Marvel’s Agent Carter, S1 Ep08 – Valediction

Marvel’s Agent Carter has been a fun ride for Marvel fans since its initial launch. It’s sad that we have to see it go so soon, but part of what’s made it great was its short 8-episode run. Like the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., had Marvel ran a full 20+ episode season of Agent Carter we would’ve probably been served numerous filler episodes. With only 8 episodes Marvel has been able to tell a very focused story with each episode contributing something important to the series’ overall plot. This successful effort should give Marvel fans confidence in the the company’s eventual Netflix mini-series.

Marvel’s Agent Carter, S1 Ep08 – Valediction (3)

Howard Stark putting his life on the line

In “Valediction” Peggy and the S.S.R. discover the horrific effects of the Stark-created chemical weapon now in the possession of Dr. Ivenchenko and Dottie. They even see the effects first-hand as Agent Sousa gets a face full of gas during their investigation of the movie theater where Dottie tested out the weapon. With this horrific weapon now in the possession of two who are set on using it two kill innocent civilians, it’s time for Howard Stark to own up to his mistakes, come out of hiding, and join the S.S.R. in taking them down.

Together they come up with a plan to hold an outdoor press conference in honor of Stark’s heroics in order to draw Ivenchenko and Dottie out. Knowing that he could be easily assassinated by Dottie, Stark puts his life on the line in order to make their capture possible. This is a huge step for Stark as he is often thought of as selfish, but now that he realizes how much harm his own creation may cause he puts himself in harm’s way in order to fix the issue at hand.

Everything doesn’t go according to plan as Ivenchenko and Dottie don’t attempt to kill Stark, but end up kidnapping him using a mind controlled police officer. Ivenchenko and Dottie’s plan ends up being much more sinister than expected, as they attempt to brainwash Stark into releasing his chemical weapon on Times Square via his personal airplane. Through this plot we learn a great deal about what drives Howard Stark. Ivenchenko is able to use Stark’s guilt over never finding Captain America in order to control his mind. We learn that the creation of Captain America is perceived as one of the few good things Stark as done for mankind and his failure to save Rogers still haunts him. In a scene very reminiscent of the final moments of Captain America: The First Avenger, Peggy is able to talk Stark down and stop him from committing Ivenchenko’s heinous plans.

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Jarvis and S.S.R. Agent Sousa

While this scene was very well done and emotionally driven, there wasn’t much suspense as we know Stark makes it out all right. Jarvis follows him in a separate airplane ready to shoot Stark down if Carter fails, but we all know Stark lives as he will eventually have a son named Tony Stark and will grow old. I still really enjoyed the parallels between this episode’s conclusion and Captain America. “Valediction” even works well as an additional conclusion to that movie, especially as Peggy is finally able to say goodbye to Steve as she throws his blood  the last remaining piece of him  in the river.

“Valediction” isn’t without its action, though, as we get to see Peggy take on the far superior Russian assassin, Dottie. The fight is definitely entertaining to watch as neither of them pull any punches and Carter is forced to throw Dottie out of a window. Unfortunately Dottie does survive her fall and her story is left open by the end of the episode. While Agent Carter was always promoted as a single mini-series, it would be a shame if the show didn’t get renewed and we didn’t see what becomes of Dottie and what comes after the episode’s major twist.

Ivenchenko gets arrested thanks to Agent Sousa being smart enough to use earplugs to prevent having his mind controlled. After being arrested and having his mouth wired shut, he is placed in the same cell as Arnim Zola – the HYDRA scientist who worked beside the Red Skull during World War II and will eventually download his brain into a super computer. With Zola being one of Captain America’s most formidable enemies in the comics and Ivenchenko being able to control minds, we need to know what becomes of the two and their possible partnership. While this was a cool twist that teased a potential new threat for the series’ possible second season, it’s still pretty dumb of the S.S.R. to place these two brilliant scientists together in the same prison cell.

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Ready to take down Ivenchenko and Dottie

While the episode leaves certain threads untied, as far as the lead characters are concerned “Valediction” does put a cap on their personal arcs. Agent Sousa invites Peggy out for a drink and while she does decline, her smile hints that something could happen out of that relationship. Peggy receives a new base of operations thanks to Howard Stark which Angie is happy to live in. Jarvis and Peggy continue to remain friends and Jarvis assures Peggy that he will be there for her if need be. Unfortunately, at the end of the episode Peggy doesn’t get the recognition she deserves, as Agent Thompson is the one rewarded for her efforts. But she realizes she doesn’t care what anyone else thinks of her; it’s more important to Peggy that she knows her own self-worth.

“Valediction” was a great conclusion to yet another fine Marvel Studios production. The episode did well concluding the mini-series’ overall story while also dropping a few hints at things to come if the series were to be renewed for a second season. The 8-episode limited run benefited this series very well, allowing it feel very focused. If Agent Carter is to be renewed I would hope that Marvel continues this method going forth. Let’s hope it happens.

So, what are your final thoughts on Marvel’s Agent Carter? Was it everything you had hoped for? Would you like to see it return for another season? Feel free to let us know your comments on “Valediction” and the series as a whole in the comments. In the mean time, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns with brand new episodes next week. Check out ABC’s official promo for the series’ return below.