This season of Agent Carter has largely been a marked improvement over its first season, but occasionally some plot twists and decisions have held it back from reaching the heights it should at this point. This episode was full of head-scratching moments that ruined a lot of what’s made this season great.
Let’s just jump ahead to the big twist with Jason. Whitney has him handcuffed and is observing his connection to Zero Matter attempting to pique his curiosity of what they could uncover together. Despite being able to absorb her power, Jason still cowers around Whitney. But by the time Peggy, Sousa and Jarvis work out an exchange — the uranium rods for Jason — he’s fully on Team Whitney and ready to kill Peggy to learn more of the Zero Matter secrets. As well as hearing clearer from the voices whispering in their heads.
There was some weak foreshadowing that Jason had a darker side. Losing his temper after Peggy began a rescue attempt to save Dottie and not just using the detonator — the cop Dottie killed in escaping from Peggy’s custody would’ve appreciated that — was supposed to indicate that Jason was desperate for a solution. But after weeks of seeing Peggy doing whatever it took to free him and actively getting him closer to solidifying, it was ridiculous that a few conversations with Whitney could possibly justify his heel turn. If nothing else, Agent Carter successfully provided the evil version of Cloak and Dagger now with Jason and Whitney aligned.
I can’t help but feel this abrupt switch in Jason’s character was partially influenced so Peggy and Sousa could get together, but Sousa just looks like the remaining option — not necessarily Peggy’s choice.
Unlike most series with the luxury of running 21-23 episodes, there hasn’t been enough time devoted to Sousa/Peggy to make it more than a crush. Had the season started with Sousa/Peggy together these last few random plot twists wouldn’t have felt so out of nowhere, but in the span of a few weeks Violet calls off the engagement because Sousa is worried after Peggy gets impaled and Peggy’s other love interest pulls a shotgun on her. It’s almost like the writers are begging us to get behind Peggy/Sousa as a couple. And with so few episodes to build that up properly it has never clicked for me.
For some reason, the writers are enamored with Thompson, who continues to be an annoying character. Thompson blindly obeys Vernon Masters’ plans to find some incriminating evidence against Peggy (though what that would accomplish remains unclear), then after talking with Peggy decides he may need to pay closer attention to Vernon. After overhearing him colluding with Whitney, Thompson finally realizes his ally is shifty. And because the writers find him so charming, Thompson doesn’t get the obvious bullet to the head and just gets his memory zapped. Now he’s finally ready to work alongside Peggy and Sousa … again.
In the more riveting subplot, the hospital scenes with Ana and Jarvis were exceptional. From his far-fetched promises to Ana and her chiding him about them, this has been a relationship done right on this show. Ana not being able to have children provided some actual consequences to a shooting for a change, but I was equally intrigued by Jarvis’ decision not to reveal that to her.
Howard Stark telegraphed instructions for a gamma ray gun that could conceivably knock out the Zero Matter effect. Dr. Samberly manages to put it together, but not before Whitney and Jason re-enact the bombing to spark up the Zero Matter again.
Whitney is shocked to see Jason has a deeper connection to the source and gets sucked into it while she can only scream ‘What about me?’
I liked seeing Whitney’s plans not exactly going as scheduled, which became even more pronounced when Jarvis walked up and shot her twice point blank. That was a shocking serious move from a character who too often is stuck in the comic relief portion of the show. Seeing a much more ruthless side reveals just how much Jarvis cares about Ana and his desire to put Whitney down for so severely impacting her life.
Unfortunately for him, bullets can’t kill Whitney anymore. With Jason back to Earth, Whitney captures Peggy and Jarvis figuring Jason will be more willing to go along with her plans with his friends in tow. This of course, kinda negates the whole point of Jason having Peggy at gunpoint earlier.
While a lot broke down this episode, the writers didn’t navigate the betrayals and plot twists as neatly as they should have at this point in the season.
Rating: 7 out of 10