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Agent Carter Recap – Episode 5: The Iron Ceiling


This weeks episode was packed. Lots of action. The return of the Howling Commandos. Revealed backstory for both Thomson and Dottie (and, by extension, Agent Romanov in the present day). Sousa discovers what Peggy’s been up to, or thinks he has anyway.

The episode begins in 1937 where we see a group of young girls being groomed for the Black Widow Program. While that name didn’t get used this week, Marvel did release an interview with the shows producers about how they came up with the idea. The implication is that this is where Dottie was raised, but we don’t get confirmation until the end of the episode.

Back in 1946, Dottie and Peggy are out in the diner together when Dottie manages to secretly get Peggy’s room keys out of her purse. On the way to the SSR, Jarvis comes up to Peggy to pled for her to rejoin him in helping Stark prove his innocence, but, of course, she’s still understandably mad at them both. Jarvis does manage to get into her head the idea that, despite his failings, Stark is a good man and Peggy knows it.

The SSR office is in complete chaos as the typewriter has typed out a coded message that no one can break. No one except Peggy. She swoops in, breaks the code without breaking a sweat, showing up all of the men in the room with her. She then pleads with Dooley to let her go on the mission to Russia, based on her ability to break the code and her familiarity with the terrain. But it isn’t until she calls in the 107th (a.k.a. the Howling Commandos) that she is allowed to join the team.

Peggy has to change for the mission in the men’s locker room because there isn’t a women’s. This leads to some witty banter between her and Thomson but it also leads Sousa to the discovery that Peggy has a couple of bullet wounds on her shoulder. More on that later.

Peggy, Thomson and their team meet up with the Howlers in Russia as they search for a Soviet outpost. They make camp that night and war stories over the campfire where we finally get to hear some of Thomson’s backstory. The outpost turns out to be the training ground for the Black Widows. They find the girls’ bedroom where a little girl is on the ground crying. At this point, Admiral Akbar is in my head yelling, “It’s a trap!” The girl stabs Dugan and kills both an SSR agent and one of the Howlers before she gets away.

The team heads down to the prison where they discover that the Russians have captured a brilliant scientist and his psychiatrist, and are forcing them to work on creating one of Stark’s inventions. Just as they are freeing the prisoners, the team is caught by the Russians and a fire fight ensues, ending with the death of the scientist and Peggy taking the lead to get everyone to safety while Thomson freezes.

Back in the states, Dottie has gone into Peggy’s room and discovered the pictures of Stark’s tech and her special lipstick. Sousa looks back at the pictures of the mysterious blonde from episode 1 and sees that she, too, has bullet wounds on her shoulder right where Peggy has hers. And Dooley is still searching for the truth of what happened in Finlow, which leads him to a meeting with an old friend who begins to fill in some of the missing gaps. Dooley also finds Jarvis to tell him that Dooley wants to have a conversation with Stark. Right now, he doesn’t want to arrest Stark, he just wants to find out the truth.

After a bit of a slow start, the second half of this series looks like it is about to pick up the pace in a big way.

What did you think of the episode?