Episode 6 – Life of the Party
Episode 7 – Monsters
It was a wild night with the back-to-back Agent Carter episodes. The stage was set up in the first episode, Life of the Party, but the things really went down (or hit the fan if you want to add an expletive there) in the second episode, Monsters.
In order to obtain some of Whitney Frost’s blood to power the containment cell to anchor Jason Wilkes as a tangible entity, Peggy enlists the second most famous Widow- Dottie Underwood. Dottie is to attend a rally for Calvin, who is running for the Senate. He also plans this evening to bring Frost to the council.
Yet, things don’t go the way anyone has planned, except for maybe Dottie, we’re not sure yet what she wanted to happen. Cal set up his wife to be taken down, Frost wanted to enlist the council’s help to obtain the uranium she needs, and Peggy and Sousa loose Dottie, and manage to raise suspicion for Vernon Masters and Jack Thompson.
Each character begins to spin in a different direction in this episode. Wilkes becomes more unstable, and begins to get very short with Peggy. We are given a glimpse to where he goes when he looses tangibility, and it certainly is strange. Ana Jarvis returns to build up an emotional arc throughout the two episodes. In Life of the Party, we see her respond weirdly to Jarvis, evident of her nervousness of him going out into the field. While Ana is crippled with worry, Jarvis continues to crack jokes and seemingly enjoy fieldwork (when it doesn’t involve Dottie).
Peggy, sidelined with her rebar injury from the previous episode, can’t join in on the action and has to impatiently stand from the sides. She struggles with this, and Hayley Atwell does a good job painting not only the physical pain, but the toll it takes on her mentally. Peggy usually stands tall, with her hands planted on her hips, but this episode, she hunches over, and can’t touch the side with the injury.
We also see more development into the romantic side of Peggy, which reaches a climatic point in Monsters. Peggy realizes that both Sousa and Wilkes like her, and she nearly shares a moment with Sousa after he tells her his fiancé broke off their engagement. It causes her to hesitate around Wilkes later.
With Whitney in control of the council after murdering half of it, including her husband, her progression to Madame Masque is taking clearer shape. Her power continues to grow where she doesn’t just have to touch someone to kill or harm them.
In Monsters, Frost begins to collect on her bargaining chips. She has Dottie in custody, and while Vernon tries every trick in the book to getting her to spill about Peggy’s plan, Frost is the one who gets answers. And she does so in a way that rattles Dottie to the bone. It is likely the first time Dottie has ever been terrified.
This episode, while the plot is great, has a problem with its messaging. It doles out lessons in almost every scene and doesn’t hide them behind metaphors. It comes straight out with messages about misogyny and race issues, two things the whole season has been cleverly injecting. However, in Monsters, the gloves are off.
The climatic scene of this episode occurs when Ana Jarvis is shot by Frost. Frost, who was against Manfreddi shooting her, tells her that they were not monsters. Ana continues to stand up and fight for them to return Wilkes, who through the containment cell and reacting to Frost’s powers is still tangible. In the end, to buy her time, Frost shoots Ana in the stomach. The closing of the episode features Peggy sitting next to a distraught Jarvis. She holds on to his hand in this emotionally gripping scene. It was definitely not jarvelous.
Some other factors that show how topsy-turvy things got this episode show Vernon taking over the L.A. branch of the SSR. We can assume Vernon had planted the attackers on Sousa the night before given the loaded with innuendo conversation they share, and Vernon uses this leverage to take over the SSR. We know Frost has set him on the war path to get the uranium. And now he just has another leg up.
Dottie also is freed this episode. As Jarvis and Peggy rush Ana to the hospital, they stuff the Widow into the trunk and tell a police officer not to open it. So what does he do? Open it.
A big kudos to the costume department for these episodes. The dress Dottie wears during the party for Cal is dynamite, and of course screams Black Widow It’s black with red accents, and it gives foreshadowing that she will be getting to use her skills. Frost also sees the talent of the costume department, utilizing the era’s knack for fancy headwear to shield the crack on her face from the public when she’s at the party and the press conference announcing Cal’s death.
We also get to see some more of Stark’s spy gadgets, such as the magnets Peggy gives Dottie to use to get out of her cell and the Jitterbug. Comedically, the codes to operate the Jitterbug are the measurements of women Stark has been with. Jarvis gets tripped over the information and panics about it while escaping with Peggy and Dottie. Great moment.
All in all, the double episode was a treat, and while motives for what Frost is doing and what Zero Matter can do aren’t exactly clear, it will be interesting to see how it leads to next week, which is also a two-part ensemble.
Oh, and we also got the Agents of SHIELD promo for when they return on March 8. We get our first look into a few new Inhuman’s, including Yoyo Rodriguez, also known as Slingshot.
- Great plot twists
- Gorgeous costumes
- How terrifying Frost is
- Too much blatant messaging