Agent Carter had the misfortune this week of following one of the best episodes of The Flash yet. While typically the battle for weekly supremacy is a little closer, it was bad timing for the show to have its weakest episode of the season.
The show has always skated on this delicate balance of being lighthearted and deadly serious. Tonight veered too far into the slapstick side just as the tone with other events are getting darker.
Wilkes is starting to master his Zero Matter abilities as well as he briefly was able to turn solid. He also theorized that Whitney Frost is trying to re-enact the events that led to the creation of the Zero matter, right down to exploding an atomic bomb.
Fearing the SSR is in the back pocket of the Council of Nine, Sousa reluctantly agrees with Peggy’s suggestion to allow SSR secretary Rose (Lesley Boone) to join the team. Rose’s involvement immediately pays off as she convinces SSR scientist Dr. Samberly (Matt Braunger) to part with his memory zapper device.
This allowed Peggy to stroll into Roxxon operative Hugh Jones’ (Ray Wise) office and dust off her airhead accent, nearly blow out the memory zapper and get the key to provide SSR access to the uranium storage. The first couple of times Peggy hit Hugh with the device were pretty amusing, but the joke quickly played itself out by the fourth and fifth instance.
In the episode’s best moment, Sousa tried to set up a nice, romantic dinner for Violet resulting in an impromptu proposal. If only the writers would leave well enough alone with this subplot. Just like Supergirl with the Kara/James/Winn/Lucy love square, this Sousa/Peggy/Violet love triangle is not remotely engaging.
These soap opera romantic pining subplots don’t really click because there’s no investment in the audience seeing Sousa with Peggy much like James and Kara. Loving glances aside, both James and Sousa have seemingly really great girlfriends and there’s no reason to root for Lucy or Violet to get hurt just for not having heroic qualities. Short of Violet being outed as a Hydra agent, there’s little the writers can do that won’t make Peggy look like a homewrecker. That’s not a good look for a hero of any genre.
The crack SSR team of Peggy, Jarvis, Sousa, Rose and Samberly head to Roxxon in a race to beat Whitney, Cal and their goons. Samberly immediately takes Jarvis’ spotlight as the show’s resident bumbling idiot as he’s all but professing his love to Rose and getting Jarvis caught in the chamber with the uranium Sousa was supposed to retrieve.
Maybe I’m just partial to Jarvis being the somewhat socially awkward character on the show, but this episode felt like overkill in that department. Peggy fared much better taking down the goons, with an assist from Rose, and facing off with Whitney.
Since this was way too early for a real showdown, Whitney grabs hold of Peggy, who manages to break free before Whitney can absorb her energy. I appreciated seeing Peggy actually getting seriously injured to lend some drama to this mission, but it clashed with the earlier jokey tone.Whitney remained intriguing.
This week she began asserting herself more with Calvin, who is slowly becoming the battered husband. Too bad he cheated on Whitney earlier as he would become more of a sympathetic character if he was just a regular guy trying to make big moves.
Hopefully things get back on track next week with a more focused outing.