Written by Christopher Markus, Jack Kirby, and Stan Lee
Directed by Jennifer Getzinger
The final episode of the Agent Carter series actually leaves the story open for more adventures. It’s a shame they didn’t do more seasons. I really enjoyed the show. This is also the episode where I learn if my theories throughout the series were correct or not.
Incorrect: my many theories about female characters being plants by the same Soviet agency that trained Natasha Romanoff. We know the agency has been active this far back due to the presence of Dottie (Bridget Regan) in the previous season and briefly in this one. I thought any number of different characters this season could also have been a plant by them, especially Daniel Sousa’s fiancee, Violet (Sarah Bolger). This turned out not to be the case.
This episode opens with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) at a standoff as to whether to use the gamma cannon. There is a blast, but it’s not from the cannon. They enter the building and find the gamma cannon intact. Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin) has somehow managed to expel the zero matter within his body. They watch as it is absorbed by Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett). Jarvis (James D’Arcy) and Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) arrive and save the day, helping them make an escape.
At SSR Headquarters, the team begins rounding up agents who were aligned with Vernon Masters. Jason talks about zero matter being like carrying a disease and it’s looking for new people to infect. Whitney Frost returns home with Joe Manfredi (Ken Marino). He’s beginning to have his own misgivings about the situation.
Peggy, Jason, and Howard brainstorm about what to do about the zero matter. Joe Manfredi arrives. It turns out he and Howard know each other. He argues that it’s the zero matter in her that’s making her evil. Joe tells them she is trying to open the rift again.
Howard Stark: How do the most successful scientists achieve greatness?
Edwin Jarvis: Given your history, drinking copious amounts of alcohol and cavorting with loose women.
Howard Stark: That’s a good guess, but it’s wrong. Nope. They get smarter people to do the research, and then they steal it for themselves.
They come up with a plan to steal what Whitney is working on, then lure her to the Stark Pictures lot where there is a lot of space for them to operate the machine they are building without hurting anyone. While they are building it, there are moments of introspection between the characters. Jack shows Peggy that the Arena Club pin is also a key and they wonder what it is a key to.
Howard Stark: [Howard tries to hit a golf ball into the rift but misses] Damn! What am I doing wrong, Jarvis?
Edwin Jarvis: Sir, we are standing before an incomprehensible rip in the fabric of our world…
[hands Howard a club]
Edwin Jarvis: …use the 7-iron.
This was a good, solid episode with action, intrigue, and redemption. It sets the stage for more adventures with the core group from the SSR, plus Howard Stark and Jarvis. Jack Thompson gets a bit of redemption, even as he and Peggy spar. They have differing motives for what they do, but above all Jack is loyal. He proves that this season. Peggy doesn’t necessarily like him, but she does come to trust him.
This was another solid season, even if it did feel more like a comic book with outrageous weapons and evil scientists. While evil, Whitney Frost was a strong, intelligent female character at a time when women weren’t expected to be any of these things and were often persecuted if they were. That was what I enjoyed about the whole series; from Peggy to Whitney, Dottie, Angie, Rose, and Ana the women were strong characters rather than damsels in distress.
Now I’m going to discuss the future of the characters that come up in other MCU properties. Do not read this section if you don’t know the rest of Peggy Carter’s story.
The ending implies that Daniel Souza is the one Peggy Carter refers to as her husband in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This is then contradicted by the ending of Avengers: Endgame. I grasp that Steve Rogers was the love of Peggy’s life, and vice-versa. The problem is all of what is set up as Peggy’s story is erased by Steve’s actions. It also gives the impression that the creators of this series of movies didn’t have a plan in place for Chris Evans stepping back from the role and resolving his story in the universe. They threw in the end of Endgame to make people happy, but it devalued what Peggy’s story had been until this point.
I also think it is hard to believe that Steve would have been content to sit around the house and not be seen for most of his life while terrible things happen around him. That’s not who Steve is at all. He would have been forced to get involved and then everyone would have known about him. I’ve read the argument that by returning to Peggy, Steve creates an alternate universe. That would be fine if he didn’t show up at Tony Stark’s funeral. By him showing up there, it implies that he’s been there all along, just hanging back.
Previous episode of the series (link): Agent Carter: A Little Song and Dance