Kelsey McNeal/ABC
Joshua Rivera
January 14, 2015 AT 06:09 AM EST

“Time and Tide” is a strange episode of television for a series with only eight episodes on its docket. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it—it’s quite good, actually—it’s just that it’s the sort of open-and-shut case of the week deal you’d expect from a series with a full 22-episode order. As much as I’d like it to be, that’s not Agent Carter. “Time and Tide” moves the plot needle forward just slightly enough to matter in the show’s long game, but favors smaller character moments over big revelations.

That’s pretty cool.

The episode begins with Peggy curling her hair and looking up the symbol that the dead Leviathan agent traced in the sand in her Book of Symbols (lol) while a mysterious figure climbs up the waterspout to her window. Of course, Peggy Carter knows this and greets him with her pistol drawn—turns out he’s just a hapless gent trying to pay his girlfriend Molly an after-hours visit and he picked the wrong window. (You’ll remember that at the all-ladies boarding house Peggy Carter now resides in, gentleman callers are not permitted after dark.)

This secret rendezvous, of course, is not as discreet as the two young lovers hoped—the landlady chooses to make an example of Molly at breakfast by way of a really tangential story about Harry Houdini that ends with Molly being evicted. Such is gendered communal living in the 1940s.

Meanwhile, the SSR boys are doing some Damn Fine Detective Work, investigating the hotel room that the key they found next to the Leviathan agent’s body last episode opens. There’s not much in the room, but they do manage to find one of those weird two-way typewriters that someone kept from the Fringe set. What’s more, Thompson tells the boys back at HQ that they have the autopsy results from the Leviathan agent, which introduce a weird new wrinkle: The man’s been dead for two years. But any further action is put on hold because they’ve found the owner of the license plate they found in the Roxxon wreckage at the end of last week: Howard Stark.

The attempt of Molly’s beau to break into the boarding house reminds Peggy Carter that she ought to see how the thieves broke into Howard Stark’s vault to steal his tech, and so she visits Stark’s mansion to talk to Jarvis about it. This is cut short by SSR Agents Thompson and Sousa, who want to bring Jarvis in for questioning. His response: “Oh, this is novel. I haven’t been in the back of a car in years.”

Stop being so unflappably charming, James D’Arcy.

Things then converge on SSR headquarters. Agent Ray Krzeminski is in the middle of trying to find someone to cover his shift when Thompson and Sousa bring Jarvis in for questioning and Peggy shows up, too, unconcerned that she’s a bit late. It’s a good thing she does show up—Thompson is convinced that Jarvis will give him Stark, and he threatens to deport Jarvis’ wife (whom we have still not seen, strangely) while hinting that he knows about Jarvis’ treason.

The butler is visibly shaken, but he’s saved by Peggy Carter, who bumbles her way into diffusing the situation at the risk of looking incompetent. But that treason accusation is definitely going to come up again…

NEXT: Breaking and entering

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