TV Review: Agent Carter - Season 2 Ep 8/9 "The Edge/A Little Song and Dance"
Join us each week as we review the latest episode of AGENT CARTER. Warning: the following review contains major spoilers for the newest episode of the show.
Episode 8/9: "The Edge of Mystery" / "A Little Song and Dance"
Synopsis: Peggy and Sousa propose a trade with Whitney Frost, while the SSR gets help from Howard Stark that may be the key to eliminating Zero Matter. Peggy desperately tries to save Dr. Wilkes with a dangerous plan to stop Whitney Frost. But Thompson makes a surprising move that could destroy them all.
Recap: Another double feature week of Peggy Carter's adventures in California delivers some much needed excitement after a string of mediocre episodes. This time, the showdown between Peggy and Whitney Frost begins to come to a head as we careen towards the season, and possibly series, finale next week. Unfortunately, this is another outing with no appearances from Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark, but the genius inventor's presence is felt as he develops a machine that could stop Zero Matter once and for all. But first, Peggy and the SSR team must find a way to save Jason Wilkes, stop Whitney Frost, and call it a day. All in a day's work, right?
In the first of the two episodes, titled "The Edge of Mystery", Edwin Jarvis is distraught as his wife recovers from the near fatal bullet wound delivered by Whitney Frost last week. Jarvis becomes obsessed with avenging his wife after he learns the injury will prevent her from ever carrying a child. While Jarvis does not break this news to his wife, he does assemble a will and goodbye items as he joins Peggy and the crew as they face off with Frost. Whitney Frost, with Jason Wilkes in her custody, wants to forge an alliance to try and learn what Zero Matter can truly do. She reveals that she has been hearing voices that Wilkes has not which worries the scientist. When Peggy fakes the Uranium rods to exchange for Wilkes, Frost chases after them and Wilkes turns a gun on Peggy, revealing that he has aligned himself with Frost.
Jack Thompson, meanwhile, retrieves a document proving Peggy participated in war crimes. He confronts her with it but she says it is a fake. Thompson then confronts Vernon Masters who doesn't deny they are fake which leads Thompson to question his mentor's allegiances. Using the amnesia device on Thompson, Masters takes the rods to Frost who uses them to create a new Zero Matter rift. The team constructs a device based on telegrammed instructions from Howard Stark for a gamma radiation cannon that can cancel out Zero Matter. Dr. Samberly builds the machine and they head to the desert to stop Frost and Wilkes. As the rift opens, Dr. Wilkes is sucked inside as Whitney Frost looks on. The cannon manages to close the rift and Frost is shot by Jarvis but she is unharmed. Wilkes appears to be swimming with Zero Matter and Frost has Peggy and Jarvis knocked out as collateral to control Wilkes.
The second episode of the night, "A Little Song and Dance", opens with just that: a dream sequence dance number featuring various cast and guest stars from this season and last. Shifting from black and white to a staged set, Peggy takes part in a big musical production asking what she is going to do. When she awakens in Manfredi's van, she breaks hersef and Jarvis out. This allows the two friends to to call each other out for their failures this season, forcing a rift between them. On a longer series, this may last for multiple episodes, but when Jarvis reveals his wife cannot bear children, they are magically friends again. Taking down a couple of thugs, they make it back to the SSR where they learn that Thompson and Sousa have made a deal with Masters to turn the weapon over to Whitney Frost so Masters can use it to kill her.
But, that is not the only doublecross. Thompson volunteers to deliver news to Whitney Frost and tells her of the plan Masters has. He offers to give her the weapon and Masters in exchange for a seat on the Council. Dick move, Thompson. But wait! Dr. Samberly reveals that the true plan Thompson had in mind was to turn the gamma cannon into a bomb which he will remotely detonate to stop Frost, Masters, and Wilkes once and for all. Peggy rushes to save Dr. Wilkes as Thompson plays out his game. Wilkes begs Peggy to get away before he finishes tranforming and locks her out of the facility. With Frost killing Masters, Thompson tries the detonator and it fails. Peggy pulls a gun on him as he tries to have Samberly remove the block on the bomb and at the same time, Wilkes confronts Frost as he explodes with Zero Matter.
Next week's finale has a lot to wrap up to make this season feel worthwhile. We met a lot of new characters and Peggy got some much needed backstory, but it has felt very uneven all season. These two weeks of doubleheader episodes feel stuffed to try and get the season in before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns in two weeks. Over these two hours there have been more double and triple crosses than I can keep straight and that does not feel like much more than sloppy writing. I did enjoy the musical number even though it felt very out of place. Hopefully the promises that next week's finale will keep us guessing until the last second will not be the final time we get to see Peggy Carter take a season long adventure.
Marvel Universe References: References to gamma radiation recall the Hulk.
Next on Agent Carter: "Hollywood Ending" air March 1st - Peggy must make the ultimate sacrifice in order to destroy Zero Matter.