Agent Carter‘s coming to a quick end, and “A Sin to Err”is the culmination of Agent Carter‘s season long arcs from Peggy’s activities being found out to Dottie’s own ulterior motives finally catching up with Peggy. The shorter season framework has worked well for the show, better than some long seasons work for others, and now we’re approaching the finale, with only two left, and who knows if it’ll get a second season? When the episode begins, Peggy’s still riding the high from the successful trip to Russia, and though she has to pull teeth to get the SSR to take the Russian lady assassins seriously, Dooley gives her permission to investigate it. The show’s done a decent job imbuing its commentary on sexism within the narrative (however unsatisfying and incomplete that narrative is), and this episode has Peggy’s newfound good will dissipating quickly once Sousa proves that she’s been working against them.
With Jarvis in tow, Peggy begins her search of the many women Howard was sleeping with (and who Jarvis had to break up with for him) and see if they have scars on their wrists from being cuffed to their beds. Knowing Howard’s tendency to womanize, this is likely how he ended up in trouble in the first place, but it only leads them to a string of dead ends and Dottie’s old, now empty apartment with only scratches on a bedpost to denote her presence.
Maybe Peggy would have eventually discovered Dottie on her own with some time, but she’s quickly derailed by the SSR. Sousa gets confirmation about Peggy being the woman they’re looking for, and Peggy and Jarvis are cornered in the diner. Agent Carter‘s fight scenes are some of the most fun sequences, and with the score and Peggy knocking everyone around, it’s top notch. She gets to knock Thompson around to, when he catches her and Jarvis in the alley (and you know that’s going to bother him for awhile), and Sousa’s still emotionally invested enough to let her slip away momentarily. It’s a credit to the show that it manages to make this feel important and affecting, despite the small amount of time we’ve spent in the show’s universe.
Peggy’s so content with her newfound respect at the agency that seeing it all go up in smoke is sad for her. She used to be considered useless, but now she’s considered a traitor, and the SSR’s hunt for her leans more on their disbelief at Peggy, a mere woman, managing to be the powerhouse they’ve only heard about than looking for a criminal. Thompson’s ego is more than a little bruised at having been fooled and having gotten his butt kicked. Their underestimation of Peggy led them to this point, and now they have to deal with the knowledge that she fooled them so thoroughly. By the episode’s end Peggy is in SSR custody and being treated like “one of the boys”. Dooley orders that she not be handled delicately just because she’s a woman, which is the opposite of the circumstances under which Peggy wanted to be treated equally.
And Peggy’s feeling equally burned, realizing too late that Dottie isn’t who she claims to be. Dottie gets an order from Leviathan’s psychologist, to kill Peggy. And when Peggy returns to the Griffith for the vial of Steve’s blood, she ends up being cornered by the SSR. Angie helps her out of one tight spot, but Peggy crosses paths with Dottie, wearing Peggy’s 100% Sweet Dreams lipstick and laying one on Peggy. Before Dottie can kill her, unconscious and defenseless, the SSR carts her away. And Dottie disappears completely.
“A Sin to Err” feels very much like a penultimate episode, despite there being two left before the season’s officially over. Agent Carter may not be perfect, but it found a really good climax in this episode, and it’ll be interesting to see how it all wraps up.
- Howard is such a sleaze.
- Okay but who cares about Dooley’s marital troubles really? Eve the other agents are like what is he doing in there with that dude? At least it ends up being part of the whole ruse, the psychologist hypnotizing him.
- Usually it would be easy to call the hero returning to the obvious place they’d be looked for dumb and contrived, but Peggy needing to go back for Steve’s blood made perfect sense. Though how did Peggy plan on leaving the Griffith? Walking out the front door?
- Angie: “What’s your grandmother’s name?”
Thompson: “Gam Gam.”