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‘Agent Carter’ Season 2, Episode 3 Recap: ‘Better Angels’

Agent Carter and Sousa work to figure out what happened to Dr. Wilkes in the blast, Howard returns and a truth about Whitney Frost is revealed this week on ‘Agent Carter’.

Peggy and Sousa find all kinds of incriminating evidence associated with Dr. Wilke; Isodyne is trying to frame him as a communist. Peggy won’t allow them to drag his name through the mud to protect themselves so she goes looking for some real answers.

Luckily the one person who has the actual resources to assist her is back in town. Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) returns to Agent Carter this time as movie director. There’s actually a scientific reason he’s delved into the movie biz but we’ll get to the shortly.

Hayley Atwell & James D’Arcy as Peggy Carter & Edwin Jarvis in Agent Carter Photo: ABC Gif: someone-like-robsten via Tumblr

Using the pin they found in the first episode and  Dr. Wilkes’ things as their biggest clues, Peggy and Howard formulate a plan to get her inside. It’s a men’s only club, for the wealthy and Dr. Wilkes definitely wouldn’t be apart of it. Howard was invited a whole bunch of times though, so he shows up pretending to finally consider accepting an offer but does so under the guise that they start letting women in. When he’s refused he simply opens the doors, proclaims his support of the Suffrage movement and a whole group of women flood the club, Peggy goes among them, goes completely unnoticed.

She does some snooping and comes across some important newspaper headlines. Just when she’s about to leave with the evidence she’s caught. Jarvis helps her out of the awkward moment and Peggy hilariously makes something up about getting confused around books. They grab Howard, who was stalling for them, on their way out and in the next scene Peggy back at the SSR.

Jack Thompson is in LA, he rewrites Peggy’s report about what happened at the lab to incriminate Dr. Wilkes. She doesn’t appreciate the help, but he insists handing it in his way will prevent people from getting the wrong idea. Peggy isn’t interested in the ideas that people might get and Thompson demands that she return to New York now that the case is closed. She disagrees and insist he watch the footage Dr. Wilkes showed her of the Zero Matter. He refuses to listen to her or Sousa and because she wasn’t able to bring back her findings about the Club’s hand in Chadwick’s future senate seat, he just pisses them both off. Peggy doesn’t go down fighting, she makes sure to kick Thompson’s ego a bit regarding Dottie and points out that a man like him in this kind of work isn’t after the truth but a medal, which to Peggy and Sousa, is the wrong reason.

Doing the right thing isn’t easy but it’s a fundamental aspect of who Steve Rogers was and what he meant to Peggy and she clearly lives by it every second of every day and won’t let anyone destroy that philosophy -which really throws into light why she trusts Howard Stark so much. The starkest (oh yeah I went with that adjective) different between Thompson and Howard is while the latter is certainly out for himself and the potential windfall, he knows how to create good. He knew Steve too and that whole experience had an impact on him as well.

Sousa and Peggy talk about what to do and one of the objects  on the desk floats beside Peggy. She realizes she must have been exposed to some Zero Matter and is insists that Sousa not touch her. They go to Howard who figures out that there’s some kind of disruption in the gravitational field near Peggy. They head to Stark’s lab! He talks about how movie making is just an art, it’s a science.

“Photography is the science of capturing light in it’s permanent form. When you capture that light the image is still invisible. And that’s when the developing process comes in, Howard notes. “The silver nitrate creates a photosensitive coating, which recreates the captured image onto film but Jarvis and I have been working on a new chemical solution. This will make all invisible wavelengths: ultraviolet, x-ray, infrared, not just visible but record-able.”

He believes that the space around Peggy exists, so by definition it’s observable. It’s all science-y but the result is that Dr. Wilkes isn’t actually gone.

Of course it’s not an ideal situation, but it starts to provide answers. They learn what happened between him and Whitney Frost and that she claims to be some kind of expert on the Zero Matter. And then Stark and Dr. Wilkes get to working together to not just figure out what that stuff is but how to bring him out of the air. The two are completely enamored with each other, but not nearly as happy as everyone is to see Peggy’s reaction to Dr. Wilkes.

Reggie Austin & Dominic Cooper as Dr. Jason Wilkes & Howard Stark in Agent Carter Photo: ABC

Meanwhile, Thompson does exactly what was asked of him, by Vernon Masters. He hands the tape over and Masters talks about how this has to remain discreet, but if he could he would give Thompson the medal he seems to be seeking. It’s at least a step in the right direction. Thompson makes a point of seeing Sousa before he goes and asks how he’s doing out in LA and he seems to genuinely care. He doesn’t even hide the fact that he’s not asking why Sousa went for the promotion across the the country but instead if he’s recovered from his broken heart. Sousa gets defensive and tells Jack that he’s fine and that he’s actually getting engaged. Thompson is glad to hear it but it’s a rich statement since Sousa hasn’t even proposed to that sweet nurse, whose name I don’t really care to learn now since she wasn’t even in the episode and also since she’s not Peggy and frankly the chemistry between those two is too much and I have terrible blinders for anything else. Also, because we know she doesn’t end up with Dr. Wilkes so whatever happens there isn’t long term.

I’m sorry shipping got me off track. Where was I? Oh right, Thompson checking up on Sousa. I can’t decide where I sit with Jack, he’s such a hypocrite but there are aspects to him that aren’t all bad. He’s just…difficult for me to figure out. But if he’s difficult, Whitney Frost is another issue entirely.

Wynn Everett as Whitney Frost in Agent Carter Photo: ABC

Peggy confronts Whitney in her dressing room and is nothing but cordial to her. Whitney even addresses her as Agent. But Peggy is blunt about her part in the explosion and wants to know what she knows or if she’s been experiencing any side effects. The meeting ends with Whitney extremely nervous and those nerves carry over to home. She tries talking with Chadwick about doing something about it but he’s extremely disinterested until she puts on a little performance about how scared she is. He immediately goes to make a phone call and, while it results in Peggy getting attacked ,  we later learn that Whitney is a better actress than anyone could have thought. Whitney Frost is her stage name and she’s actually the brains behind Isodyne Labs. In the end Whitney learns that the Zero Matter isn’t just a dark piece in her head but something she controls.

Stray Observations

  • I love when Jarvis and Peggy are super in tune with each other. That hilarious little step out of the shot when they first go to see Howard was so funny!
  • Gotta love Disney and their little Easter eggs! That cowboy in Stark’s film looked like a life-sized like Sheriff Woody from Toy Story
  • There were a lot of really great lines but I’m sucker for the kind that poke fun at their source material and so Peggy got the best one of the night: “They’re ready for a movie based on a comic book, sounds like a dreadful idea” though a close second was Jarvis’ comment about having no desire to spend the rest of his life as a disembodied voice.
  • Code Pink! The idea that the Club has a code for women infiltrating made me giggle. It seems like just the thing that a bunch of privileged men would be afraid of. That one day women would come storming through those doors! On a semi-related note Howard Stark knows a bit too much about Eleanor Roosevelt.
  • The sarcasm in this show is so subtle! From Stark insulting the Club when their plan is complete to Sousa being offended when he knows what the newspaper headline means because he “Speaks Hollywood now” to everyone’s surprised he knows science stuff, considering the department he works for. Even Dr. Wilkes got in some really funny jabs. In fact the only person who’s sarcasm isn’t funny because it’s mean is Jack’s.
  • I don’t want to talk about the idea of Howard Stark as a professor but this episode put it in my head and now it won’t go away so now that’s a thing. Same thing with scientist Jarvis! Those goggles were too cute. I adore him more and more every episode.
  • Also I need all of Peggy’s clothes. Are her outfits getting better each week?!

Show of hands who is hoping that Thompson gave Masters a different tape to destroy? Or did something to preserve the original film? Anyone? Just me? Really? Nobody thinks there’s a good guy deep deep deep like so deep down? I do. I think what Peggy said got to him. Look at how quickly Dr. Wilkes agreed to her request to stay. And okay that’s a different story there because they like each other but I think that Thompson, for all of his selfish, misogynistic, sadistic, jerk behavior, etc really does hold Peggy in higher regard than he lets on. And I think he wants her to succeed. He wants to push her down when she does because he’s like that but he I think he wants to be apart of what she’s going to create. And I’m curious to see if he finds his way there or into some other, more nefarious organization.

Agent Carter airs on Tuesdays at 9/8c on ABC.

How about Whitney though? Her real name is Agnus. Wow! Have you guessed her super villain name yet? Can’t wait to see Peggy take on Whitney. Didn’t that lapel pin emblem look similar to one we’ve seen before? Do you think we’ll find out who she shot? Will Sousa actually propose? Where was Ana this week? Share your thoughts in the comments!