Agent Carter 2×05 – The Atomic Job

Source: Nerdist.com

I thought the show was hitting a lull – was I ever wrong.

Our episode this week starts with Peggy in bed – but someone is her room! She immediately snaps awake, turns and puts a gun to Wilkes’ head. Or, rather, through Wilkes’ head, because he is not currently corporeal. She tells him to never do that again, but I find it impressive that she was able to sense a non-corporeal being in her room. Princess and the Pea, folks. Wilkes tells her she has to come see this, so she gets up and they go to the lab.

In the lab, there is a sample of Jane Scott’s body tissue. She was our “Lady in the Lake killer” faux victim, remember her? Wilkes urges Peggy to watch as he puts his hand near the container, drawing out the darkforce like a magnet attracted to him. He’s as confused and fascinated by the phenomenon as Peggy is, until the darkforce works it’s way through the container and straight into Wilkes. He suddenly arches back and his eyes turn black, so Peggy quickly grabs his arm to steady him.

Wait, what?

Yeah, you heard me right – she grabs his real, flesh-and-blood arm. She gasps but then it is too late; her hand goes right through him again. He announces that he knows where Jane Scott’s body is located. Huh.

As Dr. Wilkes points out the location of the body to a newly awoken Jarvis on a building floorplan, Peggy is on the phone with Rose. Rose tells her that those plans are for the County Cold Storage Building, which happen to be owned by Thomas Gloucester. You know, that guy in the Council of Nine that orchestrated the Great Depression? Wilkes is excited to retrieve the body, believing it holds the secrets to making him tangible again, and so Peggy decides that she and Jarvis are going to steal the body.

Meanwhile, everyone’s favorite cutie (or is it just me?) Violet returns late from a double shift at the hospital – but someone has broken in. She cautiously picks up a baseball bat and enters her home, only to find a fancy dinner laid out and Sousa passed out on the couch. He was going to surprise her, but didn’t realize she would pick up another shift after someone else called in sick. As Sousa gets up and Violet gets ready, he realizes that he can’t find the ring and starts furiously digging in the couch. Violet realizes he is looking for something and decides to help him, which he sheepishly tells her “she’ll know what she’s looking for when she finds it.” He then tells her he had a whole speech prepared and none of it involved asking her to marry him with his hands in the couch because he lost the ring. Violet then happy resolves to find the ring, leaving Sousa hanging for answer, before reassuring him it’s a “yes”.

This scene is the cutest thing, you guys. You have no idea. I just want everything to work out for Violet and Sousa, and it feels kind of timebomb-y.

Now, a taste of what marriage life is like. As Whitney is mumbling in her sleep, Calvin is awake and looking perplexed. He decides to tiptoe away and starts gathering some clothes, when he turns around and Whitney is right there and scares the living hell out of him. She says she needs his help.

In the morning, Peggy and Jarvis are breaking into a vent on the County Cold Storage like true spies. As they crawl through the vent while Jarvis whines about spiders and finally locate the room with Jane’s body, Calvin and Whitney approach. Whitney touches Jane Scott’s arm, absorbing most of the Zero Matter zisibly present her veins. Like Wilkes before, her eyes also turn black as she has a revelation: she needs an atomic bomb.

In the lab, Wilkes explains that Whitney is intending to replicate the original failed atomic test in order to get as much Zero Matter as she can – or rather, to create it. They cannot let her get her hands on those bombs. The bombs used in the experiment were manufactured by Roxxon, so they decide that – like in the first season – they need to break into a Roxxon facility. Wilkes points out there is no way to know which facility houses the bombs, but Jarvis claims that isn’t true; due to Howard’s rivalry with Hugh Jones, they can safely assume it’s the heavily guarded one just out of Los Angeles that no one has been able to break into. The elevator requires a special key that is impossible to duplicate and impossible to use without.

In their living room, Calvin and Whitney are arguing. Calvin, being a future senator, refuses to help her steal atomic bombs from his own friend and Councilman. Whitney convinces him that, with more Zero Matter, the Council will answer to them, and he will finally get the respect he deserves. Of course he caves, because he is wrapped around her deadly people-absorbing finger.

At the office, Sousa is telling people the amusing story of his proposal to Violet as everyone is celebrating. Peggy congratulates him, but they have work to do. She tells Sousa she needs to break into Hugh Jones office, and asks if he has any disguises that would help – unfortunately, she’s the only female S.S.R. field agent, and he warns her that Hugh Jones might recognize her. He says the lab guys might have a device that can help, and grabs a slice of pie from a passerby.

In the lab, annoying Dr. Samberly from the first few episodes is suspicious of the pie. There’s always a catch. He shows them his new device, the Memory Inhibitor, which you put to the subject’s temples and it makes them forget the last two minutes. He said they’ve been testing it on Jerry and it works. Jerry scoffs at the idea that they tested it on him, and then walks into a wall.

Oh, and it has the potential to cause slight brain damage.

In Hugh Jones office, Peggy is in disguise as an American new secretary, Wanda. She is looking for the key when Hugh Jones shows up and starts flirting with her, but he seems to recognize her from somewhere, he just can’t remember where. He goes to lunch after some more heavy flirting, but remembers in the elevator where he knows her from. He rushes back into his office and confronts her as she searches behind a big “THE KEY TO SUCCESS IS IN YOU” poster, and goes to call security. She zaps him with the Inhibitor, and tells him he is going to be late for lunch. He flirts and leaves – before realizing he knows that face and entering the office again. She zaps him again. He passes out, and she realizes, looking at the poster, that he’s wearing the key.

As she searches Hugh, he keeps waking up and getting zapped back unconscious. She realizes, for the good of the nation, she will have to untrouser him. As she takes off his belt, she finds the key behind it. She zaps him extra long while already unconscious for good measure and flees.

As Hugh goes into the lobby, the real secretary asks if he had a good lunch – the disheveled and bewildered Hugh responds that he must have.

In a fancy restaurant, Calvin and Whitney approach Joseph Manfredi, the apparent leader of the Maggia, the supervillain Blackwing from the comics, and Whitney Frost’s old flame. Also he’s played by Ken Marino. At first he acts enraged by their relationship before revealing he was kidding, it was a decade ago. They tell him that they just need some good men, no guns. They strike a deal. Then Manfredi calls one of his goons over. He asks if he thinks Whitney Frost is pretty. The goon reluctantly agrees, and Manfredi beats him the death for it, and apologizes for his goon’s inappropriateness. This dude is crazy.

As Peggy and the team go over the floorplan of the Roxxon facility and Sousa practices disarming the bomb on a salami, they realize they are undermanned and Sousa drops the salami, “destroying all of Los Angeles”. This ought to go well.

Outside the Auerbach Talent Agency, the front for the S.S.R., Peggy and Sousa argue about whether or not they should take Rose on the mission. Peggy points out that Rose had the same training they all had, but Sousa points on she has no field experience. In the agency in the background, Rose is watching a one-man band perform before inexplicably and impressively beating him up.

In the lab, Peggy, Sousa and an excited Rose are looking for gadgets for their mission before Samberly comes in and starts complaining about field agents again. He refuses to let them take any gadgets or show them how to use them. Rose decides to hit on Samberly, realizing he has a crush on her, and gets him to agree to cooperate – but only if he’s allowed on the mission. Oh, God.

We get an epic slow-motion shot of the team, assembled: Chief Daniel Sousa, Mister Edwin Jarvis, Agent Peggy Carter, Agent Rose Roberts and Doctor Aloysius Samberly. Jarvis then realizes he parked around the corner and rushes off to get the car.

As the gang approaches the Roxxon facility in a van marked “Civil War Antiques” (hoho), Rose and Samberly get out and pretend to be a lost couple. The guard refuses to direct them back to the main road and just sternly asks them to leave. They do so, but not before throwing a device over the fence. It collects all the electricity from the electric fence and redistributes it to the guards. The gang makes their move. Upon reaching the correct floor, they find a unconscious guard. Looks like Whitney and co. have already arrived.

Samberly trips the locks, which opens every door to make searching easier – however, this also opens every door for Whitney Frost, so the race is on. As Jarvis finds the bombs, Samberly’s motion detector device senses movement coming their way, so Rose goes to beat up the Maggia goons. Peggy asks Samberly to lock the door, so he trips the switch and does so – accidentally locking Jarvis inside with the bomb and Peggy and Sousa outside. Peggy goes to take care of more goons with Rose, telling Sousa to walk Jarvis through disarming the bomb.

As Peggy beats up some guys and Sousa walks Jarvis through disarming the bomb (saying it’s like making a soufflé), Rose tries to reassure Samberly, who is trying to fix the lock and making things worse, and beating himself up about it. He tries to ask her out and she shuts him down. As Jarvis carefully and tensely loads the Uranium cores into a case, Peggy finds Calvin and Whitney arguing and decides to pursue. Peggy tells Whitney the S.S.R. can help fix her, which Calvin is on board with, but Whitney is not. As Jarvis finishes disarming the bomb (nothing like making a soufflé) and Samberly opens the door, Whitney hears Sousa’s message to Peggy that they have retrieved the Uranium rods. She grabs Peggy’s arm and starts killing him with her weird darkmatter powers, before Peggy headbutts her and breaks free, but is hanging off a ledge. Whitney tells her that not everyone is cut out for Hollywood, before Peggy falls. Calvin helps Whitney escape as Sousa rushes up.

Peggy has been impaled by a large pipe of rebar.

Sousa and Jarvis rush Peggy to a confused Violet’s house; Peggy refuses to go to the hospital because the hospitals are probably owned by the Council. As Violet orders Sousa to get some linens and Jarvis to boil some water, she notices how Sousa looks at Peggy. She orders him again to get some linens as Violet starts examining and disinfecting the wound.

Whitney is telling Calvin that all they need to do is explain the situation to Hugh Jones and ask for more Uranium. Calvin throws his glass and puts his foot down. He will not ask for another favor and he will not put himself in another position where he might die. He refuses to help Whitney with her crazy schemes anymore. Whitney grabs his face (with her people absorbing hands) and tells him that he will continue to help, and to watch his tone. He agrees out of fear.

Sousa and Peggy share a tender moment where he asks her not to get impaled again, when a mildly heartbroken Violet tells Peggy her bleeding is already under control, because the rebar missed everything vital. Jarvis pulls the car around, but Violet asks that Peggy stay with her – she shouldn’t be moving around. They refuse and are on their way. Once they leave, Sousa thanks Violet. Violet tearfully accuses Daniel of being in love with Peggy. He can’t answer that question.

Goddammit.

As Whitney sleeps, Calvin sneaks away and gets to the telephone. He organizes an emergency meeting with the Council – he doesn’t care about procedure, the Council needs to hear this.

Well, he’s gonna die.

At Howard’s, Jarvis is tucking Peggy in. They both try to shoo eachother off to bed; Jarvis defused two atomic bombs and Peggy got impaled. Jarvis informs her that their adventures are only fun if they survive, and Peggy concurs. Wilkes asks Peggy if it hurts, and she claims that Whitney touching her arm hurt a lot more. Wilkes tells her the the Darkforce Dimension is a dark, painful place. When Peggy questions how he knows that, he just asks to listen to some music and rest. Peggy turns on the radio and it starts to play Wilkes’ song: “I Want to Be Loved”. As Wilkes starts trying to talk, he suddenly starts phasing out of reality. Peggy cries out his name.

Well, that episode ended happily for everyone.

I said it before, but if I thought last episode didn’t advance anything, this episode more than made up for it. It had action galore and enough Violet to make me happy. For a halfway point, this is way too intense. I give the episode a 9/10.

I feel now that we should talk about the fact that the ratings for the show are sadly sinking, and Hayley Atwell has signed on to another pilot at ABC. This doesn’t necessarily mean the end of Agent Carter; Marvel could keep it running as long as they’d like, even if no one was watching it. However, this may be our last season, so take it in.

The next week is a two-parter. Until then!

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Author: Jesse "The Clairvoyant" Rolufs

Film star. Chemical engineer. Dancer. Comedian. I am none of these things. What I am, however, is a huge geek hailing from the frigid wastes of western Canada. I couldn’t even tell you when it started - I’m told the first words out of my mouth were “I swing my +2 DEX war axe and attack the dragon.” My name is Jesse (also known as “The Clairvoyant”) and I am a big nerd when it comes to video games, board games, movies, anime, TV, RPGs - and I am possibly the one of the world leading experts on comic books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Joss Whedon. You can find me on twitter as @JesseRolufs. Don’t be afraid to check out my informative Joss Whedon-themed podcast @whedoncast, and my hilarious bargain-bin-movie-bashing podcast @BlindBuy!

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