'Marvel's Agent Carter' 2×08 & 2×09 Review: 'The Edge of Mystery' & 'A Little Song and Dance'

A lot happened in tonight’s episodes – ‘The Edge of Mystery’ and ‘A Little Song and Dance’  as we saw the characters bind together, change allegiances, do some desperate acts and in some cases go crazy. The stakes were high and every hand was on deck as we reach the end of this season.
 

Friends, enemies, twists and secret betrayals

So these two episodes were extremely heavy on the betrayals. Let us compile a list for you to

  • Jason Wilkes betrays Peggy after she saves him in order to find out the location of the uranium rods
  • Jack Thompson betrays Peggy by retrieving her file in London and attempting to blackmail her with it
  • Vernon Masters betrays Jack by zapping his memory after Jack catches him getting the uranium rods for Whitney Frost
  • Whitney Frost betrayed Jason after he receives all the dark matter by strapping him to a table and attempting to take it from him
  • Jack in turn betrays Vernon by joining with Daniel Sousa and crew and tries to make Vernon think that they want his help in defeating Whitney Frost
  • Which means that Vernon betrays Whitney…
  • Jack then betrays Vernon to Whitney in order to get a seat on the Council of Nine
  • Vernon sets a trap for Jack by sabotaging Peggy and Daniel’s car so that they can’t give Jack aid
  • And then Jack betrays everyone, by getting Dr. Samberly to turn the gamma radiation canon into a bomb that will kill Whitney, Jason and everyone else in the vicinity, and he does this without telling Peggy, Daniel or the rest of his crew

In a space of two hours, this all happened. In many aspects, the twists were thrilling and kept things interesting, but they also became a bit tedious and many times felt as if they were just done to keep shocking the audience, but most of us just wanted the story to advance.

Credit: ABC/Marvel Television
Credit: ABC/Marvel Television

At the end of the episode, I felt myself surprising agreeing with Jack Thompson that he should just blow the whole place up, with Whitney, Jason and Vernon inside. Jason and Vernon were already well on their way to dying, and no good would come of putting Whitney Frost in captivity, she would just join the HYDRA cronies in jail. And one could understand why he would not tell Peggy and Daniel the plan, because they would 100% never go along with it, good kids as they are.
 

The tragic story of Jason Wilkes

Throughout this season, I have spoken about the role that Jason Wilkes plays in Agent Carter as the single representative of people of color in the series, and now I can honestly say that I am disappointed with how they have portrayed him.
Last week, Whitney Frost described Jason’s position at Isodyne Technologies as being somewhat of a token position given to a black scientist so that he can be grateful, extremely loyal and willing to do anything. I, somehow, wonder if that’s what they expected by giving him a token role in the series, that the audience would be so grateful for a character of color that we would be willing to accept him in any shape or form.
Shape or form is exactly the phrase that can be used to describe Jason Wilkes’ journey. Throughout his tenure on the series, he went from scientist happily making his own wine, to suitor of Peggy Carter, insider at Isodyne Technologies, a man hunted down by his work place, a ghost, a science experiment and a victim. He is constantly being outsmarted by, saved by and used as a pawn by the white people around him, at the end he is constantly at their mercy.

http://themodernprometheuss.tumblr.com/post/139916550212/im-sorry


In my review of episode three of this season, I wrote, “Last season got a lot of flack for its lack of racial diversity, and it seems like this year Wilkes was their attempt to change that – until they killed him off. Yes, yes, I know he’s not really dead, but this exact trope has just been done – by Agents of SHIELD with Andrew Garner, another black man. In fact between Antoine Triplett in Agents of SHIELD, Ben Ulrich in Daredevil,  and Detective Clemens in Jessica Jones, the trend of black, male characters getting killed in Marvel series is far too common.”
I still stand by this statement.
 

The greatest dance show on Earth

Easily the best part of the episode was a musical number at the beginning of the second episode. Peggy is knocked out by Joseph Manfredi’s goons and she hallucinates. In a black and white sequence she sees her brother Michael sitting in the SSR office, they have a little chat about the predicament that she’s in and she basically rehashes episode four whereby her history with the SSR is traced back to her brother.

http://brittany-snodes.tumblr.com/post/139894509075


With the addition of color to Peggy’s hallucination, comes all the action as we are transported back to the New York diner that Peggy hung out in, in season one. And Angie returns as a waitress to help Peggy sing about her current love triangle. Have I mentioned how much I have missed Angie? Ana Jarvis was a lovely distraction from the Angie-shaped hole this season, but it didn’t do much to make us forget about the great bond that Peggy and Angie fostered last season, and how much that dynamic was missed. With all the other female characters either Peggy’s adversaries, or sidelined, it would be wonderful if we get a third season if they have another female agent fighting alongside Peggy, that she isn’t the only warrior in the show.
In an excellent callback to the 1940’s MGM musicals we get to see Peggy singing and dancing with Jason and Daniel, with guest appearances from Dottie, Jarvis, Ana and Whitney. It’s glorious and I really wished to see an entire episode of just that. Kickstarter for Agent Carter musical anyone?

Credit: Entertainment Weekly
Credit: Entertainment Weekly

 

Jarvis and Ana

In one final bit of side plot, Ana survives the shooting but Jarvis is in a state because of what had happened to her. He goes on a revenge mission in order to kill Whitney Frost for what she did to his wife, even leaving Rose with a will for Ana in case anything goes wrong.
The doctor reveals to Jarvis, that while Ana will make a full recovery she would not be able to have children, which is what I think devastates Jarvis, and throughout the episode he deals with this tragedy while also dealing with his own cowardice at not being able to tell Ana about this.

http://itsrebelscum.tumblr.com/post/139918836477


We never get to see Ana’s reaction to this news and mainly read the situation from Jarvis’ point of view. I really hope that they address this issue in the finale. In a show written by, run by and championing women, this pertinent issue about a woman’s body should provide the reaction of said female.
Were they planning on having children? Is this why Tony is so attached to Jarvis in the future? Is he like a second set of parents for him?
 

Last minute notes:

  • No Howard in this week’s episode but he does send through, in a kind of old timely fax, the plans for the gamma radiation bomb, so I guess he is making some kind of contribution in South America. He is back next week though.
  • Can we please keep Angie forever?
  • If Vernon Masters is now dead, can the crew return to the SSR? Is there still an SSR to return to?
  • James D’Arcy was excellent in tonight’s episodes, especially as he portrayed his grief
  • #JusticeForJasonWilkes
  • *Prayers for a third season*
  • Whitney Frost has gone full crazy now, I can’t find anyway she can be redeemed, it’s just her and the zero matter right now.
  • Since Jason Wilkes certainly exploded, but they can’t really die, my theory is that Whitney will absorb Jason’s zero matter and become more powerful.
  • The banter between Dr. Samberly and Daniel gives me life
  • Still betting that Daniel is Peggy’s husband from the future
  • Also why am I so attracted to Jack Thompson? He has done so many sketchy and questionable things but I still like him. Feelings go away, this can only end badly.

 

Next Week on Agent Carter:


 
Marvel’s Agent Carter finale will air on ABC at 9pm on Tuesday, 1 March.
 

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