You cannot end it like that and not give us a second season. But I'm getting ahead of myself. 'Valediction' brought Agent Carter's first (and hopefully not only) season to a satisfying conclusion, even though it was a little underwhelming in places.
I'll start with the negatives before I get to the positives. First of all, and this is probably a purely personal one, there just wasn't enough Peggy/Jarvis for my liking. For me, their partnership is the show. A better, and more period appropriate title for the show would be The Amazing Adventures of Peggy Carter and her sidekick, Edwin Jarvis. So it was disappointing that Jarvis was pushed to the sidelines for the majority of the episode to accommodate the S.S.R. boys and the returning Howard Stark. The only real interaction they got was their final scene together, where Jarvis pledged his life to Peggy's service. Not exactly in those words, but that was the general gist of it.
I also found the resolution of the arc plot a little underwhelming. We never got a real sense of the scale of what Faustus was trying to do. And the showdown at the hanger wasn't as exciting as I was expecting it to be. The Peggy/Dottie fight, which I have been looking forward to all season long, was over far too quickly. A fight between these two should've been an epic face off that destroyed everything in its wake. This one didn't even do much damage to the room it was in. If there is a season two I demand a rematch.
Right, now the positives. I liked how the the episode mirrored the ending of Captain America: The First Avenger by once again having Peggy talk to someone she cares about via radio while they are flying a plane set to deliver doom on New York City. This time, though, Peggy was able to save the day by breaking through Faustus' mind control and getting Howard to come to her senses. At the same time, this was a cathartic experience for Peggy as it enabled her to deal her feelings for Steve and finally let him go. A definite gold acting star for the always amazing Hayley Atwell.
It was great to see the S.R.R. finally applauding Peggy. Only a few episodes ago she said she would make them change their minds about her and gosh darn it she did. It's just too bad that Jack Thompson, reclaiming his title as the Biggest Jerk in the Five Boroughs, had to go and ruin it by reverting to type and taking all the credit for himself, despite not really doing anything while Peggy and Sousa saved the day. Just as I was starting to think that there was a smidgen of hope for him.
While this episode wrapped everything up, there were still a few loose ends. Dottie, despite head injury and serious blood loss, somehow managed to escape. Which is great because the more Bridget Regan the better. Every good hero needs a nemesis and Dottie, who is basically a dark reflection of Peggy, is perfect for the job.
And then there was that final scene, a typical Marvel post credit tease, as Faustus was placed in a cell with none other than Arnim Zola himself (nice to see you, Toby Jones). The seeds of a new HYDRA have been sown. If there is a second season, is this something the show will explore? Or was this scene just a little treat for long term fans? Either way, it goes some way to explaining how Bucky Barns went from being found by Russian soldiers to ending up in the hands of HYDRA.
Intel and Assets
--The Captain America radio show made an encore and gave us its version of Peggy and Cap's goodbye with added ham and cheese.
--Peggy and Angie have moved into Stark's luxury Manhattan apartment together. If there is a second season, does this mean Angie will be help Peggy out on her missions? I hope so, because Lyndsy Fonseca has been criminally underused so far.
--Still no sign of
--When Angie left the room to call her mother, I was honestly expecting her to be revealed as a HYDRA agent.
Reporter: “Is it true that you were hiding at the residence of Barbara Stanwyck?”
Jarvis: "Should you again find yourself in need of my services, I would be honoured to assist you at a moment's notice, Miss Carter."
Jarvis: "How refreshing to meet someone who appreciates the finer things."
Peggy: "I appreciate the finer things. I just don't want to know what's happened in or on the finer things."
Three out of four nests of spiders with very short legs.
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.