Tuesday, February 16, 2016


So. Hayley Atwell is apparently getting a contemporary-set pilot for a non-Marvel production, which (combined with the lower than last season ratings) many are taking to mean that Season 2 will be the last we see of AGENT CARTER for awhile - maybe for good. Which means there's only five more episodes (three, after the twofer hitting tonight) for Season 2 to really pull this thing out and end on a high note.

Thus far? Signs are still fairly discouraging that this will ever get as good as Season 1 started out being, but that doesn't mean it's a waste of time.

This time, at least, the various plot threads came together to work efficiently in between what was mostly a series of setups for the character-schtick that's become the focus of season: Wilkes figures out that he, too, can absorb Zero Matter (aka "Darkforce," but we're still pretending not to know that) and goes looking for the flash-frozen body of the victim that started this whole thing off; angling that absorbing even more of it will make him tangible again. Unfortunately, he and Peggy arrive just in time to learn the truth about Whitney Frost when she beats them to the prize and drains the corpse's ZM supply herself - leading to the revelation that she plans to detonate an atomic bomb in order to bring more of the stuff into our dimension.

The atomic bomb subplot sets off the "setpiece" for this episode, with Carter, Jarvis, Sousa, Rose (the SSR receptionist) and a scientist named Samberly team up to try and liberate the (eventually) stolen bomb before it can be detonated. It's mostly fun stuff (though there doesn't seem to be much of a point to Samberly as yet) especially seeing Rose get to do some big fight scenes and play sexy-spy-couple with Samberly - though, at this point, AGENT CARTER giving an unconventional female character dimension and guts is to be expected.

Not expected, on the other hand, is having Peggy actually get impaled on that re-bar spike after slugging it out with Frost (aka "Madame Masque," though still no gold mask.) Bold decision... but it might have worked better saved for a "to be continued" rather than just a commercial break. More problematically, the payoff to the development is a serious letdown: Sousa brings Carter home to his nurse fiancee (of a few hours, at least) for care and - sing along if you know the words - she decides she can't marry him because she (like everyone else) can tell he's still in love with Peggy.

It's not so much a "bad" moment (it's performed just fine, all things considered) as it is so disappointingly expected. AGENT CARTER has been at it's best when subtly subverting what we expect from a series like this; but that moment feels like something that would happen in any other procedural featuring an ex/almost-couple having to work together. On the plus side, no sign of the boring FBI/"red scare" plot this week, for which I'm grateful.


  • I feel like Jason Wilkes is going to end up in "sad/noble ending" territory sooner or later, maybe sacrificing himself to The Dark Dimension to stop whatever Frost ultimately gets up to. The obscure pre-superhero Marvel story he's inspired by ended with the (not a good guy) intangible-scientist "haunting" his own home as essentially a ghost made of science - maybe he'll stick around to pop up in contemporary times for AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D?
  • I feel like, if Wilkes ends up stuck in Dark Dimension people will be looking for him to turn up as a DOCTOR STRANGE character. I'll admit - that'd be pretty cool, yes.
  • Speaking of which, the notion that the Arena Club not-HYDRA cultists (for those who skipped AGENTS thus far: It turns out HYDRA's real-deal origin is as the most recent permutation of an ancient death cult that worships an evil offworld Inhuman) are going to step in and try to stop Frost's schemes is going to wind up being the "origin" of how/why HYDRA was able to exert early influence over S.H.I.E.L.D at whatever point it breaks off from the SSR (which will probably be red-menaced into closure by the end of this season.)
  • Yes, sharp-eared Marvel fans, you heard that right: Whitney Frost's mob boss former lover is Joseph Manfredi, aka Blackwing. One imagines that he'll be stepping into a more prominent position once the Arena Club tries (and fails?) to put her back in her place.
NEXT WEEK (aka tonight):
It's a two-parter with "LIFE OF THE PARTY" and "MONSTERS," the former of which involves the Peggy/Dottie team-up (against Frost, probably) I predicted back in episode 1. What's "MONSTERS" about? Not entirely sure - but the early synopsis sounds like something rough is in store for poor Jarvis (please, show, don't kill off him or Anna to try and retroactively imbue Vision/J.A.R.V.I.S with extra pathos). I'd bet that the title in "MONSTERS" refers to Frost and Manfredi forming a mutually-villainous power-couple.