Agent Carter: Hollywood Ending – Was THAT Vernon Masters? (Recap/Review)

Agent Carter with its “hollywood ending” as season two finale was a thrill a minute as the good guys rushed to stop Whitney Frost, but in terms of shocking endings…Was that Vernon Masters?


 JAMES D'ARCY, HAYLEY ATWELL, CHAD MICHAL MURRAY, DOMINIC COOPER, REGGIE AUSTIN

Agent Carter with its “hollywood ending” as the season two finale was a thrill a minute as the good guys rushed to stop Whitney Frost, but in terms of shocking endings…Was that Vernon Masters? All gloved hands, snazzy shoes, suit and a gun complete with silencer? Is Jack Thompson really dead?

We may never know. While star Hayley Atwell is talking about season three, and how she would definitely come back, no-one at the network has said a word about another season.

Still, reality aside, the finale was excellent. From Jarvis hitting Whitney Frost (mid-rant) with Howard Stark’s car:

“Jarvis you just hit a woman with my car…she’s a two-time Oscar nominee.”

To Daniel Sousa dangling in midair as the zero matter ball threatens to suck him in, the finale was a definite success.

The car incident comes on the heels of Wilkes exploding and laying waste to the inside of the lab, blowing all the various players outside the building off their feet and curing Wilkes of his intangibility problem forever.  When they enter the facility Vernon Masters is nowhere to be seen but Whitney Frost crawls out from under a bit of wood, or cardboard, and appears to be stronger than ever.

The good guys (and Thompson who seems to be a white hat now that Master’s is “gone”) all beat a hasty retreat while Frost follows spouting vitriol.  Later, after the car incident, the villainess  starts working on a plan to open the rift letting zero matter into our world  permanently.

Joseph Manfredi (Ken Marino) is obsessed with Whitney’s transformation, something that he says has changed her from the girl he fell in love with. After speaking to Nonna he goes to see Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper).

Cue comic scene with Jarvis, Stark and Manfredi.

Outside the mansion, at a poolside repast, Stark is more concerned with the lack of condiments, i.e. mustard than he is with the real matter at hand. Bellowing for Jarvis to bring more mustard Howard becomes impatient.  He starts questioning whether the butler is cultivating seeds, “in there.”

Jarvis emerges from the house, arms held high with a jar of French mustard held in one hand. Manfredi stands behind the butler with a gun pointed at his back.

Manfredi: “I see a gun this guy sees heaven.”

Stark: “Easy. Easy. Let him put the condiment down.”

It turns out that the gangster and Stark are old friends and Manfredi wants his help to “fix” Whitney.  More comedy ensues when the gang infiltrate the house and Joseph lures Whitney from the bedroom to frighten one of his goons. Manfredi comes up with a fictitious charge that his right-hand man is working for another family.

After beating the guy a little he asks Frost to step in. Until that happens the beaten baddy repeatedly denies working for the competition. Once Whitney approaches,  however, things change. Hank (Chris Coppola) “breaks” when Frost reaches for him and a stunned Joseph learns that his cohort is working for the feds.

Sousa and Peggy take pictures of Whitney’s plans. After a joke at Stark’s expense, the two beat a hasty retreat but not before Daniel changes a six to an eight in Whitney’s formula. “That’ll slow her down,” he says before clambering out the window.

Team Stark fix the gamma cannon, build an x-ray machine and argue about what to call their new invention.  They set up their new zero matter rift opener, aka rift generator, at Stark Studios and open the rift. Frost does indeed know immediately when they have done this and arrives in due course.

Samberly sees her first. Carter and Sousa hear his scream and try to reach him via the radio. Frost shows up and walks right in front of the gamma cannon. Stark, and Jarvis shoot Whitney and blast the zero matter right out of her.  The device has to recharge and the containment plan is not working so the rift must be closed manually.

Sousa volunteers after everyone has basically thrown their hat in the ring. He ties an electrical cord around his waist and starts cranking the rift shut.

The other end of the cord sips loose from the lamppost and it is Hayley who first grabs the free end, followed by Stark, Thompson and Wilkes. While this desperate tug of war continues, Howard Stark reacts as only Stark can:

Stark: “Peg, I want you to know, I’m not thinking any unsavory thoughts about you right now! Wait! There’s one.”

Jarvis arrives in the hover car with Samberly who, despite the scream, is still alive.  They sacrifice the car to shut down the rift and save Daniel’s life.  The plan, which entails blowing up the gamma cannon power core, works.

Peggy and Jarvis truly make up, Ana is released from the hospital and Carter kisses Sousa. Whitney has gone mad after losing her power and Thompson carries on being a good guy.  This does not last long, however as the person knocking at his hotel room door shoots Jack with a silenced gun.

Point blank.

As Thompson has Vernon Masters’ briefcase and since no body was revealed at the blast site, it seems that this gloved assassin in a suit could well be a new and improved Vernon (Kurtwood Smith).  The shooter moves to the briefcase, collects the Carter file and leaves. 

The camera moves to a motionless Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray), lingers on his face and then…dissolve to black.

Agent Carter does have a Hollywood ending to its second season finale. Peggy “gets her man” and Wilkes is saved.  The only fly in the ointment is Thompson’s apparent death but, that too, is a Hollywood ending of sorts, like the “serials” of old;  a bit of a cliff hanger to keep the interest up.

Sidenote: A word of  complaint. Even “Agent Carter” appears to have issues with continuity. In the scene where poor Daniel Sousa is about to be sucked into the zero matter ball, the cord wrapped around his waist and the streetlamp changes. At the lamp, the texture and type of cord changes repeatedly. At one point being black and clearly an electrical cord and then changing into what looks more like a beige canvas water hose. At least twice. Come on chaps.

The season finale is a winner despite the annoying continuity issue. Atwell, who has at least one viewer in the palm of her English hand, turns in her usual brilliant performance and the chemistry between Hayley and Enver Gjokaj was perfect. 

James D’Arcy and Dominic Cooper were also spot on and mad props to Ana Jarvis, aka Dutch actress Lotte Verbeek for being the “perfect mate” to Edwin.  Fingers crossed that this delightful show comes back for another season, or more. A little “old fashioned Marvel” cannot be a bad thing. 

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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