Episode 10 – Hollywood Ending
The season finale of Agent Carter was all fizzle and very little bang. Hollywood Ending played out almost excruciatingly formulaic, save for some small moments.
It is almost painful to write that a show that has been as charming as Agent Carter has been did not have a strong close. And with the uncertainty of a third season, due to Hayley Atwell possibly into other projects, we may never get the answers to who shot Agent Thompson and what does the Council’s pin unlock as a key. In addition, we may never learn of the war crimes Peggy is said to have committed. Now, a day season finale does not necessarily spell doom for a show, and we certainly hope it doesn’t in this case.
Let’s get on with the good.
Every time Howard Stark appears on screen, you know anything out of his mouth will be golden. This episode was chock full of the senior Stark, played once again by Dominic Cooper, adding touches of delight. His role in this episode is to put his head together with Wilkes and Samberley and create a way to open and close the Zero Matter rift. Wilkes, recently freed of the Zero Matter, ends up conceding to his guilt. He feels he cannot pursue a relationship with Peggy because of the threats he made against her while consumed with the Matter. Peggy, who in earlier episodes had been displaying incredible affection and passion for him also gives up the fight. Wilkes didn’t get totally shafted, he did end up with a job from Stark.
Another positive is the look into Whitney Frost after she is arrested. She has spiraled into delusion, and when Manfreddi goes to visit her in the psych ward, you do feel for him when the attendant tells him to ditch the flowers. As I’ve said multiple times, Wynn Everett has been a masterful actor throughout this entire season. The juxtaposition between her imagining Cal and her quest for power vs the reality of her clawing at her face and staring off to nothing was well-done.
It was a nice touch to add in Ana’s return home and her insistence that Peggy take one last drive with Jarvis before returning to New York. Jarvis is quick to point out to Peggy that yes, all of her life may be back in New York, but there could be one thing in California for her. He gives her the benefit of the doubt and says that there are a few things even he likes about living in. Los Angeles, including tacos.
This leads up to Peggy visiting Sousa at the SSR office to sign the closing of the Isodyne case. Sousa begins to reprimand her, for letting her emotion into her work by jumping on the line Sousa had tied himself to in hopes of closing the rift. While the conversational writing here is good, and the subsequent kiss that follows is adorable, there is something that doesn’t quite sit right in this scene. Perhaps due to the unconvincing nature of the interaction between Peggy and Wilkes and why they weren’t going to pursue a relationship.
As mentioned before, the finale lent itself to very predictable plots. There were no hitches in their plans or setbacks, and the overall execution of the SSR defeating Frost were anticlimactic. The threat of the Zero Matter rift didn’t balloon up to worrisome proportions. As far as the big showdown with Frost, it illicit end very little reaction on my head.
For a finale, the overall plot felt concocted far too directly. At least we have Stark’s witty banter and silly antics to wash over the letdown.
Anything that came out of Howard Stark's mouth
Little shock value