This is it! This is it, folks!
We pick up right where we left off (in fact, one minute before): Thompson tells Samberly to hit the switch, Peggy pulls a gun on Thompson, Wilkes explodes.
The explosion of Zero Matter from Dr. Wilkes levels Peggy and crew, knocking them all flat right as Peggy was about to fire. In the confusion, they realize it wasn’t the gamma cannon exploding and rush in to see what happened. As they enter the building they find blobs of Zero Matter scattered about, while Wilkes is shaken but fine, having expelled all the Darkforce.
The Zero Matter starts making it’s way towards Whitney Frost, and she absorbs it all – seeing as gunfire will do nothing, they decide now might be a good time to make their escape.
Outside, Samberly has taken the car and ran off. Good old Samberly. Whitney follows them and starts her menacing villain speech, only to be immediately ran over by Jarvis and Howard Stark. Howard is a bit concerned about hitting a two-time Oscar nominee, but Jarvis assures him that Ms. Frost is quite resilient. Samberly pulls up as well – it turns out her went to grab backup and wasn’t a total asshat after all. They all pile into the cars.
At the S.S.R., as Thompson and Sousa round up all of Vernon’s moles, Wilkes describes to the gang what the inside of the Darkforce rift was like – namely, a whole lot of nothing. A “nothing” that has consumed whatever world was beyond the rift and is looking to “infect” our world, if Whitney Frost has anything to do with it. After running some tests, Howard congratulates Wilkes for being free of Zero Matter. Wilkes is relieved, but doesn’t think he can ever return to being his old self – he is still ashamed of the things he did while infected.
In her room, Whitney is taking a play out of Coulson’s rulebook and ruining a perfectly good wall with her drawings. She is trying to work out a formula to open the rift permanently. Manfredi comes to check in on her, and is clearly concerned and confused but trying to be supportive – that is, until she snaps on him for touching her while working. He has a heart-to-heart with his Nonna, talking about how he is concerned because she isn’t acting like herself. Nonna Manfredi tells him that if he wants to save her, he needs to make a deal…
…With “the devil”.
As they enjoy a meal outside Howard’s mansion, Wilkes expresses his doubts in their plan of blasting Whitney with the gamma cannon, pointing out the expelled Darkforce would have nowhere to go. Howard suggests they build another containment unit to study it, but Peggy accuses him of trying to turn a profit. As Howard calls for Jarvis to bring him mustard, he arrives with his hands up and Manfredi’s pistol pressed into his back. Howard makes him put the mustard down before starting to negotiate. Howard blames Manfredi for breaking into his home and holding his butler hostage, and Manfredi blames Howard for stealing his underwear in a sauna. They start laughing and reveal – apparently – that they are old buddies. Wilkes points out that he kidnapped and tortured him – Manfredi insincerely apologizes.
Revealing the reason for his visit, Manfredi says he is worried about Whitney. He says that she is working on a formula to open the rift permanently. They form a plan – to open the rift before her and blast her with the gamma cannon so the Zero Matter will exit the rift. Howard says that the best way to open the rift is to steal Whitney’s plans – all great scientists steal and take credit.
And hey, if Howard didn’t steal, we wouldn’t have the plot of Iron Man 2!
All they need to do is get Joseph to lure her out of the room.
As Manfredi gets Whitney out of the room to help interrogate a poor unsuspecting thug, Daniel and Peggy take pictures of all the work in the room. Now, it’s the 40’s and the resolution is going to be terrible and you aren’t going to be able to read these formulas, but let’s say it’s a special S.S.R. gadget – to help me sleep at night. Meanwhile, the thug is not working for the rival mob boss and has no idea what Manfredi wants him to say, so Manfredi brings in Whitney – the big guns. Afraid of being hurt, he admits he has been working with the feds, and Whitney leaves. Manfredi is pissed, not actually thinking he was being betrayed, and resolves to kill him – but first he needs to stop Whitney from going back to the room too soon. Luckily, Peggy and Sousa escape through the window just in time.
Back in the S.S.R. lab, Samberly, Stark and Wilkes are arguing about what to call the machine. Howard points out that he is the only one who has built a hovercar and so he should get to name it, but everyone agrees calling it the “Shears of God” is ridiculous. Stark explains the machine to Peggy using some pseudoscience, but Wilkes and Samberly point out there are flaws with the design – namely, controlling the portal and stopping Zero Matter from escaping. After some buttering up of their egos by Peggy, they decide they can contain the matter with X-Ray projectors and use it in the Stark Productions studio lot. Peggy also decides to aptly name it a “Rift Generator”. And no need to draw Whitney out – she will sense the Zero Matter and she will come.
As the gang builds the machines and Stark flirts with Rose, Wilkes apologizes to Sousa, making his rounds in his “apology tour”. Sousa asks why he held the gun on Peggy earlier and not him – he admits that he knew Sousa would fold, because he himself would. Peggy and Jarvis talk about Ana and how she’s been doing (and how she’s been taking the bad news). Thompson shows up to help, so in a beautiful twist of fate, Peggy has him take the dinner orders. He agrees to do so.
After making the call for pick-up, Thompson decides to go through Vernon Masters old briefcase. He’s dead, after all. He finds the redacted file on Peggy, as well as the Arena Club pin Dottie was after – he plays with it a bit and reveals that it actually twists open into a key.
At the lot, everything it set up and good to go. Jarvis, Wilkes and Stark will man the gamma cannon, while Peggy, Thompson and Sousa will be on the lookout for Whitney. Wilkes gives a brief safety meeting and says that when the rift starts closing, it will suck up anything within 20 feet. He draws a line in the sand, and advises everyone to stay on the other side of it for their safety. They power up the machine and open a rift. In her room, Whitney Frost senses the opening.
As the gang tries to kill time waiting for Whitney Frost to show up, Howard Stark is trying to knock golf balls into the Darkforce dimension. (Sidenote: That is my favorite line I’ve ever written in an episode recap/review.) As Peggy radios Samberly to make sure he’s having no trouble setting up the X-ray projectors, Thompson asks if Peggy is going to turn him in for everything he has done. Peggy tells him that he is a great man that was taken advantage of, and in her eyes they are even (considering she pulled a gun on him earlier). He decides to show her the Arena Club pin key, and they resolve to find out what it unlocks (in season 3, if we ever get one).
Samberly finishes setting up the projector without noticing Whitney Frost behind him. He lets out a scream in one of his less masculine moments. Sousa radios them that though he doesn’t have eyes on Samberly, he sees Whitney Frost approaching. She walks right up to the rift, with a large gamma ray cannon pointed at her back. She doesn’t seem to notice or care, but I’ll give it to her – she’s not exactly in the best headspace right now. As she admires the beauty of the portal, they zap her and all her Zero Matter leaks into the portal in a matter of ten seconds. As she screams, the gang arrests her and Thompson notes that her face has healed from it’s Darkforce scar.
That was…quick. Too quick?
With Whitney gone and defeated, they realize they may have made a flaw in shutting down the portal. The gamma cannon takes a half-hour to recharge, and the “off-switch” is right underneath the rift – straight in the danger zone. Peggy decides she will do it, but Howard refuses to let her and says he will instead.
That’s very noble of you two, but it’s only 1947 and you both live several more years.
Wilkes offers to go, stating he had come back from the dimension before. Jarvis offers to go as well, stating he feels this is entirely his fault. Thompson offers too, saying it wouldn’t be the first suicide mission he survived. As they all argue who is going to die to save the world, Sousa has already tied a rope around himself and a nearby lamp post, and is making his way to the switch. As he makes his way to the control box and starts turning the crank, he begins to lift in the air and towards the portal. His makeshift rope unties from the post, and the next thing we know he is holding on to the box for dear life.
No, Daniel, no! We don’t know if you live yet, so you can’t die now!
Peggy grabs the rope, Howard grabs Peggy, Thompson grabs Howard, and Wilkes grabs Sousa. It’s a game of tug-of-war with a vacuum dimension, and the winner gets to keep Daniel Sousa. As things start getting dire and the gravitational pull gets worse, Sousa begs Peggy to let go. Jarvis and Samberly pull up in one of Howard’s cars and rush to help. Jarvis explains that – though the gamma cannon needs to be recharged – the core could be detonated inside the rift to close the portal. To do this, they would need to destroy Howard’s poor hovercar.
As Daniel is getting pulled further and further into the rift and the gang is struggling to pull him back, Samberly and Jarvis load the core into the car, and Jarvis hits the switch for it to hover and fly into the portal in some great S.H.I.E.L.D.-like special effects. The rift closes, and the gang hits the ground rather violently (especially poor Sousa). Happy ending!
Back at Stark’s mansion, Peggy and Howard are arguing still over whether or not he should be allowed custody of Zero Matter. Wilkes wakes up, and Stark tells him to be in the office 8:00 AM sharp Monday morning – he has a new facility in Malibu, and he wants Wilkes to work on a new secret project he dreamed up in Peru. Peggy and Wilkes share their goodbyes and what-could-have-beens, accepting that they will never be together.
I guess I’ll have to accept it, too.
As Peggy gets ready to leave back to New York, Ana is discharged and comes home. Ana scolds her for planning on leaving without saying goodbye. Peggy reveals she was afraid Ana wouldn’t want to see her, and apologizes for everything that happened. Ana gives her a warm hug. Jarvis gets ready to take Peggy to the airport, but she admits she called a cab. Jarvis looks absolutely heartbroken, and Ana makes Peggy use Jarvis’ services or she’d never hear the end of it. Peggy agrees and Jarvis literally leaps to action, grabbing her bags.
In her dressing room, Whitney Frost is upset over the disappearance of Zero Matter, and Calvin Chadwick reassures her that they will fix it together.
As the camera pans past, we see a disheveled Whitney, her face cut up, staring out the window of her ward – professing her love for Calvin. Manfredi shows up to give her flowers, but the orderly refuses to let him bring them in, claiming she would use them to try and cut open her face again. He goes in to try and talk her to her, but she’s only interested in talking to herself. Poor Joseph.
As Jarvis drops Peggy off, he subtly hints that she could stay longer in L.A. if she’d like. She points out that Jarvis hates L.A., and he admits he has grown fond of certain aspects. She says that she has to return to her roommate and her job; after all, her ticket has been booked. Jarvis says that she also has a reason to stay.
In his office, Sousa is filling out paperwork for the mission and officially closes the Isodyne case. Peggy congratulations him. He tries to talk about what happened at the rift, but Peggy refuses to hear any thanks. However, he wasn’t planning on thanking her – she messed up. He points out that she should have let Sousa die rather than put others in danger, and that she scolded him for a similar situation, making her a hypocrite. He makes a playful jab at her for not having a comeback, and she kisses him passionately. Sousa points out that Carter makes a good counterpoint, and they continue to kiss.
Ladies and gents, I think we found Peggy’s husband.
(But what happened to Violet?)
In his hotel room, Thompson talks to someone on the phone (presumably Sousa), only to find out Peggy is taking more vacation. He decides he is flying back alone. He cuts the call short, as he is getting kicked out – someone is knocking on the door urgently. He opens the door and is shot in the heart by a gloved assassin with a silenced pistol. They enter the room and take the redacted file on Peggy, as the camera focuses on Jack’s lifeless body over a sappy 40’s crooning love song.
Now, with this quite possibly being the last episode of Agent Carter forever (though fingers are crossed for a season 3), I do have some problems. First off, I’m going to miss the whole gang. I thought Peggy, Sousa, Wilkes, Stark, Samberly, Rose, Thompson, Jarvis and Ana made an excellent team. Now that I mention it, however, perhaps they could have used some thinning out. Secondly, unceremoniously killing Jack Thompson is no way to end a series if it is, in fact, done for good!
I am very curious to see where the research on Darkforce takes us in the present day, as I have mentioned it’s potential for storylines time and time again.
As for this episode itself, I felt it sort of rushed the Whitney Frost storyline without any real danger. Everything felt resolved a little quickly. I almost feel it should have been an extra half hour. It was definitely just a good ending to a great season. I give it 7/10.
Now, the Marvel train doesn’t stop – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back next week, driving straight through Daredevil season 2 and Captain America: Civil War without stopping. It also has been renewed for a fourth season, so give it a hand for that.
I don’t know if I’m quite ready to leave the glitz and glamour of 1947 L.A., but we’ll find out next week.