Snafu raises the stakes for the S.S.R. agents and forces them to accept Peggy as an ally once more in an effort to save the Chief.
Previously on Agent Carter 1.6 “A Sin to Err”: Peggy’s extracurricular activities are discovered by her fellow S.S.R. agent and she is remanded into custody even after proving herself physically more capable than the men.
A BRAVE END FOR AN IMPORTANT CHARACTER
Snafu is the second to last episode in the Agent Carter series and director Vincent Misiano has infused a huge sense of drama into this episode. Ralph Brown plays Doctor Ivchenko who joined the show two episodes ago with the Howling Commandos and has been working for some time with Dottie (Bridget Regan), the Black Widow in order to take down Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). It’s not a leap to imagine that Ivchenko is tied to the framing of Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper, who does not appear in Snafu), given the depth with which he has been ingratiating himself with Chief Dooley (Shea Whigham).
Chief Dooley feature heavily in Snafu. From the last episode viewers know that Ivchenko has the head of the S.S.R. under mind control and in this episode we get the chance to see these machinations come to fruition and everyone have to deal with the consequences. By praying on Dooley’s crumbling home life Ivchenko is able to disable the S.S.R. from the inside, retrieve one of Howard Stark’s inventions and make his getaway with Dottie all in the span of an episode.
In the meantime, Peggy and Jarvis (James D’Arcy), are shuffled aside by Dooley and handcuffed to a table. That turns out to be the least of their worries when they are finally to convince the bumbling duo of Sousa (Enver Gjokaj), and Thompson (Chad Michael Murray), to take them seriously and mount a rescue effort. For the entire Agent Carter series Sousa and Thompson have been laughably pathetic characters that suffer from poor performances and writing that seems determined to prove the S.S.R. as a government agency ineffectual. This would be the main critique I’d like to lobby at the writer of Snafu – Vincent Misiano. For the most part, Misiano has penned a solid episode, but his script suffers from the need to include two characters simply because the actors have already been cast.
For the most part Snafu is a bottle episode – likely in order to funnel the budget forward into the finale episode – with the majority of the action taking place inside the S.S.R. office and adjoining rooms that we’ve seen since the pilot and the dentist’s office across the street that Dottie the Black Widow has set up camp in for several episodes now. We don’t get the chance to see any new places that aren’t the inside of a car – albeit briefly. Writer Misiano employs a not wholly original – though by no means uninteresting – plot device in order to keep all the relevant characters trapped in the office.
Shea Whigham gets the opportunity to show off his acting chops in Snafu as Roger Dooley comes to his end. In previous episodes of Agent Carter he hasn’t had much to do besides play scenes laden with misogyny and it’s astounding to behold him be a true leader of men, a moral center and a hero in a scene that is nothing but salvific self-sacrifice. Whigham’s performance is so strong that he is easily the most memorable thing about Snafu even stealing some of the spotlight from Peggy herself.
THE BOTTOM LINE: OUTSTANDING EPISODE
Snafu deals with big themes and is easily one of the best episodes of Agent Carter to date. It is my hope that the takes continue to skyrocket in the finale episode and that Peggy gest the chance to step back into the starlight.
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