Snafu: Marvel's Agent Carter S1E7 – Review

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I think this is the episode I’ve been waiting for.  This is that climax “how are they getting out of this one” kind of episode – not in a physical danger sense (all the time), but mostly in an interpersonal, character-driven way.  Much spoilers.  Very reveal.  Stop now, if you don’t want that.

Snafu: Recap

We start off by seeing Dr. Ivchenko’s hypnosis power in action in Russia – as an anesthetic for a surgery during a war.  Others say he has the power to numb the mind…

We see into the interrogation room where Sousa, Thompson, and the Chief take turns trying to get information out of a very stubborn Carter, who gives them nothing to go on.  Dr. Ivchenko is standing behind the glass giving Chief Dooley psychological analysis on Carter – things like “she’s obviously lying”.  Probably with no agenda.  Definitely with an agenda.  Carter informs them that the SSR is wasting their time because Dottie is the true double agent.

Jarvis arrives to the SSR with a signed confession from Howard Stark in exchange for Carter’s freedom.  The Chief instead keeps Jarvis and Carter in custody until Stark himself sends the final signed papers.  Jarvis tells Carter the confession is a forgery, and while the two try to figure out the next course of action, they catch a glimpse of Ivchenko spelling morse code out the window.  They decipher it to be a timetable – 90 minutes until something.  “Prepared for evacuation”.

Carter tells the Chief and the other agents that the confession was a fake, and does her best to get them to believe her story – after all the lies and betrayal from the past 6 episodes.  She reveals Steve Roger’s blood as final proof that she’s telling the truth now, and spills absolutely everything, mostly that everyone is in danger and that Ivchenko is in cahoots with someone across the street.  After much debate, they decide to send a team to investigate, while Dooley goes back to his office to talk to the doctor.

This time Ivchenko gets Dooley completely under his spell, and has him focus on the perfect day with his family – while giving him instructions.  The Chief captures Carter and Jarvis and handcuffs them into an interrogation room where no one will think to go check on them (until they break the mirror wall and Thompson finds them).  Dooley and Ivchenko go down into the lab to find a specific Howard Stark invention – number 17 – that does…I dunno, something.  Ivchenko also finds a nice vest, and takes it with them.

In the building across the street, Sousa finds Dottie in her dentist office hideaway.  Crutch-fu ensues, but Dottie gets away.  She is a very formidable foe, and predictably gets away.  Dooley walks Ivchenko to the elevator and lets him walk right out the door.  He then walks right into a car being driven by Dottie – and the two ride off to “proceed to phase two” of the plan.

The SSR agents have found Dooley – unwakable in his office.  They finally bang loud enough to get his attention and he walks out in a red, glowing vest – a Stark invention made to keep soldiers warm in winter climates, but the wiring was never quite right, and it will explode if they can’t deactivate it.  They bring in the best scientists, but there is no way to take it off, cut it apart, cool it, or anything else without speeding up the reaction and killing everyone sooner.  The Chief takes the best course of action he can.  He reminds the agents to never let Ivchenko talk to them – if he starts talking, they’re dead.  He then shoots a window and jumps through it, right before the vest makes him explode.

Dottie and Ivchenko have acquired a baby carriage and have gone to the movies – Dottie leaves the carriage in the aisle – and opens a canister of gas – and bars the door.  The people inside get more and more agitated until tempers burst and a massive brawl ensues – killing everyone.

The SSR is left chiefless, with no idea what plan the Russians have, but knowing they need to hunt down the people who did this.  And that will have to be the next episode.

Review

First of all, the Chief’s death literally made me sick.  Kresminsky was a shock out of nowhere, Youch was more of a random casualty, but Dooley has been with us for 7 episodes.  We’ve met him, we’ve seen his wants and dreams, we know his struggles.  And then to watch a man understand that he is already dead, and it’s just a question of minutes is absolutely heartbreaking.

I don’t understand, though.  If unbuckling the vest just “speeds up the reaction”, then do it NOW and throw just the vest out the window before the faster countdown ends.  There would still be a few seconds, right?  They didn’t say it would trigger the explosion right then.  It breaks my heart more knowing that there had to be some answer, but there was no one there who could figure it out.  Dooley did the one thing he knew – he acted, and he acted for the good of his people, not himself.  Truly tragic.

On another point, seriously, WHAT IS UP WITH LEVIATHAN?  They have nearly all-knowing intel not only on a secret organization that most American’s don’t know about, but of a secret agent within that organization that apparently is super important for reasons the audience doesn’t even know.  Why kill Peggy Carter?  Why sabotage the SSR?  How did they know keeping Ivchenko in a prison cell would get him to America?  They all work for this organization, but there has been literally no information on their game plan, intentions, motives, anything.  They want the Stark stuff for a reason, but WHY?  And how are they so good at this?  Dang.  These answers have to be given next week, because that is the last episode of Agent Carter, possibly ever (still not sure if it’s been renewed for a second season, although I think we’d all be interested in that!)

We know from the preview (and we hope after a significant absence) that we’ll be seeing Howard Stark in the final episode.  And in a major confrontation, 11th-hour, finale episode, there will be a lot of coming to terms with the SSR, answering for the fact that his invention have caused a lot of death and destruction.  He made the vest that killed Dooley, he made the chemical that imploded a large building, he made the rage-gas that caused an entire viewing audience to destroy themselves.  And he made whatever thing they stole from the SSR – unless that gas was it, but somehow I doubt that.  A) How will Stark deal with that knowledge and B) how will the SSR deal with him?  It’ll be a very uncomfortable moment, no matter what, I’m sure.

But also, we’ve got a team going on.  And THE story of almost every single superhero story is “well, this threat is too big for me alone, but us together can prevail!”  Um…almost every story in general.  So now that Sousa, Thompson, Carter, and Jarvis are all together – maybe they can take on a hypnotist and a ninja.  It may be a pretty fair match, but the SSR has to have at least a tiny leg up, because come on.  I don’t know how, though.  And I don’t trust that every character will survive.

This show is really going to mess with our heads a lot more before it ends, and it only has one more episode to do it.

Until then, Agents.  Geek out!

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