The fifth episode of 'Agent Carter" got out of the mid-season doldrums a bit as Peggy goes on an actual mission. In return for recruiting the Howling Commandos, Peggy gets to go with SSR agent Jack and shoot things up when she returns to her element.
This episode sees a switch from "Peggy recovers Howard's stolen weaponry" to "Peggy goes after Leviathan." I'm not sure we really learned much here, but they rescued a psychologist who was treating a scientist forced to work for Leviathan. That doesn't seem to make him very useful, and he has "traitor" written all over him, but we'll see.
Neal McDonough, recreating his role from 'Captain America: The First Avenger', is having fun channeling D-Day from 'National Lampoon's Animal House'. Veteran actor John Glover ('Brimstone', 'Smallville') has a brief but memorable role as SSR Head Roger's informer from the press.
The filming is a bit dark, and a lot of it is just two sides standing behind cover and shooting at each other. But it's still exciting. We also fnd out more about Dottie, who is part of a secret Russian female spy training program. Look up "Black Widow" on Wikipedia for more info. I don't think she's any specific character from the comics, but she's definitely one creepy woman. Edwin only has two relatively brief scenes, and the writer thankfully dropped the "hotel full of women" bits this week.
Overall, it does a good job of setting up the last three episodes as the previews make clear that Peggy is forced to go on the run, just as she's won the respect of her male co-workers.
A woman comes in and frees the girls handcuffed to their beds in a barrack. One of them, a young Dottie, hands some stolen bread to her friend Anya on the next bed. They watch American cartoons to learn English, and then fight to the death. Dottie kills Anya on the orders of her instructor.
New York, 1946
Dottie exercises in her room and then meets Peggy at the automat. She talks about how she wants to see everything in New York and hopes that Angie will show her around. Peggy is distracted when she finds a business card in her purse for Edwin, and finally tells Dottie to avoid the tourist traps and talk to the people. Dottie says that she sounds like Captain America and then knocks Peggy's purse on the floor. She hastily picks it up and hands it back, and Peggy heads off for work... unaware that Dottie has taken her apartment key from her purse.
As Peggy buys a newspaper, Edwin approaches her and tries to explain why Howard used her to get Steve Rogers' blood. The butler admits that Howard can be thoughtless and arrogant, but insists that he's a good man. Peggy points out that Howard is using both of them, and Edwin notes that the SSR is wasting her talents. She says that she'll make them change their minds about her and walks away.
At SSR, Peggy discovers all of the agents on alert. Daniel says that the typewriter came on and they have a cryptographer working on the message that came through. Peggy and Daniel go into the office where the cryptographer is working, and Peggy offers to take a look at it. She reads Russian and is able to decode the message as a series of map coordinates. It then says that there will be an exchange in two days' time at Belarus, and Leviathan will acquire a prototype Leviathan havoc reactor. Roger has heard of Leviathan, rumored to be a secret Russian organization that wanted to buy weapons after the War to fight the Allies. Leviathan will be paying $100,000 to Howard Stark upon delivery, and Jack figures that they've got the millionaire dead to rights.
Roger tells Jack to take two agents and head to Belarus, but Peggy points out that she's the most qualified for the mission and tells Roger that she's going to Russia. Jack refuses but Roger calls them back into their office. Peggy points out that Leviathan will continue using the same code and she's the only one who can decipher it. Roger leaves it up to Jack, and Jack warns that they have no idea what's going to happen. Peggy demonstrates her knowledge of the area from when she was there, and Roger notes that if she gets killed then he'll be held responsible whether she dies or get someone killed. She says that she can call in the 107th Regiment, the Howling Commandoes. Roger agrees to let her go if she can pull them in, and Peggy walks out. When Jack objects, Roger says that he'll do whatever it takes to capture Howard and he has no time for Jack's crush on Peggy. Peggy makes a call and comes back, and says that the 107th will meet them on the Russian border. Jack tells them to get ready.
Later, Jack finds Peggy outside the men's locker room. She points out that it's the only room in the SSR proper and starts changing. The other two officers, Mike Li and Rick Martinez, object but Jack says that it's not his call. As they put on their tac gear, Daniel comes in with files on the area and the tac team. Jack has Daniel go to get his compass where Peggy is changing, and he quickly turns around. However, he catches a glimpse of two bullet wound scars on her shoulder.
The team soon takes off and Peggy notices that Jack is nervous making his first jump. She tries to reassure her but Jack says that he doesn't need a mother. They reach the drop zone and make the jump. Once they touch down, they head for the rendezvous spot but the Commandos get the drop on them. Peggy introduces her former teammates: Dum-Dum Dugan, Junior Juniper, Pinky Pinkerton, and Happy Sam Sawyer. Dum-Dum says that the Russians are waiting at the border and they'll take an alternate route by truck
As they head in, Dum-Dum asks Peggy if she brought what he asked for. She hands him a bottle of bourbon that she smuggled in and they share a toast. Peggy then explains that the SSR suspects that Howard is selling weapon technology to Leviathan, but insists that he's innocent. She figures that Leviathan is trying to lure them in and wonders what they really want. Peggy then snaps at Dum-Dum when he lights a cigar, and he admits that he misses Steve as well.
Roger is leaving for the day and finds Daniel there. The SSR chief says that he's heading home to his wife and walks out. Yauch brings Daniel Peggy's file which shows the shoulder scars, and he confirms that the blonde in the photo has the same scars.
The Commandos make camp for the night and Peggy jokes back and forth with her teammates. She asks Jack to tell a story about his time in the War, pointing out that he got the Navy Cross. After a moment, Jack says that in 1945 he took out six Japanese soldiers before they could kill his fellow soldiers. One of the Commandos hands him a beer and Jack tips them a toast.
Roger meets a reporter at a bar. The informer tells him that 237 Russians were slaughter at Finow and no one will take credit for it, and his editor at the [i]Times[/i] killed his story when he turned it in. The editor was afraid it implicated Howard and the U.S. Army in the cover-up. The reporter tells Roger that Howard was there for the cleanup after the massacre, and the one-star general in charge, John McGuinness, wasn't happy with the industrialist's presence. They came to blows and McGuinness beat Howard up and then resigned. A few weeks later, Howard, cut all ties with the military and now Howard is a wanted man. Roger insists that they have evidence against Howard, but the reporter warns that he doesn't have the whole story. The SSR head insists that he'll get the truth soon.
The tac team arrives outside the base and Jack splits the group into four teams of two. Peggy points out that two teams of four are safer, and Jack agrees. He goes in with Sawyer, Pinkerton, and Ramirez, while Peggy, Dum-Dum, Li and, Junior go in the other side. Peggy's team searches the building and finds what appears to be an average American classroom. Li accidentally sets off a projector, and Peggy confirms that the frames have Russian words on them.
The team hears a girl crying and investigates. They find a barracks with kid-sized beds and handcuffs fastened to each bedpost. A 10-year-dold girl, Eva, is sitting on the floor crying. Dum-Dum approaches her and Eva touches his bowler hat. When he turns back to the others, Eva stabs him in the chest with a knife, grabs his gun, and shoots Junior. Peggy knocks the revolver out of her hand and Eva scurries off through a ventilator shaft before they can stop her. Dum-Dum prepares to toss a grenade down the shaft but Peggy stops him. His Kevlar vest took the brunt of the attack and he's mostly unharmed.
Jack and his team hear the gunshot and come in, and Peggy warns them that Leviathan knows that they're there. Dum-Dum confirms that Junior is dead and takes his dog tags to return home, and says that they need an exit out. Peggy takes charge and tells Dum-Dum, Pinky, and Ramirez to find a way out while the rest come with her.
In New York, Roger approaches Edwin on the street and asks him what he knows about McGuinness. Edwin says that he doesn't know about the fistfight between Howard and McGuinness, and Roger assures him that he just wants the truth. He gives Edwin his number and says that Howard can reach him there anytime if he wants to tell him his side of the story.
Peggy's team finds a Leviathan soldier and Sawyer kills him. They discover that he was guarding a cell with two prisoners, and Peggy tells them that they're the good guys.
Dottie uses the stolen key to break into Peggy's apartment and discovers that she's left a string in the door as a warning. The woman searches the apartment and finds a secret compartment in a drawer. Inside of it is a music box containing the photos of Howard's weapon technology from the SSR lab. Dottie puts them back and notices a photo of Steve on the nightstand, and then looks at herself in the mirror. She impersonates Peggy's voice and examines her lipstick, and then leaves, putting the string back into place as she goes.
Ivchenko explains that Leviathan is holding him and Nikola prisoner. Nikola is an engineer and Ivchenko is his psychiatrist, and they need Nikola to decipher a schemata that they bought. Ivchenko explains that Nikola sees the world in scientific terms, and he provides the stability Nikola needs. Nikola says that Leviathan wants him to build a photonic amplifier. Jack wonders if Howard is there and Nikola insists that if Howard was there, they wouldn't need him. Ivchenko confirms that his captors haven't mentioned Howard.
Sawyer runs up, warning that they have incoming, and they break Ivchenko and Nikola out and run for it. They take cover in the boiler room and Peggy calls to Dum-Dum for backup. A Leviathan soldier shoots and kills Li, and Peggy shoots the man in the leg. Nikola says that he knows what to do and puts a gun to Sawyer's head, and says that he'll hand over the Americans if Leviathan lets him go. Ivchenko grabs a gun and tells Nikola to focus, and Peggy warns Nikola that she'll kill him if he doesn't drop the gun. Before she can shoot, Ivchenko kills Nikola.
The Leviathan soldiers move in and Peggy yells at Jack to get Li's ammo pack. Jack freezes... and Dum-Dum blasts his way through the wall and opens fire. As they retreat, Jack still freezes and Peggy tells him to snap out of it. He finally gets up and goes, and Peggy tells Dum-Dum to go while she provides cover fire. She then runs for the truck and leaps aboard, and the Howling Commandos pull out.
Later the airfield, the Commandos wish Ramirez and Jackson luck. Dum-Dum asks if Peggy wants to join them, but she says that someone needs to run things in the States and convince the SSR of Howard's innocence. She invites Ivchenko to come back with her to the SSR and he agrees to help and do anything he can.
As the plane heads back for the States, Peggy asks Jack if he's already. He admits that she saved his life and then says that the Japanese soldiers that came into his camp were carrying a white flag and wanted to surrender. Jack didn't realize it, and buried the flag after he killed them. He admits that it gets harder and harder to live with the man everyone thinks that he is, and Peggy points out that he finally told his story.
In her apartment, Dottie goes to bed after handcuffing herself to the headboard.
At SSR, Jack and Peggy give Roger their report, and Jack admits that Peggy got the intel on Leviathan and rescued Ivchenko. She says that Howard isn't linked to Leviathan, but Jack isn't so sure. Roger dismisses them and congratulates Peggy as she leaves. Peggy notices Daniel looking pensive, and he says that he's been staying up late worrying about them. As he congratulates Peggy, Jack invites Peggy to join them for a drink. Daniel says that he has work to do and stays behind, and takes out the photo and looks at it after Peggy leaves.