After three episodes of hunting down Howard Stark’s secret gizmos, and fighting off the mysterious Leviathan, we get a bit of a new twist on “Marvel’s Agent Carter.” A lot of the fun is gone, but we do get a bit of a game changer, as well as a peek at the upcoming return of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “The Blitzkrieg Button.”
The Return of Captain America
This episode is a just in case episode. Anyone who might have fallen away from the show, bringing in the Marvel Superheroes, or at least pretending to bring in the Marvel Superheroes, might be one way to keep those potential viewers who might be looking elsewhere at this point. With a title like “The Blitzkrieg Button,” sounding like it came from an old Jack Kirby Captain America story, this episode better have something to it.
So if you’ve just finished watching “The Flash,” and are thinking of watching whatever it is that comes on after “The Flash” (yeah, I went there), or thinking of tuning over to “Marry Me” or “NCIS: New Orleans,” you might think twice if Captain America is on ABC tonight. Spoiler warning – despite the hype to the contrary, there’s little to no Captain America in this episode, but you do get your fair share of Nazis and sexists.
With all of Howard Stark’s stolen weapons and other nasties either obtained or accounted for, it seems it’s time for our Howard Hughes wannabe to come home. Jarvis tries to pay his passage/ransom with thousand dollar bills. I was surprised more wasn’t made of that. Where would someone get rid of or use thousand dollar bills? I mean really, in a period show, especially one about superior technology in a superhero universe, it’s the period stuff, and the out-of-period stuff that is the bread and butter.
While the actual hiding of Stark once he’s free is the stuff of a bad episode of “Bosom Buddies,” I did like his remark about being afraid of tight spaces. Hopefully that aspect wasn’t generational as son Tony makes a living of being in tight enclosed places. Stark’s benefactor/kidnapper Mr. Mink is not so happy with his freedom and is seeking repo. As menacing as Mink might be, Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark seems to think he’s in a bad sitcom, which unfortunately based on some of this episode, he may well be.
Ravages of War
Other than Stark’s nonsense, to say that “The Blitzkrieg Button was more than a little preachy would be an understatement. First there is the interrogation Agent Sousa gives to the vagrant who may have seen what happened at the docks when the SSR recovered the bulk of Stark’s weapons. He’s not talking so Sousa preaches at him with a speech about coming home from war that would have made a Viet Nam War vet proud. It just didn’t seem right. Do we have the period right here? Were there alienated vets from WWII?
Meanwhile Agent Dooley has traveled to Germany to talk to war criminal Mueller about the Battle of Finow. The two Leviathan agents had names of men who were killed in the battle, one where Mueller maintains no German killed anyone, but yet all the Russians there were already dead, massacred by someone, or something, else. Does that sound familiar, sort of like what we know about Skye’s dad, Mister Hyde, over on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”? And oh yeah, just to make things difficult, Howard Stark was there too.
The Agenda of Howard Stark
Am I the only one starting to wonder if Howard Stark is actually one of the good guys or not? Could he actually be as much of a bastard as the Brian Michael Bendis Avengers version of Tony Stark? I am seriously wondering at this point if he didn’t steal his weapons himself and was testing Peggy for some bizarre reason. Maybe he’s really a Communist, the villain of the day, back in the day. We do know that somehow Leviathan is born at the end of the war in Russia, so it’s not out of the realm.
Howard sends Peggy to retrieve one last item while he has fun at the women’s hotel. It’s what he calls the Blitzkrieg Button of the episode’s title. It would shut down a city in case of a bomb attack, and he claims he doesn’t want to send New York back to the Dark Ages so he needs Peggy to bring it to him. Clued in by Jarvis’ obvious tell, she knows she’s being lied to, so Peggy takes a peek at the weapon, and discovers a vial, not a shut off device. It’s Steve Rogers’ blood. Perhaps this is where Bruce banner gets it in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk?
Peggy doesn’t take this news well. She has always strived to be just like Captain America, but Stark has used her and corrupted her. Just when it can’t get worse, even Howard gives her a speech about the class struggle, including a woman’s place and fight. It’s a bad break up, she even gives him a black eye as a resignation. She’d rather deal with the pigs at the SSR than Stark. Stan Lee is even there to witness the end, thus fulfilling his guest star contract.
Meanwhile Mr. Mink is still skulking around, and when he tries to off Peggy, best friend Dottie goes into action, spurred by a psychotic need for his automatic pistol, she kills like a Black Widow wannabe, or maybe the real thing… Hmmm… everybody’s got secrets. Well, while some women can’t be heroes in this world, they most certainly can be villains apparently. It begs the question – Why was Peggy so effective during WWII but it’s not possible for her to be that way now? This was not a satisfying episode in many ways.
Next: The Howling Commandos return in “The Iron Ceiling.”
And in case you missed it, here’s what’s coming on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”