Agent Carter continues to take Hollywood by storm this week, as she pulls in old friend Howard Stark, and draws Agent Thompson out to LA in our third episode. The only major drawback is that as we get drawn deeper into the mystery, the science becomes less science and more of a new excuse to have enhanced humans in every time period.
Peggy: “Are they ready for a movie based on a comic book? Sounds dreadful.”
I suppose once Agents of SHIELD went full-bore into the Enhanced Human world, rebuilding the MCU to have their amazingly popular mutants story lines a new outlet with the Inhumans, since FOX has absolutely no intention of ever allowing the X-Men to roll back into the fold, it wouldn’t be such a stretch to bring the same dynamic to 1947. This week we learned that not only does actress “Whitney Frost” (not her real name), and a version of Heddy Lamar, have a “Zero Matter” Harry Potter type scar under her wig, but some very X-Men like abilities with producers who hug just a little too long. And joining her in the otherworldly abilities in Wilkes. He’s not dead. (Afetr all the actor was signed for the whole season.) Instead he has become the Invisible Man, which I am very impressed the show didn’t openly make the connection between the color of his skin and he inability of the white people around him to see him until he’s been sprayed with Stark’s specialty potions.
Meanwhile, Carter is digging deeper into Isodyne, and coming up with the discovery of that Masonic-type group housed deep within the Arena Club, while Thompson is being slowly indoctrinated by the members of that same club in order to shut down the investigation, as well as get themselves a man on the inside. What they don’t know is that at every turn, Peggy has been a half step ahead of them, so Thompson, instead of being indoctrinated is having his every suspicion raised. The question is how long until Thompson decides to join the side of the good guys and Peggy, instead of accusing her of being emotional and shutting things down left and right and ordering her back to New York.
Vernon Masters: “Give me a call. We’ll do lunch. Apparently that’s what people do around here.”
Not that Pegs is going back to New York. She’s planning on missing that flight. Out here in California, the sunshine is bright, and her closet of dresses that I assume are supplied by Howard seems to be endless. Besides she now has a matching tie-pin to the one that Dotty Underwood was after in the prologue. How long until we discover these two teaming up? And besides it turns out Wilkes is shadowing her from place to place, patiently waiting to be noticed. And now that he’s able to communicate, he’s alerted her to the fact that Whitney Frost is the real brains behind the operation.
Speaking of “Whitney Frost,” I was expecting that she would have a reveal of her real name–according to comic spoilers it’s Giulietta Nefaria. But perhaps that was too obvious–or comic booky? Instead the reveal comes that she is Agnes Cully, who was the female scientist brains behind Isodyne during the war, and it basically playing a more extreme version of the real life Heddy Lamar, except, of course, she’s not working for the US government, but to undermine it. She also not working for her husband Calvin Chadwick to get him elected. She’s merely using him to get what she wants–which at this moment, I will admit is not totally clear. Before it was running Isodyne. Now with Isodyne shut down, and Chadwick with a clear path to a senate seat that his overlords want more than she does, I’m not sure what her next move is. Other than “not accidentally absorbing men with her evil black goo.” Oh and “acting crying to get Peggy assassinated.”
Arena Club Maître D’: “Security. We have a Code Pink.”
While we wait for Carter to make more of a connection with Frost/Cully, especially now that the assassination attempt failed, we enjoyed a Howard Stark filled episode, with more production assistants than you can shake a stick at. His all-girls all-the-time distraction at the Arena Club was the highlight of the evening, wrapping up the humor of his insane ego, the humor of the mores of the time and a perfect distraction while Peggy tries–and oddly fails–to infiltrate the shady interior headquarters within the club with listening devices. (Said interior club, the MCU is calling “The Council of Nine” in a nod to the Secret Empire bad-guy-group within Hydra. I’m wondering if that means it will tie back again to SHIELD as they try and figure out who at “NASA” sent the mission to the Blue Planet.) We never saw if the listening device/bow smoke creator ever went off, or set off a false fire alarm like I think it was supposed to, a loose end that worries me. But hey, we did get to see Atwell once again fake ditz to get out of a bad situation. “Oh I’m sorry. I get really confused around books.”
As for Jarvis’ new security system in which his voice warns away intruders oh so politely, that brings a moment of foreshadowing that almost made me sad for a moment. “I have no desire to spend the rest of time as a disembodied voice.” But then I remember Jarvis is now Vision–so he’ll get his wish eventually. That’s not the only tie back to the upcoming movies. As many outlets have pointed out, Zero Matter is actually a substance called “Darkforce” in later set comics–the idea being that until they figured out what it was “Zero Matter” is simply what people are calling it. And Darkforce, as comic lovers will know, is going to be playing a major role in the now-filming Beendict Cumberbatch led Doctor Strange. Who says the MCU doesn’t find a way to tie it all together.
Until next week, let’s all bask in the awesomeness that is Howard Stark’s guest appearance. “C’mon girls. Let’s go back to my pool and play water giggles.”