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Before SHIELD: “Marvel’s Agent Carter”- Episode 3 “Time and Tide”

Inspired by the films “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, “Marvel’s Agent Carter” is a series created for ABC based on beloved Agent Peggy Carter. Our writer, DeShawn Blankenship recaps the mini-series each week, updating you with the very latest in his series, Before SHIELD.

Picture Credit: Marvel Studios

Picture Credit: Marvel Studios

Welcome back, Agents! Tonight’s episode, titled “Time and Tide”, opens at the Griffin, the boardinghouse Peggy moved to in the last episode. Peggy is trying to decipher Leet Brannis’s dying message as a man watches her from the shadows outside. After a heroic scaling of the building, he’s rewarded with Peggy’s gun in his face while hanging three stories above the ground. Jimmy is visiting his girlfriend, Molly, and accidentally found Peggy’s place. Good Girl Peggy gives him directions and closes her window.

Team S.S.R. heads to the room number from the key found in the last episode. Agent Ray Krzeminski’s (hence referred to as ‘Agent Ray’) girlfriend, a lady of the night, says hello to him while he’s on the job. So this guy isn’t only a jerk, but he’s a cheater? Wonderful. They find several of Brannis’s passports and aliases in the room, but nothing to connect him to Stark.

Back at the Griffin, Peggy, Angie, and the girls discuss men over breakfast as Molly talks about her hot night with Jimmy. Landlady Miriam advises the girls that they can’t get away with anything under her watch; she throws Molly out for having a man in her room as an example to the other girls and warns that the Griffin is impenetrable. Peggy disagrees but now she has an idea and she leaves.

Team SSR is hard at work figuring out who Brannis is and his link to Stark. Jack Thompson reports that he served with a man named Brannis during the war. The kicker? He died two years ago. While Dooley wonders how that’s possible, Agent Souza arrives with another lead: the license plate and bumper found in last week’s closing scene belongs to a car owned by Howard Stark. Yes, we knew that. But isn’t it fun watching these guys struggle to keep up with the rest of us?

Meanwhile, Peggy goes to Jarvis and suggests that they figure out how the break–in occurred so that she can track  the stolen tech. They’re interrupted by Thompson and Souza. Despite Jarvis’s attempts to brush them off, Thompson demands Jarvis go down to the station. Jarvis agrees to keep them from finding Peggy and getting charged with treason. Peggy returns to the office as they’re interrogating him. Ray tries to bully Peggy into taking night shift but she ignores him.

Peggy sits in while Agent Thompson interrogates Jarvis. Chief Dooley has the stolen car report that Jarvis filed on Howard’s car but is holding it back. Dirty pool, guys. Thompson doesn’t attack the Englishman but he can’t get him to crack…until he threatens to expose Jarvis’s arrest for treason and deport his wife. Chad Michael Murray and James D’Arcy play off each other very well and I hope they get a few more scenes in the future. Jarvis’s fury is palpable and it looks like he’s either going to say something or break Thompson’s pretty face.

Peggy thinks quickly and grabs some files to ask for Dooley’s signature, then steals the police report. She immediately returns and tells Dooley that she accidentally took it, right in front of Jarvis. Realizing that the SSR has nothing, Jarvis is free to go. Peggy, on the other hand, gets a tongue–lashing from Chief Dooley and is forced to apologize to Agent Thompson. She earns the ire of the other men in the group. Thus humiliated, Peggy heads home.

Peggy is leaving when Angie shows up to commiserate about her bad day. Angie gets huffy when Peggy indicates that she’s got something else to do and is rude to Dottie Underwood, Peggy’s new neighbor. Something seems off about Dottie to me. She smiles too much.

Agents Ray and Souza are pulling night shift duty and Ray laments that Carter wouldn’t take his shift. When Souza stands up for her again, Ray tells him that she’s out of his league. This character bugs me, even for the time period. The show drives home his jerky qualities but ragging on the cripple who is also a vet? Not cool.

Peggy gets Jarvis to open up about the treason charge. Jarvis met his wife, Ana, just before the war broke out. She is Jewish and the general that Jarvis worked for had letters of transit that would have helped her, but he refused to sign them. Jarvis forged his signature and got caught filing the paperwork. Both would have died if Howard Stark hadn’t flexed his muscle and gotten the charges dropped. Peggy remembers Jarvis saying that there was a storm on the night of the break–in and figures that the thief could steal all of the technology and float it away in a raft, leading them to find a boat in the harbor called “The Heartbreak” with Brannis’s symbol on the side.

The Dynamic Duo find Stark’s missing weapons, including a fun little device called the Constrictor that causes people to break bones through involuntary muscle contractions. Howard Stark spends ten percent of his time inventing useful things, forty percent of his time inventing deadly things, and fifty percent of his time chasing women and drinking booze. Where do I sign up to live this life?

Also: Like father, like son.

Peggy wants to call in the stolen items herself but Jarvis convinces her to let the men handle it because they’ll use the bust to ruin her. Though it burns Peggy to do so, she lets Jarvis call the SSR with the tip. Jarvis puts on a funny Brooklyn accent to inform Agent Souza of the weapons. Souza and Agent Ray head to the scene.

Peggy waits for Jarvis to return but is attacked by a thug who says he was warned that she’d be coming, leading to our fight of the week. Agent Carter continues to impress by allowing Peggy to hold her own against male characters, rather than being saved or introducing a female villain for the sake of “keeping it fair”. She gets overpowered by The Thug and Jarvis jumps in and fares far worse. Peggy saves the night by using the Constrictor on The Thug, breaking his arm. The pair escape before Team SSR arrives and Agent Ray is put on transport detail escorting the thug to jail. Souza recognizes that someone’s doing their job for them while Dooley and Thompson wonder why he was just guarding all of the technology.

Agent Ray and The Thug start comparing notes on the woman who jumped him when a car bumps into theirs. Assassins murder Agent Ray and The Thug, then drive off. Peggy reports to work the next day and learns of her colleague’s death. Souza vows to hunt down the person who gave them the tip, believing they were set up. Peggy feels responsible. Chief Dooley blames Howard Stark for Agent Ray’s death and demands vows to intensify the search.

Tonight’s show ends with Peggy at the diner with Angie. After a frosty start, the girls repair their friendship and Angie tries to console her over Agent Ray’s loss. Peggy is definitely the better person here, shedding tears for a guy who treated her like crap. Peggy suggests that they go home and drink and Angie happily agrees.

The series continues its strong start with tonight’s episode. The shorter format requires action and quick pacing to keep the audience involved. The show-runners are doing a great job. The SSR guys, minus Souza, are barely above caricatures at this point and I’m hoping they’ll delve into Thompson’s story a bit more before the end of this arc. Peggy and Jarvis make a great team but the scenes for upcoming shows worry me, especially if Jarvis and/or Howard aren’t fully honest about how the break–in occurred, which is what I’m thinking.

Meet back here in two weeks for an all–new episode to find out how Agent Carter saves the world…before SHIELD.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? What do you think Howard isn’t telling Peggy about the break–in? Let us know in the comments below!

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