Agent Carter: “The Iron Ceiling” Episode 5 Review

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Agent Carter hit the ground running as we head into the second half of the season, delivering the most exciting and satisfying episode yet.

“The Iron Ceiling” saw Peggy and Thompson sent to Russia to investigate a Soviet military complex that has connections to Leviathan, the group that appears to be setting up Howard Stark. But the true highlight was the return of Dum Dum Dugan (Neal McDonough) from Captain America: The First Avenger (as well as a brief appearance on an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). His interactions with Peggy throughout the episode worked well to get Thompson to warm up to his female colleague.

This episode put Peggy at the center of enough action that any man of this era would have to respect her. But Dugan certainly sets a good example, sharing war stories from the past and drinking bourbon with Peggy and the other Howling Commandos. By the end, after Peggy saves him in combat, Thompson says he owes her a bourbon. I’m glad to see the feminist angle of the series getting rewarding, especially when it’s so well tied with the show’s main plot.

Through Peggy’s relatively successful mission, Thompson isn’t the only one starting to consider the idea that maybe Howard Stark isn’t behind everything. After talking to a friend and later Jarvis, Dooley has reason to suspect not all is as it seems.

But the real winner of the episode was the action. Agent Carter has been pretty light on the ass-kicking so far, but “The Iron Ceiling” finally allowed our characters to go in guns ablaze. The note most fans will be making this week is the creepy Russian little girl training camp that seems to be preparing them as assassins. The creators of the show revealed that this is in fact a direct allusion to the Black Widow program that gave birth to a certain Avenger. This is a cool tie to the present-day Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially since Dottie and the young girls on Agent Carter move a hell of a lot like Black Widow does in the movies.

It all made for easily the most fun and watchable episode of Agent Carter yet. If the pace keeps up with this episode, the second half of the miniseries will be infinitely more interesting and entertaining than the first. With just three episodes left, it’s time for the countdown to begin. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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