The second season premiere of Marvel’s Agent Carter sees the capture of Dottie, the existence of zero matter and the creation of Madame Masque. Combining the first two episodes of the the show’s returning season, The Lady in the Lake and A View in the Dark, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) ends up in LA and survives a “dark” explosion that changes Whitney Foster from aging film star to super villain.
Carter is sent to Los Angeles by Chief Thompson (played with snotty effectiveness by Chad Michael Murray) because Chief Sousa (Enver Gjokaj), according to Thompson, asked for Peggy personally. Eager to interrogate Dottie Underwood (Bridget Regan), things get off to a rocky start, where Dottie proves superior to Thompson’s questioning techniques, and they are interrupted by FBI head Vernon Masters (Kurtwood Smith) who informs the chief that SSR no longer have jurisdiction.
The first half of the premiere introduces viewers to Whitney Frost ( in her pre-transformation stage, i. e. pre-Madame Masque) and Detective Andrew Henry, aka “Detective Icicle.” It also reveals that Dottie was after a lapel pin (with an ‘A’ on it”) which is, according to showrunner Michele Fazekas, the symbol of a group of 12 rich white guys…A sort of competitive faction to Hydra…presumably.
The storyline has Carter assisting Sousa and Henry in investigating the re-emergence of a serial killer known as “The Lady in the Lake Killer.” This time, however, the killer has frozen part of Echo Lake on the hottest day of summer.
Sousa, who has a girlfriend that Peggy knew nothing about, and Carter track clues back to Isodyne Energy (in Pasadena) the female agent meets Dr. Wilkes, who catches her eye, and vice versa. They also learn that Henry is the one responsible for the dead girl in the lake and for freezing the body of water.
The ice-making detective does not survive to appear in part two of the second season premiere as he is shot by a cop hired by senator hopeful, and husband to Frost, Calvin Chadwick (Currie Graham) who is also the head of Isodyne. Wilkes turns out to know much more about the company and what lies behind closed doors than he initially let on.
Marvel’s Agent Carter then moves into part two, A View in the Dark, which starts off rather comically, as compared to the more action oriented first half, with Jarvis and Peggy getting physical.
Wilkes and Peggy meet to talk about Isodyne’s “secret.” Carter goes alone, after cancelling the “date” with Sousa and Violet (his new girlfriend) when she finds an engagement ring. The scientist and SSA agent have a meeting of the minds once Peggy reveals a lot of backstory and Wilkes decides he trusts her.
Frost learns that the the “12 rich white men” of ‘A’ have opted to shutdown the zero matter operation at Isodyne. Wilkes shows Peggy how zero matter was created and Jason explains his theories and explains that the stuff can be contained. After Carter tells the scientist that they will be collecting the matter from Isodyne, hitmen sent by the company to kill Wilde strike.
Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) may be absent from this second season premiere but his presence is felt, as Peggy is staying at his place and using his car; the Leisure model, with champagne, a fold back seat and a mirror on the car ceiling. The vehicle also has a tracker. Called the “sock on the doorknob” it is this device that Carter activates when learning the Stark car has a flat when she and Wilkes attempt to flee the gunmen.
Being one resourceful female agent Peggy hot-wires another car and she and Jason escape. As they try to get change for a pay phone, after Carter realizes that she has seen the ‘A’ symbol on the lapel pin before, Sousa gets a call from Jarvis about Peggy.
Sidenote: Nice touch when the chief asks “Who’s that clown?” The camera pans over to man in clown makeup sitting dejectedly on a chair in the talent agency reception.
The attraction between Jason and Peggy gets a nasty jolt of racism as they get change for the phone and the two head to the lab to retrieve the zero matter. Sousa erupts when he learns that Carter is in danger and at Isodyne, Peggy kicks major butt while Wilkes goes to get the fluid.
Seconds after the zero matter has been transferred, Whitney Frost arrives and fights with Jason over the fluid. The container breaks and a dark explosion erupts that engulfs the entire facility. Carter survives but there is no sign of Jason or Frost.
Later, the first sign of Madame Masque appears as Frost looks in the mirror but there is no sign of Wilkes. In the Marvel verse Jason Wilkes is changed by his exposure to zero matter and becomes unstable, i.e. prone to invisibility and “intangibility.”
There are a number of familiar faces in season two of Marvel’s Agent Carter. The appearance of Kurtwood Smith is promising, and a treat, as is the re-appearance of Ray Wise as one of the men from ‘A’ and it has to be said Bridget Regan still rocks as Dottie.
The zero matter storyline is obviously a tie to upcoming Dr. Strange film. Hopefully Howard Stark will be showing up soon, on the series, and James D’Arcy as Jarvis continues to delight while Atwell as Agent Carter enthralls and captivates, as usual. Reggie Austin is brilliant as Jason Wilkes…Nuff said.
Marvel’s Agent Carter airs Tuesdays on ABC. Tune in for some old-fashioned pre-Avenger’s espionage and action.