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Marvel's Agent Carter Review: "A Sin to Err."

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“Women too often are overlooked, taken for granted. They can slip easily through a man’s defenses.” That’s what the Russian psychiatrist, Ivchenko, has to say, but Dooley and Thompson have their doubts. The suspense is palpable this week on Marvel’s Agent Carter. We see the violent beginnings of Leviathan in 1944, and learn even more about the early days of so-called Dottie Underwood. Someone who seemed trustworthy is found to not be, while a certain resident at the Griffith shows off her acting chops. Spoilers for “A Sin to Err” below.

Shea Whigham continues to play Chief Dooley as a smug asshat, which is what we love about him. As he continues his interrogation of Ivchenko, they slowly begin discussing Dooley’s marriage instead. Odd. As their conversation continues, we see that Dottie Underwood is aiming a gun at Ivchenko. Oh no! He’ll be shot! Actually, he won’t. Not only is she not trying to assassinate him for helping, but these two are working in cahoots. The plan? To kill Peggy Carter. I hate to say it, but that might prove easy work for Dottie—whom no one suspects. We also learn that Dooley’s wife cheated on him, and that he had a thing for Fay Wray–which was the style at the time. 😉

Peggy and Mr. Jarvis finally converse, even as she assures him that they aren’t exactly on the same team. As disagreeable as Howard Stark is, he’s not a spy, not treasonous, and the SSR really should be focusing on other things—like Leviathan. In “A Sin to Err,” Peggy finally convinces Chief Dooley to let her pursue this mysterious female Russian assassin. Surely it’s someone who Stark has spent time with recently. Realizing that being handcuffed to a bed might leave scars (thanks, 50 Shades of Grey), Peggy has something to look for as she locates and questions Stark’s recent flames.

There was plenty of humor to be found in this week’s Agent Carter. The smarmy dentist giving each interview applicant his “full attention” smacks of a time when sexual harassment was still the norm. Speaking of smacks, Jarvis getting repeatedly slapped by Stark’s ex-girlfriends was pretty funny—though some viewers felt she should have been protecting him. Funny that the Elder Stark bought all of his lady-friends diamond jewelry as a kiss-off. Lionel (and eventually Lex) Luther did the same thing on WB’s Smallville. Peggy and Jarvis fighting their way out of the luncheonette was a hoot—especially with the fun-time dancing music. The last chuckle of the evening came when Thompson claimed his Grandmother’s name was “Gam Gam.” Awww.

Agent Sousa was the man to watch this week. He finally put the pieces together, eventually outing Peggy as a double agent. Still, when he has the opportunity he still can’t bring himself to shoot her—not even in the leg. Does Thompson appreciate Sousa’s discovery? Not really. Thompson was too busy being embarrassed by Agent Carter physically besting half a dozen male SSR agents, including him. Will Sousa ever get the respect he deserves? Hard to say.

Once Peggy knows that the SSR are wise to her, it seems like she could escape with ease. After all, we know what she’s capable of. But she has to go back to The Griffith to get the vial of Captain America’s blood. This means tremendous risk for her—not just from the agents she knows about, but from Dottie, who Peggy still doesn’t realize is a threat. Damn. During the subsequent search by the SSR, Angie distracts the male agents with a well-timed bit of fake crying. Watching Thompson’s discomfort with her tears is hilarious. I guess finding out how amazing Peggy is didn’t do much to change Thompson’s views about women. Miriam Fry is especially funny during the SSR search of The Griffith. I was just waiting for her to say, “Well, I never!”

If I ever met Chief Dooley, I’d probably ask how he could possibly demote grown men to the level of “grade school hall monitor.” He is hell bent on questioning Peggy, sure that she’s up to no good. Granted, she’s been less than forthcoming. But she’s also surrounded by singularly focused idiots. It’s really Yauch who pays the price. After being brainwashed into giving up the Stark weapons by Ivchenko (in a very comic-book inspired interpretation of how hypnosis works), Yauch is instructed to walk in front of a speeding car. He does.

Agent Carter is so close to making her escape, but she runs into—Dottie Underwood. That’s right Peggy, she’s wearing your shade. I’m not clear on how the Sweet Dreams lipstick can be worn while only affecting the kissee, not the kisser—but it’s clear that it does. After the friendly girl-on-girl kiss, Peggy passes out while viewers count the number of episodes remaining to determine whether or not Peggy could actually die here. With two eps remaining, she clearly can’t.

“A Sin to Err” wraps up with Agent Carter in the custody of the SSR. Dooley tells Thompson and Sousa not to “go easy on her because she’s a girl.” Actually Dooley, she’s a grown up lady who can beat the hell out of your manly man agents. Next week is when we see whether or not Thompson and Sousa have a commitment to justice and truth, or are just trying to work their way up the ladder of success. Will Thompson be more sympathetic to Peggy’s lies given what we know about his own? Will Sousa’s obvious feelings for Peggy make him that much more determined not to be fooled by her (and thus, quicker to disbelieve her)? Will Howard Stark come out of the woodwork to defend his friends? Only two more episodes remain in Marvel’s Agent Carter. I can’t wait!


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