Valediction: Marvel's Agent Carter S1E8 – Review

Alrighty, agents, this was the finale, the last episode of Marvel’s Agent Carter – and we’re still not sure if there’s going to be a season 2.  So let’s take a look at what may be our last adventure with Peggy Carter and Jarvis and the rest, or what may be the start of a whole bunch of adventures.

Spoilers ahead.  As if you didn’t know that, you sneaky agent you.

Valediction: Recap

We are reminded of a lot of things at the beginning of this episode, mostly about Carter’s tragic relationship with Captain America.  We see a radio broadcast of the final moments they spent together as Cap crashed his plane to save millions of lives.

Cut to the movie theatre where an entire audience has ripped themselves apart.  Thompson, Sousa, and Carter arrive to investigate – showing that life goes on, even in the face of a massive treason plot.  Also, this seems to be the only case I’ve ever seen the SSR investigate, other than retrieving Howard Stark’s stuff.  And it still has to do with the Stark Stuff™, because it was a canister of his…something…that caused it.  Sousa gets a spray of it in the face and starts attacking anyone who gets near him.  They knock him out and tie him down until he calms down.

Dottie and Ivchenko are driving around setting up their plan, until they are pulled over by a policeman.  Dottie talks her way out of a ticket, but the policeman hears an APB for their car.  He turns around to see Dottie waiting for him.  Quick cut before we find out what happens.

Back in the SSR, Howard Stark walks in, to much excitement and guns pointed and warnings.  He has heard the radio reports of what happened in the theatre and, knowing his tech is in the wrong hands, figures out that it must one of his inventions.  Specifically, it’s the effects of a compound called “midnight oil”, which was originally developed to help soldiers stay awake for days on end.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work, and it has the side effect of causing psychosis and uncontrollable rage, as well as asphyxiation in most cases.

Unfortunately, it was used once – in the infamous battle of Finnow.  Despite the problems and the fact that it was not yet ready, the military stole it and dropped it on the Russians.  They destroyed each other savagely.

Stark knows this, and figures the Russians are after him.  He and the SSR set up a trap by saying Stark will be giving a press conference in front of City Hall.  Ivchenko hears this news and immediately tells Dottie to turn around and head back to the city.

At the press conference, shots are fired, and Carter figures out where the shots are coming from – it’s a rifle rigged to fire automatically, just as a distraction.  The distraction works and Stark gets kidnapped – by the now-hypnotized officer from earlier in the episode.  A bit of deduction and guesswork from the SSR, plus the information from Jarvis that there is another, bigger vault, they figure that the Russians are heading, with Stark, to his private hangar.

Dottie reminds Stark of their weekend together – Stark, playboy that he is – has a hard time remembering, despite Dottie “jogging” his memory violently.  Ivchenko doesn’t need to jog his memory, though, as Stark remembers what happened at Finnow all too well.  Ivchenko has him “focus” on his guilt, and the horrible gnawing pain of being a bad person.  And on the one way he may still be able to atone.  Stark gets into a plane and flies off, thinking he’s a year in the past on a mission to save Captain America – but actually to drop Midnight Oil on a huge gathering of people for VE Day in Times Square.

Carter and the gang arrive and spread out.  Thompson and Sousa get Jarvis into a second plane with the instruction to shoot Stark out of the sky if there’s no other solution.  Jarvis agrees, reluctantly.  Carter finds Dottie and Ivchenko giving instructions to Stark to keep him “focused”.  Dottie tells Ivchenko to run, and then has an epic fight with Carter.  Carter is clearly outmatched physically, but is scrappy enough to send Dottie flying backward out a window, landing painfully on an airplane wing.

Carter takes over the plane communication radio to try to talk Stark out of his hypnotic state, paralleling her last conversation with Captain America – with a deadly twist.  Jarvis is getting nervous and asks if he should shoot Stark down, Carter asks for more time.  Good thing, too, because her pleading finally gets through and Stark wakes up, wondering why he’s flying a plane.  Jarvis guides him back to the hangar, safely.

Meanwhile, Sousa and Thompson split up to find Ivchenko – knowing to not let him talk or they’re dead.  Ivchenko just straight up knocks Thompson down with a beam he found somewhere, I guess, and tries to get Sousa to “focus” on shooting Thompson.  Sousa knocks him out, and then takes out his sneaky agent earplugs, asking if Ivchenko was “saying anything.”  They gag him and put him in custody.

Jarvis introduces Carter and her old friend Angie to their new accommodations – a very lavish (“small”) apartment owned by Stark – to thank them for their help in clearing his name, and since there were too many incidents at their home / places of work.  Angie goes to call her mom, and Jarvis talks with Carter.  It seems that he managed to acquire the vial of Captain America’s blood and make Stark believe he lost it while he was hypnotized.  Jarvis now gives it to Carter, as he is a man of integrity and knows she is the only person on the planet who knows what to do with it.  She pours it out into the ocean as a way of mourning Captain America for the last time.

Unfortunately, Dottie’s still out there.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a thousand times.  Just because somebody drops a long way and lands in a pool of blood and is lying completely motionless does NOT mean they’re dead.  I believe in Zombieland the rule states “Double tap”.

In a final scene, we see Dr. Ivchenko being put into a cell with a lot of massive headgear preventing him from speaking. We also see his cellmate – Dr. Zola from Captain Americas 1 and 2.  He has an idea he would like to run by Ivchenko – most likely the Winter Soldier program.  The Hydra we know now sure has a lot of ways to hypnotize people, doesn’t it?


I have to admit that I loved the foreshadowing and the careful set ups to the information we needed.  We got the right reminders at the right times, they left us guessing at the right times to set up the explanations later.  I liked the emotional link between Captain America’s “death” and Stark’s suicide mission (like any hypnotic suggestion from the Russian doctor ended any different).

I loved the fight scene between Carter and Dottie.  For a show to fill the midseason gap of SHIELD, there was not too much fighting going on in here.  What it did mean was that the fight scenes were very intentional, and needed to be there.

Sousa finally asked out Agent Carter!  She smiled, but didn’t say yes or no, other than “not tonight”.  If there is a season two, we’d better see this play out.

Now, what exactly is the deal with Leviathan?  This was clearly a revenge mission from Ivchenko – who watched his comrades murder each other in Finnow.  But what exactly is the larger picture of Leviathan?  World domination?  Money?  Producing reality TV?  What?  We never really figured out who was sending the magic typewriter messages or any of that, unless it was all just a giant ruse by Ivchenko, but does he really have that much up his sleeve?

Altogether, I feel like there are enough questions for a Season 2 to be completely justified.  I also feel like if we never see another episode of Agent Carter, enough loose ends were tied up that I’d be satisfied (unlike Galavant’s massive cliffhangers…jerks).

Next week we return to Agents of SHIELD to finally “see what they became”.  We know from the previews, and from the comic books, that Skye is developing some kind of connection to shockwave and earthquake powers, but I’m really interested in seeing what happened to Raina – we know she’s something “inhuman”, and appears to be something animal.  I’m really wanting to see those effects, makeup, costuming, etc.

But that’ll have to wait until next week.  Until then, Agents!

Geek out.