Agent Carter: Sin to Err
February 11, 2015 5:19 AM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Carter and Jarvis investigate Howard Starks premature evacuations, aka past relationships, Chief Dooley gets friendly with Dr. Ivchenko, Sousa figures out that Peggy's been working behind everyone's back and tells the Chief, who sends SSR agets to round her up, but nobody puts Peggy in corner! Except Dottie, who has wonderful visiting the dentist and catching up with old colleagues.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (40 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I just watched this a couple of hours ago, and I was really sad that I have to wait a week to find out what happens next.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:50 AM on February 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm bummed that we only have two episodes left before the Agent Skye and Other Members of SHIELD starts back up!

Random thoughts while writing up a recap:

The acting on the series has been all around great. From Peggy to Dooley and Sousa and Thompson and Angie and Dr. Ivchenko and especially Dottie, all the characters feel "alive" and help ground the show. Haley Atwell as Carter is particularly great. I've been reviewing this episode in slow-motion, for screen captures and watching the multiude of expressions that cross Atwell's face when Jarvis is first slapped by one of Stark's exes is just amazing. It goes from "oh crap, she's going to hit him" to a smug "well it serves him right for participating in Stark's foolishness" to "yeah, hit him" to "oh my god, she really smacked him" to "Oh geeze, he's not all bad" in the span of that slap. Great stuff to watch!

Sousa is Capt. America, so of course Peggy will fall in love with at some point. No, he doesn't have the crutch of the super soldier serum to make him all beefy and heroic. But there's a quiet dignity and strength that's the mark of a good character. Plus he's smart. Peggy likes smarts. And he's wounded, while clearly wanting to do better for his country and society, just like Steve. The woman is smitten!

Peggy is, by pretty much every measure, a superhero. Yet she is one that manages to avoid having an origin story. Which means we won't have to suffer through repeated viewings of it in the coming years.

There's a lot of great direction going on the show. Consider the shot where Peggy kicks the chair to Jarvis so he can jam the door. It's one smooth pan that just works.

The soundtrack is rocking, along with Peggy's stylish looks. She has the best "costumes".

I really more is done with the character, from more of these mini-series to using the older version in Agents of Shield or Marvel movies. How awesome would it be to see Nick Fury going to her for advice and her giving him a load of crap for not living up to the ideals of the agency she started.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:10 AM on February 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


I am really torn between wanting the show to be picked up for a full season and wanting it to remain an arc of eight nearly perfect episodes.

And I knew that Russian psychiatrist was not what he seemed! (I mean yeah how could it be otherwise BUT STILL.)
posted by rtha at 6:26 AM on February 11, 2015


I'm assuming this is the first of a series of mini-seasons for this show? I can't imagine them satisfactorily wrapping things up in the next two episodes.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:27 AM on February 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Dear god, that shot of Dottie paused in the dentist's doorway was a thing of beauty. We backed it up just to appreciate the classic "movie star" expression on her face, the lighting, her flawless makeup and face-framing curls... Really well-done!

I love that we can see how forcefully she and Angie are acting for others in a show whose characters are subtly rounded out by comparison, and yet when the show began, the ensemble cast was much more two-dimensional. Characters like Dum Dum Dugan and Dr. Ivchenko could have come off cartoonishly in less deft hands, so my hat's off to this show. Truly one of the best series on television right now, and I know I'll miss it when it's gone.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 6:35 AM on February 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


No, it's only scheduled for 8 episodes. They'll probably wrap up this story line and end with the intention of closing down the SSR and starting SHIELD.

But a regular eight episode miniseries in the winter and summer, chronicling the further adventures of Agent Carter, would be awesome.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:37 AM on February 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Episode one set up sympathy for two underappreciated characters. It's so great to watch the SSR team slowly come to recognize their mettle as Peggy demonstrates some badassery and Sousa gets solid results from dogged detective work. Having the conflict shifting a bit from Peggy/Sousa vs their peers to Peggy/Sousa vs the bad guys keeps really keeps the show interesting.
posted by klarck at 6:39 AM on February 11, 2015


The episode was full of fun moments. If I can express one disappointment is that Howard Stark's character seems to exist in caricature. We really only had one good episode with him where we learn more about his background, but that was a fleeting moment. For the most part it seems as if it's been a case of, "O' Howard!"

I completely concur with the acting discussion above. The actors are making this show work so much.

I did not expect the sweet dreams kiss from Dottie to Peggy, especially as the moment immediately preceding it was tense (for the viewer at least) when the two confronted each other as Peggy was making her escape. I also appreciated that it didn't necessary go over as, "Oh, hey, two ladies kissing....EXPLOIT EXPLOIT." It was a sudden, surprising and effective way for Dottie to incapacitate the most dangerous person on the show.

Sousa. Unless he dies, he completely seems a good candidate to become Mr. Peggy Carter. I wonder if he's going to be mortally wounded and Peggy uses Steve's blood to save him, and thus, Captain America "saves his life." (Granted, wasn't it supposed to be during the war that he saved her future husband?)

The restaurant fight scene was well done, exploiting the quick and effective fighting action for Peggy. She's not there to put on a show, she's professional and efficient. Those boys from D.C. were warned...

Question, was there really a deal for that dude in prison or was Sousa playing a bit of the lying game the chief pulled on the Nazi back in Europe?

The Russian shrink. It does pay off to be a paranoid! Though, I was completely sure I was about to watch his head explode like a melon (right, okay, so the ABC primetime equivalent that won't emotionally scar the children - like walking into a street in front of a truck) when Dottie was sighting the windows through her scope. The one thing I thought was unnecessary was the attitude of the dentist. When he immediately came across as a creep, I turned instantly to my wife, "He's dead, and we're not supposed to feel bad about it." I think Dottie didn't need that position to have even the most minor justification for killing the guy. It would have been more her character if she had killed someone who was indeed friendly and a good person. In fact, has she killed anyone who didn't have some nefarious purpose other than the fellow classmate?

I hope that we keep getting eight season episodes of Carter that come with the solstices.
posted by Atreides at 6:58 AM on February 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wouldn't it have been easier to make some binoculars that flash morse code than a rifle?
posted by drezdn at 8:05 AM on February 11, 2015


But then you don't also have a rifle.

It goes well with the bedframe handcuffs.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:12 AM on February 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


The one thing I thought was unnecessary was the attitude of the dentist.

Perhaps, but a sub theme of the show is women beating the hell out of dudes who are either creepy or underestimate them.

Wouldn't it have been easier to make some binoculars that flash morse code than a rifle?

Yes, but Dottie likes to keep her options open and maintain general proficiency in going undercover and beating the hell out creepy men.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:16 AM on February 11, 2015


Wouldn't it have been easier to make some binoculars that flash morse code than a rifle?

I assumed that if the psychiatrist had given a different order, she'd have shot someone (the boss, presumably)
posted by dinty_moore at 8:17 AM on February 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was pleasantly surprised to have Peggy fail to get away. Not how I expected that to go down and a very plausible and satisfying way to have Dottie try but fail to kill her. Agent Carter has had a pleasant lack of "oh, come on!" moments.
posted by phearlez at 8:52 AM on February 11, 2015


It's a good thing that she wrote down need more time to get item and new directive: kill peggy carter just in case she might have forgotten these complicated instructions otherwise.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:58 AM on February 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


As another fanwank, I can see writing it down letter by letter for morse code so you don't have to remember what the first letter was in the sequence. Though it did seem like she was just writing the whole thing afterwards, which was weird.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:14 AM on February 11, 2015


It's a good thing that she wrote down need more time to get item and new directive: kill peggy carter just in case she might have forgotten these complicated instructions otherwise.

My reaction was, "Dang, her hand-writing is 100000000x nicer than mine..."
posted by sparkletone at 9:25 AM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I’m also feeling impatient for the next episode – I saw that it was 8:55 and was hoping that it was somehow mysteriously a two-parter. I think the last time I felt that way was the first season of orphan black.

I’m still loving the fight sequences ( the automat especially), and was glad to see Peggy and Jarvis working together. Angie was also awesome this episode – both her ‘oh, here’s the dude you have secret meetings with sitting back to back at adjoining booths’ and her cry-acting flummoxing the men. I’m hoping that Angie finds a way to reach out to Jarvis next episode and let him know what happened, since watching those two characters interact would be a treat.

And yeah, I assumed that Peggy would figure out Dottie before Dottie could get the jump on her, but I’m pleasantly surprised that didn’t happen. And surprisingly anxious about the SSR having Steve Rogers’ blood.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:40 AM on February 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


The cry-acting was just fantastic.
posted by rtha at 9:58 AM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Damn, this was exactly the show I was expecting when the series was announced. SPIES, hypnosis! Hot jazz automat punching! Poisoned kisses! Betrayal!
posted by The Whelk at 12:13 PM on February 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


I seem to recall something about Marvel not wanting to do 23 straight episodes of S.H.I.E.L.D. and that's why we're having a Carter intermission. If they like how that reasoning worked out we can hold out some hope they'll do it again next year.
posted by localroger at 12:21 PM on February 11, 2015


Plus, it's fertile ground for exploring Marvel's and/or Peggy's past. You don't spend three years in the European theater during World War II without racking up some stories!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:13 PM on February 11, 2015


This was a really strong episode and tuesday can't come fast enough.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 2:18 PM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


, "He's dead, and we're not supposed to feel bad about it."

That was my reaction, and then she jammed a dental drill into his eyeball and I turned to my gf and said, "Well, they managed to make her the bad guy here anyway. Good show."
posted by restless_nomad at 5:14 PM on February 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I really really enjoy the fighting style they've picked for Peggy. Sometimes they go for the "stronger than she looks!" balletic style (River Tam, Buffy Summers - oh hey, Joss) and sometimes it's a few fast precise kicks and punches like Dottie where it's clearly a lot of training, but Peggy fights like a brawler. She uses her physical strength and her environment and just goes for it, heavy and hard. Her fighting isn't graceful or precise, it's all about achieving a goal and staying alive. Atwell looks so aware of her environment and the odds, not in a dreamy superhuman way, but more with the experience of someone who wants to stay alive, who's physically tough and capable - like a really good soldier. And she gets slightly sweaty and mussed up when she's fighting!
posted by viggorlijah at 6:35 PM on February 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


I beamed when Angie said so gleefully, "I KNEW you didn't work at the phone company!" +1 for lady friendships! This episode had me on the edge of my seat; it made me genuinely nervous in places. When I checked the time and realized there were only two minutes left in the episode I was surprised; the continuous energy of this one was just fantastic, great fight scenes. I'm missing the show already and it's not over!
posted by missmary6 at 6:42 PM on February 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah Peggy's fighting style, like her personality, is practical and goal-driven. She is so not afraid to just BEAT DOWN on someone. Anything it takes to get the job done.

I'm reminded of her approving look in the first cap movie when Steve demonstrated his lateral thinking skills by cutting down the flag pole rather than trying to climb up it.
posted by The Whelk at 6:49 PM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Finally caught up with this one. That fight scene kicked a whole lot of ass, and the whole sequence of the SRS squad invading the boarding house, disregarding the landlady, getting played by Angie...just beautifully executed.

I really hope this show is doing well enough via the various streaming outlets to make up for the just fair broadcast ratings that I've heard it's getting, because I could stand to watch a whole lot more.
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:54 PM on February 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am rewatching right now and oh my: The scene where Dottie has the drill and is leaning into the dentist's face, and it cuts to Peggy and Jarvis beginning their "track down Howard's exes" mission, and the sound goes from dental drill to construction jackhammer. Brilliant and gross!
posted by rtha at 6:57 PM on February 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


I really liked the fact that they've repeatedly showed Peggy dismissing Angie and Dottie both in pretty much the same way her colleagues have dismissed her, and it's finally biting her in the ass this time around.
posted by immlass at 8:31 PM on February 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


the sound goes from dental drill to construction jackhammer. Brilliant and gross!

Yes! I caught that last night and was impressed. The only other show I can think of that does that sort of thing is Archer, and there it's so common it's impossible to miss. But this was way subtler.
posted by asterix at 8:56 PM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


That was a fun ride of disasters and face-punching. They're doing a good job of balancing "everything is falling apart" with "these are competent and often badass spy types." Whcih is a good thing given that we have to believe not only that Peggy will get out of this but that she will redeem herself and Stark in the establishment's eyes to the point where they become the founding directors of SHIELD.

Angie was absolutely great in this episode. Dottie was horrifying, but in a good way. The dentist scene, damn.

I wonder if there's going to turn out to be some kind of hypnosis ray in the doctor's ring or if he's just supposed to be that good.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:51 AM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm reminded of her approving look in the first cap movie when Steve demonstrated his lateral thinking skills

Oh my, yes. Peggy was quite pleased by and taken with him even before he turned into, to quote someone on tumblr, roast beefcake in Howard Stark's hottie machine.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:04 AM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am really torn between wanting the show to be picked up for a full season and wanting it to remain an arc of eight nearly perfect episodes.

On the one hand I don't want there to be a day when there's no more Agent Carter coming. On the other hand I really want to be able to sit down someday and just mainline Captain America: TFA and the whole Peggy Carter saga in one go. And they can't both be true because of stupid linear time.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:17 AM on February 12, 2015


I'm really liking this series.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:12 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


My headcanon is that Dottie wasn't even wearing the lipstick, she's just a really really good kisser...
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:11 PM on February 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


rtha: he scene where Dottie has the drill and is leaning into the dentist's face, and it cuts to Peggy and Jarvis beginning their "track down Howard's exes" mission, and the sound goes from dental drill to construction jackhammer. Brilliant and gross!

Yes! I just watched it and laughed out loud at that! Nicely done.

Count me as another fan of Peggy's fighting style. She's just a brawler and I love it. The automat scene was done really well.
posted by brundlefly at 10:22 PM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


> It's a good thing that she wrote down need more time to get item and new directive: kill peggy carter just in case she might have forgotten these complicated instructions otherwise.

Wasn't she transcribing from morse code, letter by letter?
posted by desuetude at 11:10 AM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


She wrote it down all at once, not even remotely as if she were recording each letter as she watched. It probably made sense in the script (either that it was scripted that she'd write it letter-by-letter or that we'd see the paper after she'd already written it down) but the decision when it was filmed was to show her writing it down all at once without any thought to what that implied -- probably because letter-by-letter would require multiple shots spread out over time as she wrote it, or a single shot of the completed message would be too static (where her writing as an activity holds more interest and urgency).
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:09 PM on February 20, 2015


[One deleted. Previews for next week are considered spoilers, so let's leave them out here. Thanks!]
posted by taz at 12:07 AM on February 19, 2018


I wonder if there's going to turn out to be some kind of hypnosis ray in the doctor's ring or if he's just supposed to be that good.

It seemed to make a sort of violin or finger on a wet wine-glass rim sort of noise when he spun it, which implied some sort of hypnotism-aiding tech to me.
posted by JiBB at 12:11 AM on February 19, 2018


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