There is a short but sweet action sequence at the top of this episode, and are moderately unexpected brief one leading into an ad break about two-thirds of the way through, but otherwise the episode is far more about characterisation. We get to know a number of the supporting cast quite a bit better, including Agent Thompson, and there is a confrontation between Peggy and Howard that sets out a lot of the series’ stall on the period in which it’s set.
The episode is all about deception, as exemplified by the scene in the hostel where all of the girls appear to have some form of secret hiding place. Nobody is quite what they seem, and promises are made and broken with an alarming regularity – whether it’s between Howard and Peggy, or Agent Dooley and his Nazi prisoner in Nuremberg. Almost the only exception to this rule is Agent Thompson, who is refreshingly blunt both in his dealings with Peggy and with a potential informer.
This is the episode that gets the Stan Lee cameo, and we also get the introduction of a new villain – and here it’s the writers who play the deception on the audience in a nicely unexpected way. The only character who really doesn’t get much time on screen is Jarvis, which is a shame because he is one of the series’ strengths. There is a big showdown between Howard and Peggy over the way that the scientist has treated his friend, but so far they haven’t been many repercussions between Jarvis and Peggy. Presumably though this will be addressed in the next episode…
Verdict: Nearly, but not quite, becoming the Howard Stark show, this episode moves things along very enjoyably. 7/10