Agent Carter 'Snafu' Review - Leviathan Is Coming
Marvel's Agent Carter is going out with a bang. Last night's episode, 'Snafu', was the penultimate entry into the show's debut season and it did everything to ensure fans will be crossing all their appendages in the hopes of getting a season 2. Snafu was not only the most action-packed and thrilling episode to date, it also saw peak performances from a number of cast members, most notably Hayley Atwell and Shea Whigham. Both Peggy and Agent Dooley saw six episodes of tension released in this episode, and both should win plaudits for the way that they dealt with their respective situations. Hanging over all of this development was the constant threat of Dr. Ivchenko, Dottie Underwood and Leviathan, and with just one episode left, next week is shaping up to give this show the finale it deserves.
With Peggy in custody at the S.S.R, she faces some intense interrogation from her colleagues. Being grilled by her one-time pal, Souza, must have hurt her but what was surely more wounding for Peggy was the shock on her colleague's faces when they realize a 'dame' has been able to pull one over on them. Peggy deals with the jibes and and questions with aplomb, delivering some of her choicest lines to date.
"You think you know me, but I've never been more than what each of you have created. To you I'm a stray kitten left on the doorstep to be protected, the secretary turned damsel in distress, the girl on the pedestal transformed into some daft whore. You're behaving like children!"
With that one quote you got the sense that months of frustrations were being released. Peggy has been overlooked, mis-treated and mis-judged by her fellow agents, purely because of her gender, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one who gave a small fist pump when she delivered this next barb in response to Dooley and Co.'s puzzlement at how she got away with her off the books investigation.
"I conducted my own investigation because no one listens to me. I got away with it because no one looks at me. Because unless I have your reports, your coffee, or your lunch, I am invisible."
Throughout all of these interrogations, Peggy found herself an unlikely ally in the form of Agent Thompson. So often the instigator of the S.S.R's sexist tomfoolery, Thompson was snapped out of his misogynist mind-set by Peggy's life-saving antics in Russia and quickly leaps to her defense when she faces the wrath of Dooley and Souza. The fact that he looked surprised when he did so shows just how far Thompson's attitudes have come in the last couple of weeks and kudos to Chad Michael Murray for getting that across so well.
Another man who stepped up this week was Jarvis. Usually unwavering in his loyalty to Howard Stark, Jarvis's time working with Peggy has seen him grow greatly attached to her, so much so that you get the feeling he'll do anything to help her, even if it means placing Stark in a sticky situation. Jarvis comes to Peggy's aid again this week, delivering a forged confession from Stark, which for all intents and purposes, should get Peggy off the hook. Dooley, still under the spell of Dr. Ivchenko, isn't fully buying it and orders Jarvis and Peggy to remain under lock and key until they can get to the bottom of things. Luckily, there's no chance you're keeping these two locked up for long, and the show quickly displays its signature charm as Peggy and Jarvis attempt to break out of captivity with this cute exchange:
Jarvis: "What if there are people behind this mirror we're breaking?"
Peggy: "Then they may get hurt. There will be a spray of glass."
Jarvis: "What if those hypothetical people behind the mirror have guns?"
Peggy: "Then we'll get hurt. There will be a spray of bullets."
With Peggy and Jarvis free of captivity, attention turns to stopping the dynamic Russian duo of Dr. Ivchenko and Dottie Underwood who, as we learn through the wonders of morse code, are planning on unleashing terror upon the S.S.R and New York City. With all hell breaking loose, the show blindsides us with a touching sequence which sees Dooley, now free of Ivchenko's influence, charge Carter with sorting this whole mess out. After her tirade about reports, coffee and lunch, could it be that Dooley finally respects Peggy enough to charge her with leading the agency's most important operation?
Unfortunately, this strange u-turn in attitude all comes after Dr. Ivchenko has already left his mark on the S.S.R. Chief. After Ivchenko uses him to access some of Stark's most lethal 'bad babies', Dooley wakes up wearing a vest, created by Stark, which rather inconveniently has the ability to turn itself into a high-powered explosive. S.S.R scientists are unable to free their boss from the deadly garment and with Dooley now transformed into a walking weapon of mass destruction, the team are running out of ideas. With his orders barked at Peggy, Dooley makes the ultimate sacrifice by leaping out of the building just moments before the vest detonates. This is a death that's going to hurt Peggy and her colleagues badly. With Leviathan coming and Ivchenko and Underwood on the loose, the S.S.R is without its leader, which means, you guessed it, Peggy is going to have to save the day.
Before wrapping up, it's worth mentioning one more thing about Dr. Ivchenko. In this episode we see more of the Russian doctor's, which allow him to insert his will upon the minds of others. Seeing Ivchenko's powers in action has me thinking that this may well be the Marvel Studios version of Captain America villain, Dr. Faustus who was able to influence the will of others for criminal purposes. This may, or may not be confirmed next week, but either way it's yet another source of intrigue for this fascinating show.
Next week's finale promises to be a fittingly thrilling end to this thoroughly entertaining season. A showdown between Dottie Underwood and Peggy Carter looms and the mysterious Levithan will be revealed. If you aren't truly sucked in by a show which can charm, thrill and entertain you in such equal parts, it's time to face the facts....there's something terribly wrong with you.
Agent Carter 'Valediction' airs next Tuesday at 9/8c on ABC.