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Agent Carter Stumbles then Soars

by on February 24, 2016
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Plot Synopsis

Episode 8 – The Edge of Mystery

Sousa and Peggy try to make a deal with Whitney Frost; Howard Stark helps the SSR in hopes of eliminating Zero Matter.

Episode 9 – A Little Song and Dance

Peggy must put a dangerous plan into action to stop Whitney Frost and save Dr. Wilkes; Thompson makes an unexpected move.

 

Episode 8The Edge of Mystery

Episode 9 A Little Song and Dance

Agent Carter tapered off to fringe science this week with another double episode. The Edge of Mystery and A Little Song and Dance lead up to next week’s season finale Hollywood Ending.

 The Edge of Mystery drops us in at a familiar scene, except instead of watching Peggy diffuse the bomb in her New York City, we are on Jarvis’ end as he talks Peggy through it. The flashback scene trails off into an interaction with Ana, leading us to a very Jarvis and Ana-centered episode. Not a bad thing at all.

 

The character development for the Jarvises’ is well-crafted. While James D’Arcy has done humor so well for the show, it’s his ability to flip the emotional switch that really drives his character. When the scene focuses on Jarvis sitting bedside vigil to Ana (Lotte Verbeek), he is man come undone. The writers crafted a lovely in-episode reconnaissance, turning a slightly comedic scene of Jarvis asking Rose to look after Ana while he hunts down Frost into later showing the great lengths he will go for vengeance for his wife. He leaves Rose his Last Will and Testament, and it echoes the fact that Jarvis will do anything (and has before) for his wife.

 

One thing prevalent throughout both the episodes is the flip-flopping deceitfulness of Jack Thompson. Is he, or is he doing a good thing? It feels like his motives are always touch and go and there isn’t anything set with him, and the audience is left to question everything he does. It sucks up a lot of brainpower when watching it and comes off as a bit exhaustive. While Thompson’s rollercoaster of characterization continued, Vernon Masters actually got a solid and interesting development. He was no longer the typical upper management guy that just pokes his head around the place to annoy everyone, he was given his own motive, and true power against the other characters.

sousa and peggy eom

Peggy also falls a bit flat in Edge of Mystery. It’s not that she isn’t still her powerful self it’s that she loses her importance to the story. It’s a tad disheartening to watch her side-lined. Her character feels that it has little weight on what’s to come. She ends up not as the mover and shaker she is known to be, but rather a character who throws out a call once and a while, reminding you she is in fact brilliant. Instead, the whole first episode centers around Zero Matter and Whitney Frost’s manipulative drive to acquire the uranium rods and set off the rift. And she succeeds.

 

A plot point that should have been developed earlier or at least made clearer is the ringing voice Frost hears. We are left to wonder if it is something she has always heard since being affected by the Zero Matter or has manifested over the time. It would have made for a stronger et-up if we were privy to this info earlier, or at least not just thrown at us.

thompson ssr

Another hard to stomach area of the episode is the scientist Samberly. He strikes a nerve in these two episodes. It seems every time he opens his mouth or someone opens their mouth around him it has to mention how much he is loathed by everyone. The show felt like it put on kid glove’s to nail in the point that he is a nuisance. The repetition got old real quick, and it zapped some of the otherwise beautiful humor the show has consistently been bringing.

 

While Edge of Mystery was certainly a rough around the edges, A Little Song and Dance could quite make up for it. Many a time, dream sequences or similar scenes come off as hokey, but Peggy Carter’s theatrical dream was quite entertaining and interesting thematically when juxtaposed to the somber black and white beginning it had with talking with her deceased brother Michael. As the dream sequence carves out the emotional tug-of-war inside her mind between Wilkes and Sousa, we’re also reminded of her other relationships and how they seem to take a back burner. Especially when Sousa had warned her that she should act dispassionately when confronting Wilkes.

 

Quick fun fact: The scene was choreographed by Dancing with the Stars professional Louie van Amstel, and featured the professional cast of the show. And who knew the cast could sing?

 

It was also nice to see Angie Martinelli, if only for a fleeting brief moment. Many fans have begged for Angie to return, and were hoping there would be some exploration into their relationship. Maybe #Cartinelli.

A Little Song and Dance continued to give poor Jason Wilkes a tough time. He is poked and prodded at by a greedy Whitney Frost to the point where even Manfreddi says her torture is overkill on the guy. Frost truly believes obtaining the Zero Matter for herself is the rightful thing and it drives her every action. Perhaps that is why it didn’t choose her and chose to pick on Wilkes, who wanted to get rid of it. Nature’s super soldier serum? We’re thin on ideas, but we’d love to hear yours.

 

The episode ended as well as a penultimate episode can, with a riveting cliffhanger. Wilkes confronts Frost, and seemingly explodes. We know that Frost survives form the sneak peak, and it would be a shoddy way of disposing of her character and her central point as antagonist. We’ll see how it all plays out in next weeks finale Hollywood Ending.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positives

The dance number

Negatives

Edge of Mystery feels all over the place

Editor Rating
 
Cast
87%

 
Sound
90%

 
Visual
92%

 
Writing
80%

Author Score
87%

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User Rating
 
Cast
96%

 
Sound
90%

 
Visual
96%

 
Writing
89%

User Score
93%

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Bottom Line
 

Two-parters can be tough. Agent Carter used a smooth recovery to weasel their way out of a weak link in the roster.

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