TV Recap: Marvel’s Agent Carter, ‘A Sin to Err’

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A Sin to Err Plot Summary:

To get more information on a possible Black Widow in New York, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) recruits Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy) to investigate Stark’s former lovers. Her mission is quickly derailed however when Agent Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) learns the truth behind what Carter has been doing.

Marvel’s Agent Carter has done a fairly good job keeping its overall story pacing. Sure, there were a few hiccups here and there, but for the most part this is exceptionally well-crafted series. “A Sin to Err” is a great example of this. Even though we’re at the sixth episode, there’s still no announcement on if Agent Carter will get more content. There is no proof that episode eight is not a Series Finale, though Marvel and ABC would be stupid not to keep this show going. So taking this as it is, featuring the inevitable clash between the S.S.R. and Carter in “A Sin to Err” fits perfectly. Carter has already done a lot behind their backs and we’re supposed to believe everyone within this organization are highly skilled at what they do. Sousa was able to connect the dots simply because he’s not an idiot. Fortunately enough, once Carter goes on the run, this episode fired on all cylinders. It just had a few hiccups to get through first.

Photo Credit: ABC/Adam Rose
Photo Credit: ABC/Adam Rose

A big issue with last night’s episode was predictability. All the major reveals, like Dr. Ivchenko (Ralph Brown) as a leader, or maybe even the head, of Leviathan, and Stark having a past hook up with Dottie (Bridget Regan), were obvious beats. I can guarantee that not a single person thought Ivchenko was a good guy when he joined the agents in “The Iron Ceiling.” Common story trope aside, Captain America: The Winter Soldier even confirmed that Hydra agents willingly joined S.H.I.E.L.D. to grow from within. Ivchenko isn’t Hydra but the method is obviously the same. I will admit though, I did think that Dottie would shoot him. It was a faint glimmer that perhaps Ivchenko really is a good guy and the old “twist” was discarded. Alas, such was not the case.

The same goes for Dottie. Yes, the show never outwardly said that Dottie is Ida, but did anyone seriously not expect her identity to be on the Stark hookup list? Who else is a female assassin running around New York that Stark would fall for? Carter brings up the theory that Stark’s thief is a past dalliance very early and she quickly establishes that this individual might be behind everything. Dottie will definitely be revealed as the true antagonist next week for the characters to get up to speed, so be prepared to hear confirmations to everything we already know.

How everything played out was really great though. Since the show opened up with Carter hitting that new lead of, “Did Stark bang an assassin?”, we finally get a classic Carter/Jarvis team up for the first time in weeks. Finally! The two were able to move past Stark hiding Cap’s blood to give us the relationship that we all love so much. This really was the pairing at their best too. Carter taking charge of the mission and Jarvis hanging back as support is everything that we want. The man even takes two slaps and a kick by women who refuse to talk to Stark ever again. It was probably the closest this show has ever come to slapstick comedy, and it really worked to give us some relief before the crazy action. Carter and Jarvis teaming up to beat those random agents was really awesome too. Beautifully choreographed, wonderfully shot, and packed with intensity. This is the type of fighting the show truly excels at.

Photo Credit: ABC/Adam Rose
Photo Credit: ABC/Adam Rose

Once that Automat diner brawl kicked off, what began as a table-setting hour quickly became a top quality Agent Carter episode. The S.S.R. implosion at the revelation that Carter has worked behind their backs this entire time was handled beautifully. Chad Michael Murray, Shea Whigham, and Enver Gjokaj especially were standouts as they did a great job establishing their conflicted emotions. Thompson (Murray) is angry and confused because the person he recently connected with has lied to him. Sousa (Gjokaj) is sad that Carter is now his enemy. Dooley (Whigham) is furious that he let a woman sneak behind his back and do whatever she wanted, literally playing him for a fool. Their chase after Carter and her subsequent arrest were incredibly intense, making the entire second half a crazy thirty minutes.

Exactly how Jarvis was a bright spot in the first half, Angie Martinelli (Lyndsy Fonseca) stole the show in the second part. Her distracting the S.S.R. agents with a fake story about Carter’s sick grandmother was great, giving some extra levity to ease the tension. It’s a shame that the writers haven’t found much for Angie to do. She’s always off to the side, only to appear when Carter is not off being a badass agent. Her appearances are way too brief. Fonseca does an awesome job with what she’s given though, and her performance last night was by far her best. Angie may not be a secret agent, but she is the greatest ally Carter could ever ask for.

Lastly, I do what to address the clear connection the show established between what a Black Widow is and what Carter has done all series. In summation, Ivchenko said that young girls are plucked for the Black Widow program because they fly under the radar. No one expects women to be merciless killers and that’s the exact reason why they’re the best weapons. Dum Dum Dugan had that issue last week when he was stabbed by the little girl. It’s how Dottie has snuck around New York and was able to take down Stark from within for Leviathan. Yet as we’ve seen repeatedly, it’s also how Carter has succeeded since the beginning. Carter and Dottie may be on different sides of the spectrum, both politically and mentally, but the two are incredibly similar.

Photo Credit: ABC/Adam Rose
Photo Credit: ABC/Adam Rose

“A Sin to Err” had two distinct halves. The first thirty minutes primarily served to set the stage for what happened next, and what will happen in future episodes. Carter is now in S.S.R. custody with Sousa and Thompson ready to grill her. Ivchenko, still predictably, brainwashed Agent Yauch (Alexander Carroll) to find out where Stark’s weapons are and how to escape. Dottie is on the run and ready to bring some major pain to our heroes. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this show since the beginning, but I’ve never been more excited for the following week’s episode. “SNAFU” has the perfect setup to absolutely dominate and I cannot wait.

Rating: 8.5/10

Marvel’s Agent Carter airs Tuesdays on ABC

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Luke Kalamar is Pop-Break.com’s television and every Saturday afternoon you can read his retro video game column, Remembering the Classics. He covers Game of Thrones, Saturday Night Live and The Walking Dead (amongst others) every week. As for as his career and literary standing goes — take the best parts of Spider-man, Captain America and Luke Skywalker and you will fully understand his origin story.
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