TV Review: Agent Carter - Season 1 Episode 3 "Time and Tide"

Join us each week as we review the latest episode of AGENT CARTER. Warning: the following review contains major spoilers for the newest episode of the show.

Episode 3: "Time and Tide"

Synopsis: As Agent Carter closes in on Howard Stark’s stolen technology, Peggy’s secret mission could unravel when the SSR arrests Jarvis and a secret is revealed.

Recap: The results are in and most fans and critics have given the thumbs up to AGENT CARTER.  Whereas AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. is often criticized for being too cheesy and restricted by the budget of a network television series, AGENT CARTER revels in the retro stylings of a pulp adventure story.  With only eight episodes to play with, we are already into the third story of the season/series.  So far, the show has maintained a serialized nature, giving it more of a cohesive serial feel rather than a villain of the week like some other comic book inspired shows.

This week's episode picks up shortly after the ending of episode 2 with Leet Brannis (James Frain) dead.  Peggy is investigating the mysterious symbol Brannis left in the dirt while her SSR colleagues, led by Chief Dooley, learn about Brannis.  Turns out that Brannis was a Russian soldier whose entire squadron was killed in 1944, leading the agents to question how he could have still been alive.  The discovery of the bumper from one of Howard Stark's cars also leads the agents to bring Jarvis in for questioning, which he obliges so they don't discover Peggy in Stark's home.

At the station, as the agents try to rattle Jarvis into revealing his involvement in the events from the last episode, we learn that Jarvis was convicted of treason during the war.  Despite being dishonorably discharged, he did not face any prison time thanks to Howard Stark.  The agents threaten Jarvis and his wife with deportation, but on the brink of caving, Peggy pulls a fast one and slips the stolen car report back to Dooley, setting Jarvis free.  Of course, this means Peggy gets a dressing down from Dooley for her actions.  This seems to have an emotional toll on Peggy as she faces her male coworkers upon her exit.

Investigating the Stark safe and how Brannis stole all of the technology, Carter confronts Jarvis about his discharge, saying she needs to know so she can trust him.  Turns out that Jarvis is a heck of a guy.  During the war, Jarvis fell in love with his future wife, Anna, who lived in Budapest.  As a Jewish woman, she was not safe and Jarvis' commanding officer would not sign papers to allow her to leave with them.  Jarvis stole the documents and forged his commander's name, hence the treason/discharge.  Howard Stark used his influence to free Jarvis and Anna, hence their friendship.

Carter and Jarvis track the access of Stark's safe through the sewers to a boat marked with the symbol left to them by Brannis.  On the ship, they find crates filled with Stark's stolen items but the new quandary of how to reveal to the SSR the method in which they found the ship.  Peggy is convinced they will respect her for investigating on her own while Jarvis says they will suspect her of working with Stark.  Peggy concedes to let Jarvis call in the location of the boat in a call to Agent Souza at the SSR.

Carter gets a surprise attack from a henchman who says he was warned she would be coming.  The two square off and Carter holds her own pretty damn well.  The fight is another well choreographed one with Jarvis arriving in time to deflect the bad guy while Peggy uses a Stark device that causes uncontrollable muscle contractions.  The two quickly duck out just as the SSR arrives on the scene.  Souza questions how the anonymous call fell into their lap.  Dooley is suspicious too and warns the agents to drive carefully.  As he drives the injured henchman back, Agent Krzeminski learns an English woman was who took him down.  As Krzeminski thinks about Carter, he is rear-ended and then shot to death along with the henchman.

At SSR the next day, Peggy finds everyone crying and forlorn and she learns of Krzeminski's death.  Souza vows to find who called in the tip, convinced it was a setup to get to the SSR.  Dooley also recommits to the search for Howard Stark and blames him for his fallen agent.  Peggy takes the time to go see her friend, Angie, who has been trying to forge a bond.  Peggy, often standoffish at making friends, feels the need to share with Angie, fostering more between the two.

Marvel Cinematic Universe References: A couple of Captain America references, but not much else.

Review: After having a lot of fun with the first two episodes, I could not help but feel a little underwhelmed by this one.  Yeah, the banter between Jarvis and Peggy is as good as last week and we even get a more involved SSR focus this week, but the mystery to the episode felt a bit like filler.  With only 8 episodes to tell Peggy's tale, I was hoping for more tightly crafted stories and episodes each week.  This felt like a middle of the season episode for a full season network series.  Still, the sequences on the boat and the closing moments of this episode were solid as was the reveal about Jarvis' past, but the rest didn't quite gel as well as it did in the first two chapters.  Hopefully next week's return for Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark will put us back on track.

Episode Grade: 7/10 SSR Badges

Next on AGENT CARTER: "The Blitzkrieg Button" airs January 27th, 2015: Peggy may be in more trouble than usual when fugitive Howard Stark suddenly returns for mysterious reasons. And Chief Dooley chases a new clue all the way to Europe that threatens to destroy Peggy's future at the SSR.

Source: JoBlo.com



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