Minus that incredibly bizarre opening sequence, the penultimate episode of Season 2 was a blast with an explosive cliffhanger that left me anxiously awaiting the finale.
That opening act however felt so out of place at this point in the season it threatened to derail the entire episode. Someone might have thought a song and dance number featuring the cast (and season 1’s sidekick/BFF Angie!), but it was a moment better suited for earlier in the season like when Peggy got impaled.
Waking up to find themselves bound in the back of their own cargo truck, Peggy and Jarvis escaped thanks to Peggy’s hot wire device. There’s been a few gadgets, but I’ve always felt the show could feature Peggy using more creative gizmos.
After seeing a colder, more vindictive side, Jarvis reverting to put-upon sidekick in the desert was jarring. Thankfully, Jarvis’ C3-PO impression was short-lived as Peggy and Jarvis started bickering. Peggy was upset he jeopardized the mission for a personal matter and Jarvis said Peggy was always letting the mission get personal as she kept losing people she cared about. That was a low blow and nearly an unforgivable line, but after Peggy responds chiding him for treating their missions like a breezy adventure, Jarvis revealed Ana can’t have children thanks to Whitney. Atwell and D’Arcy have had a slew of terrific scenes together, but this may have been the best. Friendships can sometimes be fickle in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so it was good to see these two back on the same page.
I was kind of disappointed that we didn’t get to see Jarvis tell Ana she’s infertile. Not due to some great desire to see Ana bawling, but because this had the potential to be the most poignant moment of the series and it felt odd to see Peggy’s reaction to the news and not Ana hearing it from Jarvis. The writers have been working hard to make Samberly this awesome comic relief character, but he’s a little too much in every scene. Whitney meanwhile was done playing nice with Jason and forcibly tried to snatch the Zero Matter from him including one heckuva long needle. Jason warned her he was unstable and needed to be away from populated areas.
The episode had a lot of potential double-crossing, side deals and conflicted alliances that helped add to the intrigue. Thompson seemed to be playing all sides, convincing Vernon’s men not to kill Sousa and Samberly and offering their aid to Vernon to use the Gamma Cannon on Whitney. And while chatting with Whitney, Thompson reveals Vernon’s trying to kill her. Thompson’s real end game was to turn the Gamma Cannon into a bomb and incinerate Whitney, Vernon and Wilkes.
Peggy still seemed to be in denial about Jason, convinced everything he did was due to the Zero Matter influence. There’s still the matter of the voices both he and Whitney claim to have heard so that’s not entirely out of the question. So although Peggy snuck into Whitney’s base to rescue Jason, he played along just long enough to lock Peggy out and tell her to get away. It was a little too convenient that Joseph decided to pack it in and take most of his goons so he could grab dinner just as Thompson arrived.
Satisfied with his setup, Thompson was all set to detonate the bomb when he realized Samberly and Sousa screwed with the frequency. Thompson’s argument on why he should kill Whitney, Vernon and Jason was hard to argue despite his complete lack of moral high ground. Peggy seemed set to pull a Jack Bauer and threatened to shoot Thompson. Whitney and Vernon realize the bomb is ticking just as Jason walks in and … explodes. That was a cliffhanger done right. Bring on the finale!
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Goofy musical number and ill-timed Samberly humor aside, this was a strong second to last episode of the season.