The plot thickens and Peggy Carter is reunited with her WWII buddies, the Howling Commandos!
If the last four episodes were enough to establish a formula for this show, then this episode broke out of it, making for an unusual and memorable, but not necessarily better-then-the-others episode.
First of all, it's quite different because our awesome heroine Peggy (Hayley Atwell) and her awesome sidekick Jarvis (James D'Arcy) are not on such good terms as they were before. The buddy-buddy banter is gone. Peggy is angry at Jarvis -- along with that scoundrel Howard Stark -- because he did his duty for his employer and didn't tell Peggy the whole truth. I was worried that once Peggy stopped working for Howard that Jarvis would disappear too, but I was happily wrong; although he's not in the show nearly as much as he has been, he still gets included, and is promised more for later.
|I'm so glad the writers knew how fantastic a character Jarvis is. Doesn't Peggy look lonely without him?|
And then they really went all-out with the formula-busting, and had Peggy up her game in the office wars. (I suppose it's a lot easier when you're not trying to sneak around behind all your co-workers with your own noble agenda.) After showing off her skills as a cryptographer, Peggy fights hard for a chance to go to Russia on a mission under Agent Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) (who doesn't want her to come, obviously) for no other apparent reason than that she really wants to. Fortunately, she's friends with a fellow named "Dum-Dum Dugan" who has a magnificent ginger mustache, and wears a bowler hat. She gets him and his group into the party, and he returns the favor.
The highlight of this episode was the guest appearance of Neal McDonough as Dugan, and the rest of the Howling Commandos, or the 107th regiment. McDonough's Dugan was the only character to actually have been in Captain America: The First Avenger, but who really cares? The other three guys had cute nicknames and joked around comfortably with Peggy (everyone loves Peggy) and they fit right in.
|There's Pinky Pinkerton, Dum-Dum Dugan, and Happy Sam Sawyer.|
The most shockingly out-of-formula things happen on the mission though; it just keeps getting better and better! First, Agent Thompson gets some actual, real, serious character development, and I was impressed. I was also impressed by his ability to receive the character development and not have it hinder his remarkable brooding abilities. Then, when the mission hits a kink (which of course it does!) Peggy steps up and proves herself to Thompson, and, he acknowledges it! He admits it for all the world to hear! Well; to Peggy at least -- and that's enough for her. She's not one to hold a grudge and graciously makes him look good in front of the chief later as well.
|Peggy's so cool. And so is that hat. And that mustache. And the dude who's wearing them. This picture's just all kinds of cool.|
The one part of the formula the definitely stayed though, was the setting up for the next episode stuff. That's what Agent Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) was still up to. He finally makes some headway in that department, and next week promises some good stuff for him, some good stuff for Peggy and, well, some bad stuff for Peggy too, but, you know, bad in a good way.
As usual, I'm excited to see where "Miss Union Jack" is going to lead us next.
Previous Agent Carter reviews:
Episodes 1 and 2