***Warning: This post contains spoilers for ABC’s Agent Carter Episode 1.04, “The Blitzkrieg Button.”
Agent Carter is half way over, and Howard Stark is back in town. Peggy’s and Howard’s relationship piqued my interest when I watched Captain America for the first time. Howard was proof that the apple doesn’t fall from the tree with his character being a playboy genius just like his son, Tony Stark. This is why I loved the fact Howard and Peggy appeared to be buddies. Howard admires Peggy, and considers her a pal (who he will still hit on).
With Howard showing up, comes another mission for Peggy. Peggy is tasked with taking pictures of all the inventions the SSR has of Howard’s, but first Howard feels the need to take a selfie with Peggy.
After Peggy successfully takes the photos she goes back to her lodgings where she has smuggled Howard in for him to lay low. Of course Howard is a challenge because he is now in a building full of young attractive girls. Peggy is able to rein him in, but it is probably the most difficult challenge she has had to face this season so far.
Howard informs Peggy he needs her to steal one of his inventions back because it is extremely dangerous. Peggy is a little skeptical, but goes along with it. Howard’s her friend, and she trusts him. However, Jarvis is a horrible liar, and Peggy knows there is something Howard is not telling her. She steals the item, but decides to find out what the invention truly is. It turns out it is a vial of blood. She goes back and confronts Howard about it. Howard knows she already knows who blood it is when she is demanding him to tell her whose blood he has. The blood is Steve Roger’s. Howard lied to her.
This is what Jarvis and Howard were talking about in the premiere. About Howard lying to her. Yes, recovering Howard’s inventions were important, but this vial was his true motive. He knew Peggy could find and recover his stuff, but also knew Peggy might decline if he told her the truth.
My favorite scene of the night was Peggy confronting Howard. She has every right to be upset. One of her friends betrayed her, and what made it worse was it involved Steve. Peggy has risked her job so Howard could have his vial of Steve’s blood.
The scene also shows us a glimpse of another side of Howard. The man is extremely egotistical, but the scene showed how important Peggy is to him. He let her inside by telling her how he grew up.
I grew up on the lower east side. My father sold fruit. My mother sewed shirt waists for a factory. Let me tell you. You don’t get to climb the American ladder without picking up some bad habits on the way. There’s a ceiling for certain types of people. Based on how much money your parents have. Your social class, your religion, your sex. The only way to break through that ceiling sometimes is to lie so that’s my natural instinct. To lie. I shouldn’t have lied to you. And for that, trust me I am truly sorry.
Peggy then asks why he has Steve’s blood, and Howard tells her his hopes about curing diseases. Peggy isn’t buying that it is for a selfless reason, and you can see the hurt in Howard’s face.
The truth is Peggy did trust Howard, and he lied to her. Howard is relying on Jarvis to make things better, but Howard is going to need to do the groveling. He knew how important Steve was because Steve was also important to him. Lying may protect someone for a little while, but in the long run it doesn’t do any good. The truth will come out, and friendships will be damaged.
The one thing that made the confrontation even more amped up was the scene Peggy has with Jack Thompson. He doesn’t understand why Peggy stays at the SSR because all she does is wait on the men. Jack is an antagonist for Peggy, but what makes it conflicting is he is not a bad guy. He is only a colleague who is a massive jerk. He is part of the problem where women are not treated as equals. He knows what Peggy wants, but he also believes no man will consider her equal with himself.
What really caught my interest was him remarking that it was sad. Jack is A grade a jerk when it comes to Peggy, and it is pretty much the only thing we have seen of him in the series. He’s a man’s man, but this episode showed something else. It wasn’t much, but there was a small sense of isolation or loss with his character. The war affected him. It affected everyone on this show.
Other highlights: Stan Lee’s cameo.
The revelation of Dottie apparently having a love for automatic weapons.
I have a feeling it will be revealed soon that Dottie is a villain. After all, women can make great villains just as great as they can make awesome heroines.