We watch Marvel’s Agent Carter and are usually dying to talk about it. Us Nerds on Earth writers will often banter back and forth via email, giving our first thoughts about the latest comic TV show we’re watching. We’ll share it here, with the hope that amidst our back-and-forth you end up getting a good review of the episode, even if the style is slightly off center.
Spoilers follow for Agent Carter s1e4, The Blitzkrieg Button.
A quick recap of the episode: Agent Peggy Carter finds herself in more trouble than usual when Howard Stark suddenly returns to recover one of his stolen inventions. Chief Dooley chases a new clue around the world and the boarding house becomes a new source of drama.
So I’ve been obsessively compulsively refresh Hulu on my iPad so I could catch the return of Agent Carter after that little break. With the storyline moving along so quickly, the one-week break the Agent Carter took really felt like forever. (BTW, Hayley Hartwell is forever my girl. She continues to do a wonderful job in this role.)
But coming back from the break where the big story shift ended up being the return of Howard Stark was a little of a bummer for me. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t dislike the character, he’s just a little ‘meh’ to me.
Certainly, I love Robert Downey, Jr’s portrayal of Tony Strak in the movies. Downey gives the character and role the classic Tony Stark sarcastic wise-cracking, sprinkled in the the playboy persona. But under that veneer, you can sense there is a deeper center to Tony Stark, that despite the wise cracks and the parties, his mechanical heart merely masks a heart that isn’t entirely self-selving.
With Howard Stark I’m really struggling to find that, or to relate to the character in any way. His lying and manipulation of Peggy, coupled with his making Jarvis be culpable in that manipulation really is turning me off. Never mind the fact that it appears that Howard Stark’s super power is being able to make any woman anywhere take off her clothes in under 4 seconds, which come to think of it isn’t an outright horrible superpower to possess.
That – in part – is why this has been my least favorite episode thus far. In terms of side storylines, I wasn’t really interested in the Chief zooming over to Germany for an interrogation, but I did enjoy the revelation that Peggy’s neighbor is an assassin of some sort. I don’t care how it’s set up, but the introduction of an assassin only to have them be whacked by an even deadlier (but unlikely) assassin always plays with me.
Lastly, I missed it not pushed the Leviathan mystery forward.
Am I being too harsh on Howard Stark? Was this episode better than I’m giving it credit for?
It was good to have the break over. The rest of the season is going to move quickly!
Here is my issue with Howard Stark: They want to play him as the same character as his son in the movies, but he winds up being a second rate version of Tony. Only with the less attractive features being turned up to 11. (The manipulation, the womanizing). And the shallowness that you hit on was spot-on. He is just flat. I think they may be headed towards a turn where we see some depth but we aren’t there yet.
I want I don’t want: Peggy being to Howard what Pepper is to Tony. Just…no. Please.
I do hate to think that Jarvis is being pulled in two different directions. He and Peggy were a great duo but this could definitely divide them.
On a casting note: Having a hard time with Chad Michael Murray being the tough guy. I mean, I just want to take his One Tree Hill self out on to the basketball court and school him. (I have depth, Clave. I am not just nerd. There is a WB/CW fan deep inside of me as well.) And that was a terrible speech. It felt like a bad Matt Foley impression.
I do think the scene with them trying to figure out the inventions was a nice comedic moment.
This week’s Big Bad: meh. The auto pistol? I am not sure what it was supposed to do for us. The bad hair dye job was scarier. By far.
What do you think about the boarding house stuff? And Sousa?
Hmm. I never had you pegged as a CW guy, but I can’t say that I’m shocked. But who am I to judge? I’m digging The 100 right now.
I agree that this week’s big bad was weak, but I think that was partly the point. The way they played him as a chump to set up the newer, bigger bad? That was good stuff. It’s clear that the boarding house is going to turn into all sorts of trouble for Agent Carter.
I’m really rooting for Agent Sousa. I certainly hope this arcs wraps with he and Agent Carter working toward the same goals, but I also want them to milk the will-he-or-won’t-he thing in regards to Sousa catching on to Carter playing double agent.
To wrap this up – it wasn’t my favorite episode thus far, but darned if I’m not looking forward to next week!