Episode 7: “SNAFU”
Peggy is brought in for questioning.
Even the best series have episodes that fall short. Agent Carter has consistently been great fun, but this week definitely feels like a misstep. There’s still the characteristic elements; dark moments, priceless Peggy/Jarvis comedy, Peggy showing up every guy at her office, etc, but there’s a fair amount of material that falls short of what we’ve come to expect.
Chief amongst the complaints is the office chief (Shea Whigham). For some time the character has had difficulty resonating with audiences. This is mostly due to his tendency to be the biggest nay-sayer when it comes to Peggy. In an office filled with people determined to relegate Peggy to the most menial of jobs, no one embodies the stone wall of gender restrictions like chief Roger Dooley. If that wasn’t bad enough, Dooley is also providing more assistance to Leviathan than SSR. To make matters worse, his family issues never feel fully developed, which makes the hypnotic effect seem forced.
But the biggest complaint for this episode comes from the inventions. The little ring that turns the head of a US intelligence agency into a brainless patsy. The Marty McFly vest designed to “keep US soldiers warm even in the most miserable conditions” that turns into a highly unstable bomb that cannot be removed or deactivated. Last but certainly not least, the mystery Howard Stark invention that apparently spells doom for everyone.
The episode is not without its highlights, however. Peggy’s interrogation is appropriately intense, cycling through questions and answers fired at her from each member of her office. The sessions between her and Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) are especially strong, as is his brief but excellent fight scene with Dottie (Bridget Regan). For being in crutches, Sousa stands his ground against a full-grown agent from the same program that produced an 11-year-old who took on the Howling Commandos. In the entire miniseries, Dottie is probably the most dangerous killer, even getting the better of Peggy. Surviving an encounter with her ranks as one of Sousa’s greatest achievements.
The “Peggy” of it All:
It’s strange that, for all the similarities between Peggy and Sousa, they are such different people. Both are working with handicaps (figurative and literal), but refuse to be defined exclusively by them. Both are used to being counted out, but prove themselves more than capable of holding their own where others fail. Both have serious trust issues. But one is devoted to the same office the other has all but abandoned. Somewhere along the way these two similarly formidable coworkers diverged onto very different paths and now find themselves facing off against one another. It’s a fascinating study.
The Peggy of it all is to hold fast to one’s convictions, whatever they may be. Even if they take one on different paths than others.
Episode Score: 7.8
Bonus Photo of Me and Enver Gjokaj, aka Agent Souza