Written by Christopher Markus, Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby
Directed by Metin Huseyin
If you didn’t think after events in Life of the Party that there was any way for Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett) to escape the cataclysm she caused for herself, you’d be terribly wrong. As Monsters opens, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) are at a press conference where Whitney Frost announces the accidental death of her husband and several of his associates in a boating accident. Meanwhile, Dottie Underwood (Bridget Regan) is being questioned by Vernon Masters (Kurtwood Smith). He injects her with truth serum, but Dottie has been trained to resist it. Whitney Frost arrives and uses the zero matter on her, and Dottie starts talking.
Anna Jarvis (Lotte Verbeek) is still helping Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin) with his work. He seems to be phasing out of existence more often. He’s also becoming more stressed about the situation and lashing out. They test his creation out with the sample of zero matter Jarvis (James D’Arcy) retrieved, and it seems to have worked. When there’s a signal from the bug planted on Dottie, Peggy calls Daniel, who can’t talk because Vernon Masters is there. Peggy knows it’s likely a trap, but wants to find out what’s going on. Jarvis brings one of Mr. Stark’s inventions with them as they track the signal.
Unfortunately, when they need the device to work, it doesn’t. Peggy and Jarvis are captured and brought to where Dottie is being held. As they are escaping, Dottie confesses that the trap wasn’t for Peggy and Jarvis, but to get them out of the way so Whitney could go after Jason Wilkes. She confronts him in the containment vessel in the laboratory and some of the zero matter is transferred from her body to his. This allows Jason to escape the containment vessel. Anna confronts Whitney and Joe Manfredi (Ken Marino) when they are kidnapping Jason, and is shot. Peggy and Jarvis get her to the hospital as quickly as they can. Dottie is in the trunk of the car and unfortunately escapes while Peggy and Jarvis are inside the hospital.
Peggy tries to call Daniel and finds out Vernon Masters has replaced him as Chief of the Los Angeles SSR. She sits with Jarvis as they await the results of Anna’s surgery.
Whitney Frost is, of course, the main “monster” in this episode, but there are others as well. Vernon Masters is a close second and Whitney’s bodyguard/enforcer, Joe Manfredi is not far behind. Whitney needs the original uranium rods that Peggy managed to swipe, and will do anything to get them. Not only is Whitney on the offensive, but Vernon Masters is also putting pressure on Daniel Sousa to find and return the uranium stolen from Roxxon.
Peggy finds herself firmly in a love triangle once Jason Wilkes invents a containment vessel that allows him to stop phasing out of reality and become more solid. The first thing he does is kiss Peggy, and she does not pull away from him, even though he has taken her by surprise. Jarvis discusses the situation with her while they are on the way to rescue Dottie, and it makes for a good bonding moment between the two. It’s almost like Jarvis has taken on the role her brother once played in her life. Peggy confesses to him that she doesn’t know what to do.
Primarily character-driven, there’s not much action in Monsters. There are some good special effects, such as when the zero matter enters Dottie’s body. This episode serves to move the story to where it needs to be, and it has the feeling of being stretched out a bit. Peggy and Jarvis’ conversation about her love life grinds the momentum to a halt as they are going to rescue Dottie. It seems like they should be concerned about more pressing matters at that point.
At the same time, Monsters demonstrates that there are consequences to actions. Up until now, it’s been like Jarvis is on a fun adventure with Peggy. However, by involving his wife and by her suffering for trying to stand up to Whitney Frost, it makes the consequences very real. The end of the episode really keeps the viewers yearning for more and promises an interesting payoff.
While Monsters isn’t the strongest episode of the Agent Carter series, it does serve to change the momentum from the side of the righteous to that of the villains. Where it seemed this season might be about to be wrapped up, suddenly there are more problems for Peggy and her friends to solve, as well as waiting to see whether Anna will come through it all. It has a good cliffhanger for the remainder of the episodes as well as some good character development, although it’s a bit awkward at time.
Previous episode of the series (link): Agent Carter: Life of the Party
Next episode of the series (link): Agent Carter: The Edge of Mystery