Agent Carter Episode Five Review: Spoilers Ahead…

Peggy Carter returned triumphantly this week, catching up with a few old friends, and making some new ones.  This made for one of the best put-together episodes of the series so far, although this wasn’t as entertaining as last week’s escapades.

The episode focuses on the messages from the typewriter, which was our big cliffhanger last week.  The messages, Carter determines, are in Russian, and point to a location.  Unable to persuade Agent Thompson and the Commanding Officer, Carter strikes a deal- if she can get the 107th brigade to join forces for this mission, then she gets to go along.  She manages to do this with no problems, even though it was expected that the 107th wouldn’t be interested.

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We discover why the 107th was so keen to help Carter when they land in Russia- it’s Dum Dum Dugan and the Howling Commandos, a team that has worked with Peggy before.  Together, they discover that the location the typewriter sent was once a boarding school.  This is the same boarding school that trained Dottie, whose training we see earlier in the episode.  Dottie isn’t seen very much, but she does break into Carter’s room and discover that Carter is a spy.

Speaking of which, this episode is filled with new discoveries and friendships.  When under heavy fire, Carter keeps her cool and saves Agent Thompson’s life, earning his respect.  He even invites her out to grab a drink at the end of the episode.  Meanwhile, Souza ends up finding another bit of key evidence that Peggy is the double-agent from the photo (going back to episode one).  It’s interesting to see this shift- a former ally is now becoming something of an enemy, while Thompson has begun to respect Carter and what she’s capable of.

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It’s worth noting that this episode is titled “The Iron Ceiling,” which refers partially to the Iron Curtain, a phrase often used when talking about Cold War Russia.  It may also refer to the sort of ceiling that exists for women during Peggy’s time- a limitation on upward mobility and status.

Though there was a fair amount of action later in the episode, the early half of things was a bit slow.  Much of the first half of the episode jumps around to unconnected scenes that serve no greater good in the individual episode, but reward fans who have been watching and are familiar with the characters.  Because of this, the narrative’s pacing suffers.  The Howling Commandos story is excellent, though, and makes this one of the more fun episodes to watch so far.

With three episodes to go, it’s still very up in the air as to where this show is going to go.  Will Carter clear Stark’s name?  What does Leviathan have in store?  We’ll get more pieces of the puzzle next Tuesday night, when Agent Carter returns!

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