Agent Carter, Season 1 Episode 5 Review: “The Iron Ceiling”

(Beware, spoilers below!)

In 1937 Russia a little girl wakes up handcuffed to a bed. As the girls are released we see them learn English from watching Snow White and then start to beat each other up. In today’s world, Dotty wakes up remembering when she had to kill a friend. She soon sits with Peggy at the diner, knocking over Peggy’s bag in order to take Peggy’s keys. A few moments later Peggy meets and confronts Jarvis on the sidewalk and they go toe to toe.

At the SSR Peggy manages to work out the code sent by the typewriter overnight. The coordinates sent suggests that Leviathan are paying money for Howard Stark’s weapons. Though Thompson is adamant that Carter shouldn’t join them on the mission to the rendezvous but she manages to wheezle her way via getting the 107th to join them.

Meeting Dum Dum and the others across the Polish border they set out across Lithuania. Back in New York Souza notices some marks on Peggy which makes him realise that she’s the mystery blonde that’s been running around. Peggy manages to coax a story out of Thompson as to how he got his Navy Cross. He reveals that when he served in Japan he saw his team being killed right before his eyes. Meanwhile Chief Dooley meets an old friend for old information on Finnau, who tells him that Stark was involved in the cleanup of the battle.

Come morning the team are readying to storm the building … which turns out to be the same place that little Dotty grew up. In the bedroom a little girl is crying, but she turns out to be an assassin who kills one of the 107th and quickly escapes. In New York Dooley confronts Jarvis about the General that Stark reportedly beat up in the Battle of Finnau and implores Jarvis to get Howard to tell the truth. At the Griffin Dotty starts rifling through Peggy’s things and eventually finds a loose space in her room which has photos hidden inside.

In the basement of the building the find some prisoners who were captured to build a weapon using Stark’s schematics, but just then more Leviathan agents show up. As they battle the SSR Thompson’s fairly useless whilst Peggy helps run the show, escaping in the nick of time. The team say goodbye to Peggy, gifting her the name ‘Miss Union Jack’. Peggy takes home one of the remaining prisoners and Thompson reveals that the Japanese he killed were coming to surrender, meaning he’s not as much of a hero as others think.

In the Griffin, Dotty chains herself to her bed as per when she was a child. Peggy finally gets some credit for her work and some acceptance from the guys. Souza, however, is still uneasy…

It’s quite a different episode of Agent Carter this week, and show shines in the moments where we get to see Peggy’s strength and fortitude out in action. We’re filled in on the past with Dotty, but aren’t given so much data that all our questions are answered. The ‘is Stark guilty?’ question is getting no closer to being fulfilled and I for one am sorely missing Peggy’s banter with Jarvis. There manages to be some fun jokes, summing up why the MCU is so popular: its ability to not take itself too seriously whilst touching on potentially serious topics. The Black Widow program might undermine Agent Romanov’s place in the modern MCU a little – cause you know, there are obviously more than one – but other hints to the comics (Miss Union Jack!) are great, showing how conscious the show is of its place in the great scheme of things. The Agent Carter team have successfully fleshed out a world all the more this episode, upping the creepy (seriously, Dotty’s just … very creepy), providing hints at how character dynamics might be changing and edging us ever closer to the jam packed finale.

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2 thoughts on “Agent Carter, Season 1 Episode 5 Review: “The Iron Ceiling”

  1. Easily my favorite episode of the miniseries so far. It had everything: great action, significant character development for Thompson, who finally sees Peggy not just as the badass we’ve already known she is, but he sees her as an equal. The two have a bond because they’re both seen as someone that they’re not. I enjoyed seeing Peggy interact with the Howling Commandos one more time and it was very sad to see them part ways again. As for Dottie, very creepy, yes, but I was glad to see the inclusion of the Red Room Academy and look forward to her inevitable confrontation with Peggy. Good recap.

    Like

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