Laura Tormos ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
This week’s episode of Agent Carter was, admittedly, quite concerning. While it continued to deliver an amazingly compelling and thrilling story, there was one development many weren’t too keen on: the implication that Agent Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) may have a romantic interest in Agent Carter (Hayley Atwell). Throughout the entirety of the season, Agent Thompson has made his sexist ideals and less-than-respectful regard for Agent Carter quite known and quite obvious, as have most of the agents in the SSR, with the exception of Agent Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) who has finally got himself involved in some interesting developments this episode. In “The Iron Ceiling,” however, Agent Thompson is delved into a bit deeper, and it’s worked to uncover some of his past and deconstruct his “war hero” bravado. Essentially, they’ve begun to humanize him. Under normal circumstances, this would be a good thing to do, and it still is—but with the way Agent Dooley (Shea Whigham) hinted at a possible romantic entanglement between the two, it’s not good. We can see that by the end of the episode the dynamic between Thompson and Carter has definitely changed, but we’ll have to wait to see exactly how.
“The Iron Ceiling” was about a lot more than just Agent Thompson and Carter, however, and had some very strong moments including the inclusion of the Black Widow program. Dottie (Bridget Regan) is confirmed by the producers to be a part of this program, though the show will not be using that term. Other strong moments included the changes in dynamic between Peggy and Dooley and Sousa (as well as Thompson) and the return of the Howling Commandos.
The Black Widow program was an exciting way of layering in important elements from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and playing around with it, giving it context, especially the part where we see the girls being taught English via Snow White.
In terms of Peggy’s shifting dynamic with Dooley and Sousa, we begin to see that Dooley isn’t just any other dumb, stubborn “villain” trying to work against Carter without reason or for personal gain. Dooley looking into the possibility that Howard Stark might not be directly involved in what was going on and the writers do well in showing his ultimate goals: getting to the bottom of things. As for Sousa, a character that’s always been shown to have Peggy’s back, he begins to grow suspicious of her after having identified her as the blond from the first episode, which we’ll get to see the effects of next week.
While it’s too bad only Dum Dum Dugan (Neal McDonough) returned from Captain America: The First Avenger, seeing Peggy getting to team with the Howling Commandos again was a lot of fun, and served for a lot of those nice, humorous moments sprinkled here and there throughout the episodes. The rapport between Dum Dum and Peggy was very sweet and genuine. Seeing Peggy interact with people she knows and trusts—someone she has no secrets with—was a nice change, and made for a few very heartwarming moments.
About the concerns with Agent Thompson, though, it’s good that he seems to respect Peggy more, because not only does she desperately want it, she deserves it. His invitation for her to join the guys for drinks speaks volumes, and it’s gratifying to see her being commended and recognized for her work as a fantastic agent. Let’s just hope that the writers don’t jump anywhere too quickly and remember to make any sort of change in their relationship one that is developed, worked on, and earned. Since Agent Carter has not seemed to have failed us before, however, we should extend it the benefit of the doubt.
Overall Episode Grade: A