Again this week Agent Carter delivered another double episode with “The Edge of Mystery” and “A Little Song and Dance.” There’s a lot of good stuff in these episodes. Following up with last week’s episodes, these episodes do a great job of balancing the gravity of recent events with some brilliant levity. These episodes also contain a visit from one of the most beloved characters from season 1 and lots and lots of fakeouts. Oh my, are there a lot of fakeouts! After a great ride, these episodes end with a cliffhanger right in the middle of the action.
The first episode really follows four separate threads on a collision course to the end of the episode. The first follows Jarvis (James D’Arcy) as he struggles through his wife Ana (Lotte Verbeek)’s uncertain recovery after being shot by the villain Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett) in the last episode. After a difficult surgery, Ana finally wakes up to a very worried and disheveled Jarvis. Jarvis is overjoyed until the doctor pulls him aside to inform him that while his wife will recover, the damage done will prevent her from ever having children. Jarvis, unable to bring himself the break the news to Ana, glosses over it as if everything’s alright and tries to make Ana feel as comfortable as he can as she recovers. However, Jarvis becomes set on getting revenge on Frost.
Meanwhile, Frost and her new prisoner, Dr. Wilkes (Reggie Austin), begin to unlock some of the secrets of Zero Matter together. They reveal to each other that they’re both hearing a voice in their head. They believe it’s something related to Zero Matter calling them from another dimension. Frost is somewhat successful in convincing Wilkes that he is only struggling agiainst Zero Matter because he’s fighting it and that he should just give into it like she has in order to save himself.
Then we have Chief Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) pretending to get drunk with an old buddy from the intelligence community (FAKEOUT!) in order to obtain a file containing dirt on Agent Carter (Hayley Atwell). The file seems to contain some information on warcimes committed by Carter in WWII. When Thompson confronts Carter about it she dismisses it as a convenient fake (FAKEOUT!) provided to him by his malevolent benefactor Vernon Masters (Kurtwood Smith). When Thompson asks Masters about it Masters tells him that they have dirt they need on Carter and that what’s in the file, not whatever really happened, is what’s important. Thompson is finally beginning to question his allegiance to Masters, which is great. Even though he’s a tool, Jack Thompson is a fun character. He’s best when he’s innocently messing things up due to his ambition and ignorance; the character is less fun when he’s performing truly nefarious acts.
Finally, Carter meets up with Chief Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) and they set a plan in motion to retrieve Dr Wilkes from Frost. They force Frost’s new boyfriend and partner, mobster Joseph Manfredi (Ken Marino), to deliver a message to Frost that they want her to exchange Dr. Wilkes for the uranium rods that she has been wanting to recreate the experiment that brought Zero Matter into their world in the first place. When the two of them meet up with Jarvis and the annoying Dr. Samberly (Matt Braunger), they receive plans from Howard Stark to build a Gamma Cannon, which should do something to Zero Matter. Neutralize it? Destroy it? Massage it? No one is super clear on that, but they go to meet Frost, leaving Samberly to work on the cannon after a lengthy debate as to whether or not he could do it, in which Sousa mirrored the sentiments of the entire viewing audience by telling Samberly that he’s “on [his] last nerve right now.” If the show continues to berate the existence of Dr. Samberly in a mildly meta way, the character may become bearable.
With guns pointed at everyone in all directions, Carter, Jarvis, and Sousa successfully trade the uranium rods to Frost, Manfredi and his goons and pull Dr. Wilkes into the back of their truck. As soon as the tradeoff happens, the case with the rods accidentally opens and the rods come tumbling out, revealing that they’re fake (FAKEOUT!). The heroes speed off as the mobsters shoot at them. They think they’re safe until Dr. Wilkes doublecrosses them and pulls a shotgun on Carter (FAKEOUT!). He forces Sousa to tell him where the uranium rods are before disappearing through the side of the truck.
Carter and Sousa rush to the SSR only to find that Masters has stolen the uranium rods and memory wiped Thompson when he tried to stop him. Finding coordinates that Thompson had written down while listening in on the phone call between Masters and Frost, they head out to the desert with Samberly and the newly completely Gamma Cannon.
In the desert, Frost is about to detonate her bomb as Carter and her crew set up the Gamma Cannon to stop the Zero Matter from afar. As everyone is working, Jarvis takes off toward Frost to exact his revenge. Carter follows. Meanwhile, the bomb detonates unleashing Zero Matter, as Frost had planned, but then it only pulls in Dr. Wilkes, not her. Samberly finally gets the Cannon to work and stop the Zero Matter dimensional rift just as Jarvis pulls up and shoots Frost twice. This act would have turned Jarvis into a killer, but the Zero Matter in her healed her immediately. She orders her goons to take Jarvis and Carter (who arrived just behind Jarvis), so that she can use them as leverage against Dr. Wilkes, who was dropped on the ground when the rift closed. Just before the episode ends, we see that something in crawling beneath his skin.
The second episode of the night started out with a great musical number via Carter’s unconscious dream. The dream brings back Carter’s friend Angie (Lyndsy Fonseca), who is sorely missed this season. We get some great 40s big band music and swing dancing. We even get to see Sousa gliding over the dance floor with two fully functional legs. Then Carter wakes up and she’s tied up in the bed of a box truck with Jarvis. The two manage to escape by cutting the chain holding the door shut with a red hot “hotwire” hidden in Carter’s clothes. Carter and Jarvis then have a large argument in the desert, with him accusing her of getting everyone around her killed and she accusing him of not taking things seriously enough and refusing to acknowledge the repercussions of his actions. They’re both kind of right, but quickly make up when Jarvis shares that his wife can no longer have children. When two of Mandfredi’s goons roll up in the truck, Carter pretends to be knocked unconscious (FAKEOUT!) and takes them out pretty easily, as you might imagine.
Meanwhile, a couple SSR agents working for Masters roll up on Sousa, Thompson, and Samberly. Thompson pretends to still be loyal to Masters and in the custody of Sousa (FAKEOUT!) The agents pull their guns on Sousa and take him and Samberly in under the direction of Thompson. At the SSR, Masters comes to visit them in a cell and is convinced by Thompson that instead of handing the Gamma Cannon over to Frost, they should set her up and use it to destroy her. Sousa and Samberly are released as everyone agrees to this uneasy alliance, bolstered by their disdain for Frost. Little does Masters know, he’s about to be doublecrossed by Thompson (FAKEOUT!).
Carter arrives and, thinking that Masters has harmed Sousa, delivers some satisfying punches to his face. She’s eventually pulled off of him by Sousa and they all let her in on the plan. Thompson then meets with Frost. Masters believes Thompson is squaring everything away with her to set her up, but he’s really telling her about Masters’ plan.
It all comes to a head when Masters and Thompson go to take the Gamma Cannon to Frost, leaving Sousa and Carter behind with a cut fuel line. After talking to Samberly, Carter and Sousa learn that Thompson directed him to turn the cannon into a bomb. Thompson is planning on setting it off, taking out Frost, Masters, and Dr. Wilkes all in one blow. It’s actually not a bad plan, but of course Carter can’t allow it on ethical grounds. The three speed off toward the meeting place with Samberly claiming he can whip up a device to jam the remote detonator for the Gamma Bomb. When they get there, Carter locates Dr. Wilkes and frees him from the operating table on which Frost has been trying to steal his dark matter. As they begin their escape. Wilkes shuts the door behind Carter and locks her out. He feels he’s too dangerous to go and is done fighting.
Outside, Carter finds that Thompson has found Sousa and Samberly and is trying to get them to switch the jammer off so he can detonate the bomb. He has left Masters at the whim of Frost. Thompson shuts of the jammer and Carter pulls a gun on him. The episode ends with us seeing Masters, at the mercy of Frost, noticing that the bomb is about to go off and then Wilkes busting in and exploding with the Zero Matter spilling out of him and covering the screen.
The tension is high for the final episode next week.