Tonight’s episode of Agent Carter felt a little bland at first, but then it really picked up with a “bang”, if you know what I mean. (spoilers and more lame puns ahead!)
The show picks up after last week’s cliffhanger where Carter’s life as a double-agent has finally been exposed. Now under the interrogation of the SSR, she has to find a way to clear her name while also watching out for Howard Stark (no matter how sketchy his dealings may be). Fortunately, Jarvis comes to the rescue, having forged Stark’s signature on a confession in order to free Carter. While she is eventually freed from custody, she is also fired from the SSR and stripped of her agent status.
This is when the episode kicks it into high gear. Doctor Ivchenko has another Morse Code conversation with Dottie, only this time, Carter and Jarvis spot what’s going on and secretly decipher the code. That’s when they discover that Leviathan is going to strike the SSR in a few minutes. The question is: how?
The other agents of the SSR have slowly been fleshed out throughout this season. They were first displayed as semi-competent, sexist douches who were mainly in the picture to give Carter a hard time. Slowly but surly, the audience learned more about each of them. In tonight’s episode, it was Chief Dooley’s turn to shine. We get a glimpse of his home life and his tumultuous relationship with his family, but his backstory is cut short thanks to Doctor Ivchenko.
Ivchenko hypnotizes Dooley and gets him to lock Carter and Jarvis in a room while they venture into the SSR laboratory to find a special item. The enigmatic “item 17”, which is identified as one of Stark’s more dangerous inventions (of course), is stolen by Ivchenko. The good doctor makes his escape, but not before commanding Dooley to take a strange vest with him back to his office.
Dooley never caught my eye as a particularly interesting character; I was too busy marveling at Chad Michael Murray‘s portrayal of a misunderstood prick. But Shea Whigham, who portrays Dooley, really steps it up this episode. During his hypnosis, he hallucinates about spending time with his family and patching things up with his wife. It’s left rather ambiguous as to what’s going on with his personal life, but that’s the way I like it. I like when they don’t give too much away. Gives us a taste but not the whole pie.
Dooley wakes up in his office to find the strange vest strapped to his body and emitting orange glows. According to Jarvis, the vest was the prototype for a new type of armor that was resistant against the harsh elements and meant to keep the wearer warm. However, the prototype had an unstable core that could detonate at any moment. The SSR’s top scientists can’t remove the vest safely. In a selfless act of courage, Dooley gives his last words and dives out the office windows, exploding outside the building and saving countless lives. This sequence was possibly the most shocking moment of the season and definitely a jaw-dropper.
Ivchenko and Dottie congregate and make their exit with item 17. Before they leave the city, they want to test it to see if it works. What better way to test it than to set it off in a movie theater? Item 17 is apparently a type of nerve gas that turns those who inhale it into aggressive savages with an insane passion for killing. No, really; everybody in the theater kills each other. The last shot of the episode is a theater of corpses. Do you get that? This sh*t is no joke.
That’s all we know about item 17. My best guess is that it might be variation of the botched Super Soldier Serum that turned Bruce Banner into the Hulk. The possibilities are endless and we can only speculate.
James D’Arcy won me over with this episode. For once, he wasn’t just a bumbling sidekick to Agent Carter. He was an independent persona with his own development and agenda. The more I watch, the more convinced I am that he becomes Carter’s husband. We haven’t heard much about Mrs. Jarvis. What’s her deal? Is she not the right fit? Is Jarvis looking for love in all the wrong places?
This episode was short and to the point. Though the beginning was a little slow, it ended up pretty entertaining and kept me on the edge of my seat. I predict that next week’s finale will be nothing short of extraordinary.
EDIT: Upon further research, I’ve realized that Doctor Ivchenko is Doctor Faustus, who should play a huge role in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War (if they stick close to the comics). This is proven during a flashback scene at the beginning of the episode where he is referred to by the name “Dr. Fennhoff”.
Final Grade: B +
+ D’Arcy and Whigham gave great performances tonight.
+ The concept of item 17 was fresh and interesting.
+ The scene with the exploding vest was awesomely shot and shook things up in an exciting way.
– The beginning of the episode felt like it dragged on.
– There are a lot of questions that still need to be answered and I’m worried that this will make the finale seem slightly crammed.
– James D’Arcy revealed how the last episode of Agent Carter will have a ton of Marvel Easter Eggs. I’m guessing that item 17 will be the biggest link to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but what else could they reveal?
What do you think Item 17 is? What’s going on with Jarvis and Carter? Let us know in the comment section or send us your thoughts on Twitter!