By now you know that this type of article will have spoilers… so I shouldn't have to warn you, right? But just in case… there will be spoilers including some that tie into Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
In the eighth and final episode of season one of Marvel's Agent Carter… they consider it season one so I shall as well… we wrapped up the main storyline involving Leviathan and Howard Stark's inventions, but there are still plenty of things left for a season two.
1) This episode was a chance for the character of Daniel Sousa to shine. Though it started out with him accidentally dousing himself with Midnight Oil, he then proceeded to knock a few folks around before being put down. Showing that he's not quite as handicapped as his leg makes him out to look. But the second moment came near the end when he used his brains to take out Ivchenko. Knowing that listening to the man was dangerous, Sousa put cotton in his ears. It was a simple solution, but one that allowed him to take the prisoner alive. This also shows that, like Carter, you can't judge a book by the cover.
2) The character of Howard Stark has taken a lot of hits in this series. Very much like his son Tony, Howard has been portrayed as a reckless womanizer that only cares about inventing and having fun with no thought to the consequences. But by showing up at the end, the arrogant, he was willing to risk himself to save others. We also got to see the inventor side of him as he ran around checking all of his experiments that the SSR had recovered. This helped fill in a character that the series had started making two-dimensional.
3) When Ivchenko started working on Howard's mind, we see just how much Cap's death had effected him. We saw a hint of how close the two had become at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger as Howard continued to search the ocean trying to find his friend. Where Chief Dooley's greatest desire was to put his family back together… Howard truly just wanted to find his friend. Maybe that's why the SSR ends up changing its name to SHIELD.
4) As the episode went on, both Jack Thompson and Daniel Sousa began following Peggy Carter's lead. But once it got back to the office and the big wigs arrived to do the back slapping and hand shaking, it all went to Thompson. We learned in Russia that Thompson was willing to take credit for things he didn't do, so when it came his way again he took it. But this was necessary since this show takes place in the past and the chauvinistic attitude didn't change over night so it couldn't change in eight episodes of a television series… but it did get yet another chance to show that Sousa has respect for Carter… along with other feelings.
5) There is a lot of symbolism in what Peggy does with Captain America's blood at the end. The government looked at it as a way to create another super soldier. In a way I think Howard looked at it as a way to bring his friend back to life. But Peggy looked at it as the last remnant of the man she loved, the man she never got to properly say goodbye to. By pouring out the blood she was finally putting Steve Rogers to rest and moving on with her life.
6) The ending here is where it gets very interesting. By now we've learned that Dr. Ivchenko is actually Dr. Johann Fennhoff who in the comics is also called Doctor Faustus. As Faustus is put into prison we see that he has a very interesting cellmate… one Dr. Arnim Zola (Toby Jones). Now besides seeing the cool movie tie-in, we can make a few safe assumptions here. First off Zola has to be working with a few powerful people to end up in the exact same cell as Faustus. So we can see the early seeds of Hydra's infiltration. Second, we can conclude that Zola brings in Faustus for the mind control needed for the Winter Soldier program. If there is a second season I would expect to see more of Doctor Faustus.
Overall I think the series was well done. It had its humor, its action and its drama. I also think it's set up well for a second season with characters like Thompson, Sousa, Jarvis, Stark and villains like Faustus and Dottie… thought she really needs a better name. And knowing the Peggy Carter was alive well into the 2014… the shows writers have a lot of area and eras to play with. Whatever they do though, they have to get more air time for Dum-Dum Dugan.