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29 January 2015 @ 10:07 pm
Agent Carter: The Blitzkrieg Button  
Again, my feelings were all over the place with this one.


Howard Stark returns and brings with him a lot of stuff that stirs up high emotions.

I enjoyed the first half of this episode where we got to see how hilariously Howard and Peggy interact with each other. They have a definite brother/sister vibe which made Howard's flimsy cover about being Peggy's cousin rather believable. We also get to see Howard in his womanizing glory as he makes himself a bit too comfortable at Peggy's ladies hotel. And then Howard has Peggy steal back one of his inventions, the supposed Blitzkrieg Button, which actually turns out to hold one of the last vials of Steve Rogers' blood.

Man. I felt a lot of different things in quick succession when Peggy and Howard had it out. At first I was just as angry as Peggy at Howard for lying and endangering her without letting her know what was in that button. And then I got distracted by the sudden Howard Stark backstory (more fodder for ficcing!) about how his parents were quite poor and Howard managed to crawl out by not always being honest. And then I got completely conflicted when Peggy accused Howard of taking Steve's blood for his own financial gain and proceeded to tell him exactly her assessment of him.

I think what got me was how close to the truth her view of Howard is, or perhaps was at least before they both met Steve Rogers. I can believe that before meeting Steve, Howard was exactly that calculating, greedy genius who got his jollies from demonstrating how much he was better than everyone else through making money and being brilliant. But I can also believe that Steve's sense of ethics could have rubbed off on Howard so he really is being honest when he tells Peggy he wants to use that blood to help others. That would sort of explain to me Howard's line about how he knows what Steve meant to Peggy because of what Steve meant to Howard.

The show, as always, did a really nice job of sharply drawing the sexist world Peggy is operating in and how this informs her own actions. For all his lying and scheming, Howard does really respect Peggy and values her talents which has to be so seductive for Peggy who is constantly surrounded by men treating her as second class. I can totally see why she'd jump at the chance to do Howard's missions and how her circumstances might have blinded her to what Howard was really up to. As unrealistic as this wish might be, I really, really, REALLY hope that somehow Thompson and Dooley get hit in the face with Peggy's true worth before this series is over. I scoffed when Thompson said no man would ever think Peggy an equal. You're right, Thompson. Because no man is equal to Peggy. Also, even if we go by your theory, PLENTY of men during the war thought her an equal if not more. Steve, Howard, Phillips, and I'm pretty sure the entire Howling Commandos.

Some stray thoughts:

1) Jarvis has a tell. I kind of wish they had introduced this at the start of the series because having it come up now (when I'm pretty sure Jarvis has lied before without doing this tic) felt a bit...clunky. But it was a nice little detail nonetheless.

2) Dottie is TOTALLY an assassin! I kind of wasn't expecting her to break that guy's neck or for the reveal to happen so quickly.

3) Souza is nearly there! He's so close to identifying the blonde!

4) Hi, Stan Lee! Also, HOWARD, COVER YOUR FACE YOU'RE OUT IN PUBLIC!

5) There's a 5 times fic to be done about Jarvis having to constantly apologize for Howard.
 
 
 
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on January 30th, 2015 04:03 am (UTC)
I felt on both Howard and Peggy's sides on this one, which I suppose is a sign of good writing. I felt Peggy jumped a little too quickly to assuming Howard was after financial gain, but at the same time, I totally got why she assumed he was out for himself, and I felt like her frustration with the situation at work made her jump to the conclusion that no one trusted her abilities, and no one was going to respect her. Which was confirmed by Howard having lied.

Their relationship is really great, though, and I like their dynamic. And I liked Howard's backstory. I think it works for him. I'd be interested to know, because he's so young, when he made all the money. Did he just rake it in out of school or did he not even going to school and start working from when he was a kid to make the money? To start from nothing and have everything in your twenties must have taken a hell of a lot of effort.

Also, HOWARD, COVER YOUR FACE YOU'RE OUT IN PUBLIC!

I oddly felt like this was 100% accurate to how Howard would handle hiding. I loved how totally not hiding his hiding was. I feel like Tony would do the exact same thing. It's the same concept as giving a terrorist your home address and telling him to come blow you up on national television.

Also, I loved that Howard shipped himself to America with a full apartment in a crate. I actually, literally, laughed out loud when they opened the car and Howard was playing pool.

Jarvis has a tell. I kind of wish they had introduced this at the start of the series because having it come up now (when I'm pretty sure Jarvis has lied before without doing this tic) felt a bit...clunky.

I wonder if James D'Arcy only learned about it that episode, because if they had told him in advance, he could have put it in the previous ones. It wouldn't have been that hard to do. At least we know he was sincere when he was sewing up Peggy's leg in the first episode?

I've decided Haddie's ear twitches when Jarvis is lying. I also had a very clear image of her and Dejeni at the shoe shine station, with Dejeni being sheepish and Haddie giving her a sniff and turning her face away in disapproval.



formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 30th, 2015 04:12 am (UTC)
I'd be interested to know, because he's so young, when he made all the money. Did he just rake it in out of school or did he not even going to school and start working from when he was a kid to make the money?

I'm guessing he may have invented a bunch of stuff that he then took the patent out on and then managed to sell to several companies. How he got the deals with the companies is probably where the slight lying came in.

I oddly felt like this was 100% accurate to how Howard would handle hiding.

He's just a tad worse than Steve Rogers who wears a cap when trying to hide.

Also, I loved that Howard shipped himself to America with a full apartment in a crate.

Yes! I loved this detail so much. Travel in style, Howard.

I've decided Haddie's ear twitches when Jarvis is lying.

Cutest detail ever!
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on January 30th, 2015 04:25 am (UTC)
I'm guessing he may have invented a bunch of stuff that he then took the patent out on and then managed to sell to several companies. How he got the deals with the companies is probably where the slight lying came in.

Okay, yeah, that works. I just have so many questions now. I want to know more. Does he have siblings? Did he get to help his parents out at all or were they dead before he got the money?

I think it works on the level of him neglecting Tony in favour of work, too, because of the fear of losing everything and going back to how things were and feeling like the more important thing was to look after Tony financially than maybe emotionally.

He's just a tad worse than Steve Rogers who wears a cap when trying to hide.

I now want a fic of WWII shenanigans where Howard and Steve utterly fail to hide together while Peggy is just like 'my God, you are the most useless people I've ever met!'.





formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 30th, 2015 04:33 am (UTC)
Does he have siblings? Did he get to help his parents out at all or were they dead before he got the money?

I feel like Howard is an only child, like Tony. And in my head, his parents were gone before he got super rich. He might have been able to help out his mom a bit (I some how picture his dad dying first) but she died before he was wealthy enough to really support her completely.

I now want a fic of WWII shenanigans where Howard and Steve utterly fail to hide together while Peggy is just like 'my God, you are the most useless people I've ever met!'.

HAHA! This reminds me of when Tony first designed the Iron Man suit and told JARVIS to add in hotrod red to which JARVIS was all, "Really? Sure, not inconspicuous at ALL."
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on January 30th, 2015 04:45 am (UTC)
I feel like Howard is an only child, like Tony. And in my head, his parents were gone before he got super rich. He might have been able to help out his mom a bit (I some how picture his dad dying first) but she died before he was wealthy enough to really support her completely.

Your headcanon matches my own exactly.

HAHA! This reminds me of when Tony first designed the Iron Man suit and told JARVIS to add in hotrod red to which JARVIS was all, "Really? Sure, not inconspicuous at ALL."

It is not in a Stark's nature to blend in. Starks are pathological stand-outters.

I wonder how often Steve looks at Tony and just goes 'it's like they cloned Howard Stark'. I bet he's called him Howard at least once, and Tony was just >:(
aelfgyfu_mead: Peggy Carteraelfgyfu_mead on February 1st, 2015 01:24 am (UTC)
The way Howard was in women's rooms immediately really annoyed me, actually. Did he have two minutes with that woman down the hall from Peggy while she was trying to keep what's-her-name from finding Howard in the dumbwaiter? I felt like it made the women look dumb and sex-starved. I had no problem with Howard doing it; I had problems with apparently any woman who laid eyes on him immediately taking him into her room and making out.

I mostly felt Peggy's side! I think she isn't entirely right, and that you are right about Steve having changed for the better, but I also think that if he'd trusted her with the truth, she'd have been more willing to credit him with good motivations. And when does she sleep? Every day she goes to work, and almost every night she's out being a spy! Her fuse is short. I had no sympathy for him.

I cannot imagine Howard would be really effective at hiding himself. Yes, he should cover his face, but I'm not at all surprised that he didn't.

I loved Souza in this episode. He's smart—even if he's not always right. I think if he can find the same bum, he may get confirmation that the woman at the party was the woman at the docks—is Peggy Carter. And I'm simultaneously rooting for and against him! Would he even give Peggy a chance to explain if he really knew it was her, or would he just take it to his higher-ups? If he does take it to them, will they just laugh at him? I think that's possible too.

I am totally with you on Thompson and Dooley—I want them to know what idiots they've been! I don't see how that can happen, though.

I've discovered I like Peggy and Jarvis more than Peggy and Stark, but that might be because Stark was really pushing my buttons in this episode—as he pushed hers.

I loved the SSR lab! When the guy's arm burst into flames again, I said, "It's Muppet Labs!" And that poor guy was Beaker.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 1st, 2015 01:58 am (UTC)
I had no problem with Howard doing it; I had problems with apparently any woman who laid eyes on him immediately taking him into her room and making out.

I was weirdly more annoyed with how inconsistent the security on the floors seemed to be. I mean, they act like it's impossible to get a guy in and under wraps but everyone's behavior made it seem like it was seriously not that big a deal.

And I'm simultaneously rooting for and against him! Would he even give Peggy a chance to explain if he really knew it was her, or would he just take it to his higher-ups? If he does take it to them, will they just laugh at him? I think that's possible too.

I was wondering this too. I feel like Peggy and Souza need one more scene together which may be the lynchpin of what Souza will do once he identifies her. I feel like Souza sympathizes with Peggy's situation as a woman at the SSR, but I don't think they have a real connection yet which is what feels needed for Souza to be conflicted about what to do.

I am totally with you on Thompson and Dooley—I want them to know what idiots they've been! I don't see how that can happen, though.

I have a feeling it just won't. Especially if the series keeps the Peggy Carter short film as canon.

When the guy's arm burst into flames again, I said, "It's Muppet Labs!" And that poor guy was Beaker.

Yes! OMG, that's so perfect!
aelfgyfu_meadaelfgyfu_mead on February 1st, 2015 02:12 am (UTC)
they act like it's impossible to get a guy in and under wraps but everyone's behavior made it seem like it was seriously not that big a deal
Yes! We just saw a resident get kicked out—although it was apparently after the night, so it seemed like he was caught leaving rather than just being there. I can believe Peggy can smuggle Tony in, but—I guess this is part of my anger at the show over these scenes: I lived in an all-women dorm. There were visiting hours. Everyone knew that men could and did stay over, and no one was in a hurry to turn in violators. But if I'd seen a man wandering the hall without the woman he was with during non-visitor hours, I'd never have invited him in, let alone kissed him—I might have called security. And if one started flirting with me, I'd definitely have called security!

If there was a man on the hall, he would be with someone. And no one would believe he was somebody's "cousin": at best, I'd think he was two-timing a serious girlfriend. I'd be afraid he was a predator. Maybe they're not so afraid of predators in 1946, but they certainly ought to figure that he's not the Englishwoman's cousin, especially since the first woman just took Tony's word for it, so they ought to figure at best, he's cheating on Peggy!
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 1st, 2015 02:16 am (UTC)
I love that you mixed up Tony and Howard in your comment because I think it speaks to just how much like each other they are. Or at least how this show depicts them.

I do agree with you about women not using any sort of common sense in these sequences. I did one year at an all woman's college and there was a rule that male visitors could wander anywhere on the floor but not up and down floors. And the first part of the rule only existed because the dorms were so small, we always all knew who everyone's guests were way ahead of time. I never once encountered a guy I didn't already know on my floor.
aelfgyfu_meadaelfgyfu_mead on February 1st, 2015 02:21 am (UTC)
I love that you mixed up Tony and Howard in your comment because I think it speaks to just how much like each other they are.
And I did it multiple times, and I'd never have realized if you hadn't pointed it out! I did just read an Avengers fic before I saw your first reply to my comment, so I had Tony on my mind (whether I wanted him there or not).

And I have issues. Tony really annoyed me—I had trouble warming up to him, and I think it's a real tribute to Robert Downey Jr.'s charisma that I like him at all now.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on February 1st, 2015 03:36 am (UTC)
I was weirdly more annoyed with how inconsistent the security on the floors seemed to be. I mean, they act like it's impossible to get a guy in and under wraps but everyone's behavior made it seem like it was seriously not that big a deal.

Maybe it's harder to get a guy in and out than it is a big deal to have him there? Like, out of a sense of solidarity, if you manage to get the guy in, the other women back you up and don't report you about it?

I can't justify how quickly Howard managed to get into the first woman's room, or rather, how quickly he managed to make out with her (I could see him knocking and asking for help on Peggy's behalf and being let in) but I can definitely see him managing to talk his way into the other woman's room by the time Peggy had been gone and back.

I think Rule of Funny applies here, and that doesn't make it right. Tony has the same effect on women throughout his movies, so it is a bit consistent with the Stark Charm. He looks at them and they sleep with him. I could justify that a little more with Tony being well-known, whereas Howard in this scenario was (completely horrible at) playing not himself, but in other situations, he certainly would have that notability.