Agent Carter 2×09 – A Little Song and Dance

Source: EW.com

Prepare for the best intro sequence ever.

The episode begins in black and white, with Peggy sleeping in the S.S.R. after being knocked out in the desert last weeks episode. She questions who turned out the color, and walks to Sousa’s office – but Sousa isn’t there, her dead brother Michael is. They chat a bit about the predicament she is in, and she blames him for signing her up for the S.O.E. position and then dying; she’s only doing what he wanted. He laughs and tells her that no, she’s doing what she’s always wanted. As Peggy says she misses him, we suddenly get a burst of color: green.

Peggy is illuminated by the green glow of the neon L&L Automat sign, the diner where Angie worked in season one. Following the big band music, the world regains color as she walks through a film set street to a revolving door attached to no walls, and pushes through to enter the diner. Peggy sits at the bar, and is as surprised as the viewers are to see Angie working there as a waitress.

Hi, Lyndsy Fonseca! Welcome back!

Dream-sequence-Angie complains she is working a double shift and asks why “English” isn’t doing the same. Peggy tries to explain she’s trapped in the desert, but dream-Angie offers her key lime pie as dessert. Peggy say she doesn’t know what she wants, so the man next to her lowers his newspaper and says, “How about me?”. It’s Wilkes. As a spotlight shines on them, they start dancing while chatting, like their first date. As he dips her and Angie rings the “Order up!” bell, Peggy sees Sousa approaching and asks him what the hell is going on. He responds by dropping his cane and bursting into a Sinatra-inspired musical number. He is backed up by some of the dancers from Dancing with the Stars in appropriate period clothing, dancing with Peggy and singing a song about having to make a choice. As they are about to kiss, Angie pulls her on stage where more Dancing with the Stars dancers await. It’s Angie’s turn to sing.

During her song, she spins Peggy around and she comes face to face with Dottie dressed in Angie’s waitress uniform. Peggy asks what she is doing there, and Dottie responds that she will always be in her head and walks off. Peggy herself then breaks into song about not being able to choose between Sousa and Wilkes, while doing a choreographed dance number with both of them. Angie’s upbeat song starts up again as she musically implores Peggy, “What ya gonna do?”

Can this entire cast sing?

Peggy turns around to Jarvis saying “Ms. Carter, I hate to interrupt -” only to see him in a tuxedo with a cane and tophat, surrounded by Ana, Dottie and Whitney dressed like feathery Vegas showgirls. Ana does the splits. As they wave their feathers and Jarvis does jazz-hands with his tophat in hand, he cheerfully exclaims “Wake up!”. The song and dance number finishes, and Rose taps Peggy on the shoulder. She tells her that she simply isn’t right for the Auerbach Theatrical Agency, and knocks her out with a good right hook.

That was fantastic.

Peggy wakes up tied up in the Maggia’s truck, driving through the desert. She looks over at Jarvis, who is unconscious, and begins to untie herself.

All this before the opening title card!

As Thompson looks out over the distance with binoculars, Samberly asks if they are coming back for them – they have their truck, radios and water, all which could be useful when you are stranded in the middle of the desert. They start problem-solving with Sousa (Samberly suggests drinking urine) when they spot a car approaching. Thompson uses his trusty binoculars to confirm it’s S.S.R. agents Blackwell and Vega, and Sousa points out that they are the goons that Masters had beat him up earlier – they were probably sent to finish the job. Thompson has a plan, but wants to know if Sousa trusts him. “Not at all.” Good enough.

As Peggy is unhappily untying Jarvis, he comes to. She explains where they are, and he tries to explain or justify his actions (you know, shooting Whitney Frost); she refuses to listen and tries to find a way out of the mess that “he put them in”.

Vega and Blackwell approach to see Thompson with his hands behind his head, and Sousa and Samberly with their guns pointed at him. Sousa tells them to take Thompson in, but they point their guns at Sousa and Samberly instead. Thompson informs them that Vega and Blackwell were sent to take out whoever pulled the trigger on the gamma cannon, and commends them for the good work they’ve done, telling them to take Sousa and Samberly back to the S.S.R. for questioning. Vega points his gun at Thompson and tells him they were ordered to shoot him too. Thompson points out that he followed Peggy all the way out in the desert to stop her, and tells Vega to stop being an idiot and load them in the car. Somehow, this works. As they take them away, Sousa tells Thompson he’s going to regret this. He responds “I doubt it” and gut-punches Sousa.

Something tells me that part wasn’t part of the plan.

In the back of the truck, Peggy and Jarvis break the lock on the door only to find that it is chained shut. Peggy quickly takes off her belt and extracts a wire from it, that when she grips both ends becomes red hot. She aptly calls this the Hotwire. She has Jarvis open the door as she wraps the wire around the chain, melting through it and opening the door. Jarvis barely has any time to ask what they do next before Peggy throws him out of the back of the truck and leaps out after him. Tuck and roll!

Jarvis is very unhappy with how Peggy dealt with that situation, and she points out they are free from capture. He counters with the fact that they are now stranded in the middle of the desert. She tells him to walk, and he yells that she freed him from capture only to kill him in an inferno, and mockingly commends her skills as an agent. She just keeps on walking so he decides to follow.

In Manfredi’s car, Wilkes comes to and immediately says there is something wrong. It could be the fact that it looks like Zero Matter is trying to escape from under his skin, or that his eyes are currently entirely black, but I’m inclined to agree. Manfredi tells him that if he’s gonna puke, to do it outside. Whitney starts delving into questions about what he saw and why he was able to come back, questions he can’t answer. His eyes suddenly revert back to normal, but he claims he is “anything but better”. They decide to take him to the city to “fix him up”, but he refuses, saying he can’t be around populated areas – he’s too dangerous. Whitney decides to play one of her chips and lets him out, to go grab Peggy or Jarvis from the truck – however, they aren’t there. Manfredi shoots the truck driver, and tells Wilkes to get back in the car. He tells Whitney he’ll send some guys to look for Peggy and Jarvis.

Peggy and Jarvis are still trekking through the desert. If the idea of Peggy Carter and Edwin Jarvis fighting makes you uncomfortable or unhappy, stop reading now.

Jarvis is complaining that they are nowhere near civilization and that they should rest. Peggy says that a car will come, and that Jarvis’ opinion is no longer wanted – she should have left him at home, but she trusted him to behave; a mistake she won’t make again. Jarvis refuses to apologize for doing the right thing, pointing out that Peggy went back to save Dottie, a Russian spy, and that is what resulted in Ana being shot. Peggy retaliates, saying that leaving Dottie with Whitney is tantamount to murder, and “unlike Jarvis”, she isn’t a murderer. To which he responds, “And yet everyone around you dies!”

Peggy stops walking. The gloves are off.

Jarvis apologizes, but Peggy says she is glad Jarvis said it. She points out that Jarvis has begged her to bring her along on missions since she arrived in L.A., because they are just fun little adventures to him. That when the day is done, he gets to go home to a mansion and listen to his radio shows blissfully with his wife. The first time there was an actual, ugly, real consequence – he just blames Peggy for it, for the choices he has made.  She has paid the cost a hundred times over, while Ana will survive; Jarvis is lucky enough to go home with his wife, knowing nothing of real loss. She then tells Jarvis to start moving instead of sulking so they can escape the desert and never have to deal with each other again.

Jarvis reveals his secret: Ana can’t have children. There were complications with the surgery, and nobody knows but him. Even Ana doesn’t know, because “she is married to a coward”. He knows it isn’t an excuse, but he is truly sorry.

They make up just in time to see some of Manfredi’s Maggia goons approaching with a truck.

As they approach, they find Jarvis trying to wake an unconscious Peggy. One mafioso stays behind to pick up Peggy, while the other loads Jarvis in the truck. Peggy, of course, is not unconscious and they quickly get the upper hand. Jarvis throws them a canteen and tells them to conserve it as they liberate their truck back.

In the S.S.R., Master approaches the prison cell area to see Vega and Thompson watching their prisoners – Sousa and Samberly. Master is unhappy that they are still alive, and Vega explains that they were acting under Chief Thompson’s orders. Thompson explains that the device in the lockup is a gamma cannon, and these two can fix it. Masters says that Whitney Frost is more than capable of doing so; but Thompson points out then they can’t use it on her. He tells Masters that either way, he’s on his side: He will help him take out Frost, or he will kill Sousa and Samberly if he wants.

Which side are you on, Jack?

Masters agrees to take out Whitney Frost, as that’s the smart way. Thompson lets them out and they talk about how the plan worked. Sousa complains about the gutpunch earlier. Thompson claims it was to “sell it”. Yeah, right.

Manfredi takes Whitney to her new “lab”, a dump (or “Waste Management Facility”, as he points out). It’s not sterile, but he had his boys fix it up and bring in the equipment from Isodyne. They approach Wilkes, who is strapped to table. He reiterates that he isn’t safe and needs to be somewhere isolated so no one gets hurt. Whitney lambasts him for being ungrateful, and reveals she is going to take the Zero Matter from him because he doesn’t want to learn to control it. She stabs an extremely large needle into his chest.

Peggy arrives at the S.S.R. and immediately starts beating the living hell out of Masters, asking what he has done with Thompson and Sousa – before Thompson and Sousa pull her off him. They explain he is an integral part of the mission. As Samberly fixes the gamma cannon, they explain the plan to Peggy. She is unhappy about working with Vernon Masters, but Masters point out that they are in a stalemate – they all have dirt on one another. The only way out of this is if they work together, and no one tries to take one another out. Masters tells them that Whitney wants the cannon soon, and Samberly needs at least another hour. Thompson volunteers to go tell her.

How brave…I think.

In the dump, they are still trying and failing to extract Darkforce from Wilkes. Thompson shows up to have a word. His flirting annoys Manfredi, who leaves to get some food. He tells Whitney that he is there to buy time, because they are planning on fixing up the cannon before delivering it so that they can use it on her. He is willing to help in exchange for a seat on the Council.

Thompson, you bastard.

Thompson tells the gang that the deed is done, which causes Peggy to be a bit suspicious that he made it out unscathed. Masters, however, is impressed with his work. They load the cannon into a truck and Masters reveals he wants to pull the trigger, so Samberly instructs him on how to do it. As they make their way to the backup car, Peggy voices her concerns to Sousa, saying she doesn’t trust Masters. Sousa says that Vernon does what’s best for Vernon – and that is taking out Whitney Frost. They get in the car, but the fuel line is cut and Thompson isn’t answering the radio. Peggy realizes this must be the work of Vernon Masters.

In the S.S.R., Samberly is trying to impress Rose by fabricating a story in which he stood up to Masters. Sousa and Peggy bust in and ask for Samberly’s car, saying that Masters is setting up Thompson. Samberly expresses surprise that Masters must have figured out their plan; Thompson and Samberly turned the gamma cannon into a bomb. Samberly, however, thought everyone was in on this idea. They don’t want to kill everyone (despite them all being kind of evil now), so they get Samberly to build a jammer as quickly as possible and head out.

In the hospital, Jarvis is fussing with Ana. She keeps asking about the mission, and Jarvis is dodging questions, trying to plan a vacation. Ana calls him out on this and he explains what he knows. Ana scolds him for not being there to help. He explains he is there because she needs him. She admires the sentiment, but she has doctors and nurses and Peggy has no one. She is not looking to debate and tells him to go help. She says he is a terrible liar, and asks what else he isn’t telling her. We get a tasteful silent shot through the window, presumably of Edwin explaining to Ana that she cannot bear children.

Peggy sees Thompson, Masters and some Maggia goons carry in the cannon at the dump. She decides to go in and rescue Wilkes, which Sousa says is a crazy idea. Samberly, however, can’t get the jammer working and while he and Sousa argue, Peggy goes in.

Thompson is explaining the gamma cannon to Whitney, and she says she is only planning on using it to take her Zero Matter back from Wilkes. Masters volunteers to show her how it works.

Meanwhile, Peggy takes out some guards and breaks Wilkes out. He tells her that he is dangerous and that he doesn’t deserve her help. She dismisses his actions as influenced by Zero Matter, and he says everything he did was of his own volition.

As Masters has the gamma cannon pointed at Whitney, he says he needs to show her one more feature. She turns off the machine and tells him she understands. She reveals that Thompson told her everything as Thompson pulls a gun on Masters.

Wilkes refuses to be rescued, saying that if he explodes, no one will get hurt at the dump. She is stubborn and taking him anyway, but as she scouts ahead for guards, he locks her out and himself in, accepting his death as his skin starts cracking and leaking Zero Matter.

Outside, Samberly blocks the detonator with his jammer and they wait for Peggy to return.

Masters tries to talk his way out of his predicament, but Thompson doesn’t care. He leaves Whitney to take care of Masters, as her way is cleaner. He leaves and tries to detonate the bomb.

I can’t decide if this is a good decision or not. I guess Wilkes is a goner anyway.

Jack realizes his signal is being jammed and approaches Samberly, telling him to turn it off now. Peggy and Sousa refuse to let him, but Thompson says he’s doing what needs to be done – even if it involves killing three people. Peggy says that their job is to bring them to justice, not to kill. Thompson pulls a gun on Samberly and tells him to hit the switch, so he does. As Thompson is about to pull the trigger again, Peggy pulls a gun on him.

Inside, Whitney is killing Masters with Zero Matter, and Masters starts smiling – “they got you too, bitch!”. Whitney realizes the cannon is a bomb, right as Wilkes stumbles in the room and explodes in a spray of Zero Matter.

Okay, what?

You can’t end an episode like that! Foul play!

A lot went down this episode and it definitely ended with a nailbiter the likes of which Agent Carter has never seen. That, paired with the fantastic song and dance number, elevates this episode to another 9/10.

The finale is next week. Are you prepared?

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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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