Agent Carter: “Life of the Party/Monsters”
Agent Carter was pushed back my two weeks from its original start date of the first week of January. Once for reasons never explained, and twice because of the State of the Union. (Thanks Obama!) Te resulting mess is that this week and next week are double episodes.
Dottie: Your idealism blinds you Peggy and it will kill us all.
Now, I know technically that’s why, but with Hayley Atwell announced as heading up a brand new pilot on ABC, the writing is clearly on the wall for Agent Carter. As I said before when ABC announced they would be eventually spinning off Marvels Most Wanted, I could not understand why the network would want three low rated MCU properties on the schedule. I understand that the MCU is a huge money-maker for Disney in the movie business, but this is TV. ABC needs to make money, and right now the MCU is not sending them the hits–they’re putting those on Netflix.
But if this is the end of Agent Cater, then perhaps it all makes a lot more sense. And therefore we should sit back and enjoy the last few installments as best we can.
Jarvis: This does create a bit of a sticky wicket in regards to Chief Sousa.
Peggy: A sticky what?
I say as best we can because, much like last season, the story is really starting to run off the rails. Last week’s caper-based romp was a complete detour. This week at least stayed on message and on topic for both installments, while also delivering one of the best “romps” we’ve had in a while, when Dottie and Peggy team up to break into the Arena Club and take down the Council of Nine once and for all.
That Dottie uses almost the exact same methods as Peggy to break in, to get inside the council room, to get out and then to not get caught by men has to have been deliberate. (Also? Love the hat.) They really are two peas in a pod, just on either sides of the law. But Dottie has to contend with something Peggy did not. When Peggy was there, it was all men all the time and ditzing one’s way out was easy. But under Dottie’s watch, Whitney Frost walks in and stages a coup, absorbing fully half the council (including betraying husband Chadwick) before the rest bow down to her rule. And Whitney is not fooled by women playing the ditz. She too has spent her life doing it and sees right through Dottie. She also does something even Peggy hasn’t yet–she breaks her, using the power of zero matter. It’s an ugly moment, and one that makes you realize you’ve been rooting for Dottie along with Peggy this year.
Jarvis: Miss Carter, do you not feel that the sudden and inexplicable appearance of this signal is rather convenient?
Peggy: It isn’t inexplicable, Mr. Jarvis, we’re walking into a trap.
The problem with squishing these two hours together is that without the week long break, Peggy goes from being almost incapacitated by a gunshot to fully healed the blink of an eye. (Two weeks spacing between those episodes as originally envisioned probably would have helped.) Instead we careen directly into the next installment, with Whitney Frost chasing down the just recorporalized Jason Wilkes to kill him. Part of the problem is that without time to breathe it also seems like Peggy is going around kissing everyone this evening. First Sousa when she learns Violet dumped him, and then Wilkes when he gets his body back.
I have been waiting for someone to say something nasty about Peggy and her fling with a person of color–I know it’s California, but they were just as racist on the West Coast as the East. So not only was it weird that no one seemed to be batting an eyelash about it, but then Frost comes in with a whole speech taking the subtext of Agent Carter and the oppression she faces and making it text. I understand that in their final hours Agent Carter wants to take a stand. But their refusal to get ugly about oppression, while having their “we’re taking a stand on this” rang hollow. And why did they give the speech to someone who is supposed to be a super-villain anyway? Is this supposed to suggest that Frost become a super-villain due to oppression? Then why haven’t Carter or Wilkes?
Jack: Some advice for you. A little baking soda; that’ll get the stains out when you’re doing soft laundry.
Jarvis: Well, everybody knows that.
And then Frost shot Ana Jarvis, who was basically being underused anyway. *Throws up hands.* At least Dottie escaped back into the night, where she is safe from the Vernon Masters or the world, as well at the Jack Thompsons and their white boy failures.
Speaking of which, I assume he’s going to come round from his palling with the old boys club and help Peggy save the day and get Sousa his job back soon. Right? Right?