Agent Carter, Ep. 6: A Sin to Err

Originally printed on Bloody Disgusting.

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‘A Sin To Err’ is set up to be all about Peggy running from her employers, labeled a traitor by the men she works beside every day. While the A story is compelling, this episode is so much more. The B story is just as engaging as the main plot, and if you weren’t already hooked on Dottie, you are now.

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Because this series only has 8 episodes that are confirmed for this season, it’s a little worrying how much is going on. One thing must be said: Marvel is giving us more than what we wanted from this show. If you’re here to watch Agent Peggy Carter take no shit from anyone and beat up the world with her bare fists while keeping her lipstick flawless, this is your episode.

The psychiatrist from last episode, who worked as a sort of emotional assistant to the engineer for Leviathan, factors heavily into this episode. At the beginning we discover that he and Dottie go way back; at his original recruitment, Dottie stood watch, and even murdered a man for wanting to go home to his family. He’s invested in helping the Strategic Scientific Reserve foil Leviathan– something about this show calls for language like “foil,” the nostalgia is more specific than even the era, it’s specific to the comic books of the forties and fifties.

However, he’s still a psychiatrist first and foremost, so who can blame him for trying to shrink Chief Dooley’s head a little? He also, delightfully, points out that often a female operative is underestimated, more able to fly under the radar, a point that seems to be lost on Dooley and might account for why women keep getting the jump on him. What we would learn if we listened to those around us, right?

Personally, I was pretty into Dottie’s performance from last week, where she was all big eyes and questions about where to go in the Big City, but this week she outdoes herself. Showing up in a lecherous dentist’s office on the auspices of an interview, Dottie waits until the dentist says something pervy about “going the extra mile” and puts his hand on her knee, which gives her the perfect opportunity to kill the fuck out of him with his own dental instruments.

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The way the women blatantly punch their opponents, instead of using a projectile to compensate for their size/upper body strength, or outwitting their opponent is something to adore about “Marvel’s Agent Carter.” Dottie kicks this guy’s ass because she is a trained assassin, she has worked hard to be able to do this, and honestly he pokes teeth for a living; how strong can he even be?

I mention these side plots first, because of their crucial connection: with the dentist out of the way, Dottie can take advantage of his window, conveniently located across from Chief Dooley’s office. At first, her sniper rifle is sending the viewer a pretty clear message of what she’ll do with a clear view of the psychiatrist, but even that is not what it seems, as the psychiatrist transmits a message to her in morse: “Need more time to get item. New directive: kill Peggy Carter.” And now that it’s established that our friendly doctor is not what he seems, it’s time for him to turn to Dooley and attempt to hypnotize him. Like I said, straight out of a comic book.

All of this is happening alongside the main plot, which is ostensibly Peggy and Jarvis hunting down the Russian spy (Dottie) that Stark may once have dated, which lends itself to some pretty delightful slapstick- emphasis on slap- when Stark’s numerous exes speak to Jarvis. For the “main plot,” though, it was far from the most exciting or engaging part of this episode. That award has to go to Angie, for the scene in her apartment with the gentlemen of the SSR.

Discovered by her colleagues, Peggy has to go into hiding, but before she blows town she has to retrieve Steve’s blood from her secret stash in her room. This is, of course, the first place the SSR will look for her, which leads to the scene you’ve undoubtedly seen in all the previews and teasers for this episode; Peggy, perched precariously on the ledge to her apartment building, while the Strategic Scientific Reserve tosses her apartment.

agent carter 32One thing leads to another, Angie discovers Peggy on the ledge, and has seconds to compose herself and decide what to do when the SSR starts to bang down her door. And then the best thing happens, the best part of this show so far (and I love this show, so that’s saying a lot): Angie covers for Peggy. That’s what friends do. And she covers for Peggy by crying into Agent Chad Michael Murray’s chest about her grandmother: “What’s your grandmother’s name?” All the men in the room are visibly uncomfortable, because, y’know, women and tears. Agent Chad Michael Murray is so uncomfortable that he accidentally lets slip that he calls his grandmother “Gam Gam,” and I’m honestly a little unclear on what happened next because I was in tears– of the laughing variety. That was delightful.

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With only two episodes left, how can they wrap this up? I know they’re open to a second season, but if we don’t get one, I might cry. If I cry in front of the right men, do you think that will get us our second season?

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