TV REVIEW: Agent Carter “Time and Tide” | FanboysInc

TV REVIEW: Agent Carter “Time and Tide”

By Mike Sains

The opening sequence of “Time and Tide” could serve as an allegory for the entire hour: you think something’s about to happen, but alas, it does not. We see a man scouting and scaling Peggy’s new man-free apartment building. The music is ominous and all signs point to danger. But in the end it’s just some mope looking to get lucky with his girl, Molly. No, I’m not talking rap slang, this man is literally swinging from the ledge of a building to get laid. But the point is, after all of the set-up, not a whole lot happens in this sixty minutes of filmed entertainment.

TV REVIEW: Agent Carter "Time and Tide"

Action? Oh wait no, it’s just a cute little gag. Sorry about that.

 

I’ll remind the readers that last week I had some pretty high praises for the two-hour premiere, but I’m starting to have doubts about my initial verdict. Sure, the action was fun, but how much of it was there, really? Honestly, in the three hours of content we’ve be given, how much has actually happened on this show? We have been informed of a plot to steal and sell Howard Stark’s inventions and we have learned of the schemers who set this plan in motion. But after another episode, we’re no closer to knowing anything about Leviathan – who comes up all but once or twice and we know just a sliver more about Leet Brannis than we thought we did before, as he used to be tied to some familiar bad guys and apparently he has a henchman. Since when does he have henchmen? But I digress.

We start back up on the case with Roger Dooley and his favorite war vet and right-hand man, Agent Thompson, discovering the voiceless assassin’s apartment. They have his long-range typewriter and his documents. But they’re no closer to knowing who he was or what he wanted in America. That seems like an interesting enough start to a show, but what’s this? Oh, the show breaks into a cute little gag about how strict the new landlady is at the new apartment. After that late-night indiscretion with her nimble boyfriend, poor Molly’s out on her butt again in cold New York City. But how important was that to this show? Not at all, not in the least. It’s just solid minute and a half of occupied time. But Peggy says that the landlady did inspire her to figure out how the thieves broke into Howard’s home.

Back to the SSR, it turns out the voiceless Leet Brannis used to be Russian military. I won’t say I called it, but I kind of called it. According to Russian documents Leet has been dead for over two years and he and his buddy, the voiceless assassin, are seemingly both ghosts. I can’t tell you how much I’d prefer that the show stay on that story trajectory. But nope.

Back at Stark Manor, Ediwin Jarvis is still running things as point man in Howard’s permanent absence. But he is doing a terrible job because the moment the SSR gets the bright idea to investigate why one of Stark’s cars showed up in the wreckage at Roxxon Chemical, he gets defensive with them. Moments ago he was working with Agent Carter to determine how the thieves got access to Howard Stark’s property in the first place. You would think that if they were to show up he’d try and be smooth about getting them happy and off of his master’s property.

But just like when he first met Agent Carter, he really messes up this key social scenario; which, to me, seems like if you’re going to be the butler of one of the world’s most infamous people you’d want to be sharp on your feet, but that’s just my two cents.  But instead, he ends up in hot water and in the custody of the SSR for further questioning.

TV REVIEW: Agent Carter "Time and Tide"

Federal Agents? Allow me to act as suspicious as humanly possible.

 

This chunk of time, Jarvis’ interrogation, is a prime example of the problems with this episode: it drags on far too long, it seems important but in the end is not, and while it feels like it’s setting up this larger moment, it in fact is setting itself up to fold in on itself. It is quintessential anticlimax. Without going over every detail, the SSR – who are shaping up to be the most inept Government Agency in history of The United States of America – try to shake up Jarvis, knowing they have nothing to hold him. But they have a card to play and they play it. It looks like he might break, but there is Agent Carter to swipe in and thwart them at the last second, like we all knew she would. But instead of at least paying off that moment with an interesting twist, it only makes Peggy look like the incompetent woman in the office that they all thought she was in the first place.

It’s a moment that could have carried a lot more weight, had the creator’s just taken an extra second to show her actively sacrifice her reputation and acknowledge what she did. But no, we’re moving on.

I would like to take this moment to now point out that in this point of the review, we’re nearing the half-hour mark in real-time on the show. Not a hand has been raised in action and so far we’ve had one stern talking to that lead to a revelation that will soon – spoilers for a few seconds from now – be revealed to be not much at all, more of a toss away fact. Remember that card the SSR had for their interrogation? Jarvis was charged with treason in England. But don’t worry, it’s because he forged his boss’s name to save his Jewish wife from the Nazis. Sure, it’s an honorable cover story for Jarvis, but it is a totally disposable fact; a MacGuffin.

Now, Peggy isn’t one to wait, so she’s back at Stark Manor where her and Jarvis left off: trying to figure out how those pesky Russian thieves gained access to the house. This is one coincidence that I just can’t seem to swallow. How lucky is this thief that Howard Stark just so happens to live right above a major storm water drainage sewer? It must be a miracle. Not only that, Howard Stark, the world’s foremost inventor doesn’t have a security system installed in his basement? I realize we’re in 1946, but they had alarms back then, right? Maybe a seismograph or something like that? I’m just spit-balling, here.

But that’s what we’re to understand, that (deep breath) Tony Stark’s dad, the genius who nearly perfected a floating car, had almost no security and not only does he live right under a storm water drainage system, he lives right on the edge of that system and Leet Brannis’ boat is just a few hundred yards in the distance and we know all of this because of the image Leet Brannis drew in the sand just before he died. Wow, that is a lot of convenience, all things considered. I mean that is all very, very convenient for Peggy and Edwin. PHEW!

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

Now, for those still following along in real-time, we’re coming up on 40 minutes of on-screen content and we’ve yet to see any action, save for a bit of low-level urban spelunking. But once Jarvis and Peggy get aboard Brannis’ ship, things finally start to get a bit hairy. The two of them can’t just phone this in themselves and take all of the glory, now can they? People will have all kinds of questions that will ultimately lead back to them acting as double agents.

It’s here that James D’Arcy stole the show, as his sudden turn into the interrogator looking to smack some sense into a big-eyed Peggy is an effective one. So they compromise and turn it into an anonymous tip to the SSR. Not for nothing, in the process Jarvis reveals that he has a pretty stellar fake New York accent which was one of the more enjoyable moments of the entire hour.

Souza and Krzesminski high-tail it to the docks, but in the meantime “Time and Tide” finally reaches it’s highest point, as a man runs with an angry face. I’m joking, of course. It’s actually a relatively solid fight scene, obvious stunt women aside. But you can see why I might be so facetious? It took forty-six minutes and thirty-one seconds to get to any kind of action and I have to say, the fight scene is as satisfying as it is sloppily shot. And to its credit, we do get to see Jarvis finally throw down and get to see one of Stark’s nastier inventions in action. I’d like to see a Constrictor on the market in real life. Talk about a true crime deterrent.

TV REVIEW: Agent Carter "Time and Tide"

FINALLY!

 

After the show’s most intense three minutes, the hour winds down with a big twist that comes at the result of equally perplexing ineptitude at the hands of the SSR. Remember when I said they incompetent? When it comes time to escort the guy that Carter and Jarvis knocked out on Leet Brannis’ ship they only send one man, Agent Kresminsky, to do the job. No back-up, no radios, no nothing. This man has just been apprehended with a literal boatload of high-tech weapons and you send your worst man on the job, alone? OK. Sounds good to me. So of course, they both get whacked by a second Russian assassin who was waiting in the wings. I would have felt more from an emotional stand-point if I hadn’t seen it coming from a mile away.

Which makes the last scene at the SSR, the scene where everyone mourns their fellow agent’s death, seem lackluster when it should have been the emotional crescendo of the entire episode. The only thing that really felt genuine is the very last moment between Angie and Peggy and the L&L Automat. A nice call back to a moment earlier in the show, it actually felt endearing. But again, the show contradicts itself when Peggy says that even though though Krzesminski was a cheat, a drinker, and a jerk, “he was good at his job”. No! No he wasn’t! Technicality No Down Boo Over! He was terrible at his job for the first three episodes and the final moments of his life were nothing but the icing on his life’s cake.

Verdict:

I have no idea how to feel about this show after this episode. Is it a Marvel Studios production about the early days before S.H.I.E.L.D. or is it the story of the most incompetent people to ever grace the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Hopefully next week they’ll sort that out.

Agent Carter “Time and Tide” earns 5 / 10 with five generous points because I really hope this show bounces back. Soon. 

 

 

 

 

Mike Sains

Mike Sains is a writer, editor, and podcaster for FanBoysInc.com and other outlets online. When he isn't writing, editing, or podcasting, he's collecting comic books, Funko Pop and Hikari Sofubi figures, and vinyl records of all kinds. He also likes free stuff. 😉 Follow him on twitter @MikeSains

More Posts

Follow Me:
Twitter