The story that Ivchenko/Fennhoff tells about his capture by Leviathan makes me wonder: did he create that entire scene from his imagination? Or did it really happen -- with himself in the role of the military man?
I wonder about him. Johann Fennhoff is a German name, and the character of the same name in the comics is of Austrian origin (per Wikipedia). But Leviathan is clearly a Russian organization, or at least has ties to Russia, if the location of the base and the connection to the Black Widow program (or whatever its name is in the MCU) are any indication. And if Ivchenko/Fennoff lost a brother at Finow, that also implies that he's Russian. Maybe is Ivchenko his real name and Fennhoff the alias? Does Leviathan have ties to HYDRA? A lot of questions are raised here and never answered. It seems most likely to me that HYDRA and Leviathan will soon become allies, if not merge into a single organization. Looking at the Marvel Wiki, it appears that Leviathan is unique to the MCU, not a group brought over from comic-verse. A merger would explain a lot of things, like why the Winter Soldier speaks Russian and wears the red star on his arm but serves HYDRA. I also suspect the powers that be will want to combine them for streamlining purposes. It's one thing for comic-verse to have dozens of enemy organizations, different antagonists with different goals and sometimes competing agendas, but that would be a lot for the movie-verse to juggle.
And they certainly sowed the seeds for such a merger in the last episode, but I'll get to that in a minute.
When Angie started reciting the speech from A Doll's House in the automat, I recognized it immediately. What an excellent choice, given the feminist themes of the show.
There are so many parallels drawn between Steve and Peggy in this show. I enjoy the fun ones, of course, like Peggy flinging the circular tray at the SSR goon in the automat, but maybe the one that got to me the most was Dooley telling the other agents that Peggy is now a fugitive and detailing his plans to hunt her down. It hits many of the same beats as Sitwell's speech about Steve going rogue in TWS, and it serves to remind us that both Steve and Peggy care more about doing what's right than about respecting authority.
I've already talked about not quite buying Howard's depth of feeling for Steve, but the scene where Peggy talks him down from Ivchenko's mind whammy is still super-affecting. Mostly, of course, because I hear Peggy telling herself that it's time to let Steve go and move on with her life. And that's the moment when I started believing it too. Especially as the ep is winding down, when Daniel asks her for a drink. She turns him down, but she does it kindly, and I sure noticed that soft little smile at the back of his head. She's still not ready, but she's getting there, and now we all know it.
People have suggested that Daniel is the most likely candidate for the future Mr. Agent Carter, and though I dismissed the idea the first time through, I'm coming around to it. We know, from Peggy's interview that plays in the Smithsonian exhibit during Cap 2, that Steve rescued her husband from a HYDRA prison. I'd assumed that had to mean a Howling Commando, mostly because of the law of character conservation, but really he could be any man of the 107th. And we don't know much about Sousa's war record. In fact, he's remarkably close-mouthed about it. On my first watch, I thought he would have said something about being in the 107th when he catches Peggy with the Project Rebirth file, but given how far he goes out of his way to avoid giving details, maybe not. I suppose this could also being setting Daniel up to be a traitor, or hiding some other terrible secret, but I doubt it -- we've already gone there with Ward and a number of other characters, so it would be annoyingly repetitive to do that here. I hope we get to find out what his deal is.
Finally, a few thoughts on the very last scene, when Ivchenko/Fennhoff meets his new cellmate. When I first heard his accent, I thought it was Whitehall, that we were closing the loop opened in the first scene of this season of Agents of SHIELD. I was delighted and horrified when it was Doctor Zola instead, and that we see him already plotting HYDRA's rebirth in the center of SHIELD. This might be my favorite plot-based stinger ever.
As of this writing, we still don't know whether Agent Carter is coming back for a second season, and I don't expect to hear until May or so. Word is that renewal is on the bubble, so fingers crossed! I do of course, have a wish list for future seasons: Peggy in a position of power -- I'd really like to see the early days of the SSR becoming what we now know as SHIELD. More women. More characters of color. Waaaaaay more female characters of color. More Angie! An excuse for Jarvis to come back. Peggy and Daniel, Peggy and Angie, and a handling of both relationships with respect. More Dottie. More Howling Commandos (and maybe we could arrange to get more of the film cast back this time?). A cameo from Colonel Phillips (please, please). But above all, what I want is more. More Agent Carter, more of this awesome show that I love. Okay, Marvel? Let's do it.
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