S1 E01 Premiere: Now is Not The End

01/06/15 | PG | CC

It's 1946 in New York. Peace has dealt Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy finds herself stuck doing administrative work when she would rather be back out in the field; putting her vast skills into play and taking down the bad guys. She’s also trying to navigate life as a single woman in America in the wake of losing the love of her life, Steve Rogers—aka Captain America.

Peggy secretly packs her gun before heading off to her place of business, which looks like the phone company to the outside world. The subject of the moment at SSR is Howard Stark (guest star Dominic Cooper, Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger). This genius, multi-millionaire playboy is accused of selling his deadliest weapons to enemies of the United States. Stark is being framed. He covertly contacts Peggy, the only person he can trust, to clear his name.

Stark empowers his butler, Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy), to be at Peggy’s beck and call when needed to help assist her as she investigates and tracks down those responsible for selling these weapons of mass destruction. If caught going on these secret missions for Stark, Peggy could be targeted as a traitor and spend the rest of her days in prison—or worse.

At work under the supervision of Chief Roger Dooley (Shea Whigham), Peggy learns from battle-injured Agent Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) that arrogant, promotion-seeking Agent Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) is following a lead on a club owner looking to fence Stark’s inventions. The guy’s name is Spider Raymond. He turns over an envelope of cash to a non-speaking man named Brannis. Later, Spider is pleasantly surprised when a gorgeous blonde enters his office. He likes blondes. Peggy Carter learned this by eavesdropping on her colleagues.

Peggy seductively questions Spider about the chemical formula he has in his possession. A forced kiss has a knockout effect on the club owner thanks to some potent lipstick being worn by the undercover blonde. Peggy breaks into Spider’s safe to discover the formula has already been made into a weapon. Jarvis lets her know the sphere she holds in her hand is quite volatile and will cause mass destruction if its shell is cracked.

Peggy takes down Spider’s henchman, but can’t make an exit right away. Thompson and his men have arrived on the scene. A mysterious man in a green suit, who had seen Peggy earlier, finds a now-conscious Spider fretting over his empty safe. He draws his gun. By the time Thomson and his men reach the office, Spider is dead. As for Green Suit, he can only watch as Peggy makes a hasty escape in the Stark car she’s using.

With her roommate, Colleen, sick in bed, Peggy uses a supply of household items to diffuse the weapon in the bathroom. A loud noise is heard in the other room. Peggy steps in to find that Colleen has been murdered. A brutal battle with the green-suited intruder, who has a scar on his neck where his voice box once was, ensues until the killer is hurled out the window. Peggy looks down on the ground below to see that there’s no body. She then breaks down in tears at the loss of her friend.

Peggy blames herself for Colleen’s death. Jarvis assures her that she is a credit to her profession even though the men in her office can’t see this. He introduces her to Dr. Anton Vanko, who analyzes the weapon Peggy disarmed. It came from a place called Roxxon Oil. Peggy realizes the Vita-Rays in the weapon are the same related to something called “Project Rebirth.” She finds the file on Steve Rogers while recalling the very last conversation they ever had. She assures Sousa that this isn’t something she does often.

An injured Green Suit makes contact with his colleagues. He’s ordered to complete his now-compromised mission at all costs. As for Peggy, she’s busy breaking into Roxxon Oil. Brannis is already there collecting a new weapon from a scientist there. Jarvis waits outside. Inside, Peggy draws her gun on Brannis, who finds safety by standing in front of a milk truck filled with nitramene spheres.

Brannis uses an electronic device to speak by holding it near the scar on his throat. It’s the same kind of scar Peggy saw on Green Suit. Brannis warns that Leviathan is coming. He drops the weapon in his hand to help aid in his escape. Peggy has 30 seconds to get out of the refinery. Jarvis avoids a hail of gunfire to speed into the grounds. Peggy bounds on top of his car. They speed away from the plant as the explosion/implosion effects of the weapons inside rock the night. It appears Mr. Stark’s invention works.

Peggy lets Jarvis know that he did very well. Jarvis lets Peggy know that his wife must never find out about his extracurricular activities. Later, after making sure that an obnoxious diner patron never again harasses her waitress friend, Angie, Peggy heads out into the street. Jarvis is watching from afar. He’s on the phone with Stark. He assures his boss that Peggy is an excellent choice who likely doesn’t have any suspicions at all. For what, and about what, are things yet to be known.

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