A Recap, by definition, WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS! Proceed at your own risk!
We are only two episodes away from the season, possibly series, finale of Agent Carter. While this series has offered a fun, entertaining, and highly watchable alternative to Marvel Studios’ other offerings, Agent Carter has remained relatively light-hearted with occasional moments of menace more akin to an Indiana Jones movie. However, Agent Carter has taken a slightly darker turn as we delved into Leviathan and their usage of the girls from the Red Room Academy. With the proper introduction of Bridget Regan’s Red Room assassin and pre-Black Widow Dottie we have gotten a villain that offers a real sense of danger to our hero, Peggy Carter. In last night’s episode “A Sin To Err” we saw Agent Carter and Dottie come to terms that they are both not who they appear to be, along with the S.S.R. hunting down Hayley Atwell!
Prior to tonight’s episode, we knew Leviathan was dangerous, but we didn’t truly understand just how insidious they are until last week’s episode. “A Sin To Err” opened with their recruitment of various individuals and how they “relieve” one fellow when he responds that all he wishes is to join his family. By “relieve” I mean kill and that’s exactly what they do. A woman (possibly from the Red Room Academy) stabs the man in the throat and the recruitment agent then reveals that they are going to kill his family. It’s important that Agent Carter has taken this route with Leviathan because so far we haven’t had a real threat on the series other than Stark tech being stolen. While Hydra’s presence has been felt throughout The First Avenger and The Winter Soldier, they were also physically present in the forms of Arnim Zola, Red Skull, and Alexander Pierce (not to mention Garry Shandling’s senator from Iron Man 2). Bridget Regan has been an excellent addition to the cast and completely terrifying as a trained killer/brainwashed agent on Agent Carter. She transitions perfectly from the naïve, next door neighbor to a stone cold Red Room Academy member. Regan has also perfectly nailed a performance that is interesting, nuanced, and somewhat Terminator-esque, especially when it comes to her head tilts and stares. It’s all very unsettling, but a perfect foil to Hayley Atwell’s immensely likable, heroic, and real Peggy.
Last night was also another small but important step for Peggy as she is tolerated more as an actual agent as opposed to someone seen more of a nuisance and just good for getting lunch orders. Early on, while Chief Dooley and Agent Thompson question Dr. Ivchenko, Dooley tells Peggy to chase her hunch of finding a connection between the girls they found at the academy and with the stolen Stark tech. It’s a surprising and extremely satisfying moment that not only throws Peggy off guard, but surprises the audience as well. While Peggy and Jarvis head out to interview and meet with a list of women Howard Stark was previously associated with to find a connection, she finds a vacated room with scratches on the bed post. The scratches reflect the same handcuffs to the bed that Agent Carter and The Howling Commandos found last week and suggests that the woman they are looking for is nearby. Little does she know it’s Dottie and she lives next door to her at The Griffith.
Interestingly as Peggy and Jarvis conduct their own investigation, Agent Sousa continues to place all the puzzle pieces together. After he speaks with a man they apprehended a few episodes back and offers him a reduced sentence if he properly identifies the woman they have from the picture in Spider Raymond’s club, he instantly recognizes Peggy. It’s right after this development that the tone of “A Sin To Err” then shifts to more of a Mission: Impossible-esque feel as Peggy almost successfully manages to evade the S.S.R. agents as they attempt to arrest her. Perhaps the most exciting and well-choreographed scene of the entire series happens within the Automat when Thompson confronts her and she knocks him out. This begins an intense and almost balletic fight scene that reminds us of the very clear-cut directing/ good guys are good guys/ bad guys are bad guys that Spielberg delivers so well with his adventure films. Hayley Atwell is excellent when it comes to her fights scenes and stunts and brings to mind the energy Jennifer Garner brought to ALIAS as Sydney Bristow.
Agent Carter gets five out of five stars. You could catch Hayley Atwell on Tuesday nights on ABC at 9 pm ET. Check your local listings.