So the secret lapel pin organization makes itself heard in the episode. Frustratingly, it has no name so, in the grand tradition of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I’m just going to call them SLYTHERIN. SLYTHERIN is responsible for crashing the stock market in 1929 (thanks, guys) and responsible for a super dangerous substance known as “zero matter.” Or, they were. They’ve decided that with Jane Scott’s death and the SSR poking around Isodyne, the project just isn’t worth the risk. A decision Chadwick was okay with and his wife Whitney was not.
Whitney Frost seems to be the mastermind in the relationship, the one capable of seeing the bigger picture, the master manipulatrix. Although I’m still not totally sold on her character. I think it might be the actress. We’ll have to see.
We were treated to some classic Peggy/Jarvis shenanigans. “The deadly arts,” indeed, Mr. Jarvis. And can I just say that I love the way they’re portraying Ana as not being jealous and possessive over their relationship. Agent Carter has always taken a very firm stance on love triangles and jealousy, preferring to showcase the women supporting other women route. It might seen like a little thing, but it’s really not when you look at a lot of what’s on TV right now. The only antagonistic relationship Peggy has with another woman is with Dottie Underwood, who is an enemy agent.
|This is not a river.|
After almost completely ignoring Dr. Wilkes’ race in the premiere, racism became a much bigger theme in this episode. I thought Peggy’s reaction to the man at the bakery made an interesting parallel with Sousa’s attempt to defend Peggy to Thompson in season one. There, he was the one outraged at how she was treated and she flat out told him that she didn’t need anyone to come to her rescue. Now it’s Peggy’s turn to be outraged on behalf of a potential romantic interest, although Dr. Wilkes seemed to find her rage more cute than anything else. Hayley Atwell is cute when she’s angry, but then, she’s always cute.
The heat between Peggy and Dr. Wilkes was palpable and for a moment I found myself thinking he could be an acceptable replacement for Steve, provided he turned out to be un-evil, but then - poof! - he was gone. Last episode, I thought the “zero matter” was the monolith. Turns out I was wrong (sad trombone noise). But I’m going to go ahead and say that unless the zero matter turns out to be related to the monolith, it was a poor choice to depict it as looking so similar. I’m sure I can’t be the only one who made the mistake of thinking we were seeing Harold the Hungry Space Rock: the Early Days. Unless that was a mistake the show intended us to make, I’m going to give them a little frowny face for that. :(
And am I the only one not on the Peggy and Sousa forever love train? End of last season, he asked her on a date and she politely refused because she still needed to get over Steve. He moved to LA, she called him, he ignored her, and now he’s so in love with her that he’s all about trashing his office and pulling out his hair when she might be in danger? That seems a little out of character. Last season he stood out because he was the only one who recognized her abilities and now he’s going to obsess and worry about her, relegating her to a damsel in distress? Um, no. His respect for Peggy as an agent was what made him an attractive prospect for her last season. Now, not so much.
We’re left with a couple big questions after this installment: what the hell is zero matter and where does it come from? What did it do to Dr. Wilkes and those people at the test site? And, perhaps most intriguingly of all, what did it do to Whitney? Stay tuned!
Intel and Assets
The more they use the name, the more ‘Isodyne’ sounds like a brand of toothpaste.
Howard Stark’s “leisure car” features secret compartments for champagne and a change of clothes, adjustable window tinting, a homing beacon, seats that go completely horizontal, and, classiest of all, a mirror on the ceiling. Although I have a hard time understanding how Howard was able to get a mirror on the ceiling of a soft top convertible.
Why are clandestine MCU organizations so obsessed with putting their logos on everything? You’re supposed to be secret, you guys.
Dr. Wilkes earned enough money to go to college sweeping floors at the Griffith Observatory. That would absolutely not be possible today.
Peggy dressed in evening wear and hot-wiring a car. I want to be her when I grow up.
Ana: “Did he catch you with his patented tortoise of fury?”
Sousa: “Who’s that clown?”
*cut to a clown sitting in a chair*
That’s probably the funniest thing Agent Carter has ever done.
Dr. Wilkes: “You gonna punch all of LA?”
Peggy: “Maybe. I could do with a hobby.”
three and a half out of four “rivers”
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