Jarvis is meeting with smuggler Mr. Mink’s goons. There is some disagreement over how much Jarvis will pay, so he releases gas from his briefcase and meets Peggy to open his cargo container. Inside? Howard Stark, in a fully-appointed, 1940s man cave – all built in a storage container. The plan is to hide him out in his city apartment, but there are agents keeping an eye on the surrounding area. The only other option is to smuggle Stark into Peggy’s apartment.
Peggy and Stark sneak into the laundry room. She sends him up in the dumbwaiter as Miriam comes in. Miriam rambles on about keeping young ladies unsullied, or some such puritanical nonsense, as she walks Peggy back to her room. With Miriam gone, Peggy now has to find Stark. Unsurprisingly, he is fooling around in another girl’s room. Safely in Peggy’s room, Stark gives her a camera pen. He is leaving for Rio in three days and needs to know what SSR has already found of his.
Peggy goes into the lab under the auspices of collecting the lunch order, and snaps lots of photos. When she returns home, Stark is once again missing, fooling around in another girl’s room. They examine the film and Stark realizes there is one that Peggy needs to steal back. All of the devices can cause large-scale destruction, but only one is active: the Blitzkrieg Button. It was developed to knock out the lights of an entire city in order to thwart German bombs, but Stark was never able to figure out how to get the lights back on. He has a dummy version for Peggy to swap it with.
Jarvis drives Peggy to the SSR late at night, asking him about the Blitzkrieg Button. Jarvis is certain that Stark isn’t planning on using it himself, and Peggy assumes that, at least if she accidentally hit the button, no one will physically get hurt. But every time she asks him a question, Jarvis tugs on his ear, the most ridiculously obvious tell ever. Peggy has no problem switching Blitzkrieg Bops, but curiosity gets the better of her. She flips the switch. Nothing apocalyptic happens; instead the orb pops open and she finds a vial full of thick, red liquid.
This time, Stark is in Peggy’s room when she arrives. She demands to know what is in the vial. He plays dumb, but Peggy is angry and insistent. He finally admits: it is Steve Rogers’ blood. Peggy punches him. Stark claims he didn’t tell her because he was protecting her. I’m not sure why this was so offensive to her. As far as Peggy knows, Captain America is dead. I’m pretty sure that, no matter what kind of crazy genius Stark is, he does not have the ability to clone humans, so what help would Steve’s blood be to Peggy? Stark explains that ten vials of Steve’s blood went to the government, and one went to him. The government is running low, and he thinks they want his vial. Stark believes Steve’s blood holds the secrets to all manner of vaccines and diseases. Peggy thinks he is in it for the money, so I can understand why that would offend her, but as far as I can tell, she didn’t know that before she punched Stark. Anyway, she is done with him and wants him out of her room by the time she comes back from her walk.
The next day, Jarvis makes a weak attempt to apologize. She doesn’t quite buy it, but her beef is with Stark, not Jarvis. Jarvis reports to Stark, who is hiding behind a newspaper at a shoe shine stand. Sitting beside Stark, and asking to borrow the sports section, is Stan Lee. Peggy has gone home, cranks up the radio really loud to drown out the sound of her hammer as she bores a hole in the wall to hide Blitzkrieg Blood.
There is much more happening in this episode…
Mr. Mink, a creepy albino, kills his goons (with a really cool automatic pistol where the chambers are around the barrel) for not getting the money owed for his smuggling services. He then starts following Peggy and Jarvis. He poses as a flower delivery man to get into the building, but Miriam won’t let him past the front desk. He has what he needs: Peggy’s room number. He then creeps up through the vents and lands in Peggy’s hallway. Dottie appears, and Mr. Mink brandishes his gun, recommending she go back into her room. Anti-surprise of the week: Dottie, as we have all figured out, is not just any girl, and she really wants that wicked gun. She does some kind of crazy, high-flying ninja kick move, snaps Mr. Mink’s neck with her thighs, and takes the gun for herself. We later see that she has stashed Mr. Mink under her bed… and Peggy has stashed the Blitzkrieg Machine in the wall she shares with Dottie. I wonder how many episodes before that comes back to bite her.
Dooley heads to Nuremberg to speak to Colonel Mueller, two days away from being put to death for war crimes. Mueller was at the Battle of Finow, where the two Russians without voiceboxes were reported dead. Dooley offers to help him escape – but don’t worry, Dooley’s method of “escape” for Nazi scum is to allow Mueller to kill himself with a smuggled cyanide pill. Better than letting the public get the satisfaction of watching him hang in a long, painful death. Mueller says there was no Battle of Finow. No Russian fought a German. When the German’s got there, the Russians were all massacred, piled high and ripped apart. “I’ve killed many people. No person died by German hands at Finow.” Dooley hands over the pill.
Sousa gets a full storyline this week; unfortunately it seems to mostly be a time-killer. He does some detective work, brings in a drunken vet who may have witnessed something at the docks, and ends up having no luck. It is Thompson who gets scant details out of Frank the drunk; unsurprisingly that involved a bottle of scotch. The only details they got were that Stark was on a boat with a woman. Not the blonde from the photo, but someone with dark hair. There are LOTS of scenes with him talking about the war, talking about how he is pitied because of his injury, blah blah blah. While it was strongly acted, ultimately it didn’t add much to the plot. It did, however, get Sousa to color in the blonde’s hair in the picture. I assume this means he will be the one to figure out Peggy is a double agent. (Maybe not a true double agent; I’d call her a one-and-a-half agent.)
Even in an eight-episode series, the show still suffers from a mid-season slump. I’m not really sure where the show is going. Originally it was set up that Peggy was to find Stark’s toy stash; well, she got it back last week. We still have the Leviathan question, but other than the closing scene, in which the magic typewriter starts typing, and the notion that the Russians were using stolen identities, there is just nothing going on. Literally.
I still dig the show, and am way more into it than S.H.I.E.L.D. Plus, next week: Howling Commandos!
You can watch a preview of Episode 5, titled “The Iron Ceiling,” below. The February 3 episode is described as follows:
“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, on ‘Marvel’s Agent Carter.'”