she’s completely respected by her colleagues. And I’m so excited for the Howling Commando reunite next week so hopefully, they show the idiots (minus Daniel) at SSR how it’s done.

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