Agent Carter: 106 “A Sin to Err” Review
Reviewed by Phil Boothman.
I’ve complained in the past that Agent Carter has spent a few episodes treading water, which is not necessarily a good thing for a show with such a short run of episodes. Following the events of “A Sin to Err”, I take everything back.
After last week’s episode, the SSR have Dr Ivchenko in protective custody and some valuable intel about the school for small and violent Russian girls: Ivchenko tells them that girls were most likely used as women can move about under the radar, that they often go unnoticed or underappreciated by men, all while looking pointedly at Peggy. It’s an interesting moment, as the major lesson for the characters of the show, that women have just as much value as men, is spelled out for them, albeit with a more sinister example than you might hope for.
So, while Dooley continues Ivchenko’s questioning (with more scotch than is probably strictly necessary), he instructs Peggy to follow up on the leads generated by the intel. She believes that not only did a female sleeper agent kill Krzemenski, but that Howard Stark got busy with one of the sleeper agents, and she passed along the information about his vault to her Leviathan handlers. So she recruits Jarvis to help her track down some of Stark’s many, many conquests to see if they have scarring on their wrists from being handcuffed to their beds, which results in Jarvis receiving a good deal of minor physical abuse.
They eventually manage to find the apartment of a dancer and upon gaining entrance Peggy discovers that the apartment has been cleaned out, but there are scuff-marks on the bedposts, presumably from a pair of handcuffs. While Peggy goes to canvas the neighbours to see if they know anything about the woman, she sends Jarvis to do some digging to see if there is any kind of paper trail surrounding her. However, when they meet up again, it turns out neither was successful, and then things really go to hell.
While all this is happening, Sousa visits the schlubby guy from the second episode, the one who helped transport the nitramene for Leet Brannis and to whom Peggy delivered a sound beating. He asks him to identify the woman who assaulted him, and shows a photo of Peggy: the schlub positively identifies her, and Sousa’s suspicions are confirmed.
So, as Peggy and Jarvis meet at the Automat, she notices several agents sitting around and the rest of the civilians clearing out: however, this being Peggy Carter, she manages to take out the entire group of agents with the use of plates and dishes, and escapes out the back door. Unfortunately, she is confronted by Thompson, whom she manages to knock unconscious, and then Sousa, who lets her get away after she tells him that things are more complicated than he knows.
She heads back to the Griffith to pick up Steve Rogers’ blood sample, but she is unable to get out again before the SSR storm the building, much to Miss Fry’s chagrin: however, she manages to hide on the ledge outside her window while the agents search her room, and Angie covers for her as the agents come in to question her. Angie arranges a car for Peggy to help her get out of the city as Dooley and the SSR set up a citywide manhunt for her.
While all of this is going on, some suspicious activity is going on: Ivchenko gives his best psychiatrist-spiel to Dooley, identifying that he is likely separated from his wife and sleeping at the office. So Dooley opens up, and Ivchenko goes to the window, where he is spotted by Dastardly Dottie, who has taken up a spot in a dentist’s office window by murdering said dentist, and is aiming a rifle at Ivchenko. However, she doesn’t take a shot, instead flashing a light at Ivchenko, who acknowledges it and taps out a message in response on the windowsill. Dottie writes down the meaning of the morse code message, the gist of which is ‘kill Peggy Carter’, and Ivchenko starts seemingly hypnotising Dooley with his ring.
When proceedings are interrupted by Sousa giving Dooley information about Peggy, Ivchenko turns his attention to Yauch, a more junior agent assigned to look after him. He successfully hypnotises the younger agent into giving him a schematic of the SSR offices, particularly where Stark’s inventory is being kept, and then encourages him to walk out in front of a truck and kill himself, which he does without hesitation. So, the suspicions of the time period are confirmed, and all Russians are evil bastards.
Back with Peggy, she only manages to get out of Angie’s room before she bumps into Dottie, who kisses her using Peggy’s own sedative lipstick, but just as she is about to take a knife to our favourite agent, the other SSR agents round the corner and take Peggy into custody. The episode closes as Sousa and Thompson being their interrogation of Peggy, complete with the photo of her taken at the club, and the ‘Blitzkrieg Button’.
Holy crap, a lot of stuff just went down, and I see now that the episodes which I considered to be ‘treading water’ were actually doing exactly what the weaker episodes of Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. were doing: setting pieces up for an episode like this one to knock them all down again. The stage is set for the final two episodes of Agent Carter, and they promise to be huge.