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03 February 2015 @ 10:30 pm
Agent Carter: The Iron Ceiling  
FINALLY Peggy Carter gets a legit mission!

My viewing of this episode was fragmented due to the news periodically interrupting to report on a train crash just outside of New York. However, I think I got most of it.


It was really nice to see Peggy finally get some respect for her talents. I loved that Howling Commandos treated her like a good friend and soldier rather than a woman who needed to be protected. I loved Peggy and Dum Dum sharing old jokes and memories. I loved that for once Jack Thompson didn't know which way was up.

So, we got treated to some Thompson backstory in this episode. His character is now revealed to be rather multi-layered. He made a devastating mistake during the war and took the cowardly, self-preservation way out. After he returned home, he was hailed a hero and he's been desperately trying to maintain that image even though it's been a huge strain on him. And apparently maintaining that hero facade means acting like a jackass to women and people with disabilities. So fine. I can sort of accept that part of Thompson's image building is putting up unnecessary bluster by attacking those in weaker positions than him. It actually goes along with his character as someone who would bury the white flag rather than own up to it.

Even with all that, I can believe that he isn't necessary a bad man. Just a flawed one. However, in the hands of Chad Michael Murray, I often see his jackassery way more than the flawed human angle. There's nothing in his acting thus far that made the backstory not feel like a sudden awkward lunge toward making Thompson more sympathetic. But instead of feeling for him and his legitimately tough situation, I found myself recalling all the times he unnecessarily made Peggy and Sousa feel like garbage. Maybe that's just down to acting but I still don't like Thompson, even as I understand him better and his story. I was, however, really glad that he gave Peggy credit for the mission. I half expected him to treat her as usual out of embarrassment for freezing up during the final fight but he turned out to be better than that and even invited Peggy out for a drink. That's progress.

In other news, Sousa has finally figured out who the blonde woman is. He's clearly been stewing on it and I really hope the previews for next week aren't because Sousa did bring the information to Dooley without talking to Peggy first.

Some stray thoughts:

1) Holy crap, the Red Room! And yup, it looks about as awful as I imagined. The part that I found the most distressing because it really spoke to the level of brainwashing these girls have suffered was seeing Dottie handcuff herself to the bed before going to sleep like it's no big thing. That somehow was more awful than seeing her as a young child break the neck of the girl she shared bread with.

2) "Hey, guys? Do you all want to make a quick detour and grab Bucky from the Russians since you're there anyway? No? Sure, sure, what was I thinking? Okay, nevermind." oh god someone help him!

3) Is Dooley being serious about willing to hear Stark's side of things? I've hated him and Thompson for so long, it's hard for me to accept them being decent even when they are.
 
 
 
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on February 4th, 2015 04:07 am (UTC)
My viewing of this episode was hampered by being on the tail end of a fairly nasty migraine, so I too might have missed some stuff. I tried not to look too much at the screen during the actiony bits (of which there was much) and consequently couldn't sort out which Supporting Commando was which, except for Pinky when he spoke (in an awful British accent, but huzzah for comic book canon). I like more character stuff than actiony stuff, though I am aware that is not the brief for most comic book productions, so this wasn't my fave episode. Also needed Moar Jarvis. But I did like the Commandos being bros with Peggy, and how much fun Peggy was having being action girl again.

But the codebreaker guy really didn't think to translate from Russian on a Russian code? Or was it just that he didn't speak Russian? One of the things I've liked about the show is that they haven't dumbed down everyone else so Peggy can look more competent, but that was a moment of 'really?'.

Is Dooley being serious about willing to hear Stark's side of things? I've hated him and Thompson for so long, it's hard for me to accept them being decent even when they are.

I feel like Dooley is, at heart, not a bad guy. I actually totally got his point of view about not sending Peggy in terms of him being either the guy who got a girl killed or the guy who sent a girl that got people killed. I mean, it's sexist and awful, but I got it. That said, it seems like a very fast about face just because some newspaper guy suggested something. I'm not sure if his offer to Jarvis was sincere, but I do feel like he'd reconsider his opinion if challenged with enough evidence.

Thompson, not so much.

Edited for weird migrainey words.


Edited at 2015-02-04 04:11 am (UTC)
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 4th, 2015 04:19 am (UTC)
But the codebreaker guy really didn't think to translate from Russian on a Russian code? Or was it just that he didn't speak Russian?

Yeah, this was weird. Even if the codebreaker couldn't speak Russian, I would think he'd still suggest it and ask that the SSR bring in someone who could to work with him.

I feel like Dooley is, at heart, not a bad guy.

I don't think Dooley and even Thompson are bad people at heart. But I do see them both as people who tend to do what's most natural and comfortable for them, particularly if it gets the job done. Which is why I tend not to really trust them when they're faced with a difficult situation.

I'm sorry to hear about your migraine. :(

Hope you're feeling better!

Edited at 2015-02-04 04:20 am (UTC)
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on February 4th, 2015 04:29 am (UTC)
I would think he'd still suggest it and ask that the SSR bring in someone who could to work with him.

I'll just pretend they were rushing him and he didn't have time before Peggy got there to try it in Russian. I also got the impression the SSR guys were being blokey and douchey to him and flustering him, because that's what they do.


Hope you're feeling better!


I'm starting to, now. I don't usually get the pain phase when I have a migraine, mine are mostly silent migraines, so whenever I actually get the pain, I never know what to do with myself. Now I just feel like there's cotton stuffed in my forehead, so hopefully by tomorrow all will be well.

I found more pandas doing somersaults, so like isn't all bad.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 4th, 2015 04:45 am (UTC)
Fingers crossed for you that tomorrow is pain free.

It's not pandas doing somersaults, but here is a dog daemon who is pretty happy to be with his children's daemons: http://adulthoodisokay.tumblr.com/post/46386888349/i-cant-deal-with-how-adorable-this-dog-is
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on February 4th, 2015 04:52 am (UTC)
Awww!

"It's so nice when I get to spend some time with the triplets."

Here's some sibling daemons getting told off by their mother and aunt's daemons.

A daemon really enjoying babysitting.

And this little ballerina's daemon.

Edited at 2015-02-04 04:52 am (UTC)
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 4th, 2015 04:54 am (UTC)
All of these are amazing! Although the babysitting one is my favorite.

"I'm so going to charge more next time..."
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on February 4th, 2015 05:05 am (UTC)
I feel like that is the very stoic daemon of a British nanny looking after two rambunctious American children.

"Young misses, I would remind you that my antlers are not jungle gyms. Get down and practice your maths."
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 5th, 2015 03:55 am (UTC)
I imagine that that's Shess on the right, freaking out because pre-serum Issie and Steve are doing something incredibly heroic and stupid.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on February 5th, 2015 04:01 am (UTC)
Hahaha! "No! No, Issie. Oh, that's gonna hurt. Damnit!"

Shess out on the town.

Also, for some reason, this makes me think of baby!Shess and Issie playing.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 5th, 2015 04:08 am (UTC)
Aww! Baby!Shess and Issie are adorable!

Also, how did the bear in the cab thing even happen? I mean...WHAT HAPPENED??
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on February 5th, 2015 04:17 am (UTC)
I don't know, but I'm about 99% sure that that bear is the cab driver's daemon. That's my explanation for it.

My image of Steve and Issie squished over on the other side of the seat is adorable though.

Issie: It's a good thing we're friends or this would be awkward.
(no subject) - joonscribble on February 5th, 2015 04:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
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X-parrotxparrot on February 4th, 2015 08:35 am (UTC)
I felt the same way about Thompson - that his backstory could be humanizing but I still don't really care about him except in that I'm glad to see Peggy getting some recognition. He's an obstacle for her to surmount, not really a character. He's a pretty satisfying obstacle, though!

I don't know this part of comics canon, but is the Red Room where Natasha was trained? Because as soon as we saw the girls being trained in the beginning that's what I thought of...
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 4th, 2015 11:11 pm (UTC)
I don't know this part of comics canon, but is the Red Room where Natasha was trained? Because as soon as we saw the girls being trained in the beginning that's what I thought of...

One of the comic origins story for Natasha has her be trained via the Red Room as a young orphaned girl. And yes, while the timeline is too early, I was half expecting to see kid!Natasha in those early scenes.
aelfgyfu_mead: Peggy Carteraelfgyfu_mead on February 6th, 2015 10:58 pm (UTC)
I've become a lot more sympathetic to Thompson and Dooley—I want them not to die now! Getting Thompson's back story worked for me, but then, I don't think I'm familiar with the actor, which may help. It was clear from his reluctance to tell his story that something was badly wrong, and I think everyone knew without pressing. That to me made even more sense of his terrible treatment of Sousa and Peggy: they are real heroes and he's supposed to be one, and just seeing them reminds him of his shame all the time. Nobody treats Peggy like a hero, but they all know what she was part of, at least.

The Red Room scenes were very effective—they gave us enough to be quite chilling, and Dottie handcuffing herself to the bed at the end showed how terribly ruined she is, in case we were in any doubt.

I think Dooley is serious. I think he has begun to fear that they're being played, and he may not like Stark at all, but he doesn't want to be played. He wants to do his job well.

Peggy was just winning all over the place this episode. Translating without waiting for permission (and then telling them all to be quiet), calling up her old friends, getting command of the mission without seizing command just because of the confidence the Commandos have in her—how can we have so few episodes left?

HULK WANT MOAR!
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 7th, 2015 12:29 am (UTC)
how can we have so few episodes left?

I really hope that this show gets another season. I know it's being marketed as a miniseries right now but there's certainly enough material to give us a full season of at least 13 episodes in the future. We know Peggy lives a long life and has to create SHIELD with Howard and Phillips. I'd like to see that.

The only thing about Agent Carter is that periodically as I watch Peggy kicking ass both literally and figuratively, I'm reminded of her eventual medical fate as seen in Captain America 2 and then I get all sad.