Week of July 17, 2022:

The Iron Ceiling (Agent Carter s1 e5) released February 3, 2015 (where to watch)
A Sin to Err (Agent Carter s1 e6) released February 10, 2015
Erik Bates | June 6, 2022
This comment contains spoilers for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Reveal it.

Erik Bates | June 6, 2022

A Sin to Err

Things are really heating up now. I'm guessing we're going to get a resolution by the end of the season, at least insofar as wrongly-accused Peggy goes.

I had just assumed somehow that the SSR offices were more secure than this, considering the covert way of entering them. Nope. Just fling open a window any old time. We're not a top-secret operation or anything. It's cool if you let a random Russian you just met wander around freely.

Is Dottie the girl from the empty apartment? I think I heard Jarvis say she was a dancer. Dottie is using dance as a cover. Makes sense that she would abandon one place to move into another.

I'm trying to figure out where we're going with this season. Leviathan is out there, but either I'm too slow on the uptake, or we haven't had too many reveals as to what their endgame might be. Right now it's just Russian girl assassins and guys with missing voice boxes running around with a milk truck full of implosion fuel.

Scott Hardie | June 17, 2022

The Iron Ceiling: What is it with this episode and the Russian men's choir? Every scene set in Russia and/or featuring Underwood has the same heavy background music. Does the show think that's what the audience expects Russia to sound like at all times? Anyway, it was neat to connect Carter's war-time experiences to her "present-day" work in the SSR, bridging the two halves of her career that we've seen. Plus, as much as I find Dugan obnoxious (sorry Erik!), it's still neat to see the Howling Commandos in action again, and to give Thompson some much-needed depth. The sub-plots here did little but advance the plot and felt skippable, although the tragedy of Underwood's childhood says a lot in just a few brief minutes. (6/10)

A Sin to Err: Imagine how amazing Underwood's attempt to kill Carter in the hallway -- dramatic reveal of wrist scars and all -- would have been if the show had not spent several episodes showing us that she's a Russian assassin. Why do series like this ruin their own surprises? I liked the very satisfying diner fight, and the little touch of mercy afforded to Yauch just before his death, but not much else here. Too much was a cliché (Carter hiding on the window ledge, the lecherous dentist making a move), too convenient (Underwood finding a near-empty dentist's office right across the street, the agents interrupting Underwood as she's about to kill Carter), or just plain weird (the fat kid extorting Jarvis, Martinelli reciting a monologue while waiting tables). Erik, great point about the SSR letting Dr. Ivchenko wander the station and open windows to the outside. The show has been good thus far, so I'm sure it can recover from one weak outing. (4/10)

Discussion question: Is this show overdoing its commitment to feminism in even its minor details? I didn't like the lecherous dentist sequence because it's predictable and I feel like the show has covered that ground already, but it's a way of showing that every woman has to put up with harassment, even stone-cold Russian assassins. And I didn't care for Martinelli's monologue in the diner because it felt weirdly crammed in, but A Doll's House is a famously feminist (or at least pre-feminist) work, so it's a good choice thematically. Me, I would say that feminism is the show's central theme and that these elements keep underlining that and thus are worthy inclusions, but I can see how they can feel like distractions in the margins at a time when the show needs to focus on its endgame.

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