Marvel’s Agent Carter “Valediction” Review (Season 1 Episode 8)

HAYLEY ATWELL

Well, this is it folks! The season (but hopefully not series) finale of Marvel’s Agent Carter! This eight episode run has been tons of fun, and the series has been quite a surprise for me. While I keep my fingers crossed that the show gets renewed, we were sent off with a great finale in the form of “Valediction.”

The episode kicked off with the immediate aftermath of the brutal attack on the movie theater from last week. It was pretty gnarly seeing all of the torn up flesh and blood on that victim, and it was by far the most gruesome visual we’ve had on this show. This series has definitely hit some dark moments over the course of these eight episodes, and this was definitely one of them.

The one upside to this attack is that it causes Howard Stark to return, and the ever entertaining Dominic Cooper was definitely on point tonight. His rapscallion attitude and that Han Solo demeanor is always fun to watch, but every time he’s on screen I become less and less impressed with him as a competent member of the team. First of all, let’s talk about Howard Stark as an inventor. This Midnight Oil is what…the third or fourth malfunctioning Stark invention that we’ve seen on this show? Just about every time one of his inventions gets into the wrong hands he says “Oh…well it was supposed to do this, but it actually ended up doing this…” It happened just last week with Agent Dooley’s vest! Second, he shows off all of his top secret vehicles to just any pretty girl? Isn’t he concerned that maybe any of them might end up being up to no good? Finally, he was easily fooled and hypnotized by Evchenko’s silly ring trick.

That whole ring spinning/hypnotization thing was kinda cool the first time he did it. When that red shirt agent walked in front of a car, it was a cool trick that I was hoping would be a one-off thing and Evchenko would maybe prove his power some other way. However, he just keeps doing it! Dooley was fooled and he ended up killing himself, but at least he spent a lot of time with Evchenko and the evil doctor slowly worked his way into his mind. Now, Evchenko spun his ring for like two seconds and Howard was immediately under his spell? Seriously? That trick got so old and even more unbelievable the more it happened.

The underpowered Howard Stark and the overpowered Dr. Evchenko were my only complaints, though. The rest of the episode was tons of fun, and Dottie continued to be one of the best parts of the show. If this show sticks around, I really hope she comes back.

I also really loved the symmetry between the end of the series and the end of the first Captain America film. Peggy pleading with Rogers to not crash his plane into the ice was the most emotional and powerful scene of the 2011 film, and it was a very similar situation here where she was tearfully trying to talk Howard down from flying his own plane. Really neat moment for sure.

One of the best moments of the whole episode came when Peggy returned to her office and got a standing ovation from her coworkers! You couldn’t help but smile along with Peggy, because you know how hard she’s worked and all that she’s been through to simply get a few guys to clap for her. It was a perfect ending to this moment, however, when a local senator came by to congratulate Thompson on saving the city, instead of Peggy. It reminds us that even though Peggy can save hundreds of thousands of people and do most of it by herself, it’s still the 40s and she won’t truly be appreciated for her accomplishments for many years.

The little easter egg at the end was pretty cool, with Toby Jones making an appearance as Dr. Arnim Zola. This confirms that Hydra would definitely be a part of this show going forward, as it’s been absent from the season.

I thought this show was just going to be a nice little placeholder while I wait for Agents of SHIELD to come back, but now part of me is wishing that the show could stick around a little longer. I guess we can all keep our fingers crossed that the sub-par ratings on the show don’t dissuade ABC from renewing it. I’m sure they will be highly motivated to keep their Marvel brand stronger than just one show, and maybe they could renew it as another eight episode miniseries. Do the right thing, ABC!

What did you think of the episode, and of the season as a whole? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– I loved Dottie’s costuming this week. The black number with the hints of red was very “Black Widowy.” Big props to the costume department on that one.

– It was pretty stinking cool seeing Peggy holding Cap’s shield in Howard’s hallucination. That was probably the biggest visual tie-in to the current Marvel films that the show has had.

– For those of you not sure why Peggy poured out the blood, that was the Brooklyn Bridge she was standing on. Steve Rogers was a Brooklyn boy, through and through! I’m sure he would have loved it.