This episode of AGENT CARTER focused on character development. But it also delivered on the action. We meet some familiar characters and are introduced to the backstory of a new villain. This MARVEL series has kept a steady momentum as it nears its conclusion. For me, this episode was one of the more entertaining episodes, as it worked on several different levels.

We finally get to see Peggy Carter in her natural habitat. Before we do she asserts herself in the office. The Agents still have that Russian spy satellite typewriter device. So far they are unsuccessful at cracking the code. A new message arrives allowing Carter to demonstrate her intelligence. Somehow she’s the only one to think of the secret message being in Russian rather than English. And she knows Russian. Convenient.

Soon enough she heads out on a mission with the new office leader. She reunites with the Howling Commandoes and drop into enemy territory. These moments add a larger sense of scale to the television series, making it feel more like a motion picture.

The bland cop finally gets some character development by the campfire. The commandoes trade war stories. When it’s the Agent’s turn he tells of how he earned a special award for bravery. However, it seems like his actions were void of honour. I found it rather touching when he tells Peggy what really happened. Although, I did wonder why we had to wait so long to get another dimension to this supposed tough guy.

Peggy also gets a little more development. The series finally addresses her emotions regarding the disappearance / death of Steve Rogers (CAPTAIN AMERICA). The moment is brief but at least we get a glimpse into her mind and her heart. She must seek some sort of vengeance. Or feel some sort of guilt. It was nice see some sort of connection to the MARVEL cinematic universe, however brief.

Meanwhile, back in the office, the war veteran Agent (on crutches) solves the mystery of Peggy’s secret identity with old fashioned detective work that just happens to include spying on Miss Carter in her underwear. He puts together the puzzle from photos taken earlier in the season of the blonde bombshell at a ballroom party.

Old fashioned detective work.

Earlier in this episode, he accidently spied upon Peggy getting changed in the locker room. He noticed a scar on her shoulder. A bullet wound. The same scar as the mystery woman in the photo. I wonder

 how long it will take for him to confront Peggy about this? Or will he talk to his fellow agents first?

The most intriguing parts of this episode was the flashback stuff about the secret Russian agent. Now-a-days she rents an apartment in the same dormitory residence as Peggy. She quite literally is the Spy Next Door. My favourite moment was the handcuff to the bed stuff. No, I’m not thinking 50 SHADES of anything. Actually, it was a sort of sad moment. As a child she was cuffed to her bed so she wouldn’t escape her aggressive spy training. Now, it’s the only way she can fall asleep. Her conditioning is that powerful to this day.

It would be interesting if Peggy can somehow defeat this enemy by helping her overcome this conditioning. Rather than a fight leading to success, I’d like to see Peggy’s negotiation skills employed. This Russian Agent SALT storyline is so interesting I would have liked to see an even earlier set-up. I’d like to see this character throughout the season instead of a one episode story-arc.

This dangerous Girl Next Door waits for the perfect moment to strike. We witness an almost KEYSER SOZE-like sequence learning how long she has been \i researching\i0 Peggy. This character makes me wonder if the Russian spy program is the very same one responsible for BLACK WIDOW’s training. Is this character the first Widow in action? Will these sequences somehow reflect SCARLETT JOHANSSON’s upcoming backstory to be revealed in AVENGERS 2?

From the Howling Commandoes, to the multiple character development, to the mystery solving, through the super-intriguing Russian spy flashbacks, and finally (erm, um, I mean,  lastly) Hayley Atwell in her skivvies – this episode of AGENT CARTER was one of the better episodes this short season. All I was missing was some sidekick hijinx with Jarvis.

What do you think?

Do you enjoy AGENT CARTER more for the action or the comedy?

Did you miss Jarvis?

Would you like to see more of the Russian spy next door?

Will the new AVENGERS movie somehow include HAYLEY ATWELL or connect to this series?

Maybe in Black Widow’s backstory?

How will the vial of Cap’s blood play into this show?

Will the office finally accept Peggy as their equal?

Will more of Peggy’s fellow agents die in the next episode? Who will survive?

So... What'd you think?

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