TV Review: Agent Carter - Season 1 Episode 4 "The Blitzkrieg Button"

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 4: "The Blitzkrieg Button"

Synopsis: 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.

Recap: The return of Howard Stark after a couple of episodes out of the country gives AGENT CARTER a nice boost, not that the show has needed it thus far.  While AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. has used the opening teaser sequence to set up their episodes, AGENT CARTER jumps right into the mix with Jarvis and Peggy in the midst of an exchange for the returned Stark, smuggled in via a cargo crate.  Jarvis uses some Bond-like gadgets while Peggy just kicks ass. 

With the SSR on the hunt for Stark after losing one of their own in the previous episode, Peggy sneaks Stark into her apartment building via a dumbwaiter.  At SSR headquarters, Chief Dooley continues the investigation of Stark.  Stuck with redacted Army documents and the mysterious typewriter, Dooley investigates a former Nazi who may have answers about Stark's whereabouts.  During his absence, Dooley places Agent Thompson in charge.

Stark is en route to Rio but wants to know which of his inventions Peggy has recovered.  He gives her a camera pen to get intel at SSR for him before he leaves again.  Thompson immediately institutes round the clock work for all SSR agents to find the killer of Agent Krzeminski.  Peggy is able to get the photos and we get a funny segment of SSR scientists hurting themselves with Stark's devices.

Down at the docks, Sousa follows up on the anonymous phone call that led to finding the ship of Stark's inventions.  Meanwhile, the thugs Peggy took down in the opening relate how Stark escaped to the platinum blonde Mr. Mink.  Mink quickly kills them with a cool railgun style handgun after he learns Peggy Carter was at the scene.  Back at her apartment, Peggy finds Howard with yet another woman.  The sheer Starkiness of Dominic Cooper's portrayal of Tony's father is brilliant here.

Sousa interrogates the homeless veteran from the docks and relates a story of how they are the same as soldiers returned from war.  The vet doesn't budge and Thompson wants him released, but Sousa has a feeling about the guy.  Back at her apartment, Stark tells Peggy he needs her to steal one of his inventions back from the SSR lab: the Blitzkrieg Button.  It functions like an EMP and shuts down an entire tri-state area but he never discovered a way to turn the lights back on.  Stark gives Peggy a decoy to exchange for the functional Button since he is the only one who can disarm it.

Peggy makes her way to retrieve the Button with Jarvis with Mr. Mink in pursuit.  Meanwhile, Thompson steps in with a hamburger and a bottle of Scotch which gets the homeless guy talking, revealing he saw a man and a woman board the boat before hell broke loose.  Sousa asks if it was the same blonde from the party photographs but the vet says this woman had dark hair.

At Nuremburg Prison, Dooley meets with the Nazi war criminal, Mueller, and offers to help him escape in exchange for intel on Leet Brannis and Green Suit.  Instead of hanging, Dooley offers cyanide caplets to give him a quick death.  The criminal instead says there was no battle at Brannis' death site but rather a massacre that they did not undertake themselves.  Dooley is incredulous but gives the cyanide to Mueller anyway which turns out to be breath mints.

Sneaking into the SSR, Peggy overhears what Thompson and Sousa learned at the docks before switching the Buttons.  As she looks over the device, perturbed by Jarvis' reaction to it on the way over, Peggy presses the button which instead of triggering an EMP opens the sphere to reveal a vial of amber liquid.  As she tries to get out, she runs into Thompson who gives a nice misogonystic speech about how Peggy will never be equal with the men she works with.  Back at her apartment, Mr. Mink sits outside waiting.

Peggy confronts Howard about the vial which he reveals to be Steve Rogers' blood.  Mink poses as a flower delivery boy and learns Peggy's room.  Peggy punches Howard in the face for lying to her   Howard says it is his natural instinct to lie and it is all a part of what it takes to elevate your status in the world.  As to why he has Captain America's blood, Stark says as a member of Project Rebirth he and the government have a vial and the goverment is almost through their supply.  If they learn Stark has his, they will take it and it could represent a cure for diseases, vaccines, and save millions.  Peggy accuses Stark of wanting the blood to make money rather than do good like Steve Rogers intended to.  Peggy takes a walk and demands Stark leave. 

At the same time, Mink makes his way through the air vents to Peggy's room.  Her neighbor, Dottie, comes out and Mink orders her back to her room.  Her expression changes when she sees his gun and she quickly jumps acrobatically through the air, twisting Mink's neck and kills him.  I did not see that coming.  Peggy and Jarvis speak the next day but she clearly has lost respect for Jarvis due to his part in Stark's lie.  Stark sits at a nearby shoeshine stand and tells Jarvis he can get her back.  Jarvis voices his displeasure at the recent events and departs.  Next to Stark, the one and only Stan Lee makes a cameo.  I was waiting for that to happen!

Dooley returns and shares his findings with Thompson who shares his own find: Howard Stark landed at an airfield the day after the battle Dooley investigated, prompting them to assme a conspiracy is building.  Peggy hides the vial of blood in the wall of her apartment while Dottie admires her new weapon.  At the SSR, Dooley reviews their evidence when Brannis' typewriter begins to self type.

Marvel Cinematic Universe References: The origin from CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER is key to this episode.

Review: I loved this episode.  Thrilling, funny, and with a big heaping dose of Howard Stark, this entry in AGENT CARTER not only gave us some nice action but also deepened the conspiracy and mystery surrounding Stark's supposed crimes.  The reveal that Dottie is some sort of superhuman was shocking but well executed and Stan Lee's cameo was perfectly timed.  Hayley Atwell handled the dramatic exchange with Stark about Steve Rogers perfectly and exemplified why this show should get a season two.  Shea Whigham was given a nice subplot this week as were all of the supporting players.  For a one hour episode, this week's AGENT CARTER managed to cram in a ton of stuff without the episode feeling unbalanced.

Episode Grade:

Next on AGENT CARTER: "The Iron Ceiling" airs February 3rd, 2015: Peggy is finally trusted with a mission and calls upon her trusted Howling Commandos squad for backup. But her cover could be at risk when SSR Chief Dooley also sends Agent Thompson with her.

Source: JoBlo.com



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