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REVIEW: Agent Carter 1×05 “The Iron Ceiling”

I’m very happy that Agent Carter went back in the right direction this week with its latest episode, “The Iron Ceiling.” However, I can’t say that it was a spectacular hour. There were definitely more entertaining moments than dull ones, but overall, I’m starting to feel like the show has run its course. Fortunately, it is ending soon and we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (spoilers ahead!)

I knew that this episode would be intriguing when I heard that it would delve into both the Black Widows and the Howling Commandos. It’s almost like this episode was a tribute to people who are a little shaky on their Marvel knowledge and who have recently become fascinated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s like a supplemental piece to Captain America: The First Avenger. But let’s get into the details…

“The Iron Ceiling” explored the Black Widows, which is apparently a special Russian operation that trained young girls and turned them into assassins. This is obviously a reference to the backstory of Natasha Romanoff from Avengers Assemble, and I’m wondering if we might hear more about her history on the show. In fact, since we know that Carter’s neighbor Dottie is one of the Black Widows, it’d be interesting if they made her out to be Natasha’s mother.



Speaking of the connections to Captain America: The First Avenger, tonight’s episode included Dum Dum Dugan and the Howling Commandos! It’s funny because Neal McDonough indicated how he wanted both his crew and the show to be more intertwined with the core Marvel Cinematic Universe. Honestly, I like what we have going on right now. The Commandos are awesome, but we need them in small doses. They kicked ass in the original film, and they kicked ass in this week’s episode. Let’s keep it to those mediums.

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I mentioned in an earlier review how Chad Michael Murray‘s character was a misogynistic scumbag (albeit well-played by Murray). “The Iron Ceiling” gave a little more depth to the character and what he’s all about. Deep beneath that arrogant facade and lame combover, we see a troubled man who has seen the horrors of war up close. He’s a living, breathing human being with feelings and regrets. The only person who he trusts with the horrifying aspects of his past are Carter. What if HE becomes Carter’s husband?!


Other major talking points about the episode include Agent Sousa closing in on Carter’s secret after he notices a weird yet familiar mark on her shoulder. According to the previews for next week’s episode, it looks like the SSR finally catches up to Carter’s secret ordeals and starts to move in.

I wanted to express my annoyance with one particular scene in “The Iron Ceiling”. Later in the episode, the Howling Commandos are facing off against some hostile Russians who are holding one of the Americans hostage. The Russians speak in Russian, but Carter responds in English. Then, one of the Russians’ speaks English to his buddy, and the guy responds back in Russian! What the hell? So the Russians understand English but only speak Russian to the Americans? Or they speak both Russian and English but flip between whatever sounds more threatening in a hostage situation? Sorry if that’s confusing, but it really bugged me.

Overall, it was a great episode. It still wasn’t as good as the premiere, but it was a huge step up from last week. I really hope the show closes off strong by the end of this month.

Final Grade: B

Hayley Atwell and Chad Michael Murray kill it again with their performances.

+ It was a great throwback to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the exploration of the Black Widows and the return of the Howling Commandos.

+ I like seeing how the show has tried to establish its own identity by not relying too much on the MCU in order to succeed.


– The Russian/English language exchange bugged me.

– The show still has dull moments here and there that really slow down the story-telling.

– The beginning of the episode showed the Black Widows practicing their fighting and the choreography was a little wonky (though I’m willing to forgive it for a variety of reasons).


Did you like tonight’s episode of Agent Carter? Tell us in the comments of let us know on Twitter!

About the author

Alex Reale

From a young age, Alex knew he was destined to be a writer. He also harbored a deep infatuation with superheroes and comics. Luckily, he was able to combine these two passions through his role with A Place to Hang Your Cape, where he works as Junior Sidekick and Social Media Hero.

When he’s not writing for AP2HYC or working full-time as a content manager for a small business website, Alex is diligently at work on other creative projects including a fantasy novel collection and an independent comic series.

You can find Alex's first book, Dodger's Doorway, on Amazon!