As “America’s most unstoppable secret agent” and “the best comic book show you’re not watching,” can “Marvel’s Agent Carter” live up to the hype in what may be her last season? Can she stop the dangerous zero matter powers of Whitney Frost? Meet me after the jump to find out and for my thoughts on “The Edge of Mystery.”
No matter what else “Agent Carter” has been doing this second season – the locale move, the humor, the dumbing down, even the possible water ski jump over a shark – it does good period and good old fashioned serial cliffhangers. That alone sets it apart from most television and makes it worth watching.
When we last left Peggy and company, Whitney Frost and Joseph Manfredi kidnapped Dr. Wilkes whose zero matter powers seem to operate opposite to Frost’s. To slow Peggy and Jarvis’ pursuit, Frost shot Mrs. Jarvis. As we left our heroes last week, they waited at the hospital while Ana was in surgery. Not a happy scene.
Edwin Jarvis is a Marvel Comics character that was broken by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He was replaced by an AI in the first Iron Man movie, then shuttled into the past with the “Agent Carter” series. Still a Stark butler, James D’Arcy has given him life while still being the organizational force and support staff of a half-mad Stark. That said, he’s made a wonderfully complementary sidekick to Peggy Carter.
Though relegated to more comic relief in the second season, he maintains that support position admirably. And although at first I disliked the addition of Lotte Verbeek as his bubbly wife Ana, she has grown on me, heck, grown on us, as a lovable bright spot in the show. Her getting shot has broken Jarvis, and in turn, has broken us all. The incident brings out the best in D’Arcy, Verbeek, and Hayley Atwell.
I loved the scenes at Manfredi’s restaurant. The humor was perfect, not over the top, the characters solid, and the dialogue delicious. Forget Blackwing from the comics, this made me want more of Joseph Manfredi, and his mother! This had me thinking what a wonderful season this might have been had Peggy gone to Cuba this season instead, perhaps to fight the Maggia? Priceless, but alas, a missed opportunity.
Meanwhile Frost holding Wilkes is less an interrogation or hostage situation than it is a negotiation in experimentation. Frost wants to learn from Wilkes, work with him to discover more about the zero matter. And creepily, she’s hearing a voice, and wants to know if Wilkes hears it too. We know the zero matter is connected to the darkforce, which comes from the Dark Dimension… could that voice be… Dormammu?
A trade is arranged, the uranium rods for Wilkes. There’s other convoluted kitchen sink stuff going on like Jarvis wanting revenge on Frost and Stark sending specs for a gamma ray cannon that may destroy zero matter, but it’s all secondary, but both sides of the trade are tricks. The rods aren’t real, and Wilkes, apparently listening to Frost’s voices, has switched sides. The trade falls apart.
Meanwhile Jack Thompson has obtained a file that seems to incriminate Peggy for Masters, but now he’s having second thoughts. About time. He’s more hard headed this season than last. A quick double cross from Masters and a two-minute brain-wipe, and Thompson is finally on the right side, or at least one will hope.
The plan, as it has always been, apparently from the voices, is to detonate an identical atomic explosion to the one that originally released the zero matter to get to more. Frost does just that, and she and Wilkes go out to the explosion site to greet the new crack in time and space. As it slowly becomes possibly a portal, Wilkes floats toward it. Frost is alarmed that he hears the voice and she does no longer.
Stark’s gamma ray cannon does what was promised and closes the gate, but there’s other kitchen sinkery about. Jarvis goes out to the bombsite to shoot Frost. As we all know too well a bullet won’t stop her, and soon both Peggy and Jarvis are prisoners of Frost and Manfredi’s men, with Jason Wilkes unconscious but alive from his experience.
What happened to Wilkes? What of the voice? Perhaps we’ll find out tomorrow with my recap and review of the second part of this week’s “Agent Carter” double-shot…