“The Blitzkrieg Button” was all midgame last as Agent Carter moves forward, creating new conflicts and developing others. The episode opens with the return of Howard Stark, who gets smuggled back into the US playing pool in a railway car. He is still a wanted fugitive and must therefore hide out at Peggy’s place, barely dodging the watchful eye of her strict landlady, while she tries to steal back a particularly dangerous invention of Stark’s that was confiscated by the SSR.
Of course it turns out this so-called weapon is not, in fact, a blitzkrieg button that could disable electricity across a large metropolis – Stark’s initial story – but was in fact a vial of Steve Rogers’ blood, which Stark wanted back to ensure further experimentation upon it. He claims it could be key to curing a variety of diseases and ailments that plague humanity, but Peggy is deeply wary of Stark’s true aim, and believes his motivation to be primarily financial, rather than humanitarian in nature. She kicks him to the curb for lying to her and for using her; she ultimately keeps the blood, hiding it in an impromptu cubby hole hammered out from her bedroom wall.
Meanwhile, Sousa is still trying to track down the anonymous tipster (Jarvis), and connect him to the mysterious blonde woman in the photograph (Peggy). He picks up a witness to the recent shady affairs at the docks, a homeless, alcoholic WWI veteran and although he tries to bond with the guy over their shared experience of service, his fellow Vet is having none of it. Only when Agent Thompson offers him a drink and some food does he concede to making himself useful. It is here that we learn the two men’s respective strengths; Sousa’s is empathy, Thompson’s is savvy.
This episode was not as fast-paced or condensed as the previous few and is without elaborate fight sequences and high-stress moments of secrecy and deception. Peggy’s early attempt to hide Stark from Mrs. Fry in the dumbwaiter is far more comedic than it is truly high-stakes. And although there is a very blonde man trying to hunt Peggy down with a proto-automatic pistol, he is taken out before he poses any serious threat to her by the new housemate from down the hall, Dottie. The last episode made it pretty transparent Dottie was more than she seemed, but who she works for and whether she’s an ally or enemy to Peggy is still up in the air. All we know now is the girl’s got some mad skills and some serious secrets.
The scenes between Howard Stark and Peggy are indubitably the high point here, along with Sousa’s screen time. Sadly the Peggy-Angie interaction was almost nil in this episode, which is always a minus, although they do have an amusing exchange about the strategies different women in the house employ to abscond with extra food from shared meals. The main plot advancement was Peggy’s break with Stark and her refusal to be his double-agent any longer. His lie to her about the “blitzkrieg button” broke her trust in him and his current status as a fugitive traitor is no longer her concern. I don’t imagine this will last, but I can sympathize with her skepticism, and her emotional need to protect Steve’s legacy from becoming Stark’s personal cash-cow.
Although I would not characterize this episode as simply “filler,” it definitely lacked the oomph of the first few, and seemed much more loosely written. Not as many sharp quips, and a middling tempo in contrast to its’ upbeat priors. Not bad by any means, just a slight lull comparatively.
But we learned Peggy can do over 100 one-handed push-ups, which in itself makes the episode worthwhile.
This aint extortion. It’s a shakedown. – Smuggler
I’d let Goering give me a hickey if he’d get me to the bottom of this. – Rodger Dooley
You don’t have to get changed with the door closed. I thought we were friends. – Howard Stark
Scientist: Howard Stark is either an ignoramus or a genius.
Peggy: Most likely both.
Since when has the US military had a weapon that they didn’t use? – Howard Stark
You’ll never know the thrill of learning whether or not Agent Yauch is in the mood for a club sandwich. – Peggy Carter