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Marvels Agent Carter S1.06 A Sin To Err review

That’s it. The show’s gone too far. This week we were subjected to the most shocking, harrowing, callous scene so far. No, not agent Yauch (sadly not pronounced “Yowch” because that’s no doubt what he would have said) getting mown down by a truck. Rather… MEN ON THE SECOND FLOOR OF THE GRIFFIN!

Poor old Peggy. If Dottie doesn’t kill her or the SSR lock her up and throw away the key, who she’ll really have to worry about is Miriam. You can bet she has some cruel and unusual methods of revenge.

Poor old Peggy, too, because after gaining the trust and respect of her male colleagues last week (and Dooley was once again doing a very good impression of a ready-to-be-deconstructed male for five minutes this week) it all went tits up this week. Which probably isn’t the most PC phrase to use.

It’s a shame, but the tension as the SSR – and indeed Dottie – closed in on Peggy made for a cracking episode with a genuinely difficult to predict outcome. It really did seem as if Peggy was about to escape until Dottie used her own booby-trapped lipstick against her.

Along the way, there was much to enjoy, especially as two things that were conspicuous by their absence were back with a vengeance this week: inventive action scenes (the one with the automat was a classic) and some glorious Peggy/Jarvis banter. To wit:

“I need you to get me a list of all the women Howard has entertained in the last year.”
“I’m not sure there’s enough ink in the whole of New York to complete that request.”
“Fine, just in the last six months then. Is that possible?”
“Oh yes. I suggest we start with the western hemisphere.”
“Oh please.”

How can you not love them? They’re the best male/female investigative due since Moonlighting’s Maddy and David… and there’s not even a whiff of sexual tension.

That's Just Boasting

We know Peggy is Cap’s number one fan but she’s going a bit OTT with the wing head tribute.

That exchange also highlights another pleasing little shift in the episode. Up until now Howard Stark’s philandering has been seen as purely a cause for amusement. Maybe we’re even supposed to admire this charming rogue. Perhaps even Peggy has a thing for him. It’s all been a bit at odds with the show’s proto-feminist shtick.

But here we get the other side of the story, with spurned exes pointing out that if a woman acted like that she’d be called a slut or worse. Even Peggy seems to have moved on from mock disapproval to actual disgust at his antics. Hopefully, even if he is vindicated over the sale of weapons, there’ll be some poetic justice for womanising (or maybe there already is – perhaps the real reason he’s vanished is because he’s at some expensive Swiss surgery getting treatment for the clap).

The opening flashback was a little pointless, seemingly only existing to wrong-foot us about Dr Ivchenko. This wasn’t really necessary because the marvellous assassination-scene-that-wasn’t fulfilled the same function much more eloquently. Admittedly, there was no real need for Dottie to use a rifle, but the surprise that she wasn’t shooting Ivchenko but communicating with him was so effective, you can forgive the show some dramatic licence.

It’s more difficult to forgive than Ralph Brown’s accent, though. The spirit of ’Allo ’Allo lives on.

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Best Line

Peggy: “Who were you talking to?” Javis: “Future mafioso.”

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You Know The Drill

There’s an amusing cut from Dottie just about to pierce Dr Honicky’s eyes with a piece of his own dental equipment to an exterior shot with the sound effect of a pneumatic drill high in the mix. Oddly (thankfully?), we never get to see either drill in action.

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Force Of Habit

Thank god Angie casually mentioned that it was obvious Peggy and Jarvis are having surreptitious chats at the automat. It’s been pretty obviously the worst way to disguise secret meetings in espionage history even since the first time they sat back to back craning their necks. Or maybe Jarvis just wants plausible deniability if his wife spots him.

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Hang On... Say That Again

Right, anybody else initially hear the words “Prematurely evacuate” as “prematurely ejaculate”? Which would have been funnier.

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Best Moment

The episode was full of great moments but the montage of Stark’s spurned lovers vicariously venting their spleen by slapping Jarvis was a beauty. Who says slapstick is dead?

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Bulletin Time

You can’t see the word “bullpen” and not think back to good old days of Stan Lee’s monthly Bullpen Bulletins in US Marvel comics. This cannot be a coincidence.

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Mandarin

This is a bit of a stretch, but could we be seeing the origins of the Mandarin’s rings of power?

Marvel's Agent Carter is broadcast in the US on ABC on Tuesday nights.

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