Howard Stark returns in this week’s Agent Carter, where not only are his and Jarvis’ true intentions revealed, but the men of the Strategic Scientific Reserve edge ever closer to discovering the mystery behind Leviathan, and Peggy’s own secret. Throw in a surprising new addition to the fray, and finally exploring the fallout from Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Blitzkrieg Button ends up as exciting a mid-point as it is possible to have.
Agent Carter has established a pace and a tight story that simply refuses to let up, but is not one to ignore emotional development. Never is this more apparent than in this episode, from the opening moments of grief for Krzeminski, to Peggy and Howard’s heart-stopping argument. Like a more devastating version of Steve Rogers and Tony Stark’s initial animosity in The Avengers, Peggy and Howard have very different ideas about what it is to be a hero, only this time it’s worse. The key to potentially saving millions of lives is the blood of a man Peggy loved, and in her eyes, Howard only sees the potential profit of this. From this moment on, regardless of how much she may outwardly co-operate with the SSR or with Howard and Jarvis, Peggy is a solo Agent, and that is how she works best.
One of the best things about Agent Carter is the stylistic choices: from costume and set design, to music, to the Dieselpunk blend of science-fiction and period appropriate inventions from Stark (and Leviathan’s typewriter). One exceptional scene cuts between Peggy stowing away some of the inventions, Dottie admiring the weapon she’s taken, and Dooley and Thompson’s continued investigation, all to a brilliant swing soundtrack. This episode combines noir cinematography and design, superheroics and a good dollop of feminism vs patriarchy. It’s simply brilliant, long may Agent Carter kick ass.