This penultimate double serving of Agent Carter, The Edge of Mystery and A Little Song and Dance, keeps the tension high and the subterfuge deep. The comedic pairing of Jarvis and Carter has made way for a large serving of tragedy and Chief Thompson proving that he really is not to be trusted.
It is odd that ABC have opted to do this “times two” delivery of episodes in the days running up to another Marvel series coming back on after its winter break, Agents of SHIELD. This rush to get through Peggy Carter’s story, which finished on an explosive note before the end credits ran on A Little Song and Dance, can only mean one of two things.
This mad pace to end the series, with the finale of Agent Carter airing one week prior to Agents of SHIELD premiering after its mid-season break, is either setting up a “tie-in” to the second Marvel series or there is a huge plot point meant to affect the “modern” Marvel verse’s storyline. (These two options are not the same thing, a tie-in is not necessarily a plot point.)
The first half of the second “double feature” (the first duo being Life of the Party and Monsters with the latter ending with Wilkes being grabbed up by Whitney, who then shot Ana in the abdomen before escaping with her old boyfriend Manfredi with the physicist in their car.) The Edge of Mystery begins with Ana in surgery, Jarvis feeling both rage and concern and being hell bent on making Frost pay for shooting his lady love and leaving her unable to have children.
Samberly (played with a magnificent odiousness by Matt Braunger) builds a gamma cannon, using blueprints sent via teletext by Howard Stark, in record time and accompanies the two chief’s; Thompson and Sousa, along with Jarvis and Peggy to stop Frost from detonating the second atom bomb.
The calvary arrive too late and the explosion takes place, creating more zero matter. Wilkes is drawn up into the ball of black energy, much to Whitney’s displeasure, and the cannon is aimed and shot at the ball in the sky, rather than at Frost.
Samberly queries just what they should do, prior to setting the cannon up and both Thompson and Sousa shout at the scientist, in unison, to:
“Do as Peggy says!”
The gamma ray strikes the ball of zero matter and destroys it. Jarvis drives down to the test site and as Peggy arrives, shoots Whitney point-blank. Wilkes is lying in a shallow hole in ground and despite the gamma cannon is still alive, as is Frost.
Manfredi arrives and they take Carter and Jarvis hostage so they can force Wilkes to cooperate with Frost. The butler and the SSA agent are knocked unconscious.
The second episode on offer, A Little Song and Dance starts with a sequence that has to be a direct nod to the David Niven WWII drama A Matter of Life and Death (aka Stairway to Heaven in the US). A 1946 fantasy that has an airman stranded in a black and white world while his fate is determined. The presence of Peggy’s dead brother Mike in the sequence seems to make this a certainty along with another “dead giveaway” in that the character Niven played in the film was named…Carter.
After this sepia interaction with Michael, Peggy then turns up in a very abstract setting of a bar where she bumps into Wilkes, Sousa and Jarvis. After a little song and dance, the butler appears, attired like Fred Astaire, and he tells her to wake up. Rose (Lesley Boone) turns up, under the sign of the talent agency which fronts the entrance to the SSA offices in LA, and tells Peggy that the agency has no need of her talents and punches Carter. This wakes the agent up.
She and Jarvis escape from the back of the van, Thompson and Sousa trick Vernon Master’s thugs into not killing the two chiefs or Samberly. Peggy and Jarvis are almost recaptured and Frost begins attempting to painfully extract the zero matter from Wilkes.
Jarvis and Carter argue in the desert, a verbal sparring match which Peg wins. She then recants her ire when Jarvis reveals that Ana cannot have children due to complications.
Thompson talks Masters into using the gamma cannon against Whitney after Samberly repairs it. The New York chief (played with greasy abandon by Chad Michael Murray) then goes on to prove that “once a two-timing douche always a two-timing douche.” He double crosses Vernon, Frost and Sousa by having Samberly sabotage the cannon turning it into a bomb.
When the cannon explodes, it should kill both Whitney and Wilkes (Vernon will have been killed by Frost before the bomb explodes) and pave the way for Thompson to get a seat on the council.
Sousa and Peggy force Samberly to block the signal and as Whitney starts to kill Masters, Wilkes arrives (after turning down Peggy’s offer of help) to explode before the bomb can go off. (Thompson actually forced Samberly to un-block the bomb.)
Wilkes emits an explosive amount of zero matter and now all that remains is for the second season finale to tie things up. Jarvis, who was sent off to help Peggy by Ana, has not turned up and with the eruption of Dr. Wilkes, it seems all those by the car could be doomed as well.
The season finale of Agent Carter airs March 1 on ABC, tune in to see who survives and perhaps to learn why such a rush to end the second season.