Marvel’s Agent Carter Review: “The Blitzkrieg Button”
Thankfully, Howard Stark makes his big return in Agent Carter’s fourth episode, aptly titled “The Blitzkrieg Button”. I say aptly titled because, well, the episode is all about recovering yet another of Howard Stark’s invention’s called (you guessed it) the Blitzkrieg button. And I say thankfully because I absolutely love Dominic Cooper’s Howard Stark. Jarvis has been a more than satisfactory sidekick for Carter in the first three episodes, but it was nice that the show was able to add another man to the mix who isn’t a total ass. That’s not to say Howard Stark isn’t an ass. He is. However, he lacks the lovely sense of misogyny that many of the men in Agent Carter’s life display. He womanizes, he lies, he steals, but at least he isn’t sexist right to Carter’s face!
It’s no secret that Tony Stark is an immensely popular character among fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It makes perfect sense that the writers would essentially give his father some very similar traits. Howard is an arrogant, brilliant playboy, who occasionally tries to do the right thing. Like father like son.
Anyways, a lot happened in this week’s episode. Stark returns. The men of the SSR dig deeper into Howard Stark and the mystery of the mute assassins. Agent Carter continues to kick ass. And there were even a few moments that caught me by surprise.
The most important element of the episode was obviously Carter’s further work with Howard Stark and his butler Jarvis. It seems that the search and recovery that has dominated the show’s story thus far is drawing to a close as Stark reveals that the SSR have obtained all of his stolen inventions. But of course, what kind of Marvel show would this be if they didn’t squeeze in at least one more McGuffin?
This week’s object was a little less dangerous, a little less exciting as it was pretty obvious early on that it wasn’t what Stark claimed it was. The reveal that it contained Steve Roger’s blood was a nice bit however, as it shined a harsh light on the wounds that his “death” has left on Carter. Even Stark breaks for a moment to show that Rogers was important to him as well. Of course, he had inventions on his mind, but still. I’m not sure if anything will come of that little vial of blood, but I doubt they would have taken the time to show us Carter hiding it in the wall of her bedroom if it wouldn’t come back around later.
I’ll have to admit, I did have one nagging fear for the first 3/4 of the episode as the greedy smuggle Mink was introduced as another possible villain. I really don’t think the show needs any more villain story arches at the moment, and I was really surprised when WHAAAAAAT! Carter’s new neighbor, Dottie, turns out to be a totally badass assassin and kills Mink as he attempts to come after Carter. Now I’m not sure what her angle is, but she didn’t exactly seem like someone who is going to be helping Carter out of a jam. If I had to put money on it, I would say that she is somehow related to Leviathan, even though they weren’t mentioned once this episode.
A lot of people around the web had predicted that either Dottie or Angie would be something more than they appeared. It seems that they were at least right about Dottie for now. I am extremely curious to see who Dottie is and how much of an awesome fight scene she is going to have with Carter.
And of course, there are always the men of the SSR. Ah, those truly unpleasant reminders of the ugliness of gender equality in the 1940s. Thompson and Dooley haven’t been my favorite characters thus far in the show. At certain points, it seems they only exist to firmly remind you that Carter is living in a man’s world. This week, at least Dooley had an interesting bit with a Nazi officer in Germany. The revelation that there was really no battle, but more like some kind of supernatural slaughter of Russian soldiers is intriguing and I am fairly certain we will be learning more about this next week. Also, Dooley’s little cyanide pill/ breath mint trick was perfect. Who couldn’t resist making sure a Nazi was also humiliated before he was hanged?
Thompson however, took a bit of a step back in my back. Since the his first scenes in the premiere, I’ve felt that Thompson had the potential to be better than the rest of the men at the SSR while being more than timid Sousa. However, this week he became almost a caricature of the 1940’s male in his brief little speech to Carter about her place in a man’s world. Perhaps he was a little drunk, but I was actually a little disappointed. However, it isn’t lost on me that even though he was putting down Carter, he was simultaneously acknowledging the crap she has to put up with. I hope the writers have more up their sleeves for him and hopefully it’s more like the subtle hints he drops that he does have some sort of respect for Carter.
The last of the SSR men that we really spend time with this episode is Agent Sousa. Sousa has been a difficult character in these four episodes. He is timid, yet at the same time he shows flashes of toughness and determination. This was yet another episode where he exhibits both as he shows that he is willing to take down a stubborn potential witness, but then completely blunder the interrogation as he is unwilling to do whatever it takes.
And also, it is really hard to cheer for the guy as every break he gets brings him closer to discovering Carter’s traitorous work for Stark. The show is obviously pushing towards the inevitable discovery and it will be interesting to see how Sousa, one of the few men who respects Carter, will react when he finds out about all that she has done behind their backs.
I know we are only four episodes in to a rather short series, but a lot of shows will begin to show their weakness by this point. By constantly developing new and existing characters, Agent Carter has remained very fresh, entertaining, action-packed and often funny. You know, there is just a lot to look forward to in the next few weeks as the series comes to an end. There is no denying that that is a positive note for a new show.