Episode 1: The Lady in the Lake –
Peggy moves to the City of Angels to help Chief Daniel Sousa at the West Coast Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) investigate a bizarre homicide involving an alleged killer and Isodyne Energy, and reunites with some familiar faces.
Episode 2: A View in the Dark -
Peggy discovers her murder investigation has huge ramifications that can destroy her career, as well as everyone near and dear to her, on “Marvel’s Agent Carter,” on the ABC Television Network.
Hello Ms. Carter!
She’s back, and so are our faves with a few new additions. The premiere was packed with two episodes; the first The Lady in the Lake, the name inspired by the 1947 noir film, and the second A View in the Dark, to which I have no fun fact on the title for.
Hayley Atwell is back again as Peggy Carter, joined by returning cast-mates, James D’Arcy as Edwin Jarvis, Enver Gjokaj as Agent Sousa, Chad Michael Murray as Agent Thompson, Bridget Regan as Dottie Underwood and Dominic Cooper will be returning as Howard Stark later in the season. Added to the mix is Reggie Austin as Jason Wilkes, Wynn Everett as Whitney Frost/Madam Masque and Lotte Verbeek as Ana Jarvis. Oh, and my favorite of the Stark clan, Bernard the flamingo.
If you’d like to recap with how the show left off in season one before Peggy moves to Hollywood, just click here.
Otherwise, onward to season 2 (and yeah, spoilers)
Episode 1 – The Lady in the Lake
Peggy Carter returns continuing where we last left her, hunting Dottie Underwood, and as one may come to know, Carter always gets the bad guy. It says a lot that Dottie is donning brunette curls and Peggy’s iconic blue suit and red hat, especially after saying she would infiltrate the SSR in the first season. We learn that Agent Thompson has been made Chief of the New York bureau, and that Agent Sousa has been sent to L.A. to start up an SSR agency there. When Sousa needs help on a mysterious case he has been called in on, a dead woman found murdered in a frozen lake – on the hottest day of the year – Sousa calls for backup from the New York office. What he gets is Peggy stepping off a plane. But first, Jarvis scoops her up and everyone’s new favorite Stark to be added to Howard’s menagerie, Bernard the flamingo.
From the instant Peggy and Jarvis are reunited, the humor starts flying, which doesn’t hurt. Jarvis waxing poetic about his grievances about Hollywood could fill an hour episode alone, but the dig at avocados and the untrustworthy shape of palm trees is just enough.
From there on the episode unravels quite strangely, as Peggy, Sousa, and Detective Henry snoop out the leads on the lady in the lake’s murder and how the lake froze over. They make a connection to a particle accelerator nearby, that leads them to the company Isodyne. At the Isodyne building, Peggy meets scientist Jason Wilkes, who serves her up some homemade wine in a chemistry set, and seems eager to help her investigation after learning the lady found in the lake also worked at Isodyne. He informs Peggy that Jane Scott, a physicist, was also romantically involved with the president, a man named Calvin Chadwick who is also gunning for a seat in the Senate.
Peggy and Jarvis track Chadwick and his wife, Whitney Frost at the races, and while Jarvis charms Frost with tales of Stark’s latest foray into the entertainment business and how she may be sought after as the lead for a new film, Peggy is back to business tousling up Chadwick for info.
Another little caveat about this segment is we finally met Ana Jarvis. Ana is the complete opposite of Jarvis, while he is elegant and mild-mannered, Ana is outgoing and excitable. She serves as Peggy’s fashion guru and eventually becomes a confidant.
As Peggy and Sousa investigate the murder, Thompson has his hands full with Dottie, trying to get out information about why she wanted a simple lapel pin from a vault at the bank. She has the upper hand in every situation with him, and it mounts to her pinning a table on him. The design on the pin is eerily similar to Hydra’s undercover logo – the Ram’s head seen on Agents of SHIELD. Another blow to Thompson is that the FBI comes to take Dottie away.
The episode ends with Detective Henry on the lam with Wilkes as his kidnapped. Henry had exposure to the accelerator and also needed to open up the lady in the lake cases again as motive. He ends up getting shot by a cop who is working for Chadwick and Frost, spilling onto the pavement in a million pieces.
Overall, it’s an intriguing episode. Peggy is dropped into an exciting new situation, but, she has no motives herself. If anything, hers is just to work. Sousa and Peggy’s relationship show contention, while Peggy takes kindly to Wilkes’ advances. It was a good premiere, but not the best we’ve seen out of Peggy and the crew.
Episode 2 – A Shot in the Dark
The relationship between Peggy and Sousa continues to contend while Peggy comes around to Wilkes, and in a very symbolic moment, she dances with him halfway through the episode. It’s a telling character development for her, but she is reminded of how vulnerable her feelings can be when she opens up to someone.
The episode opens with Peggy meeting Sousa’s girlfriend, a nurse named Violet. The two hit it off immediately, with Violet mentioning her grandfather was from the same town as Peggy. In the meantime, Chadwick visits with a council who shut down his Isodyne program as too much investigation and media has been buzzing around it and they need to hide something, that something being the Zero Matter. The council has retrieved Jane Scott’s body, which leads Peggy and Sousa to realize this case is attached to a scheme much grander.
The Zero Matter was something created by Isodyne on accident, and it was meant to be similar to an atom bomb. However, when detonated, the bomb created some type of rupture, and a black hole pulled in anything that was near it. Once it closed, all that was left was the Zero Matter, which Isodyne was able to contain. It’s strange, and very well may have some connection to Doctor Strange.
When they return to Isodyne, they are not granted permission due to a ‘radiation leak,’ but Wilkes slips Peggy a paper of where to meet him later. This episode is also peppered in great humor, such as Peggy sparring with Jarvis, Jarvis lending Peggy Stark’s leisure car – complete with a mirror in the backseat. Oh, and there’s Jarvis running after Bernard, who is the best character Marvel has ever seen… ahem….
We get a bit of a Peggy backstory when she continues to warm to Wilkes, and we also discover a lot about Frost, as she is berated for her age on set of a movie. It clearly cuts a deep line in her. After Peggy dances with Wilkes, he takes her to an observatory, and explains his background, growing up working on an orange grove and overcoming the odds to become a Navy engineer. He says he fronted for Isodyne originally because it was the only place that would hire him as a black male. He promises to show her the Zero Matter at Isodyne, and as they leave the observatory they are ambushed by the council’s men. They escape when Peggy hot-wires a car, but not before alerting Jarvis that she’s in trouble via a fancy S.O.S gadget on Stark’s car. The car they’re driving in takes a beating and they have to stop halfway to Isodyne. Peggy tries to make a call but a racist diner owner stiffs her the cash because she is with Wilkes. Peggy reacts on an impulse and kisses Wilkes in the phone booth, asserting that she can move on and it is about time for her to do so. They make it to Isodyne by stealing yet another car.
In the meantime, Jarvis alerts Sousa that Peggy sent out an S.O.S, and Sousa immediately cancels his date with his girlfriend, to which he was likely to propose to. He rushes to the scene at the observatory and begins to panic, seeing her car riddled with bullet holes. They eventually come to the conclusion that she must have gone to Isodyne, and Sousa believes Wilkes is bad.
When they get to Isodyne, Peggy has to take out some guys that were waiting for them there, she tells Wilkes to get the Zero Matter. As he puts it into the transport, Frost shows up, and in a struggle, the matter is dropped. Wilkes disappears, and Peggy believes him to be dead. When Sousa sees Peggy coming out of the building, there is a momentous sigh of relief that comes awash, and he’s more concerned about her then what happened. Peggy is visibly grief-stricken and jilted and she confides in Ana later that she can’t believe how terrible she feels for feeling so strongly. Ana explains the Jarvis had only known her for weeks before he snuck her out under from the noses of the Third Reich. It’s a great parallel storyline.
The closing scene is the real kicker for the episode. We are left with a trembling Frost staring at herself in the mirror, revealing a crack in her forehead. Hello, Madam Masque!
- Great cast and cast chemistry
- Bernard Stark
- Parallel storytelling
- Peggy has very little character motivation
- The FBI/Thompson relationship is a bit bland