Last Night's Double Feature Proves that an Agent Carter Musical Series Would Totally Work

Wednesday, 24 February 2016 - 11:25AM
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Agent Carter
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Wednesday, 24 February 2016 - 11:25AM
Last Night's Double Feature Proves that an Agent Carter Musical Series Would Totally Work
Thanks to a tight schedule, this was the second week in a row that we've been treated to an Agent Carter double feature. Both episodes moved at a pretty quick pace this week, dropping bombshells (sometimes literally) every so often to move the plot forward, making the most of what little time the season has left.  

One of the biggest shocks was seeing Wilkes betray Peggy, pulling a gun on her before running off with Frost to steal the uranium rods and create more Zero Matter. It's obvious that Wilkes acted out of desperation and, although I don't condone his actions, I can't instantly vilify him for acting out of fear either, and as it turns out, neither can Peggy. Aided by the Zero Matter's mysterious voices, Frost and Wilkes successfully detonate an atomic bomb in the middle of a desert, causing a similar rift to the ones seen in the archived test footage. To Frost's horror, Wilkes is drawn skywards towards the rift in a surreal scene reminiscent of something from a UFO abduction movie. For all her hard work and dedication to the mysterious black substance, it would seem that the Zero Matter has chosen another suitor.
 

It's not always about you, Whitney! #AgentCarter

Posted by Agent Carter on Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Sousa, Samberly, and Thompson manage successfully close the rift using "gamma cannon", which Samberly created courtesy of some timely instruction from Howard Stark. All that's left of the rift is an enraged Frost and a Wilkes who his literally bubbling with zero matter.
 
Meanwhile, a heartbroken and vengeful Jarvis displays an uncharacteristic level of reckless abandon as he storms towards Whitney Frost to finish her off. The cause of Jarvis's rage is the news from earlier in the episode that, despite recovering from her bullet wound, Ana experienced complications during her surgery that mean she will never be able to conceive children. It seems like Marvel frequently relies on this idea as the "worst possible scenario", which isn't to say it doesn't have a devastating impact on the character, but it just feels overdone. Seeing Jarvis stride up and shoot Frost point-blank was chilling, not through fear of Frost's life (her powers turned out to include a miraculous invincibility to bullets), but for fear of the normally-chipper butler's mental well-being. Jarvis's actions somewhat predictably result in his and Peggy's capture at the hands of Frost and Manfredi (who've bonded quickly over their lust for power) and they're swiftly stuffed into the back of a van and whisked away. 
 
The second episode begins with the long awaited musical dream sequence Peggy has whist unconscious in the back of the van.
 

Whatcha gonna do? #AgentCarter

Posted by Agent Carter on Tuesday, February 23, 2016
 
Personally I'm a fan of unexpected musical sequences, so I loved the whole bizarre affair. Although admittedly, considering its length, the scene contributed very little to the plot apart from being a nice insight into Peggy's psyche regarding the romantic decisions she has to face. Usually, Peggy's decisions include making the hard call to save New York, LA, or the world, so it was good to be reminded that even Agent Peggy Carter still has personal struggles of a less life threatening nature.

This season, those sides of Peggy's life weren't entirely unrelated though, since making the hard calls have often required her to confront her feelings for either Chief Sousa or Dr. Wilkes. Overall though, this scene was just a fantastic and entertaining musical sequence with over the top choreography, characters bursting into song, and the long awaited (though brief) reappearance of Angie. It's just another example of Agent Carter victoriously throwing caution to the wind.
 
When Peggy comes to, the episode wastes no time in jolting us back to the darkness of reality. Peggy and Jarvis make their escape working as a team, but afterwards Peggy confronts Jarvis about his attempt to kill Frost in cold blood, resulting in the two having the biggest dispute their short, but eventful friendship has ever seen. As a viewer, this scene was surprisingly emotional, thanks to the phenomenal performances of Atwell and D'arcy who succeeded in showing us that even friendships as strong as Peggy and Jarvis's can have their fractious moments. After all the pair have been through together, I felt that the argument only served to add complexity to the pair's relationship, proving that it would take more than a fight and the impending doom of a supernatural level threat to spoil their friendship.
 
Thompson also got to show some long-overdue character development this episode, cementing our hunch that while he's still just a jerk, he's at least a jerk with a certain amount of integrity. Throughout the episode it wasn't always easy to be confident which side Thompson was playing, but it seems that in the end he successfully took advantage of his image as, well, a bit of a dick and general coward. Rather than acting in his own self-interest (for the most part), he convinces Frost and Masters to trust him while playing the two against each other.

Thompson prepares to detonate a gamma bomb which would kill Masters, Frost, and Wilkes and eliminate the Zero Matter threat in one go. On face value this seems like the right choice to make, but it doesn't sit well with the Peggy and Sousa given that this "hard call" would include killing an innocent and manipulated Wilkes. This sort of world-saving approach is often what defines Peggy as a heroine. Although she's willing to make the tough calls, she tries to protect the innocent at all costs. At the last minute Peggy, Sousa, and Samberly block the detonation which results in a standoff between Peggy and Thompson. It seems as though even when Thompson is trying to do the right thing, he's still not able to get it right. Back inside, Frost turns on Masters and attempts to kill him, but her efforts are thwarted when Wilkes stumbles in and seems to burst into an explosion of pure Zero Matter.
 
In preparation for next week's season (hopefully not series) finale, this week's fast paced two-parter was packed full of action, emotions, and suspense. With the penultimate episode ending in a cliff hanger of impending explosions and tense standoffs, the season finale is guaranteed to be another high stakes episode. It's difficult to imagine this season's arc being wrapped up neatly with only one episode to go, but the writers have regularly risen to such challenges, and I'm fully expecting them to knock this one out of the park. And if the next episode of Agent Carter is to be the last, it will undoubtedly go out with a bang.
 
 
Best lines:
 
 "What do you think of my research?" "I think you're a mass murderer of rats."
 
"DO AS PEGGY SAYS." –yelled in unison by Thompson and Sousa
 
"We walk? This is your grand plan? Throw me from a moving vehicle only to kill me in an inferno?! What a magnificent idea!"
 
"Aw crap." "Oh crap, indeed."
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