Agent Carter: “Time and Tide” Episode 3 Review

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Time and Tide seems like a pivotal moment for Agent Carter, though one that could also be its undoing. This episode felt more like the show was becoming its own thing, not just a Marvel product, but that thing it’s becoming doesn’t seem that interesting.

It’s easy to celebrate a piece from Marvel that doesn’t want to seem like it’s coming from Marvel. Much of the reason that Captain America: The Winter Soldier was so successful is that it bent the formula to its will, making sure it commanded its own tropes and not the other way around. Agent Carter is trying to do the same thing, with moderate success.

I complained about the show’s soft aesthetic last week, but it’s starting to grow on me. That said, I kind of wish the show was in black and white, but Disney probably thinks that’d be too “out there” for Marvel fans to handle.

This episode dealt with Peggy’s continuing mission to clear Howard Stark’s name by finding his stolen weapons. She once again enlists the help of his butler Jarvis, whose dynamic with Peggy continues to be a highlight on the series. Peggy and Jarvis spend the bulk of the episode together, getting each other out of trouble when need be. That’s most of why Time and Tide works. But a lot of the actual spy stuff, mostly regarding Peggy’s co-workers, fell flat. Aside from Peggy and Jarivs, this show lacks a lot of bite.

Up until the climax, where the pair in fact find many of Howard’s stolen inventions on a boat, this episode is about Peggy trying to learn more about Jarvis so she can trust him more. When he gets called into SSR headquarters for questioning, she sacrifices her dignity so he can walk free. But, in the process, learned that he’s been accused of treason.

She gets to ask some questions of her own once they’re in private, but doesn’t get too far before they have to fight there way out of the boat. It felt very classic ’40s to have just one hired brute for Peggy to fight, and she held her own pretty well. But Jarvis saving her was a nice moment, only for her to use the Stark’s glowing muscle contractor to subdue him.

Calling an anonymous tip, the SSR find Stark’s stolen goods. In the darkest moment of the episode, Ray is murdered by a mysterious figure while driving the hired muscle back to headquarters. This breaks the team, with Chief Dooley essentially declaring war on Howard Stark.

So Time and Tide doesn’t leave us any closer to finding out who is behind the thievery of Stark’s inventions. This mystery in and of itself isn’t all that compelling. But Peggy and Jarvis most certainly are, and that’s why Agent Carter is, at least for now, worth watching. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty

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