Here's a hint: It's not Agent Krzeminski.
|What? Too soon?|
The deal continues as Jarvis tosses a couple fat stacks of Grovers at the men.
Mook 1: "One grand bills? You ever even seen these?"
Jarvis assures the two that he handed over real money, but they would like some more, please. Elsewhere, Jimmy's ball doesn't come back while the negotiators explain that their boss, "Mr. Mink," doesn't smuggle for free.
Jarvis: "Now, the inherent value in any commodity or service should really have no effect...."
But these boys ain't exactly interested in the finer points of Economic Theory 101 with Professor Jarvis and shut him up by whipping out a couple guns to negotiate on their behalf.
Over with Jimmy, as the baseball rolls back to him, the guy whips out his gun as well, which would vastly alter the similar scene in E.T.
The negotiators explain that the 50,000 was for the delivery, but they want an extra 100,000 or they might go spilling secrets about what exactly they smuggled in. You know, guys, just a suggestion here. Demand your bribe money before you arrange the meeting. I don't think Jarvis is going to be carrying around an extra wad of thousand-dollar-bills for you to take advantage of.
Suddenly, an unseen assailant takes out Jimmy, whose body is soon discovered by the other lookouts. As they look over their Jimmy's unconscious body, the two mooks get kicked in the face by Peggy Carter as she gets down from the top of the train car she was hiding on.
But Jarvis's gentlemanly temper is getting the better of him, and he finds himself forced to accuse this group of extortion.
Mook 1: "It's not 'extrorshing.' It's a shakedown."
|"Or if you're feelin' fancy, you can call it blackmail. We're not picky."|
But what do you know, it is boobytrapped. One of the mooks goes down from the gas attack, but the other gets out of the way and reaches for his gun. Luckily for Jarvis, Peggy's there to point her own gun directly in the man's face. Before punching it.
|Boy, she does like going for the face, doesn't she?|
Howard Stark: "Did Mr. Mink have his minions blackmail you?"
Jarvis: "Indeed, sir."
Peggy: "You certainly know how to pick your partners."
Howard Stark: "Well, Mr. Mink is a greedy black market smuggler, sure. But he got me back into the country. And he's predictable in his greed. I like predictable. And I like greedy."
|"And I like blondes, but that's not really relevant."|
Later, as Jarvis drives down the streets of New York, Peggy rides shotgun while Howard ducks down in the back seat. There's a Howard the Duck joke in there somewhere, but I don't really feel like reverse-engineering a contrived setup for the punchline.
Howard, true to form, is talking a mile a minute, bringing up trivia about the two Brits in the front, like how Jarvis's wife makes a mean goulash, or how Peggy can do 107 one-armed pushups. Peggy, however, is wondering why Howard came back to the United States while he's still a wanted man. But his lips are sealed for now.
Howard Stark: "Let's get back to my place, we'll have some sherry. I'll explain everything."
But before Howard can tell them who Sherry is, Peggy tells Jarvis to hit the brakes. They were headed to one of Howard's most secret penthouses, but the SSR already has agents staking the place out.
So with little alternative, and growing contempt for Howard's flippancy in the wake of Agent Krzeminski's death, Peggy really has one one option for hiding Howard and gives Jarvis the directions.
Howard Stark: "Ah. The Griffith. How's Miriam?"
That's right. After Miriam's big speech about having no men in the building, it was bound to happen.
Howard and Peggy sneak into the basement through the coal chute before they head over to the dumbwaiter to ship Howard to Peggy's floor.
Howard Stark: "I hate small spaces. What if the chain snaps and I fall to my death?"
Peggy: "Don't worry. I'll never reveal that Howard Stark's dead body is lying rotting in the bottom of a dumbwaiter shaft.
People are going to be wondering where that corpsey smell is coming from, then.
After closing Howard in and pressing the button, Peggy suddenly hears Miriam's voice. Luckily, She didn't see Howard Stark. But unfortunately, she's in the mood to question why Peggy seems to be out late all the time.
Miriam: "Well, the hours you keep seem less that of a woman gainfully employed as a telephone operator and more that of one who frequents taxi dance halls."
Peggy: "Uh, I was just doing my laundry."
|"Far be it for me to insinuate anything... but perhaps you would have more time during the day for laundry if you spent less time at night providing a barrier between walls and sailors?"|
Are you saying they tried to get in-tru-der dumbwaiter?
Miriam: "Alice Shaw once showed up with her sister whom I immediately recognized as a man in a girdle."
Little known fact: Miriam Fry was given the ability to sense a phallus at thirty paces by exposure to the Terrigen Mists. Or maybe the guy should have just shaved those legs.
Miriam offers to see Peggy to her room, and the two of them ascend the stairs as Agent Thompson talks to Chief Dooley about the case back at SSR HQ. Dooley just got the official report on the Battle of Finow, where both Leet Brannis and Mustachio were supposed to have died. It's been mostly redacted by General John McGuinness, who apparently up and died about a month ago. Thompson suggests trying something with that radio typewriter they found, but Dooley has another plan. He's going to go to Nuremberg and talk to the Nazi who led the Germans at the Battle of Finow, Colonel Ernst Mueller (Jack Conley). He's due to be hanged soon, so Dooley has to leave ASAP. Thompson calls into question this sudden trip, but Dooley says he's not about to sit back while they execute the one guy who might be able to explain why two supposedly dead Russians were looking for Howard Stark's inventions.
Agent Thompson: "Chief, you're really gonna rely on the word of a Nazi?"
Chief Dooley: "Son, I'd let Göring give me a hickey if he'd get me to the bottom of this."
Points for creativity, but not as classy as Churchill's "If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons."
|“I’ve got a bottle of scotch under the desk. Don’t..."|
"Drink it all?"
"Drink it at all."
Miriam: "Are you familiar with the Id and the Ego?"
Peggy: "Are they... children's characters?"
Miriam: "Oh, good. It is unbecoming for a lady to read Freud."
And yet... you're familiar with Freud. Hypocrite.
Miriam: "But what you must understand is that until a certain age, you do not know how to govern your own impulses."
What? Show me one thing that suggests that Peggy can't control her impulses.
|...Okay, show me two things.|
|Fine, moving on.|
Miriam: "It's nearly 6 AM, Miss Carter."
Once Miriam leaves, Peggy searches for Howard in the dumbwaiter shaft... before hearing some giggles in a nearby room. She knocks on the door, and the lady inside, Lorraine, answers it, claiming that she just woke up. But Howard walks out, explaining that he's Peggy's cousin.
|"'Scuse me while I sheathe the sword, cuz."|
"You have no idea how to talk to a cousin, do you?"
Lorraine: "Don't you think your cousin looks just like Howard Stark?"
Peggy: "My cousin is a lot shorter."
Howard Stark: "And much better looking."
Once inside Peggy's apartment, they begin to discuss business while Howard makes tea and Peggy gets ready for work. First things first: When is he leaving?
Howard Stark: "I'm bound for Rio in three days."
Insert topical Zika virus/Olympics joke that will instantly date this Recap here.
But before Howard leaves, he needs to know which inventions Peggy managed to recover from the Heartbreak last episode. That way, he can determine which ones are still out there. And the reason why Stark came back to do this himself... is because of his pen.
Howard Stark: "Because Jarvis doesn't have one of these."
He points it at himself while Peggy leans in close. Then the audible click of a camera shutter resonates.
|As Howard Stark invents the selfie.|
Howard Stark: "You don't have to get changed with the door closed. I thought we were friends...."
If there's one thing I can tell you about Peggy Carter, it's that she won't ever let herself be seen changing. And I feel like this sentence isn't tempting fate at all.
At work, Agent Thompson does what all temporary bosses do. He holds a meeting.
Agent Thompson: "Okay. Who here knows what Ray Krzeminski's middle name was?"
Agent Sousa: "Walter."
Agent Thompson: "That's right. Walter."
Is this going to be on the test?
Agent Thompson: "And who knows what the most important part of Agent Ray Walter Krzeminski's name was?"
Agent: "W... Walter?"
Agent Thompson: "No. 'Agent'."
|"Good, because that's the easiest part to remember."|
Agent Thompson: "So pick up your phones, make kissy noises to your wives."
|"Or Krzeminski's wife, if anyone's made that move yet."|
He starts doling out jobs, and neither Carter nor Sousa are excited to see theirs. Sousa starts leaving to try and get some fingerprints off the phone that was used to call in the anonymous tip, but Thompson wants to know what he's up to.
Agent Sousa: "To do some real police work, O man of action."
But Thompson doesn't take too kindly to being compared to the guys behind Ultimate Spider-Man.
Agent Thompson: "Now that Krzeminski's dead... that makes you our biggest yo-yo. Marge, start taking the lunch orders."
Sousa goes off anyway while Peggy uses the lunch orders as an excuse to head into the lab and secretly snap pictures while talking to the lead scientist about the Stark devices.
|Things are going... poorly.|
Mr. Doobin: "Do you see this switch? E-every time that I push this switch, I get a shock that runs right up my arm and into my skull. But... do you see any other switch?"
How about you don't pull that switch, then? Maybe this is Howard Stark's version of a card that says "To learn how to keep an idiot busy, see other side" on both sides.
|"I call it the 'Cat-Killer.'"|
Mr. Doobin: "Do you remember that, uh, I used to wear glasses?"
Ah, the zap cured him?
Mr. Doobin: "It melted the glasses right off of my face."
Mr. Doobin: "Now, is that the intended purpose? I don't know. but Howard Stark is either an ignoramus or a genius."
Agent Carter: "Most likely both."
Other Bum: "I win this hand, I guess."
Elsewhere in New York, Mr. Mink (Gregory Sporleder) is tinkering with a gatling pistol while berating his men for failing to get $150,000 from Howard Stark. His henchmen try to make excuses about being ambushed by almost ten men and some lady named "Peggy."
Mink realizes that they're lying, so he pumps one of them full of lead while the other one offers to track them down and put everything right.
Mr. Mink: "No, I'll take care of it."
And he pretty much has to, since he just shot both of his main henchmen dead.
|Though if I were a criminal mastermind with a cool gun, I'd find excuses to use it, too.|
Later that day, Peggy returns home and, shock of all shocks, Howard is with a young lady named Helen. Peggy, it's a building full of women who, thanks to Miriam, are in all likelihood very sexually frustrated. Howard's like a kid in a candy store. This should not be a surprise. And yet, this won't be the dumbest thing Peggy will be surprised by this episode.
As she confers with Stark, Sousa brings in his bum.
Agent Thompson: "Hey, look, Agent Sousa found Howard Stark."
That's right, Agent Thompson, berate the guy bringing in a possible witness in that big case you're working on. Taunt him for getting results. For your next trick, why don't you demand him to make you a Reuben before you throw it in the trash for having corned beef on it?
Agent Thompson: "No wonder we couldn't find him. He looks rough."
Sousa explains that the bum's a witness, and Thompson explains that he doesn't care.
Agent Thompson: "The only thing that that man's seen is the bottom of a bottle."
Just like Howard Stark, really.
Back with Peggy, she and Stark take a look at the film... and Peggy finds something she wasn't expecting.
Peggy: "She seems... uninhibited."
Howard Stark: "The first ten or so might not be suitable for your eyes."
"What were those little fruits she had, Howard?"
Howard Stark: "Hey, bring me back some ham, would you? Preferably roasted. And some bread. And potatoes. Mashed. You know what I like. Surprise me."
Because no matter who she's working with, Peggy always has to get the food.
Back with the SSR, Sousa gets to try interrogating his witness.
Agent Sousa: "So, I walk into this diner. This isn't a joke."
|"Although I did see a priest and a rabbi there, so maybe I just missed something funny."|
Agent Sousa: "Clapping because I make them feel guilty. And they wanna feel good."
Sousa tries to use this to get close to the bum, and it seems to work.
Bum: "Nobody clapped when I came home. One guy was sleeping with my wife."
|"Some asshole named Krzeminski."|
With that, Sousa gives up for now and walks off into the waiting sarcasm of Agent Thompson.
Agent Thompson: "I'd clap, but I don't wanna hurt your feelings."
Thompson wants the bum gone, but Sousa points out that if this guy had nothing to say, he'd admit it. Instead, he's staying quiet, which hints that he knows something.
Meanwhile, Peggy sneaks some food into her purse at the buffet. She tries to remain sneaky, but she doesn't fool anybody. And they don't care. Everybody does it.
Angie: "These rolls keep for three days. Four if it's cold and you put 'em out on the windowsill."
Peggy's a little embarrassed, but she isn't even the worst offender by far.
Angie: "Carol once put a whole chicken down her sweater."
|"That would explain the pork chops I saw her shove up her skirt. Which comes as a relief, quite frankly."|
Random Tenant: "Gloria's got a compartment in her pocketbook that can fit a cup of gravy."
Dottie: "Well, would you look at that?"
Peggy lies about reading Agatha Christie in her room while she eats as Dottie makes sinister plans....
Dottie: "Could you make me one of those that holds pickles?"
|Or she could just make you one and you decide what to put
It doesn't necessarily have to be a pickle-pocket. Use your imagination.
Peggy returns to her room unseen, but before she can disappoint Howard with the news that there was no fondue to bring back....
Howard Stark: "All of my inventions are in your lab."
When the show began, it had a very distinctly "Gotta catch 'em all!" theme to it. Finding the nitramene, the boat with the rest of the Bad Babies... the show seemed to be about finding the invention of the week and keeping it from causing trouble. With them all in custody, it looks like all they have to do is figure out who stole them and why.
...Or perhaps we'll have one more invention-of-the-week before they go after Leviathan. Just for old times' sake.
Peggy: "Then why is your mustache so sad?"
Howard Stark: "I need you to steal one of them back."
At least he didn't say "I mustache you to steal one of them back." Actually, scratch that, I'm kind of disappointed that he didn't.
Over food, Howard explains that London was a little sick of having all those German bombs dropped on them. So at their request, he invented what we now call an "explosively pumped flux compression generator," which he refers to by the snappier name of "the Blitzkrieg Button." Basically, it's a light switch that could remotely turn off every light and electrical device in London. Rhodey once used one to help Batman rob a casino.
The only problem is that once the lights are off, they're off. The electrical grids themselves break beyond repair, even though living tissues and buildings remain unharmed.
|"So instead of Hiroshima, you'd be getting the 17th century."|
Howard Stark: "I'm already considered a traitor, Peggy. Don't let me be the guy who shut down the greatest city on the planet."
Peggy meets Jarvis outside the building, unaware that Mink is watching her....
Back at the offices of the SSR, Sousa is still failing to get anything out on the bum. So Thompson waltzes in with some scotch and a burger to get a show with his dinner. His very delicious dinner.
Agent Thompson: "You see that? All. American. Cow."
|"What a coincidence, that's what's in this steak."|
Bum: "There was a guy. Duds all fancy. He was with a woman. They got on and off the boat before police showed up."
Other than that, all he can say was that the woman had dark hair. And with that, he gets his scotch while Sousa gets some advice.
Agent Thompson: "Not everybody came back from the war wanting a hug."
Over in Germany, Dooley gets his little meeting with Colonel Mueller after they measure his neck.
Col. Mueller: "They are measuring me for my new necktie. Please excuse the gallows humor."
After offering Dooley a drink from the toilet, Dooley gets down to business. The Battle of Finow. Mueller remains silent, so Dooley offers a means of escape....
Jarvis drives Peggy to the SSR as she asks a simple question about how many switches there are on the button. Jarvis says it's one, but he touches his ear as he talks. So Peggy asks some more questions and get some answers.
Howard came back to New York for this invention specifically.
He's not planning on using it himself.
But when Peggy brings up what the Blitzkrieg Button supposedly does, Jarvis touches his ear again before telling her to be quick about it....
Dooley illustrates the horror of an improperly-tied noose to Mueller and offers a quicker way out: cyanide.
And.. yeah, that's actually a sweet deal in Mueller's eyes. Suicide was the go-to way of escaping trial and painful execution after the fall of Nazi Germany. Makes you wonder what happened to all those HYDRA agents after Black Widow made their names public....
Mueller reveals that when the Germans got to Finow, all they found were bodies, ripped apart and piled high. Something killed all those Russians, and it wasn't the Germans.
Chief Dooley: "Yeah, I'm having trouble stomaching your story."
Col. Mueller: "I've killed many people. Men, vomen, and children."
|"In that exact order. I was very precise."|
Col. Mueller: "No person died by German hands at Finow."
The Nazi raises a point. He's a Nazi. It's a little late for him to try and save face, so he has no reason to lie.
So with that, Dooley hands over the white pill from his watch container. And when he leaves the cell, he offers one to the guard.
Chief Dooley: "Breath mint?"
Back at base, Thompson offers Sousa another burger for proving them all wrong with his witness. But Sousa doesn't take it, since the information they have to go on isn't much. Peggy sneaks by as the two talk about the war and how not every victory is a big one.
Agent Thompson: "Hey, Sousa. Where'd you get that lead? Russia? Italy?"
Agent Sousa: "My femur, actually."
Peggy successfully sneaks into the lab and swaps out the device with the fake, but her curiosity gets the best of her before she leaves. Hesitantly, she activates the switch on the side... and it pops open, revealing a vial of red liquid.
|Howard Stark invented the Pokeball.|
As she tries to leave unseen, she accidentally walks into the room occupied by Agent Thompson.
Agent Thompson: "Didn't I say only the men have to work overtime?"
No, you said it was all the... agents.
Dang, that's a stealthy burn.
Agent Thompson: "Why do you work here?"
Agent Carter: "To uphold democracy. Do you need a reminder?"
Agent Thompson: "But the rest of us get to do more than take lunch orders."
Yeah, well, it's not up to her whether she gets to do more than that, Thompson.
Agent Thompson: "You're trying to hide something, Peggy. And the only one you're fooling is you."
Agent Carter: "And what's that, Agent Thompson?"
Agent Thompson: "The natural order of the universe. You're a woman. No man will ever consider you an equal."
Being able to slay the Witch-King of Angmar just doesn't impress some people, I guess.
Agent Thompson: "Sad. But that doesn't make it any less true."
Doesn't make it true at all, really.
Peggy returns home under the watchful eye of Mr. Mink, who also spots a flower service nearby and gets an idea while Peggy calmly, rationally asks Howard what's in the vial she wasn't supposed to find.
Howard Stark: "Steve Rogers's blood."
And so, Peggy calmly, rationally, punches Howard in the face. Which is the second time she's whipped that out this episode alone, so I've decided to start calling it a Peggy Punch. And from this point on, I'll be keeping track of them.
|That makes two this episode.|
Downstairs, Mr. Mink dresses up as a smitten flower delivery man to try and gain entry, only to get stopped by Miriam. So he leaves to try something a bit more Die Hard while Howard Stark nurses his black eye as Peggy chews him out.
Howard claims that all he wanted to do was protect Peggy from the truth, because he knows how much she cared about Steve. But that's not Peggy's point. Her point isn't what he lied about, it's that he lied in the first place. She trusted him and he betrayed that trust.
Howard Stark: "I grew up on the Lower East Side. My father sold fruit. My mother sewed shirtwaists for a factory. Lemme tell you, you don't get to climb the American ladder without picking up some bad habits on the way. There's a ceiling for certain types of people based on how much money your parents have, your social class, you religion, your sex. And the only way to break through that ceiling sometimes is to lie, so that's my natural instinct. To lie. I shouldn't have lied to you."
Peggy fully understands this ceiling Howard mentions, and she's probably thinking about her own lies that she's been cultivating in an attempt to break through it herself. So she talks about the other problem she has with the situation.
Peggy: "Why did you have Steve's blood in the first place?"
Um... because after Dr. Erskine was killed, they took samples of his blood in order to try and make more soldiers like him? Dang it, Peggy, you were there for that scene! You had lines!
- Agent Carter: "Any hope of reproducing a program is locked in your genetic code. But without Dr. Erskine it will take years."
Did you just... forget?
And if you're wondering why Howard Stark of all people has a sample of Captain America's blood, Peggy, did you forget that Howard Stark was one of the lead scientists in the project that made him? You were there watching while he cranked up the Vita-Rays to make Captain America.
Nothing about this should be a surprise. It'd honestly be more surprising if Howard didn't have a sample of Cap's blood.
Howard explains that most of the blood went to the government, but one vial went to him. The government is almost through with their supply, so Howard wants to keep the last one away from them.
Peggy starts ripping into Howard over greedily taking Steve's blood in the hopes of making a quick buck, but Howard says he wants to make something else. Medicine. Vaccines. Cures.
|"Yes. There usually are... secrets. Locked inside the blood of metahumans. I've... dabbled... in similar ventures."|
Peggy: "Steve Rogers dedicated his mind, his body, his life to the SRR and to this country. Not to your bank account."
Imagine her rage if she ever discovered where the Hulk came from....
Peggy: "So thank you, Howard, for reminding me who Steve was and what I aspire to be. For all I know, you did steal your inventions."
Peggy goes out for some fresh air, but not before telling Howard to find someplace else to hide out. While Howard probably decides which of Peggy's neighbors he'll be spending the night with, Mink outdoes Houdini by sneaking into the upper floors through the vents.
Instead of Peggy, he comes across Dottie. She wonders what he's doing, but he aims his fancy gun at her and tells her to am-scray.
Dottie: "Is that pistol an automatic?"
|Someones less than a second away from going full Gollum.|
|She's like the 1940s Drax.|
...Wow, that came out wrong.
The next day, as Peggy walks to work, Jarvis catches up with her and tries to apologize for everything.
Peggy: "Don't ever play poker. You rub your ear when you lie."
But nothing Jarvis says can convince Peggy to resume her activities with Jarvis.
Peggy: "I can trust the actions of men who don't respect me more than men that do. At least when they ask something, they mean it."
Jarvis leaves Peggy to pass on the news to Howard, hiding behind a newspaper on a shoeshine bench, but Howard is confident that Jarvis can get her back. But even Jarvis isn't happy with how Howard is handling this and says as much before leaving.
As Jarvis leaves Howard alone with his thoughts, the man next to him asks for the sports section of his paper.
|"What did I do to deserve all this?"|
|"I could probably come up with a reason. Sports section?"|
|"The man upstairs must hate me."|
|"He's not too pleased with you hogging the newspaper."|
|"This ordeal's going to be the death of me."|
|"Nah, you'll be murdered by an old friend."|
|"That's what you get for making me wait for my paper.|
Hand it over now, and your son might survive his trip into Chitauri space."
“This is turning out to be a strange day.”
At work, Peggy finally starts handing out lunch. I don't want to seem like I'm egging on the sexism, but it's about time. I mean, didn't they ask for those yesterday? And then Peggy just sort of ran off to eat lunch at the Griffith to steal food for Tony Stark?
Agent Sousa, frustrated over the lack of leads, colors the blonde hair in their only photo of that woman darker while Dooley takes back his job while talking about how nobody is taking credit for the mutilated bodies at Finow. And why are Leet and Mustachio the only survivors? And why aren't they actually listed as survivors? Did they steal the identities of dead men?
But Thompson has a new mystery for them all. Why do records show Howard Stark arriving at Finow right after the mysterious battle?
Chief Dooley: "Pour some scotch. Make it a double."
That's gonna be difficult....
That night, Peggy returns home, turns up the radio to an obnoxious level, and loudly puts a hole in the wall behind a painting to hide Steve's blood while down the hall, Dottie admires herself with her new gun.
|Underwood. Dottie Underwood.|
And so, as the plot thickens, Dooley, still at the office, notices Mustachio's radio typewriter typing away....
And with that, the episode ends. Now let's review.