It happens all the time. When you think your life is settled, you’re blindsided by a catastrophe. It happened to Buffy when Angel turned evil, and it happened to Peggy Carter when she’s marked for treason by the SSR, and for death by Leviathan.
***** SPOILERS BELOW *****
The episode shows Leviathan’s true power comes from people who look harmless, but really aren’t. We already know Dottie (Bridget Regan) may claim to be a dancer from Iowa, but she was trained by Leviathan to be a killer. What is more surprising is how deadly Dr. Ivchenko (Ralph Brown) can be. He was the psychiatrist who kept a scientist named Nikola calm while locked up in a Leviathan prison in Russia. We should have known he’d use those powers for more nafarious reasons.
It’s also revealed Leviathan has been around since the end of WW2, determined to make the Soviet Union a world power. They recruited people to join them, and those who refuse are killed, along with their entire family. Dottie was apparently part of the recruiting…and the eliminating. They also believed that making girls assassins is better because no one would suspect them. That’s a concept too puzzling for the SSR to understand.
Dooley is upset Peggy’s getting too involved in the interview with Ivchenko, but he lets her try to find the girl who likely killed Krzeminski a few weeks back. She also figures the killer was one of Howard Stark’s ex-girlfriends
Meanwhile, Angie (Lyndsy Fonseca) is rehearsing a piece from A Doll’s House (which is a link to Angel because Cordelia tried to tackle that part). She has doubts about whether she can make it to Broadway, while her dad says she should consider secretarial school. Peggy tells her not to give up, because she doesn’t want Angie to be a woman defined by a man.
Jarvis arrives, and Peggy says they’re not on the same team, but have the same goal. He tells her about Dooley wanting to hear about Finow and Stark’s involvement, while she tells him about Leviathan’s activities. She needs to know who Howard has dated in the past year, to which Jarvis implies it could be a number that would eventually rival Wilt Chamberlain.
Dottie visits the office of a Dr. Honicky (Rick Peters), a dentist looking for a receptionist. His interviewing skills get a bit aggressive, which is bad news because she kills him so she can use his office to do something. She chose the doc because his office is across the street from SSR headquarters, and Ivchenko.
Souza finds Sheldon McFee (Devin Ratray), the guy who drove the milk truck that was used to transport nitramene in “Bridge and Tunnel”. Sheldon’s still in jail, but his sentence can be reduced if he can recognize who hit him and took his truck . He identifies Peggy as the culprit, and Souza is really upset.
He’s not as upset as Peggy, learning Stark buys his girlfriends a diamond bracelet just after he breaks up with them, and that he sends Jarvis to give them the bad news. He gets clobbered almost as much as Giles when he and Peggy interview those girls. They try to find Ida Emke, a dancer Stark met at a charity event. If you suspect she calls herself Dottie, well….
Then again, we also see who Ivchenko really is. If he can calm down a scientist, he can figure out that Dooley’s family life is not very good. He even gets Dooley to admit his wife cheated on him while he away at war. The Doc heads towards the window, and Dottie is there with a rifle…but no bullets. She’s really sending him a message by Morse code, and he sends another back: kill Peggy Carter. Clever.
He almost hypnotizes Dooley to do something for him, but Souza interrupts him with what he learned from Sheldon. It’s enough for Dooley to charge Peggy with treason, and send every SSR agent to get her.
Peggy and Jarvis find Ida’s deserted apartment, and her headboard, which shows signs of being nicked by handcuffs. That apparently was how Ida, or rather Dottie, got to sleep. They reunite at the automat, where SSR agents are also there to arrest Peggy. She slams all of them, while Jarvis attacks one with a tray. Just as she leaves, Thompson is there. While she says he has it all wrong, he says she can explain it all back at headquarters.
However, she knows that even if she tells them everything, and says Howard Stark isn’t selling his loyalty to Leviathan, they won’t believe her. So, she slugs Thompson, making fans very happy. She also escapes from Souza, even though he warns her if she runs, then it’s true. She has to run, though, because she has to get Steve Rogers’ blood from her place at the Griffith.
Yauch (Alexander Carroll) is alone with Ivchenko, and it’s not long before the doc uses his insecurity over being a middle and unnoticed child against him. He hypnotizes Yauch to tell him about Stark’s weapons the SSR recovered, and where they are. The chilling part is that he also gets Yauch to walk into the path of a speeding truck. Ivchenko had to cover his tracks.
Peggy is barely able to get the vial from her wall before Souza and Thompson get to her apartment, despite Miss Fry (Meagan Fay) trying to tell them they can’t go above the lobby. However, she’s forced to hide on a ledge several stories up. She’s able to get to Angie’s apartment, but the SSR agents are pretty close. Angie chases them away with a convincing sob story about Peggy needing to be with her sick grandmother. Angie may not be able to handle Ibsen, but she’s much better at improv.
It looks like Peggy will be leaving town, then Dottie sees her at the hall and kisses her. She’s wearing Peggy’s Sweet Dreams lipstick, and had to knock her out in order to kill her. However, Souza and Thompson get to Peggy first, and arrest her. Dottie has to let them drag Peggy away, but she has other tasks. She deserts her place at the Griffith, but Angie finds out when she tries to call her for dinner.
What of Peggy? Well, Jarvis will be right about one thing: she’ll explain why she was helping Stark, and they’ll use her answers to tear her down. They’re still upset she clobbered three agents, and vow they won’t go easy on her because she’s a girl. They probably won’t even believe her, even when they notice Ivchenko is gone and Yauch killed himself. To them, Peggy’s done something even worse than treason: she’s proven she’s really the best SSR agent in the office, and they won’t have it,
The male ego is the weapon Leviathan uses to destroy the Strategic Scientific Reserve. Why else did it think female assassins are better than male ones? Peggy’s life, meanwhile, is ruined. She has no job and likely no apartment. Even if she is redeemed, would she want to stay at the SSR? Probably not.
Meanwhile, what “item” does Leviathan want? Maybe it’s Steve Rogers’ blood, so it can create its own super soldier. It’s no coincidence the Winter Soldier has a red star on his left arm. Some have suspected the blood will lead to his creation.
Next week: Peggy explains herself and the SSR still want her put away. Too bad it’s all about to blow up in their faces.
By the way, Hayley Atwell talks about the show, and comments about modern sexism in an article on HitFix.
Marvel’s Agent Carter airs on Tuesday at 9/8c on ABC. Watch full episodes on ABCGo.com, and Hulu Plus.