Dottie Underwood's Return Was Everything We Hoped for in Agent Carter's Double Feature

Wednesday, 17 February 2016 - 11:34AM
Agent Carter
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 - 11:34AM
Dottie Underwood's Return Was Everything We Hoped for in Agent Carter's Double Feature
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This week saw a double episode of Agent Carter, as Peggy et al hatch a plan to extract some of Frost's excess of Zero Matter in order to help Wilkes return to the physical world. Meanwhile, Frost's quest for power continues as she gains new allies and dispatches those who have passed their expiration date.
After being impaled last week Peggy is in no shape to confront Frost herself, but with Wilkes 'fading' fast she is forced to turn to the only other person she knows has the skills to get the job done....Dottie Underwood. The idea that Peggy and Sousa were prepared to put Dottie into the field instead of anyone working at the SSR is just another example of how extreme the threat of the Council is, but the pair certainly weren't willing to just throw their trust at last season's big bad.

Terrible idea?

Posted by Agent Carter on Saturday, February 13, 2016
Meanwhile, Whitney Frost dons her first "mask" and meets with the Council of Nine, realizing too late that her husband had betrayed her.  As she's about to be executed, Frost's powers become stronger than as she unleashes her rage on the council members, absorbing all but a select few she deems useful. Seeing Frost remove so many people from the equation with such ease was an ample demonstration of her powers, and it shows just how much Peggy and co. have their work cut out if they have any hopes of stopping her.

I'm glad that Frost has finally disposed of her manipulative husband. I was surprised that someone as smart as Whitney seemed to trust that Chadwick had her best interests at heart, especially given that he was using the same emotionally manipulative tactics she used on him. Though her rise to power was slightly terrifying, it was actually a fairly triumphant moment.

Meanwhile Dottie and Jarvis have infiltrated Chadwick's event in an attempt to secure valuable blood samples from Frost. We all love watching Jarvis in the field, but it was a treat to have Dottie back on the show, especially to have her team up with Agent Carter and use her own deadly talents to combat Frost's. Despite Frost quickly becoming an increasingly threatening, creepy, and overall terrifying villain, Dottie is Peggy's nemesis in a way that Frost isn't. She represents some intriguing grey areas and isn't just out on a quest for power like Frost. Dottie's motivations aren't always as clear, and where Frost is crazed and intense, Dottie is playful and flirtatious- but just as deadly.

As much as I love Dottie, it's easy to forget that she's been trained since birth to be a killer, and one who wouldn't think twice about shooting a cop in order to escape as she did near the end of the episode. Even so, I doubt this is the last we see of Dottie since the chemistry and the sense of playful banter between Peggy and her nemesis is one of the highlights of the show.
But in Frost, Dottie and Peggy have a formidable foe. The council has been this season's foreboding and shadowy presence since the start, but with one swift move, they have been replaced by something even more powerful. Using her newfound resources Frost successfully captures Dottie, but not before she's secured the sample of Zero Matter. During the interrogation, Dottie doesn't bat an eye at Vernon Master's threats of torture. Only when Frost herself uses Zero Matter as a terrifying and excruciatingly painful torture technique does she reveal Peggy's plan.

Afraid of that pretty blonde monster holding your leash?

Posted by Agent Carter on Tuesday, February 16, 2016
As Wilkes said last week, Zero Matter comes from a dark place- and hopefully one we'll hear a bit more about that place before the end of the season.  
As Wilkes builds a containment chamber to stabilize himself during the Zero Matter tests, Peggy and Jarvis set out rescue Dottie. Only, they discover too late that their rescue attempt was a trap, not for them, but for Wilkes. With Wilkes and Ana alone and unprotected, Peggy and Jarvis return from rescuing Dottie to find that Wilkes has been kidnapped and Ana shot in the process. As Ana fights for her life in the hospital, Agent Sousa returns to the SSR to find that Council member Vernon Masters is now in charge.
Masters' rise to power was made possible by Thompson's lack of backbone, with the New York S.S.R. chief being all too easily manipulated by his mentor. Thompson is tasked by Masters with destroying Peggy's life in order remove her from the equation without killing her and making a her a martyr. While Thompson can be a jerk, I remain hopeful that his general moral compass and sense of integrity will help him make the right decision. Jarvis's advice rings especially true, with the kick-ass butler firing the warning to Thompson that he doesn't realize just how out of his depth he is with his current company.
Whitney Frost has her moments too as she slowly starts to believe in the idea that she can use her powers to change the world. Her lust for power seems to stem from her motivation to change things for marginalized people who have been "ignored and held back". Frost used this reasoning to attempt to get Wilkes to join her voluntarily, pointing out that he was likely hired for the same reason Jane Scott was, so that the company could "employ a woman and a colored person". She claims that the two were expendable to Isodyne for that reason alone. Could it be that this quest to empower marginalized folks becomes her undoing?
Romantic tensions were high, with Peggy and Sousa almost sharing a kiss (interrupted only by a falling corpse) and Wilkes finally gaining solid form and kissing Peggy. In a sweet attempt to support Peggy, Jarvis brings up her conundrum noting that it would be an understandably difficult situation choosing between "Dr. Wilkes' incandescent smile and Chief Sousa's eyes".  But even with Sousa's engagement on ice and Wilkes' finally achieving a solid state, things haven't moved forward much. Sousa still has yet to admit his feelings for Peggy and Wilkes has been kidnapped by Frost. Frankly, we want this one wrapped up sooner than later, but it's hard to imagine that wish will be granted.
With all the touching moments between Ana and Jarvis this week it was clear that something would go wrong, but having Ana get shot at the end of the episode was unexpected and immediately changed the tone of the show.
Assuming that Ana pulls through (and I'm sure she will), the fact that she was shot as an indirect result of Jarvis's adventures will undoubtedly lead to Jarvis reconsidering his life of crime fighting. He's been revelling in his action as a field agent this season, but these latest events may force him into seeing what really matters, and I'm not talking about a cane with a sword it. Ending the show with the usually chipper Jarvis in such a state of emotional disarray was a real body blow to his fans. With Peggy injured, Sousa beaten, Wilkes kidnapped, Dottie on the run, and Ana fighting for her life, the show seems to be gearing up for a climax that will likely be far darker than events of last season.
Next week Agent Carter will air another two part episode in preparation for the season finale.  Having so many double episode events in the season is starting to feel rushed, but after the show got pushed back it may have had to compensate for lost time. Still, this week's episode masterfully blended the action, humor, and increasingly dark storylines together better than any other episode in the season so far. Here's hoping that the trend continues next week in "The Edge of Mystery" and "A Little Song and Dance".

Best lines/quotes/moments:
 "How fabulous. I'll be sure to return the favor with a choker of my own some day."
 "A knife then. Or a cane, with a sword hidden inside."
"Yes sir, Jeeves."
"Oh. Who's the dead gentleman?"
"This might just save our bacon." "Good. I quite fancy my bacon."
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