Thompson leads a team into Russia, Dooley looks for both sides of the story, and Carter fights alongside the Howling Commandos once again.
The typewriter/long range transmitter Dooley and Krzeminski found while investigating one of the mysterious Russian agents has gone active, throwing the SSR agents into a frenzy to decrypt the message it received. Though a specialist was brought into decrypt the message, he is stumped until Carter steps in and easily reads the message, which implicates Stark is meeting with Leviathan agents in Russia. Thompson is put in charge of a team to investigate, along with Carter who promises to do the impossible; recruit the 107th regiment, the Howling Commandos.
While Carter and Thompson leave for their mission in Russia, Sousa and Dooley do their own work to unravel the mysteries surrounding Stark’s stolen weapons. Dooley meets with a friend and reporter to ask about the Battle of Finow, who explains that there was no battle of Finow, or rather, no side will take credit for the slaughter of Russian soldiers found at the location. But, Stark was definitely there and quarreled with a U.S. general, which lead to Stark stepping away from a multimillion dollar weapons contract with the U.S. military. Dooley begins to question Stark’s guilt and involvement in the case, and calmly approaches Jarvis for the truth.
Joining the 107th in Russia brings Carter back to familiar surroundings with comrades who not only see her as an equal, but a superior, putting Thompson on the lower rank. But Carter does her best to make sure Thompson is given his due as a receiver of Navy Cross. Their mission brings them to an eerie school full of hidden messages and shackles, and a young girl who is anything but. The school was a training ground for The Red Room organization, the same organization who will train Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow, and who trained Carter’s newest neighbor at the Griffith, Dottie Underwood. After a confrontation with Leviathan soldiers and the young assassin, the SSR and 107th make their escape with one of Leviathan’s prisoners, a therapist who is more than happy to share what he knows with the S.S.R. back in New York.
While seeing the Howling Commandos back on the screen is fun and brings us back to familiar settings and characters from Captain America: The First Avenger, they ultimately fall a little flat. These are soldiers of legend who fought beside Captain America, using Hydra’s technology against them, but here they seem no more skilled than the somewhat bumbling S.S.R. agents next to them. This isn’t to say that they weren’t as entertaining or full of character as they were in Captain America, especially Dum Dum Doogan, who falls right back into banter with Carter, and displays a believable chemistry between them that was built during World War II.
As the show enters into the last half of its season, we’ve come to know the other characters beside Carter more, fleshing them out to be more than the misogynistic S.S.R. agents, but characters with flaws and redeeming qualities. In this episode, we see how Dooley is able to take his preconceived notions out of the situation and open himself to other possibilities. With Thompson, we hear the truth behind his winning of the Navy Cross, seeing him in an honest light, rather than the popular kid at school.