Previously on Agent Carter, ‘The Atomic Job’
Starring: Hayley Atwell, James D’Arcy, Enver Gjokaj, Bridget Regan, Chad Michael Murray, Wynn Everett, Reggie Austin, Lotte Verbeek, Currie Graham, Kurtwood Smith, Ray Wise, John Kerry, Ken Marino, Casey Sander, Tom T. Choi | Directors: Craig Zisk & Metin Hüseyin
IN THE DOSSIER
Battered, bruised and punctured, Agent Carter and Chief Sousa free Dottie Underwood in a last ditch effort to stop Whitney Frost. Meanwhile, the villainess assumes full control of the Council of Nine and proceeds to rebuild their criminal empire in her image. Dr. Wilkes’ desperation to regain a material presence in our dimension reaches frightening levels. Sousa and Carter try that love game again (gross), and the Jarvises risk their lives once more for their friends.
A PLAN SO CRAZY… IT JUST MIGHT WORK
The plot points to bring Underwood (Bridget Regan) into the fray were a tad hokey and opportune. Peg infiltrates a secret facility like it ain’t no thang and in no time flat, the two make off like a pair of bandits. Considering the resounding importance of the Council to keep tabs on practically everyone on Carter, they sure did lose focus on Dottie and Carter fairly easily. Also, was Dot already in Los Angeles or did Peg and Daniel fly to New York to release her? It’s the little things in “Life of the Party” that threw me off from the overall narrative. However, when it was on point in that episode and “Monsters”, it was really cooking! Especially all the portrayals by the lead and supporting ladies.
WOMAN! WO-MAN! WHOOOAAA, MAN!
Say what you will about the hoity-toity approach in Agent Carter, one of its more redeeming qualities is the presence and delivery of the show’s female characters. While Peggy is usually front and center, Hayley Atwell sits on the bench for a moment or three while her supporting castmates provide first-rate performances in both episodes.
Ana Jarvis returns to the fold and makes an immediate impact on Team Carter as lab assistant, cuisiner and most importantly, confidant. Although she’s only been in three episodes so far, Lotte Verbeek has in some cases surpassed James D’Arcy’s role of the everyman within these fantastical situations. Edwin has been used to comedic effect quite heavily this season with seldom an empathetic scene between him and Carter. Ana’s magnetic personality and lively demeanor have lightened some of the more leaden moments of season two.
Thanks to Dr. Wilkes’ big ghost mouth, the gravity of her husband’s potential confrontation with Whitney Frost provides Verbeek a fine opportunity to add more dimension to the tenacious character. Ana knows Edwin’s loyalty to his friends is immutable, yet she’s also mindful of his limitations. Her sudden shift from wavering resolve to utter dread as Wilkes described the situation was a brief yet profound scene. Unfortunately, Ana’s concerns for her hubby overshadowed her own potential exposure to dastardly figures. In doing the right thing and confronting Whitney, Ana proves she has a fighting spirit. Though it doesn’t help much when dealing with a preternatural malevolence.
Adding Dottie into the mix for the inevitable showdown between her, Peggy and Whitney is the perfect storm of badassery. Bridget Regan truly makes Ms. Underwood a zealous communist assassin you love to hate; a part of you feels guilty for wanting her to succeed due to her dark humor and beaming charisma. There’s more soul in Dottie now than the first season as she appears to be having even more fun in the field. It’s as though the Russian programming she received for decades wasn’t able to expunge her childlike wonder. Dottie appears far too excited to be seeing old faces (especially Jarvis) like they were longtime friends instead of former targets. It’s possible Underwood cannot contain her happiness from breaking out of prison.
That, or she’s certifiable.
One thing’s for certain, the woman knows when to flip the switch from bubbly outcast to stone cold killer. For instance, during her tête-à-tête with Vernon Masters (Kurtwood Smith), Underwood reveals how she increased her tolerance for pain for those rare occasions when she’s detained and tortured.
“I’ve pulled out my own teeth. My own nails. My own hair. I’ve burned own skin with a blowtorch. I’m no nazi harlot and you… are wasting my time.”
Damn, Dottie. Take a chill pill, for all our sakes.
Her intensity remotely compares to Whitney Frost and her rising wave of terror. Wynn Everett has done wonders with this character and has perfectly created an antagonist of convincing malice and considerable depth. What uncertainty there was about the zero matter overwhelming Frost’s fragile nature has been hastily dismissed; Whitney is more than ready to use her newfound abilities to quickly acquire power among the world’s elite. Unequivocally, through zero matter, Frost has found her true self and no one is safe from her discriminating sensibilities. Delightedly, it makes for really entertaining television.
In nearly every scene involving men, viewers bear witness to the unwavering confidence Everett imbued in Whitney which causes noticeable unease in everyone, from her husband (RIP) to the majority of the Council of Nine (RIP x4). Whitney’s strength was always present; she’s had to deal with an exorbitant amount of shit from everyone for most of her life. Zero matter has become the final piece to the puzzle Frost never knew she needed. And it’s created a force no one in this era has ever faced.
Good luck in taking her down, folks.
GET A ROOM, YOU THREE
The least convincing plot in Agent Carter remains the romantic triangle the writers continue to force upon our eyes. Only two appearances and Violet (Sarah Bolger) is scratched out of the line up off-camera to reignite the feeble flames of uncertain desire between Chief Sousa and Agent Carter. It simply doesn’t feel right. Thank Odin that henchman fell on the roof of their van when he did or else we’d have to deal with a relationship that makes late-season Ross and Rachel look like Luke and Lorelai. WHY DO I KNOW THESE NAMES?
Anyway, Dr. Wilkes doesn’t take kindly to Sousa touching his alleged woman while he’s intangible, so Jason has a tiff in the midst of constructing his containment cell. Wilkes did apologize for his behavior and attributed it to the stress of potentially fading from existence, yet it was enough to make Carter not so interested in the handsome intelligentsia.
Besides, everyone knows if Steve suddenly popped in from nowhere, Sousa and Wilkes would be dropped faster than a Beyonce secret album.
HOW DO I HATE THEE? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS
Everything has been flipped upside down and kicked in the ribs for good measure. With the SSR’s top agents on injured reserve, their secret weapon getting worked over by Frost and a significant portion of the Council eliminated, all plans on both sides have gone up in smoke. Leave it to Vernon Masters to worm his way into a better position for himself and any lackey who’s willing to align himself with the snake. You don’t have to be a semi-tangible physicist to know who’s at Vernon’s side.
How damn sway. Chief Thompson, head of the New York division of the SSR… errand boy for the bad guys. None of us are that surprised but the relative ease Jack displayed slipping into his role within the conspiracy is irksome. Surely, Jack must be undercover… y’know what? Nah. He’s just a big ol’ dummy. A complete Jackhole. Thompson’s at least dimly aware something fishy is going on among his new pals and he still does their dirty work? Yeah, F him. Wait, it needs to be bold. F him.
So… can Peggy recover in time to take down Dottie and Whitney? Is Jarvis going to channel his inner Frank Castle if things go from bad to worse with Ana? What’s Sousa’s plan to take down Masters? We’ll all find out next Tuesday with “The Edge of Mystery” at 9/8c on ABC!
Agent Carter S2E6/E7
After all the hoopla the past week about Agent Carter possibly being on its last legs, the two episodes ABC aired happened to be the better of the entire series. The women were fantastic. The dudes? Not so much. If the next three episodes are truly the final ones in Agent Carter’s brief run, the end game should be impressive based solely on the commitment Atwell, Regan and Everett have instilled in their respective characters.