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‘Agent Carter’ Review/Recap: “A Sin To Err”

Laura Tormos ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Bridget Regan in the Agent Carter episode "A Sin to Err." Photo Credit: Adam Rose/ABC.
Bridget Regan in the Agent Carter episode “A Sin to Err.” Photo Credit: Adam Rose/ABC.

Well, that didn’t last long. For about five minutes of an episode, Agent Carter (Hayley Atwell) had seemingly gotten what she’d fought so hard to get and deserves: for her colleagues at the Strategic Scientific Reserve to respect her and take her seriously—to treat her like what she is: an agent. And now it all comes crumbling down.

In this episode maybe more than the others, the issue of sexism in the workplace—which has been a prevalent theme throughout the entire series—really came through to the forefront. Between Peggy’s dealings with Howard Stark’s ghosts of girlfriends past to the SSR’s difficult pursuit of Peggy as a traitor, we really see the massive shift that happens in the way Peggy is regarded by the men in her life—from being given permission to actually follow a lead herself to having all the stops pulled out in order to catch her. It really is quite a contrast to where she started out at the beginning of the series, and shows that the agents over at the SSR can wise up enough to take a woman’s capabilities seriously. But, y’know, still not respect her.

While Peggy is off looking for women with cuff-marks on their wrists—or, more importantly, watching Jarvis (James D’Arcy) get slapped on Howard Stark’s behalf multiple times in order to do so—Agent Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) confirms once and for all what he realized last week, that Peggy is the mysterious blonde woman that kept intercepting every lead and breakthrough in the SSR’s investigations on Howard Stark. One of the men involved in the theft of Stark’s weapon identified Peggy as the woman who beat him up. “Who is she?” he asks Sousa.

Hayley Atwell, James D'Arcy and Shea Whigham in the Agent Carter episode "A Sin to Err." Photo Credit: Patrick Wymore/ABC.
Hayley Atwell, James D’Arcy and Shea Whigham in the Agent Carter episode “A Sin to Err.” Photo Credit: Patrick Wymore/ABC.

“Not who I thought she was,” Sousa replies. And, of course, goes straight to Chief Dooley (Shea Whigham), which leads to what is admittedly the best action sequence Agent Carter has to date: the SSR corners  Peggy at the diner she frequents and tries to arrest her for treason, but she beats the three burly agents up to the tune of Peggy Lee singing “It’s a Good Day” while pirouetting across the room with (minimal) help from Jarvis.

“You’re telling me one woman took out a team of highly trained government agents?” Yes, Agent Dooley. Yes, she did. And it was so satisfying. (Especially after she knocks Agent Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) out cold and flees from Sousa.)

Her freedom, however, doesn’t last long, as she has to return for the vial of Captain America’s blood she hid in her wall back at the Griffith Hotel, which is obviously where the SSR would check first. This made for a very fun (though very stressful) scene with Thompson, Sousa, and company when they came barging in against the protests of Miriam. It was jarring—yet cathartic—to finally see Peggy’s two worlds collide. Especially once Angie (Lyndsy Fonseca) finally returns by way of covering Peggy’s whereabouts when the SSR agents come in to question her the best way she knows how: by making a room full of government agents uncomfortable with hysterical, emotional sobbing over her dear grandmother. Rendered useless in the face of blatant Feminine Emotions, the SSR agents leave, leaving Peggy home free. Except not quite, since she encounters Dottie (Bridget Regan) as she is leaving the Griffith, and she kisses her full on the lips with Peggy’s “Sweet Dreams” lipstick, leaving Peggy out cold. We are then surprised to find ourselves actually relieved when the SSR intervenes just as Dottie is about to finish Peggy off.

Hayley Atwell in the Agent Carter episode "A Sin to Err." Photo Credit: Adam Rose/ABC.
Hayley Atwell in the Agent Carter episode “A Sin to Err.” Photo Credit: Adam Rose/ABC.

“A Sin To Err” ends with Peggy in handcuffs in the SSR interrogation room, exactly where she said she’d be in the series’ first episode, when Stark first recruited her help to clear his name. She said he was asking her to become a traitor to help him prove he’s not one, and now she’s been caught, and she’s about to pay the price.

“Don’t go easy on her just ‘cause she’s a girl,” someone says, which is not a very exciting sentence to have been spoken once you remember Agent Thompson’s interrogation style. Hopefully, things in the office will pick up before they get to anything too drastic. Peggy, at least, seems rather willing to explain everything to them.

Throughout the episode, there are also quite a few interesting developments that occur in terms of Dr. Ivchenko (Ralph Brown), when we learn that he is, in fact, a Leviathan agent who’s working with Dottie. And if you’ve forgotten since the first episode, Leviathan’s primary goal concerning Peggy is to kill her, which Dottie had gotten close to doing, but ultimately failed. No doubt they will try again, though, and with just two episodes left, the stakes are higher than ever.

Overall Episode Grade: A

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