Well…at least things can’t get any worse for Peggy and friends?
We pick up right where we left off – Jason Wilkes is current trying to fight his way out of the Darkforce realm after turning incorporeal. He returns to the natural plane, though he’s a bit snippy (aside from the fact that he’s slowly being sucked into a hell dimension, I can’t imagine why). A much more calm and rational Peggy comes to the conclusion that if he they could turn him solid – even temporarily, using the Zero Matter like before – Wilkes could build a containment unit like the one that housed the Zero Matter previously. They realize they need Zero Matter from Whitney Frost to make their plan work.
Speak of the devil, Whitney Frost is on edge after her last encounter with Peggy, and almost immediately starts a fight with Chadwick. Aaah, young-ish-to-middle-aged love. Chadwick calms her down and tells her the good news; he has arranged for her to meet with the Council. Though the Council rarely meets with outsiders, let alone women, they’re prepared to hear her out on the properties of Zero Matter and give the Isodyne project a second chance.
Sure they are. This ought to go well.
As Jarvis tends to Peggy’s rebar wound, Ana is nervous and worried and asking a lot of questions. It’s pretty clear that this is the first time that the full gravity of what her husband does in his spare time has occurred to her. A short time later down in the lab, Peggy explains her plan to a clearly sleep-deprived Sousa – Jarvis has procured tickets to Calvin Chadwick’s fundraiser tomorrow. They will use this to get close enough to Frost to stick her with a special vacuum syringe and extract Zero Matter from her without her noticing. Sousa points out that Peggy not only has a hole going straight through her, but Frost both knows what she looks like and tried to kill her recently. Sousa refuses to be Jarvis’ date, Rose is on a flight back home to visit her sick mother, and Sousa won’t send in a civilian without training. He says what they need is a “highly skilled unknown face who can blend in with the glamor and throw down in the gutter”, and they don’t know anyone like that.
Peggy has just had a terrible idea.
In the FBI facility, Dr. Wexford has arrived for Dottie Underwood’s psychological evaluation. Only it’s not Dr. Wexford at all; it’s Peggy Carter in disguise.
Oh, this is a terrible idea.
Dottie deduces immediately that since Peggy is in disguise, she doesn’t want this visit on the record, and is going behind someone’s back – the only reason she would do that is if she needed Dottie’s help.
In Stark’s lab, Wilkes is walking Ana through the process of building the containment unit, using her as his “hands” while he can’t touch anything. The Jarvis family is just so helpful! Wilkes starts talking about how nervous he is and how risky this mission is, which in turn makes Ana really worried again. When Jarvis comes in looking for his cuff-links and cheerfully reinforces Wilkes’ statements, Ana drops the coil she is working on and leaves. She needs a moment. Poor Ana.
In Dottie’s cell, Peggy explains the plan, and catches Dottie’s interest by mentioning they’re working against the Council. She offers Dottie deportation for her cooperation and warns her that they are prepared for her. Dottie remarks that she knows the deportation offer is a lie – and no, they aren’t. Unfazed by this, Peggy gives her a device that unlocks the door, tells her that she will take care of the guards, and all Dottie needs to do is go right once she gets outside. Dottie unlocks the door, makes her way past the unconscious guards, and immediately turns left upon going outside. Sousa and Peggy and waiting with a net-gun that doubles as a stun gun and capture her.
At Stark’s, Peggy gives Dottie a necklace that doubles as a tracking device, and triples as a killswitch if Dottie tries to remove it. Even so, Jarvis doesn’t feel comfortable in taking her as his date. He begs for a concealed weapon, stating his case for many, but the job is too sensitive.
In the Chadwick mansion, Whitney is having extreme difficulty covering up the black Zero Matter scar that now runs down the length of half her face. She demands they schedule, but Chadwick points out they will not get another chance. He gives her a flower hat (garland?) with a long ribbon to cover it up.
Back in the lab, Wilkes and Peggy are explaining the minute details of the plan to Dottie. They give Jarvis glasses that work as a two-way transmitter; Dottie will get a small fancy hat with the same capability. Dottie tries to flirt with Wilkes (presumably with the intention of taking him down) so he leaves; Dottie tries to grab his arm and realizes he is incorporeal, but quickly hides her surprise.
The mission is a go and Dottie and Jarvis are in place. As they dance, Peggy has them scope out the location. They see Chadwick and Frost, but Dottie also notices, to Jarvis’ horror, that Agent Jack Thompson is also present with Vernon Masters. In a bit of dramatic irony, Chadwick starts talking about beating back the “red invasion” and Masters boasts that Thompson and his team were instrumental in capturing a major Soviet threat, not realizing she is both free and feet away. Jarvis wants to abort the mission, Dottie wants to kill Thompson (“It’ll be quick!”), but Peggy says that Wilkes is running out of time and they need to go through with this. Jarvis agrees – but appears to have lost Dottie somewhere in the party.
Masters tells Thompson that the room they are in is full of powerful people – and he should be glad they are starting to know the name Jack Thompson. However, Peggy Carter is a blemish on Thompson’s record and a liability. To punctuate his point, Hugh Jones arrives and tells Thompson that a woman suspected to be Peggy broke into a Roxxon facility and stole materials for atomic bombs. Thompson, of course, had no knowledge of this.
Jarvis has rounded up Dottie again, and now that Thompson isn’t with Frost, they can proceed with their plan. Jarvis goes to distract Thompson. Thompson suspects Peggy’s involvement, but Jarvis plays it cool; he does, however, warn Thompson that if he chooses to get involved, he is in way over his head on this one.
In the powder room, Dottie discreetly sticks Whitney Frost with the syringe and pretends it was the pin to her brooch. She then takes off her transmitter hat and escapes. Dammit, Dottie.
Perhaps fulfilling her true mission to Leviathan, Dottie finds the secret conference room and quickly hides in a closet. The Council meets, and Chadwick presents his wife, Whitney. Rather than tell the Council about the true power of Zero Matter, she decides to show them – by freaking them out and absorbing a rat. That’s a selling point there. Guards break in and try to subdue Frost with longhandled cuffs of some sort, when she spreads Zero Matter through the ground and kills them.
That’s a new development.
Whitney immediately kills/absorbs some members of the Council, before turning her rage on Chadwick for lying to her. She kills her husband as Dottie watches with a horrified fascination, and declares herself the leader of the Council now. As long as the members remain useful, they will remain unharmed and more powerful than ever.
Jarvis, meanwhile, has split off from Thompson and is in a frenzied search for Dottie. Peggy decides he needs back-up, but splits her stitches trying to open the van door.
As Dottie exits the closet after the meeting adjourns, she wanders the hallway and runs straight into Vernon Masters. He sends two of his men after her. They don’t stand a chance.
In the van, Sousa and Peggy get talking and Sousa admits that Violet broke it off with him because she thinks he likes Peggy. They go in for a kiss, before being interrupted by someone crashing on the roof of their van, taking out communications. They realize Dottie is either in or making trouble.
I don’t know what I ship anymore, dammit!
Upstairs, Dottie takes out a bunch of guards, before Thompson takes her out. Good for you, Jack! Even if you didn’t find the syringe of Zero Matter!
Jarvis arrives outside with the syringe, and though Peggy doesn’t want to leave Dottie unaccounted for, Jarvis informs them that the FBI is on “high Peggy Carter alert” and that he was kicked out, so they can’t look for her.
In an aside, Hugh Jones tells Masters that Whitney Frost is in charge of the council, not to ask questions, and to deliver “the package” to Ms. Frost tonight.
Masters, meanwhile, has figured everything out – that Carter is involved, that she sprung Dottie out of jail, and that Jarvis was there on a mission; but Thompson doesn’t entirely buy it, because he doesn’t know what she’s trying to accomplish. Masters tasks Jack with “destroying” Peggy – not killing her, but discrediting and disgracing her so she will not be remembered as a hero.
At Stark’s lab, Wilkes is excited about the possibility of being physically whole again, but Sousa and Peggy’s top priority is catching Dottie. Thompson decides to pay a visit and Peggy greets him. Thompson confronts Peggy about everything and demands she return on a flight with him or she loses her job, and she chooses to lose her job. He warns her she isn’t going to win this one and leaves.
That evening, “the package” arrives to Whitney Frost – Dottie Underwood, freshly captured by Jack Thompson and delivered by Vernon Masters.
This episode was the first of a two-parter, and it definitely sets up for the disaster that is the next episode. Already, Peggy’s “terrible plan” of springing Dottie has proven to be every bit as terrible as she imagined, and Wilkes is threatening to disappear entirely any second.
While it is absolutely difficult to rate this episode on it’s own, I think it gets a good 7.5/10. While not the apex of the series, it absolutely proves that the show is in no danger of running out of steam.
Stay tuned for part two – and another two-parter next week!