"The Blitzkrieg Button," Agent Carter's fourth episode and mid-way point, may have actually been the beginning of the series' true arc and end game.
a fairly eventful season premiere, the show has been stuck in a
combination of logistical battles and character development. Between
episodes two and three, Carter and Jarvis go on a series of fetch-quests
and authority ducking missions to track down the "bad babies,"
dangerous weapons and inventions that Howard Stark says were stolen from
him, and learn vague information about a Russian big-bad known as
Leviathan. By the start of episode four, Stark is still suspected of
treason against the United States for selling dangerous weapons on the
black market; the only difference is that these inventions have been
This brings us to "The Blitzkrieg Button," and kicks off what feels like the first glimpse at the show's most important thread.
that Stark's weapons are back, so is he. Popping in on Carter
unexpectedly, he explains that he needs her to retrieve a device from
SSR that he refers to as the Blitzkrieg Button, which he says will wipe
out an entire city's power. Though she is frequently underestimated,
Carter's no idiot - she can tell Stark is hiding something and wouldn't
have returned for a light switch. After pumping Jarvis for information
(more on this in a minute...) she learns there is more to the device
than Stark explained, and activates it herself, finding a vial of
Captain America's blood inside.
Though Agent Carter has
shown us all along that our hero will not find respect in her line of
work or era, it's never been clearer than it is here. Agent Thompson
tells it to her straight: Carter will never be considered an equal in
their office. But outside of the office, she's trusted Stark up to this
point to give her more purpose, only to find out that she's been
used. Carter lashes out at him for lying, leading to the show's best
scene to date. Stark brushes off the lying as a bad habit and claims
he's using the blood to research its medicinal value, like vaccines and
cures. Carter's response buries him: "I think you are a man out for his
own gain no matter who you are charging. You are constantly finding
holes to slither your way into in the hope of finding loose change, only
to cry when you are bitten by another snake."
And although Stark
is unlikely to end up completely in the villain corner, it seems like
he's complicit in a much larger issue. Chief Dooley follows a trail of
clues to Nuremburg to speak to a Nazi named Mueller who has information
on the Russians working for Leviathan. Dooley learns that the "Battle at
Finow," where the Russian Leviathan agents supposedly died, never took
place - the Nazis only found piles of ripped and mauled bodies, already
massacred in some other way. The SSR also learns Stark flew into Finow
the day after this alleged battle.
OK, so if you're keeping score -
everything important in this episode revolves around one vial of blood.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though it was implied that HYDRA was
responsible for turning Bucky Barnes into the Winter Soldier, it's never
been explicit. We're still in theory-only territory here, but I'm
hedging my bets on all of these events leading up to either the
revelation of the Winter Soldier's creation or the beginning of it via
Leviathan. It would be a nice tie-in to present-day events, and with the
involvement of Captain America writers Christopher Markus
and Stephen McFeely, it would also make sense. We'll see how that theory
pans out over the remaining four episodes.
Some other items to chew on:
Dottie, Carter's friendly next-door-neighbor, is apparently an agent of
some kind. Not a completely shocking turn, but an interesting one. That
reminds me of someone else who had a next-door-neighbor who he thought
was just a regular gal, but then it turned out she was an agent...
Carter tries to get information on the Blitzkrieg Button from Jarvis,
and notices that he tugs at his ear every time he states a fact that is
untrue. Carter chalks this up to a poker tell, but my initial take on
this was that Jarvis was intentionally hinting to her. The tugging was
just so... obvious? Then again, Jarvis isn't super smooth.
Thompson is starting to get a little more personality. Some of Carter's
co-workers feel like caricatures, but I think his character might be
one of the most realistic. He behaves like a man of the times but also
seems to understand and have a bit of empathy for his co-workers,
helping them in small and private moments.
- Agent Sousa, on the
other hand, is just a little too good to be true. Too good, as in, I
feel like he's probably a double agent kind of too good?