Synopsis of 1×07: Leviathan makes their move against Peggy when she is at her most vulnerable moment; the SSR closes in on Howard Stark. Or, in the words of Clint Barton, “No good news. Everything sucks.”
Hey kids, did you know that a lot of military lingo from WWII is filled with curse words? Seriously, I don’t know how people have this impression that Steve Rogers would be appalled by curse words. He was a kid from Brooklyn that was a captain of his own elite squadron during the war. Anyway, this even boils down to the word ‘SNAFU,’ which is also the name of this episode of Agent Carter. Usually meant to describe a situation where everything goes wrong, it means “Situation Normal: All [Redacted] Up.”
Or as Entertainment Weekly pointed out, this episode could have easily begun with Peggy Carter uttering the famous catchphrase from Matt Fraction and David Aja’s run on Hawkeye: “Okay, this looks bad.”
Really, how could it not? Peggy’s double life has been uncovered by the SSR right as she discovers that her neighbor Dottie is indeed the Leviathan agent who got into Howard’s vault and killed Agent Krzeminski. She tries to convince the SSR that she’s not the one they want because Dottie is out there, but they don’t listen to her, of course.
Jarvis arrives at the SSR with what seems like the thing that will get Peggy out of hot water: a confession from Howard Stark. It admits Howard’s wrong doing in everything and he’ll be delivering the signed page to them that evening. Jarvis asks if he has a deal, but Dooley says that he’ll only let Peggy free once Howard is in the office and after that, Peggy will be released from the SSR. Ouch.
After Peggy clears out her desk, Jarvis admits that the confession was a forgery on his part. YEP! Jarvis panicked and wanted to try and get to Howard as soon as possible, but Howard didn’t respond, causing Jarvis to panic more and forge a confession to buy Peggy some time. Except now she’s losing her job and livelihood. Super.
Though, it doesn’t seem lost yet because as Peggy and Jarvis are wondering how they’re going to get out of this one, they notice Dr. Ivanchenko communicating in morse code on the windowsill of Dooley’s office. They don’t get the entire thing, but they do get that he’s telling someone to prep for evacuation. They realize that he is indeed a part of Leviathan.
Needing to react fast, Peggy calls in Dooley, Sousa and Thompson and finally confesses to everything, including the events that lead up to Krzeminski’s death. They ask why she didn’t tell them sooner, which causes her to lay down in plain words that unless she’s delivering coffee, files, or lunch to them, she might as well be invisible. Considering they treat her as a damsel/Captain America’s girlfriend instead of the soldier that she was, how is she supposed to come to them saying “Hey, Howard Stark came to me needing his help finding his stolen inventions?”
Still, they don’t believe her. She had plenty of opportunities to talk. Why start now and try to deflect onto Ivanchenko? That’s when she gives them her final gambit to earn their trust: the vial of Steve’s blood she was hiding in her wall. She admits that she initially took it to keep it away from Howard, but she mostly kept it as her one last chance to keep Steve safe. I’m not crying, you are.
Outside in the hall, Dooley and Thompson admit that they’re still distrusting of Carter, but Sousa isn’t anymore since he knows how much of a big deal it is for her to give them Steve’s blood. They make the decision to listen to Peggy and go to search the building across the way for the woman Ivanchenko was communicating with. Dooley will deal with Ivanchenko.
Except for the fact that’s where the true SNAFU really comes into play.
We know that Ivanchenko has some strange hypnosis ability as we saw in the beginning flashback to 1943 and what he did with Agent Yauch the week before. Dooley should be beyond that, but apparently not as Ivanchenko gains his trust over his marital problems and has him begin to focus on that. Through that focus, Dooley ends up locking Peggy and Jarvis in the interrogation room, handcuffed to the desk and leads Ivanchenko to the lab to one of Stark’s inventions, one labeled “number 17.” Ivanchenko walks out of the building with it and leaves Dooley with a mysterious vest.
Across the way, Thompson warns Sousa to be careful since he witnessed what Leviathan could do to little girls. He doesn’t want to see the grown woman affected by that. Dottie sees that Sousa is coming for her and sets herself up to be caught. The two fight, but Dottie gets away, killing an SSR agent on the way out and escaping with Ivanchenko. Sousa does manage to recover the briefcase with Dottie’s rifle and the correspondence with Ivanchenko, confirming Peggy’s claims that she was trying to kill her and is part of Leviathan.
Back at the office, Peggy and Jarvis decide that the best way to escape is to use the table as a battering ram on the two way mirror. If you ever want to know what I love best about these two, I will just show you this scene. Jarvis hesitates twice over not wanting to hurt anyone, but they manage to successfully smash the mirror before realizing that they’re still handcuffed to the table. Way to go, you brilliant British dorks. Thompson comes in wondering what the hell they’re doing and I have to say, I have never been so happy to see his stupid smug face.
Dooley appears to return home, asking his wife for forgiveness, but something about it seems unsettling. That’s because it’s all a dream and Dooley is passed out at his desk wearing the vest that Ivanchenko pulled out of the lab. Jarvis warns them all to stay away, informing them that it’s an armored vest that Howard invented to double as a heating device during the winter front lines, but the heating material was highly volatile and set to explode after some time. Taking it off also speeds up the process of explosion and it was built to withstand any outside force looking to cool it down. Peggy tearfully curses Howard’s name, and I’m right there with her. I was actually starting to like Dooley.
With the scientists out of options, Dooley comes up with his own. Grabbing a gun, he tells Thompson to tell his wife that he’s sorry that he missed dinner and he makes Peggy promise to catch the people who did this to him. He then proceeds to shoot out the window and jumps out of it, exploding on the way down.
Tearing through the lab, the scientists discover that Item 17 was taken. What is it? Well… Jarvis doesn’t know. Uh oh.
Elsewhere, we see Dottie arrive at a movie theater with a baby carriage she bought earlier in the episode. She turns on a canister before she leaves, emitting some sort of gas. This causes the patrons to begin to cough, then fight, then violently kill each other.
Forget “Okay, this looks bad” or “No good news. Everything sucks.” We have full on transcended into “Everything Awful. Oh God Somebody Do Something” territory. With one episode left of the first season, the SSR isn’t just in the middle of a SNAFU. They have transcended into complete FUBAR territory. I’ll let you look that one up because I have to keep this PG-13.
Let’s just hope Peggy’s got a way out of this one.