The lead story this week -- and we know it's the lead story because it's the one with Peggy (Hayley Atwell) in it -- feautures the return of Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), our dashing story-propelling macguffin-maker. Peggy and Jarvis (James D'Arcy) have to retrieve Stark from the goons that smuggled him back into the country; then Peggy has to sneak him into her all-ladies apartment building, which goes pretty much exactly as you'd imagine.
Stark is back to determine if one of his inventions, the titular Blitzkrieg Button, is among the items retrieved by the SSR (well, by Peggy) last episode. He equips Peggy with the least imaginative gadget in the history of modern spy fiction, a camera pen, to take inventory.
When Stark confirms that the SSR does indeed have the button, he sends Peggy back to retrieve it, assuring her that it's an EMP device that could bring New York to a halt. But Jarvis's bad bluffing convinces Peggy that it's something else, and sure enough she opens it up and finds a vial of blood, and it doesn't take a relocated Nazi rocket scientist to determine that this is Steve Rogers' super-soldier-serum-infused blood. So Peggy gives Stark a well-deserved punch to the jaw for lying to her and for trying to profit from Captain America's blood, and sends Iron Dad on his merry way.
Meanwhile, we have an unfortunate trifecta of SSR stories to sit through. Chief Dooley (Shea Wigham) goes to Germany to interview an imprisoned Nazi who was present at the same battle where the mute mystery men of episodes one and two supposedly died during the war. Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) steps up as deputy chief in his absence and gets to swagger around for an episode. And Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) pursues his own leads in the Stark case.
Dooley learns that the battle was not a battle, but a massacre at the hands of a mysterious force. We had broadly the same mystery/reveal/deeper-mystery play out in Agents of SHIELD, where it turned out Kyle MacLachlan was behind it all. Maybe it's Kyle MacLachlan again? Maybe it's someone like Kyle MacLachlan. Maybe it's Rutger Hauer?
Souza starts to piece together that the same woman has been present at every step of their investigation, and tries to use his war wounds to bond with a hobo for information, but it turns out hobos prefer burgers to sob stories. And Thompson learns that he's really good at swaggering, and gets to mansplain sexism to Peggy. Thanks, Jack. That really helps.
More interesting than any of these SSR stories is the story of Mr Mink, the blond craggy deadpan gangster who smuggled Stark into the city and doesn't appreciate being screwed out of a big payday. He has a fancy rapid-fire pistol that he uses to kill his own goons (because, villain). Then he goes after Peggy to try to find Howard. And just when you think you know where this story is going, Mr Mink runs into Peggy's neighbor, the mysterious Dottie (Bridget Regan)...
And Dottie runs up the wall and breaks Mr Mink's neck. Because she wants his fancy gun.
Sure, we all suspected there was something odd about Dottie, but wow, it turns out she's really weird and kind of scary.
In the closing scenes, Jarvis scolds Howard for his behavior -- and the camera lingers on Stan Lee for what feels like ten minutes to make sure we've acknowledged and accepted that, yes, this is the Stan Lee cameo, everyone. Did you see Stan Lee? This is his cameo. We have achieved Stan Lee cameo. Look at Stan Lee. Memorize him. Got it? Stan Lee cameo over. Moving on. One last chance. No more Stan Lee cameo.
Elsewhere, Peggy makes a hole in the wall for Steve's blood (and writing that down, it sounds creepier than it looked); Dottie admires her new gun; and the mystery typewriter that the SSR borrowed from Fringe starts typing.