Agent Carter S2 E03 – Better Angels
A bit behind in my Agent Carter and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D posts so I hope you’ll forgive me. Let’s try and catch up over the next little while – shall we?
Episode 3 of the 2nd season of Agent Carter started to get quite a bit more serious in comparison to the previous episodes. With the “death” of D. Wilkes’ in the previous episode, we were left to wonder about the potential budding romance between Peggy and Wilkes – well we start to get some of those answers here. When Peggy and Sousa investigate Wilkes’ home, they find items that implicate him as a Russian spy. As this show takes place during the time of the McCarthy trials – well probably before them if we want to be historically accurate! – the threat of Russia is very valid. In addition, it’s another good tie-in to our season 1 storyline and Dottie & the Black Widow institute! While the rest of the detectives believe the evidence implicating Wilkes, Peggy and Sousa don’t so Peggy gets Howard involved.
Howard is on the set of his latest film and while it’s based on a comic book (quite funny that, all things considered!) his offer to Peggy of a role, is quickly turned down. Once Peggy manages to get him onside with her investigation, he quickly helps her identify the mysterious pin that we initially saw from episode 1 that Dottie was trying to steal from the bank. Telling Peggy that it’s for an exclusive men’s only venue called the Arena Club they concoct a plan to break in so that Peggy can get a good look around. Howard and an entourage of his beauties proceed to “storm” the club and while they are roundly welcomed by the male patrons, they are eventually forced out. However Peg has managed to get in also and looking around, Peggy discovers that this group has a lot of control when it comes to manipulating things, particularly in the government.
Thompson however has arrived in LA also and he’s not too happy about this mission. When he finds out about it, he berates Sousa (for allowing Peggy to go rogue) and Peggy for being such a difficult agent to handle. While a lot of this might be Thompson’s natural aggressiveness when it comes to Peggy, he’s actually under the thumb of Vernon Masters – the head of the FBI who’s working for the leaders of the Arena Club!
However – all is not as it seems! Peggy notices that objects have started floating around her and initially thinks it’s because she’s been contaminated by zero matter. The truth however is significantly more complicated (and interesting!). Peggy gets Howard to help her find a solution to her contamination, but they quickly realize that she’s not actually contaminated at all! Wilkes is somehow still alive – just in an alternate dimension/universe – but Stark creates a “magic” potion that he’s able to spray on him & manages to make him visible again. Initially unable to talk, Stark proceeds to spray it in his mouth also (which I thought was a bit silly to be honest) so that his vocal chords too are reintegrated and then *boom* he can speak again! I think the fact that air from the lungs are required to pass over the vocal chords and hundreds of other bodily functions that are missed are somewhat convenient. It would have made more sense if he could just talk when he was brought back without the whole spray into the mouth thing. Anyways, moving on!
This discovery launches a whole new project: make Wilkes a physical being again as while the team can see him, they can’t yet touch or otherwise interact with him. One thing they do learn however is that he was not alone at the explosion. Whitney Frost was there too and while she seems unaffected by what happened, after Peggy confronts her, she seems even more imbalanced than before. “Persuading” her husband that Peggy must die, they hire a hitman to take her out and while it must be said, he’s probably the most successful of all of Peggy’s assailants, he too fails to kill her with the fortunate assistance of Jarvis. While that might be the end of Whitney’s issues, in reality she’s been affected even more strongly and strangely than Wilkes’ has.
Continuing on from the theme we saw explored in a small manner in the previous episode, Whitney’s manager approaches her and tells her that she was going to be replaced because she was “too old” but he managed to stop it from happening. When he tries to get a bit grabby as thanks for his assistance, zero matter shoots out of Whitney’s hands engulfing him and in some way decomposes him before sucking him back into her. We also learned this episode that Whitney is actually the mastermind who created Isodyne. I wasn’t sure about Whitney last episode, but now I’m thinking she’s a worthy villain for Peggy.
First off, Peggy continues to kick ass in this show. There are moments where she goes undercover and acts like a girly girl and you can tell she hates it. It’s fun to see her change so quickly from that to the awesome strong character she is and deal with the problems surrounding her. Hayley Atwell gives a fantastic performance and embraces every aspect of Peggy. This season is really captivating so far. I love the diverse characters and that everything is linked in an intelligent way. I also love the commentary on sexism and racism throughout each episode. This show does a pretty good job of combining social commentary, humor, action and an engaging storyline in a fairly neat package.