Laura Tormos ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) returns on Agent Carter, in what is yet another solid episode for the show. In this episode, he introduces the titular “Blitzkrieg Button,” which he explains to Peggy (Hayley Atwell) as a device that can cause a massive blackout for the entire New York tri-state area. He asks her to retrieve it and switch it out for a model. This so called weapon, however, turns out to be a little more than a distraction for Peggy, and really not a weapon at all. Much of “The Blitzkrieg Button,” in fact, is spent setting up the reveal that Stark had been lying, and that in reality, the “weapon” was really a holding container for a vial of Steve Rogers’ (or more commonly known as Captain America’s) blood.
Between Jarvis’ (James D’Arcy) obviously choreographed nervous tic, Stark’s womanizing, and Agent Thompson’s “sad-but-true” assertion that no man will ever view Peggy as an equal (a scene which fit very well within the context of the episode), audiences already knew something was up with Stark. The sad thing, however, is that out of all the people, Stark was the one man who has treated Peggy as an equal and actually acknowledged her capabilities. He sought her out to clear his name—he trusted her. Which is why it was so disappointing when Thompson’s (Chad Michael Murray) statement seemed to be true to Peggy. It becomes apparent as Peggy is chewing him out late into the episode about the stunt he pulled with Steve Rogers’ blood—as well as the nightly visits he has been paying to different women since he arrived at her residence—that he hasn’t really made an exception for Peggy. It may be harsh to say that he is nothing more than an opportunist, as he may come to redeem himself later, but for now, it certainly seems that way.
That opportunism is precisely why he’s trying to retrieve the vial of Captain America’s blood, as Peggy so quickly and gracefully points out in what is an incredibly well-acted scene by both Atwell and Cooper. Sure, using the blood to potentially cure illnesses and save millions of lives may seem like a noble endeavor, but it would also earn him millions of dollars in the process. Stark has good intentions, but as audiences have seen, those intentions are often duplicitous—a quality we have also seen in his son. Howard, however, at least knows what it’s like to not come from privilege— he knows what it’s like to fight. His opportunism makes sense for his character. He wouldn’t have gotten to where he is without it, though it doesn’t excuse him for riding into it on Peggy’s back and lying to her about it.
The SSR continues a few steps behind Howard and Peggy in this episode, as they have in the past—but they do make some progress. Agent Sousa (Enver Gjokaj), for example, makes an interesting connection after having questioned a bum over having seen Jarvis with a brunette woman, and begins to think that maybe the mysterious blonde isn’t really so blonde after all. Meanwhile, Agent Dooley (Shea Whigham) takes a trip over to Nuremburg to interrogate a Nazi and discovers that the battle at Thurnau was really no battle at all. The Russians were already all dead when the Germans arrived.
It remains unclear how Leet Brannis was involved—or if that’s even his real name, for that matter—and there continues to be no new breakthroughs on the Leviathan front, but this episode was a good step forward in their direction, on the SSR’s front.
On a more interesting note, however, audiences also learned that Dottie (Bridget Regan), one of the residents on Peggy’s floor who was introduced in the last episode, really is not quite so small-town girl as she would have led others (or, most importantly, Miriam (Meagen Fay) to believe. There were some theories floating around about her after she was introduced, and it is good to see them be true as she intercepts Doobin in the hallway and takes his gun in what is a suspiciously Black Widow-esque set of moves. After this episode, many have taken to theorizing that she could quite possibly be the other Black Widow in the comic books, Yelena Belova, and not Dottie Underwood at all. Whether that is true or not, however, many seem eager to see more of Dottie and figure out who she works for and what she wants.
Overall Episode Grade: A-