Previously on Agent Carter, ‘The Edge of Mystery/A Little Song and Dance‘
Starring: Hayley Atwell, James D’Arcy, Dominic Cooper, Enver Gjokaj, Chad Michael Murray, Wynn Everett, Reggie Austin, Lotte Verbeek, Ken Marino, Lesley Boone, Matt Braunger | Directors: Jennifer Getzinger
IN THE DOSSIER
The strife between Chief Thompson and Agent Carter is swiftly quashed thanks to Whitney Frost’s new status as an unkillable otherworldly being. The gang – now including Howard Stark and Joseph Manfredi – devise a plan to remove the zero matter from Frost and our dimension completely. As the dust settles, Peggy makes important choices about her future. Lastly, a shadowy player enters the field and takes down one of the SSR.
HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN
Well, that was disappointing.
Poor Whitney Frost. Nine episodes of excellent character development that results in an outcome that is basically the last scene of The Craft, down to the scratches on her face. It was partly expected that Whitney wasn’t going to be the victor at the end of the day. For all that, the enormity of her talents and abilities were lessened to an incredible degree. Hell, Frost acquired even more zero matter five minutes into the episode! All signs pointed early on in “Hollywood Ending” that Whitney was going to be an unstoppable force raising holy hell across Los Angeles and Peggy would barely triumph by exploiting Frost’s smallest of vulnerabilities.
Nope. Not even close.
Whitney dopes up on hella amounts of Zero then holes up in her room to do her A Beautiful Mind thing. This gives Peggy and Company all the time in the world to fix the gamma cannon, steal Frost’s equations and set up the most predictable mouse trap ever devised. Boom, bam, Whitney’s done and dusted. Wynn Everett put so much into creating this callous, power-mad yet charmingly progressive she-wolf. She was a walking disaster that everyone was strangely rooting for… and this happens. Parts of “Hollywood Ending” certainly felt rushed and were wrapped up with conveniently placed lines; all perhaps due to budget restraints that couldn’t be helped.
Although the final battle was intended to feature the resolve and sacrifice Stark, Jarvis and the SSR were willing to carry out, it would have been all the more effective if they instituted the ‘less is more’ approach. Less camaraderie and more Whitney Frost presenting a convincingly terrifying threat could have made the 3rd act more gratifying.
IF YOU CAN’T BE WITH THE ONE YOU LOVE…
Something was wafting in the air during the finale and it sure as heck wasn’t Chanel no. 5. The bigger romances during Carter’s second season came to a proper, cheerful conclusion, beginning with the Jarvises reaffirming their adoration for one another, and Peggy finally succumbing to her attraction to Sousa. The episode truly lived up to its title; even Rose had a little fun flirting with Howard Stark while they pieced together another tech doodad.
On the opposite end of the spectrum was a sullen Joseph Manfredi (Ken Marino) who couldn’t accept the obsessive nutball Whitney had become. Sadly, Manfredi never had a real chance to develop into nothing more than the typical impulsive mob boss with a hair trigger temper. There were flashes of depth throughout the season; he appreciated Whitney’s ambition and genius as much as he admired her beauty, before and after her dark mark. There’s only so much one can fit into 44 minutes of weekly television. However it was welcoming to see unsavory characters like Joseph reveal a few redeeming qualities, even at the eleventh hour.
MISSING IN ACTION
Surprisingly, the most worrisome prospect is no one discovering the whereabouts of Jack Thompson. If anyone went through such a massive transformation in the span of a single episode, it’s that guy. In case viewers don’t recall, “Hollywood Ending” began with Thompson’s thumb on the trigger of a massive bomb with Peggy ready to pop a cap in his dome if he even flinched. 40 minutes later, they’re chums! Funny how a vengeful megalomaniac brings sparring workmates together like that.
Finally admitting his failings at being a leader and the manliest macho hunk, Chief Thompson apologized the best he could to Peg for all the muckraking he did under Vernon Masters’ orders. As Carter mentioned, Jack’s ambition got the better of him yet he’s always carried a slight disdain for Peggy because she a) is awesome b) gets the job done, unlike him c) can sniff out trouble way better d) knows his deepest darkest secret.
With his world turned inside out, Thompson appeared to be contemplating an extended leave from the SSR. It was a well-composed turnaround for a character that was so reviled for his blatant disregard of teammates, and more especially, women. Thankfully, the Chief appeared to be in a better place despite all his recent troubles. Yet the writing was on the wall for hapless Jack; no way was he going to ride off into the sunset like his compatriots.
While everything is coming up roses for Peg, Sousa, and yes even Howard, dark clouds are slowly rolling in Agent Carter and its proposed third season… if the higher ups in ABC decide to order its renewal at meetings later in the year. Though the worst may appear behind them, there are plenty of evils within their world that needs a woman’s touch. By that, I mean a swift punch to the face.
Keep calm and carry on, Peg!
Agent Carter S2E10
If this is truly the end, the season finale would be deemed mostly satisfying, if not for the huge questions that remain unanswered – and that ending. C’mon now. That’s just rude. Season two definitely was a step up in quality and pacing compared to the first. Although a few storylines had the unlucky fate of either running too long or being cut off before anything could truly develop. Nevertheless, the leads brought their A game for the entire run and fleshed out the unconventional history of the MCU even further.