If you haven’t seen the full two-hour premiere (“The Lady in the Lake” and “A View in the Dark” aired back to back), continue at your own risk. You can’t talk about espionage without a few spoilers!
Agent Carter is back after a year off, further solidifying its unique place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it continues to feel different than anything Marvel — or most of TV for that matter — currently has to offer. This season has hit that noir feeling more than the first, which is a positive. The comedic elements of the show, however, got too silly at times, something easily found in the first hour of the premiere. I mean, how terrible was that “I forgot my radio” line?
As for the overarching story, the introduction of Zero Matter is one of the strongest parts of the new season. It’s clearly dangerous, and brings with it huge amounts of intrigue and potential ties to the MCU (I’m looking at you, Doctor Strange). When you have something that can spread a freeze wave like the common cold or implode with the magnitude of a nuclear bomb, you know you have something worth sticking around for. It certainly gives the show weight.
It’s gonna get weird.
Now what about Peggy Carter herself? She’s back for a new mystery in the sunny city of Los Angeles (where everyone else has conveniently also moved), and with her new adventures come plenty of new faces, plus some old ones. As a character, she hasn’t changed all too much, but, boy, was it nice to have her banter with Jarvis on my television again. There’s just something about those two that meshes flawlessly.
Before we get to Jarvis, let’s talk about Peggy’s first scenes — where we got to see Dottie! She still makes for a great rival to Peggy, and the bank scene was a great opener. It was weird to see Peggy so quickly swept over to LA after finally getting Dottie in cuffs, so I hope they get back together sooner rather than later. It’s interesting how the show is pushing Dottie’s infatuation with Peggy; I would love to see it take become something similar to the dynamic between Batman and Joker.
Now, Jarvis. Nothing has changed; he’s still the good ol’ same. But now we get to meet his mysterious wife. Ana is quite the quirky character, possibly even more than Jarvis himself. She is really fun though, and a really good character opposite Carter. I’m hoping the show provides more backstory on this eccentric couple and their relationship.
And their tiny little guns.
This season has already introduced many new characters, most of which seem to be strong additions to the cast. My favorite by far is Whitney Frost. Wynn Everett brings a presence to her that not every actor can, and I feel she will easily hold her own as this season’s big bad. With Frost and Dottie together, Agent Carter is starting to form quite the rogues gallery.
But not all the new faces are villains. Wilkes was introduced as a scientist at Isodyne, and a potential love interest for Peggy. I’ll be honest (and I know it will probably be an unpopular opinion), Wilkes didn’t do too much for me. The delivery of most of his lines seemed off or out of place, almost like the actor didn’t quite know how he was supposed to play the role. That said, the second half of the premiere gave him some good backstory and motivation — even though I think his love story with Peggy seems a big forced. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of him either.
Last but not least, we have Sousa and Thompson. Sousa is now running an office in LA, which is a great place for that character to be. It’s a shame he has a really nice girlfriend in Violet, as the show is clearly setting him up to be with Carter in the end. Shout out to his great “Who’s this clown?” line (even if it was a little out of place). As for Thompson, there was far too little of him, though his standout scene was certainly in the interrogation room when Dottie literally flips the table on him. It’s interesting that the FBI seems to be numbering the SSR days — possibly paving the road to SHIELD? It would be great to have Thompson at the front of that transformation. Anyone else getting Grant Ward vibes off of him?
It’s going to happen…
Season 2 kicked off with a good, but not flawless premiere. It shows plenty of potential with the heavy threat of Zero Matter and two standout villains in Dottie and Whitney Frost. I hope to see Reggie Austin fit more comfortably in his role of Wilkes in the coming episodes (assuming he made it out of the Zero Matter incident), and I can’t wait for the crew to bring Howard Stark into the fold. This season certainly has the ability to outshine the first, and that’s something I hope we see.
Article by contributor Russ Milheim.