Peggy Carter is now Public Enemy #2, interrogated by the SSR for treason, while the real enemy is elsewhere, ready to cause a major catastrophe. Peggy will prove her innocence, but at a very high price that everyone pays.
Peggy: I will call them in, and they will respect me.
Jarvis: But they won’t. They’ll only use it to tear you down.
“Time and Tide”
Edwin Jarvis said this to Peggy when she was about to tell the SSR she found Howard Stark’s stolen weapons. He was certain they would use the discovery to somehow link Peggy Carter to Stark, and decide she’s a traitor, too.
He winds up being right, and the episode is Peggy’s tough fight to prove, once and for all, she is just as capable and formidable as any SSR agent, and that the real enemy is Leviathan, not Howard Stark.
***** SPOILERS BELOW *****
Before that, the episode begins with a battle scene in Russia in 1943, where a doctor is asked to calm down a soldier whose leg is about to be amputated. They’re don’t have enough anesthesia, and they think Dr. Fennhoff can numb the private’s mind. The doctor says, “Devil take me”, because he’s never done this before. That’s an apt phrase, since he’ll someday be known as Dr. Faustus. He gets the private to remember happier times, and it’s enough to let the doctors operate.
Right now, he’s known as Ivchenko (Ralph Brown), a trusted friend of the SSR for providing info about Leviathan, while hiding his true agenda. He looks with glee as Souza accuses Peggy of treason and the death of Krzeminski. He’s really hurt she could betray him, but she’s upset at being accused of murder. She’s trying to tell them Dottie (aka Ida Emke) is on the loose ready to cause serious damage, but Ivchenko convinces Dooley not to believe her. He’s a very convincing man.
Thompson tells Dooley that Yauch is dead, not knowing it is thanks to the doc. He wonders why the doc is there watching the interrogation, but is brushed off. He, Dooley and Souza all agree on one thing: Peggy Carter is a very convincing con artist who played them for a fool. Now the game is over, they say, and it’s about time she gave up her lover, Howard Stark.
That’s as ridiculous as it sounds to Peggy. She insists Stark has not scrambled her brain, although he tricked her into stealing Steve Rogers’ blood from the SSR. She’s also had enough of men defining who she is, whether it’s as a stray kitten, a damsel in distress or a “daft whore”. She tries to tell them to go find Dottie (Bridget Regan), but that goes for naught. Speaking of Dottie, she’s shopping for a baby carriage. She’s not pregnant, but wants to give birth to a disaster.
Thompson thinks intimidating Peggy will work, telling her she knows what he’s capable of, but she reminds him that he knows what she is capable of. However, Jarvis comes to the rescue with a signed confession by Howard Stark. Dooley says when the SSR gets that, and Stark in custody, Peggy goes free. However, she’s also out of a job.
Too bad the confession is fake. Jarvis panicked because he couldn’t reach Stark, and it was the only idea he had. Naturally, she’s mad because she doesn’t look forward to being hanged because it’s quite unpleasant. How she knows that is a very good reason why the show must come back next year.
While Dooley tries to make up with his wife, Ivchenko is sending another message to Dottie from the window. This time, Peggy sees this, and decodes the message. Apparently he and Dottie have to prepare for evacuation within 90 minutes. That’s when Leviathan is coming.
Peggy decides, as a former SSR agent, to tell Dooley what she knows. They’re surprised why she didn’t tell them sooner, but she gently reminds them that “unless I have your reports, your coffee or your lunch, I’m invisible.” They’re still not convinced Ivchenko can’t be trusted, but they’re interested that the green ball had Steve Rogers’ blood. Peggy thought she had to keep the vial because she didn’t trust the SSR or Stark, or maybe it was a second chance to keep him safe.
Despite that, Thompson and Dooley have their doubts, but Souza believes her. That’s enough to start a search for Dottie. Dooley meets Ivchenko again at his office, and they discuss the chief’s family situation. It’s really the doc’s attempt to hypnotize Dooley. All it takes is to get him to remember happier times with his family, and he looks like he’s a great dad.
Ivchenko is able to get Dooley to handcuff Peggy and Jarvis to a table and lock them in the interrogation room. Dooley also tells the scientists in the lab to leave because the security’s been breached. This allows the doc to find “Item 17”, a very bad baby that Stark produced. The doc also notices an armored vest, and thinks it’s perfect for Dooley.
Meanwhile, Thompson and Souza finally agree Peggy can be trusted, and look for Dottie. Souza gets to her first, and does a great job using his crutch as a weapon. It’s almost like Captain America using his shield, which some will say is another sign he winds up with Peggy. Still, Dottie dispatches them even faster than Peggy did. She even goes down stairs without using the stairs.
As Ivechnko and Dottie get away, Peggy and Jarvis decide they have to use the table to break the two-way mirror, even though they’re worried about the flying glass. No one gets hurt, but Thompson is there to see what happened.
Dooley is back home, seeing his son making a birdhouse. His wife Loretta (Sarah Bloom) is there, and it’s a beautiful scene of forgiveness. It’s also a dream, because he doesn’t know he’s wearing the vest. Stark designed it to keep soldiers warm, but the power source could wind up killing the wearer. Souza finds the dentist’s office where Dottie was sending the messages. Her decision to leave her rifle behind, with evidence she planned to kill Peggy, is really strange. Maybe she figured she’d be long gone before it was found.
Peggy and the SSR frantically try to free Dooley from the vest, but he knows there’s only one way out. He sacrifices himself, but not before he tells Peggy to promise him she’ll find Ivchenko. Rest in Peace, Roger Dooley. Peggy will make sure the Devil will take Ivchenko.
Carter blames herself because she brought the doc to the SSR, but Jarvis blames Stark and his inventions. She’s also worried the doc took Steve’s blood, but he didn’t. It was Item 17…which is something Jarvis doesn’t know anything about.
Dottie has it in her baby carriage, as she decides to take in a movie. It’s a canister of gas that makes people cough before they beat each other to death. A couple who comes in late for the movie sees the aftermath of the second Battle of Finow, which also has no survivors. It may also look familiar to people who went to the movies last week.
So who is to blame? Stark may have invented Item 17, the vest, the implosion bomb and the other “bad babies”, but the real guilty party is whoever decided to use Item 17 in Finow. That gave Leviathan the idea to use it for its own gains, while the Russians and the US Army tried to cover it up. That has led to everything that has happened so far.
Also, if the SSR took Peggy as seriously as the Howling Commandos did, Leviathan wouldn’t have gotten this far. That slowly dawns on the SSR. The agents don’t apologize, but they realize they blew it. They still hope to be the heroes they think they are, and Peggy Carter has always been.
As for Stark, if he ever shows his face, he could show regret for inventing these weapons. He was angry Item 17 was used at Finow, and tried to slug a general he thought had used it. Maybe he can create a better weapon that will protect America. That weapon, of course, will be back in two weeks.
Next week: the final showdown, but it better not be the end of Peggy’s story. The showrunners have another interview in Entertainment Weekly about the season finale, where there will be some closure but also story lines that may play out in the future.