Reviewed By Katy Rex. ‘The Iron Ceiling’ is the Strategic Scientific Reserve’s first big “away” mission, plus we get a little of Dottie’s origin story, starting in Russia, 1937, at (presumably) Black Widow Academy. There is a lot going on in this week of Marvel’s Agent Carter.
There’s just something extra awesome and terrifying about adorable little girls with pigtails murdering each other, isn’t there? Dottie is quickly becoming one of the most complex characters on the show, even with so little screen time. She’s clearly skilled in many ways; ninja jumps, marksmanship, playing dumb about tourist traps in the Big Apple, you name it.
If you’re here for girls who aren’t Peggy, though, I’m sorry. Dottie, even with her truly bizarre character development, gets very little actual screen time this week, and we don’t get to check in with Angie.
In a defiant sequence of events, Peggy spends the majority of this episode making Agent Chad Michael Murray eat his words from last episode (“the Natural Order of the Universe is that no man will ever consider her equal”). Despite his condescension and best efforts to exclude her, she breaks the code that the professional codebreaker couldn’t solve and talks her way onto the mission by enlisting her best good buddies, the 107th Regiment. Do we get to see that unsinkable merry band, the Howling Commandos, again?! You bet your sweet ass we do. For the whole friggin’ episode, and it’s glorious. Plus, in the Howling Commandos and in the locker room at the station, we finally get some characters who aren’t white.
Susan is still totally investigating the idea that the blonde is actually a brunette, a possibility he proved last episode by coloring in her hair with a pencil. Very scientific, Susan. Unfortunately for Peggy, he accidentally saw her in her underwear, and that gave him the opportunity to recognize her shrapnel scars from the blonde’s shoulder. So that sucks.
Chief Dooley meets a reporter played by Smallville’s Lionel Luthor in a bar. Just as Susan is getting more and more evidence to doubt Carter, Dooley is getting more and more support to change his mind about Stark’s collaborative role with Leviathan. Is he finally open to admitting he’s wrong? We’ll see! If he isn’t… well, isn’t that just like a man?
Peggy is lucky the 107th were willing to step in and help with the away mission, because now that Agent Chad Michael Murray can see other men treating Peggy decently and respecting her, he starts to realize it’s possible for women to be good at things other than getting coffee. Dum Dum Duggan and Peggy have a really great dynamic which makes it clear that here, out in the field with her compatriots, is her comfort zone. She’s good at this, and even Agent Chad Michael Murray has to admit it; there’s a moment where Chad Michael Murray takes Peggy’s tactical advice infiltrating the Leviathan base.
I’m still reeling from the complete creepy bizarreness of Dottie’s home invasion, by the way. In yet another side story, Dottie has palmed Peggy’s keys and used them to covertly search her apartment for intel. She starts to steal the evidence she needs when she notices Steve Rogers’ picture at Peggy’s vanity table. So of course, she smells Peggy’s lipstick and does a fake British voice, presumably imagining what it would be like to be Peggy? Or maybe this is some Russian spy thing, getting into your target’s shoes. In that case, I do sort of wish she literally put on Peggy’s shoes.
While Susan is unraveling Peggy’s credibility, she’s busy proving her worth to Agent Chad Michael Murray and the team. Unfortunately, in the battle scene, one of our two really visible PoC characters dies, but I guess we still have Happy Sam Sawyer, so that’s something.
What do you think? Did you like Chad Michael Murray’s bonding moment with Peggy, where he confesses that he’s not really a tough guy and it’s so hard to keep faking it? Why does Dottie sleep wearing handcuffs? Will Susan turn Carter in?