We open with the band back together! The radio show must go on! That nifty narration of the story of Captain America seems to be in it’s last episode as it tells the story of Steve’s descent into an ocean..
Carter and Thompson are talking to the city cop of the movie massacre case, who’s explaining how there were no survivors and the scene looks like a monster attack. They walk in and look at the bodies. Carter says, ‘a monster didn’t kill these people, they killed each other.’ Meanwhile Sousa scampers to the baby carriage, touches the evidence, finds it empty, then keeps touching stuff at the crime scene and nabs the gas canister off the ground. With the push of a button, he gets a noseful of the stuff and coughs and sputters, until Thompson comes to help. He turns to Thomson and starts madly choking him.
Cut to a creepy car ride with the Russkies. Dr. Ivchenko is admiring American ingenuity, while Dottie is dreaming of tearing it all down. Patriotic problems! They get pulled over for missing a red light. Dottie plays it off like she’s a dope driving her granddad around and they nearly get away until their car description is heard over the cop’s radio. He turns around to go back to the car, but Dottie is in his face with a gun. He shoulda wore a red shirt folks!
In the SSR nap room, Sousa is coming to, while strapped to a hospital bed. He vaguely remembers wanting to kill everyone. He’s better now and just wants to kill his co-workers in the normal way. And they join the office discussion of what the gas is and what Ivchenko is gonna do with it. Thompson notes they could kill off half the city with the 10 canisters they have left. But Peggy says Ivchenko planned this back from his rescue in Russia, so he must have a target in mind. Stark strolls in saying he’s the target. Everyone (but Peggy) draws a gun on him while he brags about how he should’ve designed the security system. Also, someone should change the locks at the White House. Maybe the SSR office too!
So now Howard can start explaining. The gas was meant to be a temporary super soldier drug. But it turned out not to work, so Howard put the kibash on it and it got stolen. And then dumped on soldiers at the Battle of Finnal. Ivchenko, formally General Fenhoff was there and only survived due to a gas mask. But his brother was and well, it was not a good scene. So Ivchenko wants revenge! Stark ponys himself up as bait, for an SSR trap. See ladies, he does care about something!
Our Russian friends are in the car pulling up to an airfield, Dottie gets out to take care of the airport manager, while a news bulletin comes on over the airwaves. Stark has returned a hero! With a breakthrough on the case of his missing weapons! Later today a news conference on the steps of city hall! Sorry Dottie, hope you didn’t mess up your shoes, time to trek back to the city.
Back at the SSR, Howard is grooming for his conference. Peggy brings him some body armor, which he scoffs at. ‘Where’s my stuff?’, he asks. Peggy takes him down to the science lab and we watch as a horrified Stark rearranges everything while yammering on about the volatility of all his inventions. Peggy rails on his stupidity of using himself as bait and he says he has to make up for his mistakes. He grabs better body armor and when Peggy turns her back, he sneaks the sphere holding the Rogers blood sample out as well. Never turn your back on a Stark!
At city hall, Thompson announces Stark’s innocence, while Stark suggests extra words like hero and brilliance. Peggy is checking in, knowing that the enemy is lurking. Finally, Thompson turns the mike over to Stark and someone takes a shot at him and his rad ‘stache.
Jarvis and Stark make their escape, except oops, Stark ends up in the cop’s car from earlier (hypnotized, not killed!) and the good doctor wants to see him. Jarvis runs to tell someone, while Peggy and Thompson are looking for the shooter. Hmmm. Somebody had more then 12% of a plan, ’cause Peggy realizes the gun was set to self-fire and aimed not kill Stark. They ponder targets, when they realize it’s VE day and Times Square will be very crowded. Sousa and Jarvis track down the police car, but now the cop is dead and the back seat empty. For a red shirt, he lasted a while!
Stark is looking down the barrel of Dottie’s gun in the backseat of Ivchenko’s car. He seems to think he should know Dottie and she confirms they spent a weekend together. Stark can’t quite remember, Whoopsy daisy. So Dottie knocks him out with the butt of the gun, though is it due to hurt feelings or just because Dottie likes to hit things? You decide, dear reader!
The SSR team is trying to regroup their info. Ivchenko’s car seems to be heading out of the city. They’ve set up road blocks and shut the airports. City officials refuse to call off the VE Day celebration. After all, so many snacks were made! Peggy and the boys (our new Alt country bad) discuss how the best way to blame Stark for the upcoming disaster could take place, when Jarvis timidly pipes up with there’s another vault. A vault full of toys, including planes that fly themselves. He showed it off to Dottie.
What was her name then? Stark keeps guessing and Dottie keeps smacking him on the head. Ivchenko’s interruption is less fun as he describes having witnessed Midnight Oil’s effects first hand. And the results on his brother. He starts talking with Stark and you know how that goes when the good doctor starks rubbing his ring and staring deep into your eyes (get your mind outta the gutter). Suddenly, Stark is admitting how he feels guilty about all the collateral damage and how he wants to atone and Dr. Ivchenko is encouraging. And still twisting his ring. And now Stark is dreaming about the moment he thought he found Captain America. Peggy and the team arrive at the airport just as the Stark plane is taking off. It seems Howard thinks he can save Cap this time.
Peggy starts looking at the options. First on the list, get a pilot to take up another plane and shoot down Stark’s plane, over the water, before the gas reaches New York City. Of course, Jarvis is the only qualified pilot here. Peggy balks at sending him to kill his boss, but Jarvis says he knows Howard would want to be stopped by any means. Now, Peggy grabs her rifle and searches the building, finding Dottie and the Doctor in the radio room. She should shoot first and ask questions later, but it’s America and we’re telling a story dammit!
Instead, we get the fight we’ve been waiting for between Dottie and Peggy. So Peggy splits her time fighting and trying to yell into the microphone to get Stark to wake up. And Dottie gets chatty, about fun, about jealousy, about becoming an SSR agent in her place and being better then Peggy. And then Peggy drop kicks her out the office window onto the hanger floor. ‘Cause really, who likes small talk?
Thompson and Sousa are looking for Dr. Ivchenko, who swiftly takes Thompson out, marking him as the bigger physical threat. The doctor starts talking to Sousa about his pain and Sousa starts wavering, then pointing his gun at the reviving Thompson. The Doctor tells Sousa to shoot Thompson and gets clocked on the head by Sousa. Who then pulls earplugs out of his ears. Like a boss. Seriously, there has never been a more heroic removal of earplugs! Ever!
Peggy is desperately trying to talk Stark out of his imaginary mission and it’s not working. Jarvis has caught up to him and has him in his sights. They are a mile from land and Jarvis is asking about taking the shot. Stark is confessing about his destructive failures and how Cap was the one good thing he’s done. She finally manages to get through to him, then calls Jarvis off. So there will be no Stark over broadway!
Down in the hanger, we see that Dottie isn’t dead. She’s probably a mess, judging by the blood pools, but she’s wandered off to fight another day. Dr. Ivchenko has been muzzled and Jarvis is explaining how shooting Stark down was what Stark would’ve wanted. Right, Stark? No, Stark’s pretty sure that’s not how he wanted things to go.
The next day at the SSR office, Peggy goes in to get her paycheck to a round of applause and ‘job well done’ from Thompson. A local muckity muck from Congress comes in to thank Thompson for his job well done. Thompson is all ‘aw shucks’, while the guy yammers on about medals and thanks from the President and how everyone in the office should be glad to work for him. Peggy smiles and nods and Sousa gets all indignant on her behalf. She politely tells him, that she knows what her worth is and that’s all that matters. Sousa finally nerves up to ask her for a drink after work, but it turns out she has other plans. She does smile behind his back though, so we know, that she knows, that he doesn’t yet know that that drink is forthcoming. You know?
After work, Peggy and her actress friend, Angie, are touring a smaller Stark house as they are invited to stay rent free as a way of paying back the Stark inconvenience tax hefted on their lives. Angie runs off to call her mom, while Jarvis admires that someone appreciating the finer things is refreshing and Peggy hopes the fine things have been refreshed from Stark’s nocturnal activities. Jarvis tells Peggy he’d always be happy to help her, but he’d like to overhaul the spice rack in the kitchen first. He also clues her into the fact that Stark is going to destroy all the weapons once he negotiates them back from the SSR, as he doesn’t trust any government to keep them safe. Jarvis gives Peggy the Rogers blood, which he lifted from Stark while he was under Ivchenko’s spell. Jarvis is sure she’ll know what to do with it. And she does; she spills its contents into the river, whispering her goodbyes. Somewhere in the Atlantic are super powered sharks!
Our delightful parting shot is this- Dr. Ivchenko, masked in an early version of Dr. Lector’s mask, is shuttled into his new prison cell. There he meets his new cellmate- Dr. Zola. Zola is quite familiar with Dr. Ivchenko’s psychological work and is eager to open a dialogue as it were…
Added to the Dossier
The return of Zola! It makes us giddy as we’ve come full circle from Winter Soldier!
You can’t trust any governments with your inventions!
Deep down Howard Stark really cares!
Peggy doesn’t need your valediction, just her pay check!
Don’t let genius criminals bunk together!