I realize this episode was a bit ago, but I need to talk about it. I need to talk about it because it is my favorite episode in television history. Not in the MCU. Not this year. It is my favorite episode in ever.
After some discussions I have come to realize that I am among the few who felt Peggy’s reaction to Howard was absolutely justified. As a matter of fact, I’m a little upset she didn’t punch him again. I say this because of Peg’s interaction with Jarvis at the beginning of the episode.
When she rounds on him after he tells her she’ll never be respected she rounds on him. ‘I expect I will make them!’ and she believes it. She is still fighting with all she’s got. She’s not stomping her foot and pointing out she fought alongside Captain America, The Howling Commandos and Colonel Phillips in the war. She just keeps fighting. Keeps doing what must be done to prove herself all over again.
Fast forward to her showing up the entirety of her branch of the SSR and super special code breaker man who obviously has no idea what he is doing. It’s no surprise that Thompson and the Captain are so ardently against it. It’s the 40’s, she’s a girl. Their smug little faces when she goes off to call the Commandos. Their perfectly shocked faces when she says said Commandos will meet them there.
Watching her finally make strides with these people has been so magnificent. You feel defensive of her, but at the same time you can’t be mad at the men because that was their culture at the time. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t stop it from being frustrating as hell, but it was their culture none the less.
Then Thompson and his team meet the Commandos. They see this group of men that treat Peg with such regard. So much, in fact, that despite Thompson being the lead on the opp, they all look to Peggy for orders. These aren’t just random soldiers. These are the Howling Commandos! Watching Thompson and his team see men that they respect and idolize look at the woman they have been make fetch them coffee as a leader is just so damn satisfying!
I felt a thousand feels at that interaction, but I also felt a huge swell of pride. Dum Dum did do as Peggy says, because that is what Steve would say. My eyes well up every time I think about this, because it’s true. That’s what makes Steve different (among many other things) from Sousa. It’s not the crutches. It’s that Steve, and all of the Commandos trust Peg. They know, and they respect her. She’s not just a girl that they love. She is a soldier, and they treat her as such.
We see Thompson walk out of that battle with the same respect for her. We see so much growth from him in this episode. He walks out of that battle not just trusting Peggy as the soldier that she is, but a confidant. He confides his deepest, darkest secret in her on the way back from the battle. The secret that makes him the way he is. The secret he has kept since the war, and he shared it with her.
So sure, where we sit in the story now, we know that it all went to hell in a hand basket, but I am quite certain that the interactions we saw in this episode will come in to play again. Sousa may be done, but I can’t see us moving backwards from the Thompson growth.
With all the questions we have, I can say one thing for certain: The world needs Margaret ‘Peggy’ Carter.