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Marvel's Agent Carter: "The Blitzkrieg Button" Review

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“The Blitzkrieg Button” marks the halfway point of Marvel’s one-off series detailing some of the spicier moments in the life of Agent Peggy Carter. The episode begins with a longish recap of who she is and what she deals with. Being a double agent working for hero scientist Howard Stark and the Strategic Science Reserve may sound like a sexy good time but—oh wait, that’s exactly what it is. The SSR is still reeling from the loss of Agent Krzemenski, which leads to Chief Dooley heading to Germany to question a man who’s about to be executed.

Early on in “The Blitzkrieg Button” we see Mr. Jarvis handing over a stack of $1,000 bills. I wish we still had $1,000 bills. $100’s just don’t have the same impact. These bills are being passed around in order to secure the return of Howard Stark to New York City. He’s as womanizing and flippant as ever, which is not so cool, considering that a (dickish) Agent died in the pursuit of Stark—still believed to be a traitor selling weapons to enemies of America. While war and conflict are not desirable circumstances, Marvel’s Agent Carter does take us back to a time when war was a necessary evil.

Being accused of treason, Stark can’t exactly go turn himself in. Instead, Peggy sneaks him in to her apartment building—which we’ll recall is run by a nosey, judgmental woman named Miriam Fry. Miriam seems desperate to keep her charges pure with her well-intentioned slut-shaming in order to “defend young women from their impulses.” However, Peggy still manages to get Stark to her room. Watch for Peggy to pretend the Id and the Ego are children’s characters.

Chief Dooley seeks information about the Leviathan operatives, now deceased. Even if we don’t love Dooley as a character, we have to admire the trickery he uses to get information from the former Nazi. Sadly, Dooley also thought it was a good idea to leave Agent Thompson in charge. I’m sure Thompson means to be a good boss, even has he assigns Peggy to take everyone’s lunch order. I also hate how Thompson calls Peggy “Marge.” Ew. Watch for him to mansplain to her that she’ll never been seen as an equal by any man. Marvel though, seems adamant that only stupid men underestimate Peggy Carter. Agent Thompson’s views on women would not be out of place in the movie Anchorman.

Stark gives Agent Carter a super cool future gadget called a “camera pen.” Boy, I can’t wait until those are real ;-). She uses this high-tech device to photograph all the Stark weapons now in the hands of the SSR. Again, Agent Carter uses her colleague’s sexism to her advantage to locate what Stark calls “The Blitzkrieg Button”—a device like a giant EMP that can take out the power grid for blocks. Yikes! Meanwhile, Sousa heads to the docks in the hopes of finding a witness to the earlier shenanigans. He does. But the witness isn’t keen on talking.

Enter Otto Mink. He’s a bad man. You can tell because he’s played by Gregory Sporleder—an excellent character actor. He’s delightful as Mink—the man with the automatic hand gun/machine gun. Damn, I want one!! Back at the office, Sousa appeals to his uncooperative witness by talking about how war veterans with an obvious injury are treated differently than those who served and came home in one piece. Agent Thompson’s response to this, and subsequent treatment of Sousa is as infuriating as ever. The wars were more just in this era, but the treatment of soldiers was still not so cool. Turns out though, that the witness wasn’t feeling unappreciated—just hungry and too sober.

Stark informs Peggy that she has to steal “The Blitzkrieg Button” back and bring it to him. Only he can turn it off and avoid the destruction of the electrical grid. She does, with some help and comic relief from Mr. Jarvis. I do enjoy that guy—and hope we can eventually see him tutoring the young Tony Stark. In Germany, Dooley’s scenes with the ex-Nazi witness remind us why we love Shea Whigham. I’m surprised more people don’t keep breath mints in a secret compartment of their watch.

Marvel’s Agent Carter, like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., likes to give us a wild and action-packed third act. “The Blitzkrieg Button” is no exception. First, we learn that the battle Dooley is investigating never actually happened. Before the Nazi’s arrived, someone else massacred the Russians. Peggy manages to open “The Blitzkrieg Button” after figuring out what a terrible liar Mr. Jarvis is. When she does, she finds a hidden vial of blood—the blood of Captain America. She’s livid. Her confrontation of Howard Stark is totally on point. “You don’t get to use my reaction to your lies as a reason for lies.” Agent Carter is risking a lot for him, and he’s being totally dishonest. She’s not impressed with his excuses on why lying is okay if it’s to overcome obstacles.

The biggest surprise in the episode occurs when Otto Mink arrives at the boarding house to bring Peggy flowers, telling Miriam that he loves her. When that ruse doesn’t work, he sneaks in through the vents. Mink might actually have the drop on Peggy, but is foiled (and killed) by Dottie Underwood—the new girl who has recently moved in down the hall. Wow! The reveal was not quite as shocking as Agent Bobbi Morse. Is she in the SSR? Who is she hiding from? Why did she leave Mink’s body under Peggy’s bed? As “The Blitzkrieg Button” draws to a close, the mysterious typewriter begins typing out a message. With half of Marvel’s Agent Carter behind us, and half remaining—we’re sure to see Stark’s exoneration, meet Peggy’s future husband (though we want it to be Sousa), and see Leviathan vanquished—hopefully by the Howling Commandos.


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