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Recap / Agent Carter S1E4 "The Blitzkrieg Button"

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Howard Stark returns to NYC and tasks Peggy with retrieving the Blitzkrieg Button, an EMP device that was confiscated from the Heartbreak by the SSR. Meanwhile, Chief Dooley goes to Nuremberg to interrogate a Nazi with valuable information, and Peggy is tracked by Mr. Mink, the man who smuggled Stark back into the country and tried to extort more money from him.

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Dooley commends Thompson on his comment about if Hermann Göring is a good kisser (calling back an earlier quip where Dooley claimed he'd kiss Göring himself if it'd give him answers on this case.)
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  • Black Comedy: Colonel Mueller, a Nazi due for the death penalty, lampshades his use of Gallows Humor.
    Mueller: [as doctors measure him] They are measuring me for my new necktie. [...] May I offer you some water? [gestures to toilet]
  • Blatant Lies: Mr. Mink's thugs claim the ransom meeting went sour because Jarvis brought a girl... and five or seven guys. Mr. Mink sees right through it and kills them on the spot.
  • Break Them by Talking: Dooley gets Colonel Mueller, who is sentenced to be hanged, to talk to him about Finow by telling him an anecdote about another hanging Nazi whose noose was improperly measured, leaving him dangling there slowly suffocating for almost half an hour. He then offers him a quicker way out: a cyanide pill.
  • The Cameo: Stan Lee appears at the end, in a shoe-shining booth with Howard Stark. He asks him for his newspaper so he can read the sports section.
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  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: There was no good reason for Howard to lie to Peggy about Steve's blood. He even admits as much to her, claiming lying's in his nature now since he had to cheat along the way to the top.
  • Cyanide Pill: Subverted. Dooley offers Colonel Mueller this if he gives info about what happens in the Battle of Finow. It turns out to be just a breath mint.
  • EMP: The Blitzkrieg Button, supposedly. Howard Stark claimed to have built it to mass-blackout city lights, for use by Britain during The Blitz. But he couldn't figure out a way to turn them back on, so he fears triggering the device would short out all of New York's electricity permanently. However, Peggy manages to figure out he's lying and it doesn't blow when she presses the button.
  • Fake Assisted Suicide: Dooley offers Mueller a cyanide pill to die quicker and without the risk of mis-hanging if Mueller spills about some classified information. A minute later, though, it turns out Dooley was lying; it was just a breath mint.
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  • Gatling Good: Mink carries a small pistol that looks like a pepperbox revolver but functions like a tiny Gatling gun.
  • Hypocritical Humor: As Peggy steals food at lunch to give to Howard, she sees Angie approaching and tries to hide her stolen food. Angie doesn't notice, but then she and the other girls immediately start boasting about all the ways they know to steal food, even difficult to hide entrees like a whole chicken or gravy. When they offer to help Peggy take some, Peggy denies that she has any interest in stealing.
  • Internal Homage: How Dottie kills Mr. Mink is near-identical to how Natasha Romanoff took down a guard in Iron Man 2, and a hint that she too is from the same program. It even ends in a Three-Point Landing just like Nat's.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • When Sousa interrogates a homeless man who was a witness to the events on the Heartbreak, he tries to appeal to his better nature by pointing out how they're both war veterans rejected by society. But the man refuses to care, so Thompson enters and tries a different tactic: bribing the man with a burger and bottle of scotch. Sure enough, the guy springs for it and starts talking, with Thompson telling Sousa, "Not everyone wants a hug."
    • Thompson later makes an unfortunately accurate for the times speech to Peggy about her efforts to prove herself are doomed because of her gender — which still doesn't justify why neither he nor Dooley has ever allowed her an opportunity to try.
    • Ms. Fry's seemingly interminable lecture about the need for her to protect her tenant's virtue does include the rather valid point that Peggy keeps rather odd hours for the telephone operator she claims to be to everyone at the Griffith.
  • Just Think of the Potential: Howard Stark thinks the last sample of Rogers' blood can be turned into a cure for numerous diseases. He claims he wants it to better the world, but Peggy thinks he wants it to just to make even more money.
  • Mook Horror Show: The episode starts off in the POV of the Mooks who have Howard Stark held captive. One of their fellow Mooks is knocked out by some killer in the shadows, and when they try and find out who did this to him, they only end up being knocked out by the same killer, who, of course, is none other than Peggy. The scene is complete with spooky background music.
  • Murderous Thighs: How Dottie disposes of Mr. Mink.
  • Mythology Gag: Ernst Mueller was a minor henchman of Baron Strucker's back in the '60s.
  • Newspaper-Thin Disguise: Both played straight, subverted, and meta-enforced. Howard Stark hides his face with a newspaper on a shoe-shining booth, but another man there is just reading his newspaper that way. But in the latter guy's case it's meta-enforced, because lowering the newspaper reveals he's Stan Lee.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Howard throws a billiard ball at one of Mink's goons, who is behind Peggy. She calmly leans out of its way.
  • Pet the Dog: Thompson didn't have to let Sousa keep questioning the homeless man, but he did — and he actually got the guy to talk. Later on Thompson says to Sousa that even if the witness didn't know anything they could act on, he did a good job finding him.
  • Photo Doodle Recognition: Near the end, Sousa is still studying the photo showing Carter in a blond wig looking away from the camera. Then, he uses a pencil to darken the hair...
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Peggy gives an infuriated rebuking to Howard Stark after realizing he used her to steal back the vial.
    Peggy: I think you're a man out for his own gain, no matter who you're charging. You are constantly finding holes to slither your way into, in the hope of finding loose change, only to cry when you're bitten by another snake. You are a man who says "I love you" whilst looking over a woman's shoulder into the mirror. Steve Rogers dedicated his mind, his body, his life, to the SSR and to this country, not to your bank account. I made the same pledge, but I’m not as good as Steve was. I forgot my pledge running around for you like a corporate spy. So thank you, Howard, for reminding me who Steve was, and what I aspire to be. For all I know, you did steal your inventions.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When planning to assassinate Peggy at the Griffith, Mr. Mink comes to the lobby with flowers, claiming he wants to visit her. Ms. Fry, who meets him at the desk, demands his name, phone number, and professional information first. As soon as she looks up, he's already leaving.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Mr. Mink and his quest for revenge. All he manages to do is look creepy and deliver a fully automatic revolver to a She-Fu killer.
  • Title Drop: The Blitzkrieg Button refers to the MacGuffin of the week. Interestingly, Howard later says the title of the next episode, The Iron Ceiling.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: When Dooley heads to Germany, he leaves Thompson in charge. He works everyone ragged, and some grouse about him with Peggy.
  • Villains Never Lie: Justified when Dooley interrogates Mueller. When the Colonel tells him all the Russians at Finow were already dead before his forces arrived, Dooley briefly wonders if he's lying to hide his crimes there. Mueller responds that he's killed men, women, and children, and there'd be no point in hiding a minor crime when he's already sentenced to die for his many worse ones.
  • Wham Line:
    • The reveal of Dottie's true lethality comes after she says something completely unlike her supposed Country Mouse background.
      Dottie: Is that pistol an automatic? I want that.
    • After Peggy opens the Blitzkrieg Button and finds a vial:
      Peggy: What's in the vial?
      Stark: Steve Rogers's blood.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Peggy opens the Blitzkrieg device... and finds a vial of blood.
    • Soon after Dooley returns from the office, he turns to see Green Suit's typewriter/telegram machine activating again.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Peggy calls Howard out for lying to her and secretly keeping a vial of Steve's blood.
  • You Have Failed Me: Mink's treatment of his thugs.


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