Episode 8: “Valediction”
by Dan Tomasik
Peggy, Jarvis, and the SSR must stop Leviathan from releasing a deadly agent on Manhattan.
So much has come and gone in the eight episode Agent Carter miniseries. Yet through the highs and lows (mostly highs), the season finale has brought us full circle. Once again it’s Peggy fighting to save the day, with Jarvis’ help, trying to save Howard Stark’s good name. Once again, Peggy is faced with losing someone very precious to her, and once again she is doing most of the work while the men struggle with basic competency. The finale may not be the best episode, but it’s most certainly an improvement from last week. It’s a hopeful ending looking towards a brighter future.
The finale features all the elements that have made Agent Carter an entertaining thrill ride. Spies, lies, Russians, millionaires, fights, gadgets, awkward Jarvis moments, and a lesson about doing the job whether you get recognized for it or not. Sousa proves himself the go-to guy for getting things done. Over the course of this series he’s done detective work, picked up clues everyone else missed, chased Peggy down, interrogated her, survived an encounter with Dottie, and even took down the Leviathan mastermind. Like Peggy, Sousa is a great human hero.
As for Stark, he remains distinctly larger-than-life, just the way he likes it. Like the son he will eventually have (apparently in about 30 years), Howard has come to the realization that the weapons he built to save people have instead caused irreparable damage. A chemical agent designed to keep soldiers awake and alert has misfired into a bioweapon that turns people into animals. Add in the guilt of letting down Peggy, losing Steve Rogers, and there’s little surprise Howard would so easily jump at the opportunity to fix it all. It’s heavy truth that isn’t founded on gritty realism as much as character development. Most certainly it is Dominic Cooper’s finest moment in the character’s shoes.
The “Peggy” of it All:
What it all comes down to is a simple truth. When danger threatens, the only thing that matters is the willingness to take action; regardless of whether one is a butler, a millionaire, an agent, a woman, etc.
Episode Score: 9.0