Agent Carter has finished out its second season. I’m gonna talk about everything here, so if you haven’t seen it yet, I would stop reading.
It’s hard for any show to follow through on the momentum that Agent Carter had for the past four or so episodes, so it feels wrong to fault it for not reaching the heights that it built towards. Much like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its midseason finale, Carter’s conclusion buckled under the weight of all that came before it. Was it a bad episode? Not at all. But it was a disappointing one.
Whitney Frost has been one of the strongest pillars of the season, quickly becoming one of the best MCU villains. So it was disappointing to see her final hurrah boiled down to writing equations on a wall then aimlessly, moronically staring up at the sky before getting blasted from behind. It’s one of the most unsatisfying routes they could have gone with. When Wilkes exploded at the conclusion of last week’s episode, there was a surreal, end-of-the world vibe. It was exciting. But the actual conclusion to the Dark Matter story line — and Whitney’s thirst for power — went out with less than a fizzle.
Speaking of Dark Matter, Wilkes is apparently free of it now. Having expelled it all from his body, he is no longer a slave to the otherworldly power. Part of me wishes he was able to keep and control it, but I’m happy that even without his powers, he still played a role in helping the team until the very end, especially after his betrayal. His “round of apologies” was great, and telling Sousa point-blank about why he aimed the gun at him was a strong moment for both characters. Speaking of betrayal, I guess that was when the romantic tie between Wilkes and Carter (something I was never a fan of) was broken…? Because it never came back up.
What did come back up were Sousa and Carter! Peggy rather aggressively admitted her feelings for Sousa through a passionate kiss. While the whole story line between them was a little drawn out, it’s good that the show finally had “the moment,” especially if this is its last season. I can live happy knowing that Sousa is the one Carter spends the rest of her life with.
My second biggest issue with this finale — one I was able to look past enough to still enjoy the episode — lies with Jarvis. While it was good to see our humorous Jarvis back to his old persona, it felt off. At times, it seemed as if Jarvis had never actually gone through the tribulations of the last two weeks; his wife’s current state wasn’t even addressed until the end. At the very least, that should have been a bigger point of contention between Jarvis and Stark. On a positive note, I liked that Peggy and Jarvis ended the season on good terms.
With this being the potential final season, one would hope there wouldn’t be a cliffhanger. Yet there was, and a really big one at that. I sincerely hope that Thompson isn’t dead, because I don’t find his conclusion satisfying or fitting for his character. However, it was nice to see him starting to turn over a new leaf. Choosing to give the key to Peggy was a big moment, especially when it seemed he might hide it for his own purposes.
Mandfredi was probably one of the best parts of the episode. Watching him deal with his twisted love for Whitney, and seeing that she had in fact become something else, was a great dilemma for him to go through. Reaching out to the team was an unexpected (and welcome) twist. My favorite part was definitely the fact that Manfredi and Stark have a secret bromance no one knew about.
Manfredi’s fake interrogation accidentally getting real information was also hilarious, and seeing his reaction as he juggled the situation was great. And that final scene where he visited Whitney in the asylum was a great final note for his character: the fact that no matter what, the passionate love he has for Whitney knows no bounds.
Season 2 of Agent Carter was certainly better than the first. Overall, the story went to greater heights, and took its characters to more interesting places (literally and figuratively). The Dark Matter story line never failed to entertain, but I do wish it had clearer ties to the bigger MCU. And while I was sad not to see Dottie again, it wasn’t entirely unexpected. If the show does end here, it chose a great season to go out with. But hopefully ABC sees enough threads for a third act.
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