Still In The Shadow Of WWII – Recapping Agent Carter: Time And Tide

By Amanda Gurall

imageLast week's double episode premiere of Agent Carter started off with a well received bang and the show remains strong on its own in the MCU with this week's episode entitled "Time and Tide".  We started off with a shadowy man watching the glamorous women's hotel in which Peggy (Hayley Atwell) has taken up residence. She is rooting through her research materials trying to decipher the heart and curved line symbol that Leet Brannis (James Frain) left before he died.  The man shimmies up the drainpipe and Peggy stops him only to find he is simply trying to sneak into his girlfriends room.  The next morning at the communal breakfast the hotel's housemother Miriam Fry (Meagen Fay) gives the girlfriend the boot and asserts a Level of control over the young women that would make Dolores Umbridge proud.  This reminds Peggy that no building is impenetrable and that finding more information on the Stark vault break in from the point of view of the thief is a good idea.

Meanwhile the men of the SSR are in a much shadier residence to investigate the room of the green suited man. They find money and passports stuffed into a chair as well as the typewriter communication device stolen from Fringe. It is revealed that both of the men with the missing voice boxes were previously reported dead.  They are also working on the licence plate that was found at the end of the last episode and they have landed directly on Jarvis (James D'Arcy) as lead suspect.  Before they go to take him downtown we see him preparing a lovely meal for his wife Anna and hear her voice.  Sorry internet, she does exist and can speak although at this point she could be a secret agent or a robot for all we know.  She may end up being a normal person but there is definitely more going on at their home.  Jarvis holds up extremely well under interrogation until Jack (Chad Michael Murray) brings up his dismissed treason charge, dishonorable discharge and possible deportation of both he and his wife.  Peggy is able to get him out of trouble with some file trickery and catches hell from the boss who has to note that once again her biggest hindrance is her gender.  The sexism is a bit heavy handed in the series so far but it's excusable because it is an important thing to recognize with a female lead in a period piece as well as current gender issues in fandom.  I am not sure a female agent in modern times would face much less discrimination.

image_1Dressing in sassy black slacks and about to head off into the night, Peggy has no patience for sweet waitress Angie's (Lyndsy Fonseca) attempt at bonding and sends her along. Was Angie trying to get information from Peggy or was she just being a friend? She did offer some schnapps and pie. Back home Ms. Fry introduces Peggy's new roommate the squeaky clean Dottie Underwood (Bridget Regan) and I am wondering if this mid west potato girl might be the real spy? Not everyone is a spy until they actually are.

image_2Jarvis and Peggy meet at the scene of the Stark robbery and have more charming and quick banter. At first Peggy wants to respect his privacy and tells him she doesn't want to know about the treason, changing her mind shortly thereafter.  He obliges with a story of travelling with a general in Budapest and falling for shop girl Anna who was and still is Jewish. The war broke out and the general refused to give her safe passage so Jarvis forged documents for both of them earning his treason charge and shameful military leave.  They knew Stark during this time and Stark used his wealth to help them both out of the country thus earning their lifelong loyalty.

Agent Carter pieces together the escape route of the thieves by realizing the tunnel would have filled with storm water and emptied into the sea where they find a tugboat called the "Heartbreaker". Guess what its logo is? Of course it is a heart with a rope through it just like Leek's drawing.    I like that not every red herring in the show has to be overwrought and that every clue doesn't have to have mythological significance. We are still working towards the Leviathan mystery but it is a nice change from S.H.I.E.L.D.'s most recent lost city and ancient alien story line.  It is nice to have two different approaches to mysterious bad guys.  A man is watching Carter and Jarvis from the shadows, was this a set up?

image_3The boat happens to have the missing Stark "bad babies" clearly labeled and stacked for them to find. There is a glowing box which contains a device that contracts muscles so intensely that ones bones are broken. This was originally designed to be a massager, I guess Stark does have happy accidents and this one might come in handy. Peggy immediately wants to call this into her office and tells Jarvis that this will make them respect her. He has to point out that as much as she wishes to be the agency hero they will simply turn this on her and incriminate both of them.  She resigns to the fact that once again someone else will get the credit for her work as being a "masked" hero really takes that toll on you. Sousa (Evner Gjokaj) gets the call from Jarvis ( doing his best yankee blue collar accent) as instructed and heads off to the docks with Krzeminski (Kyle Bornheimer) who is giddy imagining a promotion.

image_5A muscled man surprises Peggy and they have a great fight scene. It is still not typical to see a man fight hand to hand like this with a woman I was glad to see Peggy held her own until the goon had her pinned and Jarvis whacked him in the head.  Of course the man has to come in to help at the end, right? Then Jarvis is overpowered too and Peggy saves him by using the "massager" on the assailant, followed by an unnecessary but satisfying whack with a pipe before stepping over him. Thank you Agent Carter this is how a female centric fight scene should be. The British duo runs off as the SSR arrives and takes control over the situation, Krzeminski drives off with the injured strong man who had been hired to protect the ship and they have a little conversation in which Krzeminski almost realizes that Peggy was at the scene.  Just then the car is rear ended and the man from the shadows shoots Krzeminski and his own hired muscle.

image_4Agent Carter arrives at work the next morning but her confident entry into the office dissolves immediately when she finds out that Krzeminski was killed after their anonymous tip. Sousa tells her that they must have been targeted, that concerned citizens call the cops not them and he is right.  In three episodes we now have two people in Peggy's life killed because of her actions and the choice she has made to freelance for Stark.  Peggy goes back to the Automat and opens up to Angie before heading off to work on that bottle of schnapps together.  She has to let some people into her life to remain a fully realized and relatable character but the risk remains high. Each episode we see her take steps away from her lost love Steve Rogers and the war.  One of the more interesting aspects of this show is the way everyone is trying to move on yet they are all irrevocably effected by World War II and the individual losses sustained.  Peggy Carter is at once trying to let go of her love and trying to act in a way that would make him proud, emulating his honor and dedication to good in a very real way.  She handles the multiple duplicities of her life, her weapon and her lipstick with cool assertion but will she continue to handle the high stakes that remaining human entails? We know that she ends up a legend but there are still surprises to be found in the in-between.  Two weeks from now we will have the fourth episode of seven and it looks like the pressure of her situation may be boiling over.  Time and tide wait for no man indeed.


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Hannah Means ShannonAbout Hannah Means Shannon

Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Independent comics scholar and former English Professor. Writing books on magic in the works of Alan Moore and the early works of Neil Gaiman.
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