A Penny For Your Thoughts on the Agent Carter Finale – Episode 01×08 – “Valediction” Review With Spoilers; Season 2 Openings

No Flash til mid March so tonight is just Agent Carter. And it was an okay finale, but I’ve had a throbbing migraine all night, so I may have missed a detail here and there. Still, I can give a short basic review that’ll get the gist of it across.

Agent Carter Finale – 01×08 – “Valediction” Review

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Here There Be Spoilers!

Following on the heels of last’s week’s big cliffhanger, the surviving trio of Carter, Thompson and Souza are trying to figure out exactly what Item 17 was, not yet having been notified of the theatre massacre. Once they have, they rush to the theatre and are horrified by the carnage. Whilst the on-scene detective with the popo thinks some kind of deranged monster killer got into the theatre to do this, Thompson and Carter realize examining the bodies that the theatregoers butchered each other. He assumes they as “spooks” must see stuff like this all the time. Thompson just quietly shakes his head and says no.

As they figure that out, Souza is surveying the actual theatre section itself, and sees Dottie’s tipped over baby carriage. Being a decent human being Souza panics, expecting to find a dead baby and rushing to lift the carriage hoping he can save a baby, but is relieved to find it empty. However he spots the gas canister that caused the massacre and accidentally inhales a burst of it. Carter and Thompson come to check on them he goes ballistic, attacking them both until he’s restrained and subdued.

We briefly cut to Dottie and the Hypnotist driving and discussing New York’s beauty. He sees it, she doesn’t. Odd conversation.

Back at the SSR Souza is waking up, having survived the effects of the gas and back to only hating Thompson enough to want to kill him. They have a meeting to discuss what they can possibly do about the gas and what Dottie and the Hypnotist might have planned when Howard Stark just waltzes right in, mocking their security system. His fast talking convinces them to NOT arrest him, as he’s figured out what this is all about; The Hypnotist must have suffered a painful loss at the hands of the US Military’s off-books test of his gas, called Midnight Oil, and wants to hurt Stark. Stark tells everyone about the US General who broke into his lab and stole the gas to weaponize it, causing a small village in Russia to slaughter itself. He blames himself for every death, and wants the SSR to use him as bait to draw out Dottie and the Hypnotist.

They reluctantly agree, and announce a press conference in which a triumphant Stark returns home to explain how his inventions were stolen and how he helped get them all back. It works, but not like they’d hoped, as Dottie drastically misses a sniper shot at Stark, then doubles around back to capture him as he gets lead out the back. He and Dottie play a game of “Remember your conquest’s bloody name you prick”, while Jarvis and the gang try to determine  where they might go.

Since the gas is best distributed via aerial release, Peggy figures out that they must be planning to release it via planes, but Thompson says that they’ve grounded all airport traffic and confiscated all of Stark’s planes. Jarvis nervously interrupts and points out Stark has a secret hangar somewhere, wherein he keeps his favourite toys.

We get a flashback to six months prior when a drunk horny Stark is showing Dottie in her prior guise as Ida that very hangar to impress her, then smacked, (literally), back to the show’s present as Dottie is smacking Howard around, punishing him for not remembering her. The Hypnotist tells Stark who and what he lost in the Russian Field test of Midnight Oil, and tells Stark even though a corrupt general stole the gas, Howard still invented it and thus is a bad person and responsible for everyone Midnight Oil has killed, which shows how deluded and evil the Hypnotist himself has become, since, y’know, the movie theatre deaths are solely his own doing. Stark had the stuff locked up and buried in his vault so it would never kill again. Those deaths are on the Hypnotist alone. But he clearly believes himself the embattled hero in his twisted little revenge fantasy, and wants Stark to suffer, so hey, what’s a few thousand innocent peoples’ lives for a noble cause right?

So he convinces Stark that he’s on the Arctic Tundra and has found Captain America, that he has a chance to right what Stark sees as his greatest wrong; his failure to rescue Cap.

The SSR crew and Jarvis arrive too late to prevent Howard’s take-off, but realize that Dottie and the Hypnotist must still be on the grounds guiding Stark by radio.  Jarvis volunteers to take a plane up to shoot Stark down before he can reach Manhattan if necessary, while Peggy goes to arrest the Hypnotist. She catches him and Dottie by surprise, but Dottie quickly disarms Peggy and the two have a viciously violent brawl and I’m loving that two women are getting to have an ugly realistic fight on TV instead of some dainty martial arts coreography where their make-up magically never gets mussed. These two both look like HELL by the time Peggy manages to kick Dottie out the window. She gets on the radio and tells the boys to intercept the fleeing hypnotist while she tries to talk Stark down from the Hypnotist’s fantasy.

Thompson and Souza enter the hanger, where Thompson gets belted from behind by the Hypnotist, who is himself then surprised by Souza holding a gun on him and ordering him to surrender. He starts telling Souza to focus on his pain, and anger over being treated as broken by his co-workers. Souza wobbles and struggles, apparently trying to resist the suggestion but giving in and about to follow the Hypnotist’s suggestion that he shoot Thompson as Thompson tries to break the spell, but the moment Souza has gotten close enough he pistol whips the not-so-good doctor and pulls earplugs from his ears, asking Thpmson if the Hypnotist was saying anything with a smirk while Thompson gives him a huge “You bastard” grin.

Peggy holds off on giving Jarvis the kill order and finally at the last possible moment breaks through the hypnosis by convincing Stark, and also herself, that it’s time to let go of Captain America, that he’s gone and they can’t bring him back and it’s time for them both to accept that and move on with their lives even though they love him. Stark finally shakes the illusion and sees where he really is, and follows Jarvis back. Stark covers his sadness by blustering through his bravado act like everything went exactly according to plan, but Peggy sees the guilt in his eyes and knows he still feels responsible for everything, and just hugs him. She notices Dottie has crawled off the plane she landed on, but has no time to follow the blood trail as the boys bring a gagged hypnotist out in cuffs.

In the aftermath, some pompous US Senator shows up at the office proclaiming Thompson the hero of the whole affair right after the entire SSR office has just given Peggy a standing ovation for being the one who REALLY did all the heavy lifting. Souza is furious that she’s still being overlooked and buried, while Thompson proves he really is kind of a douche by playing along with the senator and letting himself be given all the credit. Peggy tells Souza to chill though, as she finally has the respect of her actual colleagues, but more than that has realized she doesn’t NEED to get the credit or the glory because SHE now knows beyond all doubt how awesome she is and that no one else’s opinion of her matters. Souza awkwardly asks her out. She gives him a raincheque because of a prior engagement, but smiles at him to let him know she WILL cash that raincheque in.

The prior engagement as it turns out was Jarvis showing Peggy and her diner waitress friend the huge penthouse Stark has basically given them both to live in on his dime as compensation for the past few weeks turning both their lives upside down, since neither could go back to Chateau Slut-Shaming and the Automat diner was trashed when they arrested Peggy, leaving both women homeless. Jarvis gives Peggy the last vial of Cap’s blood and implies that he let Stark believe it destroyed, because he thinks Peggy is the only person on earth that can be trusted with it, while informing her that Stark is trying to get all his confiscated tech back from the SSR so he can destroy it. He then offers to be at her service should she ever need him again.

Peggy goes to the Golden Gate bridge and empties the vvial off the side into the river, and, tears in her eyes, staring at the sunset, finally truly makes her peace with losing Cap.

The epilogue shows the Hypnotist, with some awkward looking headgear designed to keep him mute, being lead into his new prison cell by a taunting guard. As he sits down on his new bed and sighs, his new cellmate starts chatting him up, promising him that his time is not yet done, and it’s Arnim Zola, clearly recruiting him for the new secret Hydra.

So Agent Carter ends with two sequel hooks, (Dottie’s alive and on the run, Zola recruits the Hypnotist), which most likely will lead to plot threads during the remainder of the AoS season as it reclaims it’s timeslot next week, bu also suggest that, hopefully Agent Carter itself will return, maybe as a summer season show, or maybe again next year as another mid-season replacement for AoS when it does it’s winter haitus. Either way I want more Agent Carter please! Confirm Season 2 please!

Which is not to say I’m not curious to see what powers Skye got as an Inhuman even though I’m still pissed off that they killed Trip off in the Terrigen Mist chamber as Skye and Raina were being turned into Inhumans.

So next week the Agent Carter PFYT becomes the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. PFYT. See you all tomorrow for my Arrow review, and Friday when the PFYT Opinion weekly takes it’s regular Friday spot as I discuss the pros and cons of us actually getting that Black Widow movie everyone is still demanding.

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