Unmarked spoilers follow.
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Now shackle me down to sleep...
- I get that the Black Widows' handlers would chain the kids to their beds so that they wouldn't escape, but wouldn't it be a bad idea to keep that up in adulthood? Dottie has to keep up a cover, and if someone might walk into her room while she sleeps, being handcuffed to the bed post is going to make them suspicious about this "country Iowa girl". Even worse, if she's attacked at night then she's basically handicapped herself into barely being able to dodge or fight back.
- It's probably not their actual procedure to do that. After years and years of going to sleep like that, it's probably just how she sleeps — like how, with some couples, one can't get to sleep without the other's terrible snoring going on.
- True, but Dottie must be aware of the risk involved. Couldn't she find a workaround like just putting on the handcuff but not connecting the other end, or attaching the other end to something heavy she could use as a club in case of attack?
- It's possible that the handcuffs she uses are deliberately flimsy, so that they can break easily should she need to, or that the wood she handcuffs herself to on her bed is flimsy enough to break off for the same reason. As for her cover, her door is locked for a reason; unless someone loudly breaks in, the only way anyone is going to 'walk in' on her is if she forgets to lock her door (which, given her training, is unlikely).
- Maybe she is just very kinky.
- Why was everyone immediately convinced that Howard Stark is a traitor? Yes, the appearance of Starktech equipment in the wrong hands - Starktech equipment that there was only a limited production run of, and only a few people knew they were stored, is proof that someone connected to Stark is involved, but they seem to have jumped from the provable 'Stark or someone close to him is an unwitting leak or a traitor' to the purely theoretical 'Stark is a traitor', without crossing the steps between them. A proper investigation of this matter would have started with asking Stark how many people knew about his vault full of dangerously cool toys, and putting everyone on that list under a microscope until they find evidence to clear or convict them. Instead they just decided that the first person on the list was guilty and ran from there.
- The investigation has clearly been going on for some time before the show starts, it's just only now that the SSR have decided to get involved/Stark has decided to get Peggy involved. As such, it's possible they did suspect others first, but Stark made himself look guilty by being so flippant, disrespectful, and Stark-like (as shown at the beginning).
- By the time of the first episode, Stark has gone on the run. Peggy knows he vanished to Europe to retrieve some of his "bad babies" there, but to the SSR and the US government it looks like plain ol' fleeing from justice.
- Howard Stark has a habit of antagonising authority so the government is quick to turn on him given an excuse. Like Father, Like Son
Nitrame and Roxxon
- During the interview with the Roxxon exec after the nitramene bomb blew up the old Roxxon factory, he mentions the existence of Stark's nitramene explosives. There's only one problem with this: Stark never advertised the existence of any of his dangerously cool toys, and in fact never got around to even making any nitramene himself. How did the Roxxon exec learn about nitramene? And why didn't anyone in the SSR ask him that?
- He mentioned he had spies within Stark Industries, they probably told him about some kind of new explosive Howard was working on. When the Roxxon refinery blew up from a mysterious device he put two and two together.
- Howard wasn't working on it though. All he did was write the forumla and then immediately lock it up in his vault.
- He was working on it, that's how he had a formula for something that didn't exist beforehand. During that time he probably asked another scientist working for him what they thought and that's how it got out.
- Why does the Sweet Dreams Drugged Lipstick work on Peggy? How would she be able to apply it to her own lips if she's not immune somehow?
- Maybe the coat of lipstick she had on before wearing the Drugged Lipstick in the pilot was a special kind that blocked the poison lipstick from affecting her? And when Dottie kissed her, she was wearing normal lipstick.
- It seems to work in only one direction, and from particularly hard kisses. Why one direction is probably complicated. Or you could say it requires a defensive coat. Dottie seems to know how it works, maybe she's used it before and thus had taken measures to keep it from affecting her.
- Sweet Dreams probably has a lip primer that goes with it, or requires to be slightly on the inside of the lips (thus requiring a hard kiss) for it to work.
Stealing from the SSR Vault
- I understand that retrieving Item 17 was probably the main priority for Ivchenko, but why not make off with the blood sample of Captain America while at it? Surely, getting a vial of blood belonging to the world's first and only Super Soldier would be of great benefit to Leviathan in some way.
- He probably had no idea that's what it was. He was clearly only interested in item 17 due to its apparent association with Leviathan (at least, it seems to be what caused the massacre at the battle of Finow), so he probably didn't know, or care, much about the other items, especially considering Howard apparently only told Jarvis about the blood sample in the first place.
- Exactly. At the time he gets into the building, Peggy and Jarvis are the only other people that even know it's Steve's blood.
Stark in SHIELD
- Howard Stark blabbed about the existence and location of a number of very dangerous items to at least one and possibly several women in his outrageously numerous collection of mistresses, which nearly resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Even if he wasn't a traitor, that should still be sufficient grounds to declare him a security risk and deny him clearance or strip him of whatever clearance he had. So why was he allowed to be part of an ultra-secret agency like SHIELD again?
- All he seemed to show off was his private collection of planes and cars. And on being part of S.H.I.E.L.D he is the founder, not just a part of it.
- The flashback also included a mention of him showing her the other vault later, and this explains how someone would know the location of the 'secret' vault well enough to tunnel directly into it.
- And Dottie was there with the objective of finding out everything. Presumably she did a lot of persuading to get him to reveal something useful.
Why a police car?
- In "Valediction", Jarvis takes Stark away from the press conference, puts him in a police car and tells the driver to go to SSR. But... why? Why not use their own car, and drive him himself? It's not like he has any actual job to do on the field, or something. And of course Stark isn't a wanted man anymore, at that point, so it's not like they need to keep a low profile. And don't tell me a police car is safer, because this is Howard Stark we're talking about, he's bound to have at least one car with advanced safety measures. So yeah, the only reason I can think for putting Stark on a police car rather than Jarvis driving him there personally is plot convenience - to enable Stark to be kidnapped and the rest of the plot to unfold - which is kinda bad writing. (Oh, and I'll assume it's not just a random police car but one that's been arranged in advance, otherwise the whole situation looks even weirder, to me.)
- Also, since the cop they used to drive Stark to Fennhoff has apparently been hypnotised before they made the plan to get Stark, the whole thing seems like an incredibly convoluted plan. They got him hypnotised in advance so that... what? Just in case they happen to need a cop? Where was he, back when they were driving to that hangar and didn't even know Stark was back in the States, stuffed in their trunk? The more I think about it, the more Fridge Logic-y the whole thing seems.
- It might be that once Dottie held him at gunpoint, Fennhoff had him hypnotized so the cop would go "these aren't the crooks we're looking for" and leave. The doctor specifically noted he wanted to not leave a body trail behind them after the theater. Then when he found out about the Stark press conference, they found the cop again, hypnotized him again, and so on.
- Possible, I guess. Still seems a bit silly (if the guy was hypnotised and then left alone, they could have used any other cop/person instead of tracking him down again), but fine, I can accept it. As for the other points, though...
- And he probably wasn't the cop that was going to drive the car, we briefly see two dead officers in the alleyway. And they had the police drive because there was just an assassination attempt on Stark, they're driving both to be bodyguards and because they can get to the SSR office faster.
- ...Eh, come on. Like I said above, this is Howard Stark, and he has lots of wonderful toys, so I don't think either safety or speed can be an issue here. And Jarvis definitely proved himself as a getaway driver in the show, before. (As for your first sentence, I never said the hypnotised cop was the one that was originally supposed to drive - it seems quite obvious that he wasn't, what with the two dead officers and all that.)
- As a thought, remember how much the SSR wanted to arrest Howard, especially after the death of Dooley. If I remember correctly, even when he came to the SSR office and brought the files about Midnight Oil with him to explain the situation, they seemed unwilling to listen to him until he started admitting remorse over the destruction his inventions caused. It is possible that they assumed there was a risk his plan to lure out Fennhoff was a ruse of some kind, or that Howard might run away afterwards. As a condition, Jarvis might have been told not to drive his car, or that they needed to use authorized escape routes to leave the scene.
- No matter how fast Jarvis can drive, a cop can still go faster because they can legally ignore traffic lights and move other cars out of the way with their siren.
- If Howard Stark had body armor that could stop a .50 cal from 100 feet away, why wasn't that in Captain America's armor? He sounded skeptical about it stopping bullets when Steve asked about that in First Avenger, and the suit in Winter Soldier was pierced by far smaller rounds.
- Because this body armor was an improvement on the WWII version.
- Then where is it elsewhere in the 21st century? Body armor that strong should have been able to save Fury from being sniped by the Winter Soldier, or prevent numerous other deaths.
- It was in the "bad baby" vault. Presumably, it had some nasty side-effect that made it impractical for mass production or regular use. Or, since he used the opportunity of retrieving the vest to steal back the container with Steve Roger's blood, it's possible the vest was actually useless, and he was lying to Peggy so that she'd take him to the SSR lab.
- Lying's a possibility I hadn't considered. He did manage to come up with a plausible sounding lie for the Blitzkrieg Button, after all.
- Just saying, who says the vest, if its real, isn't being used in the present day; Fury did survive the sniping from Bucky, after all, and Tony's armour appears to protect him just fine from bullets so its possible he based at least some part of it on his dad's designs.
- Well, Fury was shown with three gunshot wounds on his body (visible when he's in the hospital), and he confirms afterward that bullets did indeed go through his body and cause organ damage, so if he were wearing a vest it didn't do its job very well.
Dottie's rant during her final fight
- While fighting Peggy in the Season 1 finale, Dottie monologues about how she always envied "girls like [Peggy]" and how she can now be anyone she wishes, even an SSR agent. Why does she think that and what does it have to do with the fight? Does she think killing Peggy will allow her to take on her life and, if so, why? Or was she promised freedom from Leviathan in exchange for completing this mission?
- She probably had no serious intention of becoming an SSR agent. It was more likely a taunt along the lines of Loki threatening Jane during the fight with Thor at the Bifrost - metaphorically hit her in a place she cares about so she'll become irrational and slip, the way Black Widows do with their apparent vulnerability in interrogations.
- OP here: What Dottie said doesn't seem like it would push Peggy's Berserk Button in any way. If she wanted to make Peggy irrationally angry, she could have just threatened someone close to her, like Angie.
- Dottie doesn't know that it won't upset Peggy. She just wants to brag.
- Exactly. Dottie had Peggy completely fooled for weeks (?) and was never suspected at all. Peggy only knew about it because Dottie revealed herself right before she was about to kill her. She was that good. Additionally it's been theorised that since Dottie is one of many Black Widow prototypes that she's been sterilised like Natasha was. So her little rant to Peggy might have little bits of jealousy - how Peggy became an elite agent on her own, while Dottie had to be brainwashed and tortured to become as good as she is.
- "Dottie" had a bleeding head wound. Even if she somehow managed to get up and flee, she should have needed to check herself into a local hospital for medical attention, which would make her relatively easy to track down.
- Having a Hard Head in fiction is nothing new. Hawkeye was fine in The Avengers after a knockout head blow, Dottie should be too.
- She still needs treatment so that she doesn't die of blood loss.
- It's not outside the realm of possibility she would just do a Self-Surgery or possibly contact another nearby Leviathan agent to aid her.
- Did it ever occur to Ms Fry that the reason the great Houdini was unable to get past her guard and into the upper floors of the Griffith was because he had no reason to try? Houdini was happily married to his stage assistant.
- Yes, she was well aware. She was just making a point that no men are allowed upstairs, not even Houdini.
- Note, Fry is incredibly sexist and cynical about sexuality; regardless of if he's married or not, as far as she's concerned, All Men Are Perverts and All Women Are Lustful; as far as she's concerned, Houdini would probably cheat on his wife in a heartbeat if it meant soiling the fruit of one of her tenants.
A Brit working for an American spy agency?
- My understanding is that C.I.A and such have to be Americans, and can't even date foreigners, not even allies. Granted she's not technically C.I.A, but she's a member of a very C.I.Aish spy organization, so her presence makes zero sense.
- According to supplementary material, the SSR, though primarily housed on America, was a cooperation by the Allied nations in general, and as such it's likely a joint operation between Britain and the US.
- Given the number of times Peggy's referred to "our country/government", I'm sure she's an American citizen.
- The CIA do need to be American citizens, but for obvious reasons (they are spies) they have often actively recruited second (and even first) generation immigrants. Take the great, late Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson's War.
- She served in World War II on the American branch so presumably she's been a citizen for a while.
Strange Minds Think Alike
- What idiot puts a hypnotist who can influence someone with only his voice into a cell with a former Hydra scientist known for his destructive inventions? Like they're not going to start conspiring together (just ask Bucky and Agent 33).
- Assuming Zola has been in the prison for a while, he's probably managed to wrangle some influence with the folks in charge (he's Hydra, that's what they do). It would not be a stretch for Zola to find out that Fennhoff was an arriving prisoner, then arranged things so they would be cellmates.
- Captain America: The First Avenger makes it clear that Zola's loyalty to HYDRA was based in genuine fear for his life if he tried leaving the organization and the SSR was in fact able to gain his cooperation by playing on his fear of Schmidt's revenge by faking a message that he defected. It wouldn't be too far fetched to believe that his inventions aside the man wasn't actively malicious so sticking the two together wouldn't be that bad of an idea.
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier shows Zola pretty much singlehandedly remade Hydra so... oops?
Coroner must be blind
- How does someone mistake a Boom, Headshot! for simply dying in your bed? There was a clear bullet hole, right in Colleen's forehead which clearly wasn't there when Peggy last saw her.
- Peggy works for the SSR. A spy organization. Things like that get covered up.
- But looking at a corpse... disease typically doesn't leave traces like holes in the head, particularly something like tuberculosis.
- The point is that the SSR covered up the whole thing to keep Carter's cover intact. You can't have the police conducting a murder investigation and it'll be strange if the SSR comes in and claims jurisdiction on a seemingly ordinary murder. So you sweep it under the table by having the coroner state it was death due to illness.
- Who, exactly, do you think is even seeing the body? This is 1946. They aren't posting photos of the crime scene and the victim to the internet and the world at large. Peggy is an SSR agent, she called it in, SSR people came and cleaned it up, an SSR coroner signed off on it, and some excuse was made to have a closed-casket funeral, they filled in the hole for an open-casket one or they said she had some disease that necessitated cremating her to prevent spread of infection. There's no reason anyone outside the SSR would have needed to see the body.
Too Old as an Actress?
- Whitney Frost is a starlet in the 1940s. Back then when you were an actor you were set for life, no matter how old you got on screen. Why then, are the producers and directoral staff of her films acting like modern film-makers who believe their actors come with expiry dates?
- I took it to mean too old for the roles that she normally played, not too old for movies in general.
- Even in the 1940's it wasn't uncommon for a new young fresh 'It Girl' to be pushed into leading roles replacing older actresses. While under the old studio system said older actresses will continue to get roles they will usually be supporting roles to the 'It Girl' and get less and less top billing roles. Whitney wouldn't be the 'Love Interest' she'd be said love interests Mother/Older Sister/Sassy Best Friend ect.
- It's shown in episode 4 that she's likely in her mid-to-late 30s (she was applying to colleges in 1928, which would put her in her late teens), which even today is an age where women get shunted out of leading roles.
The Redacted File
- So Thompson conveniently finds an MI-6 agent in London who is willing to hand over an almost completely redacted file to a US Agent no questions asked? And the subject of said file is a well respected S.O.E. Agent, hand picked for the SSR and Project Rebirth? And the redactions can be easily seen through? A quick trip to The Other Wiki shows that the 'black marker' method only works if the document is photocopied after wards since alternative light can see through marker/whiteout. So that was the original file, so yeah fishy as heck to say the least. Redactions/Sanitations are not usually done to files to benefit individual agents, but to cover up mess ups by the higher ups and governments. Also if Peggy did commit 'War Crimes' went off the rails and started killing civilians wholesale AND there was an official report on the whole affair, she's not important enough to warrant a cover up for her benefit if the event was pre-Project Rebirth she would have been at best quietly re-assigned to a desk job, at worst put on trial. So it's likely...if the file is legit that this was a sanctioned mission, which means there should be notes in the file saying such "Led to believe this was a military target, found out after the attack the place was full of civilians" which makes it USELESS as blackmail as revealing the file may get rid of Peggy in the short term (deported back to England) but cause a huge stink between the American and British Intelligence services, they won't be happy that one of their redacted files ended up in the hands of the American Press...IE long term effects to the Council. So why would Masters even RISK it? And if the file is fake (it most likely is) again useless as blackmail and Peggy is more than willing to call the bluff as MI-6 will hacked off enough at the implications they covered up War Crimes by redacting the file to state that it's faked and again...risk damaging relations between the US and British Intelligence Services. Short version, is Masters and by extension Thompson really THAT dumb, or was Masters trying to get something concrete on Thompson to toss him under the bus once the crap started to hit the fan?
- Peggy outright tells Thompson that his finding such a document is far too convenient and Masters implies that it isn't the truth but simply leverage to be used against Peggy. Also the MI-6 agent mentions having broken several rules to get his hands on the document in the first place, implying that said agent may be corrupt or even employed by the council. Bear in mind Thompson isn't actually corrupt but trying in his own way to look out for Peggy so the likelihood of the file being a setup is quite real.
- Guess that's the head scratcher, leverage only works if the target is actually afraid of the information being released. Peggy seemed completely unconcerned about it. However, given what happened in the season finale, where Thompson is shot to recover the file/silence Thompson/or both, shows that there is something 'real' in that file that has got SOMEBODY concerned about its contents.
- ...Or, its someone from the council who wants it to use as a means to discredit Peggy, regardless of its truth or not. If it ends up in the papers that a supposed war hero and Captain America's former girlfriend had committed horrible war crimes, it'd probably be a fast-selling story, meaning anyone who interacts with her will likely be aware of it. As seen in recent times on the internet, it doesn't matter if a story is true, if it makes one person look bad, others will eat it up so they have someone to hate.
- Another possibility: The "M. Carter" in the file isn't Margaret (Peggy), but her brother, Michael. Thompson wouldn't have known that, but whoever killed him would.
- Micheal Carter died in 1940. The alleged incident took place in 1944.
- Why didn't Jack burn the file after reclaiming it? He knew it was a fake.
- My guess is that he may have wanted 'answers' on it, or to try and find the people who made it and take them down or he was planning to give it back to Peggy when they got to New York.
- The file covers events in 1944, by then Peggy was already an SSR agent working on Project Rebirth in First Avenger which covers 1943-1945. Yet the file stated "Agent M. Carter, S.O.E." If this was a forgery, why would they make such an obvious mistake? Her record is well known, her time served with the SSR/Captain America is again well known. This gives weight to the WMG that M. Carter is Peggy's brother and he was presumed KIA when he was actually MIA. Or he actually WAS MIA, which in Peggy's mother's mind was as good as a KIA.
- It's worth noting that MI-6 were not very fond of SOE. Elements of the organisation might be inclined to tarnish their record. As for Peggy's files being covered up in Real Life all SOE agents records are sealed until the last SOE agent is dead to prevent potential reprisals. SOE did not do nice things, their stated purpose was to "Set Europe ablaze."
What Happened to Dottie?
- The last we see of Dottie in Season 2 is when she's locked in Whitney's basement with Peggy and Jarvis, and she informs them that the trap was for Jason and not them. Peggy and Jarvis race back to Stark's mansion and they kinda just...leave Dottie to her own devices. Not counting Peggy's dream sequence, the Black Widow is never seen or mentioned again for the rest of the season. That's one massive loose thread to leave hanging.
- Dottie is seen in the back of the car when Peggy and Jarvis are racing back to Stark's House to save Jason and Ana so they didn't leave her behind in the basement. When they arrive Ana has been shot so they race to the hospital, after they arrive there Peggy informs a cop that there is a prisoner in the trunk of the car and to watch the car but DO NOT to open the trunk, the prisoner is Dottie moved to the trunk so they could put Ana in the back seat. Latter when Peggy goes to check on Dottie, she finds the trunk open, the cop dead and Dottie's tracking necklace left behind. But yes she is on the loose again, just like at the end of Season 1.
Why isn't Jason naked?
- Jason becomes intangible when his body absorbs zero matter. But why are his clothes intangible too? Shouldn't his body just pass through them? Or did the clothes somehow become laced with zero matter too?
- The initial explosion likely gave them Magic Pants properties.
- Why not? They got exposed to the exact same situation as him.
- A key point in the first half of season 2 was that the Council was rigging a Senatorial Election so that one of their own would take the seat. They succeeded in getting the opposition candidate to withdraw from the election. And then Whitney killed their candidate. Nobody is running for that open Senate seat anymore. What happens now?
- I do think it is odd that plot point was dropped, but Whitney killed most of the Council in her takeover, and she had different priorities then they did. So its unlikely the Council backed anyone running for that seat. More then likely another politician saw an opening and announced their candidacy.
- Not that odd; by the time Whitney killed most of Council the plot was now focused on saving the world from Zero Matter. The election is no longer relevant and, since most of the Council are dead, their influence is pretty shot anyway.