You know the drill — don’t continue reading unless you want this week’s Agent Carter spoiled for you!
How convenient is it when the bad guy you’re stealing from happens to keep a motivational poster reminding him where he hides his one-of-a-kind key? This episode showcased a major lack of balance with its comedic and dramatic moments. At times I thought I was watching an entirely different show, a full on comedy even. Agent Carter has always made jokes, but most of the time it maintains a balance. That’s important, because with it we can care more for the stakes, characters, and the more serious moments.
Something as dire as stealing an atomic bomb should have been taken seriously, but I didn’t that weight. Instead, we got a bunch of hit-or-miss moments involving our newly formed ragtag group. The only silver lining is that it’s good to see new faces joining in on the action.
The dramatic moments this episode did have mostly fell flat. Sousa’s proposal, while cute, didn’t resonate. Carter’s near-death experience (one of the more violent incidents on the show) lost suspense since we know she won’t be dying any time soon. Usually when a lead character is faced with death, the tension is put on another subject. I think the show tried to pin this on Sousa and his reactions, but it wasn’t pulled off well. Instead, it brought Sousa to a realization about Peggy in a very sudden, cliche way. It just didn’t feel natural.
It wasn’t all bad: Whitney Frost continues to be a terrific part of the show. She has essentially become her husband’s boss, and demanded to get a hold of a nuclear bomb to re-trigger the events we saw on the film. She’s become more proactive and physical, more in tune with her abilities; the confrontation between her and Peggy was one of the episode’s stronger moments. I also enjoyed her meeting with new crime boss Manfredi, a nice surprise. His strong performance had me on my toes — the unstable, unpredictable villain types tend to strike a chord with me. I assume we’ll see more of him down the line, especially since Whitney’s plans derailed.
One thing I wanted to plug in last week’s review: Jarvis needs more to do. He’s essentially just a funny sidekick to Carter. Don’t get me wrong, he provides some of the best laughs; however, the show needs to give him a major story line or something directly tied to him. They were off to a good start by introducing his wife in the first episode, but then they seemingly forgot about her existence. Having Jarvis locked up with the bombs was a good step in the right direction, and I hope to see more meaningful moments for him in the last stretch of the season.
More than just canted angles.
Overall, this episode relied so heavily on comedic elements that it ended up muddling the overall story. The villains themselves continue to be the best part of the season, with Whitney becoming more and more powerful in her control over zero matter. Seeing Wilkes transition into a solid state hints at a further use of his powers that I hope we dives in to sooner rather than later.
Article by contributor Russ Milheim.