Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sami on Agent Carter 2.1


Agent Carter airs at 9pm on ABC Tuesday nights*.

Peggy is backkkkkk!!!! And she's awesome right off the bat, as she should be, because she gets so little screentime despite how important she is to the MCU. We got a two-hour / two-episode launch this week, so there's lots to go over.

Jack is still an ass who can't handle a woman who can do things. Peggy managed to track down and set a successful trap for Dottie Underwood, and she'll only talk to Peggy, but when Jack gets a call from Souza over at the new Hollywood office, she's the only agent he can spare because he wants her out of his face. Which means, of course, that Dottie won't cooperate and he can't stop the FBI from taking her away. He does, however, make some career choices that are almost definitely how Hydra gets into Peggy's project.

The ass.

Across the continent in LA, Peggy is happy to see Souza, but he's surprised to see her because he expected more than one and not her. He really shouldn't have been surprised, because he knows Jackass as much as Peggy does, but whatevs. Apparently, they never did have that drink he asked her out on last season, and things got awkward, and it's adorable.

Their case is neat: a lake that froze almost solid in the middle of a heatwave, and a body of a lady in the middle of it. While they're trying to decide if the ice was to cover the murder, or the murder was incidental, the body of the lady keeps not defrosting, and then infects the ME who is supposed to autopsy her. He shatters, she stays frozen, and they track the trail to a science firm that once worked on the rush to create atomic power during the war, and accidentally created a rift in the world in one of their tests. Which led to zero matter: this angry** black stuff that sucks up all energy it comes into contact with, which is why people and things keep freezing.

Along the way, they meet a politician who had been dating the dead girl on the side, and his would-be moviestar wife. He attends at least one overly-pompous Hydra meeting, and she pays off the nobody cop who kills the guy who would have told Peggy what this was all about, but that doesn't really slow our Pegs down much. She's caught the eye of Dr Wilkes, who works for the company experimenting with this thing, and after he gets her to go on a date with him so they can talk about this stuff in a nice safe public place, she talks him into helping her steal the zero matter.

That doesn't go well. It gets out, Wilkes gets either exploded or sucked into a portal***, and Peggy is shaken and scared and sad. Plus, the actress-Hydra-lady gets infected with the zero matter in some new way that shows as a crack in her head rather than a violent freezing.

Around this, as always, is piles of delightfulness.

Mrs Jarvis is amazing. She's a hugging chatterbox who knows exactly what her husband was up to last season and is more on board than he is--which is saying something, since he basically begs Peggy to let him be her partner again because LA is horrible and his job is boring since they stopped working together. She also makes Peggy a gun-garter that hints at her being Peggy's Q and I want that so bad. And she has absolutely not a single shred of jealousy about Peggy's interactions with her husband, even when she walks in on them tussling as he's trying to prove his new fighting skills, and when she signals that she needs him in the middle of the night.

And best of all, she thinks Jarvis is equally as adorable when he's poorly trying to catch a flamingo named Bernard and when he's going off to save the world.

Rose is there, too, transferred with Souza, and she's already got more screentime to be awesome. She's taken up surfing!

Souza now wears low-key Hawaiian shirts and has a tan, and is dating someone that he didn't tell Peggy about. Violet loves Peggy on sight, and wants to show her around town, which makes both of them super uncomfortable, but not so uncomfortable as Pegs is when she finds the ring he was going to give to his cute little nurse girlfriend. Souza, however, still has feelings for Peggy--when she calls Jarvis, and Jarvis calls the office for help, Sousa drops everything and takes what he's got--Rose and Jarvis--and storms off to save her, despite her not needing saving. He was so upset! And he literally shoved people out of his way to get to her when she came out of the wreckage. Rose knows that he cares about her, too. He's not been subtle at all.

It's sort of glorious.

Peggy is semi oblivious; she likes him, too, but she steps back when she sees that he has a girlfriend, and haltingly starts trying to move on with Wilkes. So of course he dies / disappears. It's going to give Peggy a complex. She can't catch a break when it comes to love, and that makes her attempts to make friends and open up to people that much sadder.

Agent Carter is off to a great start for season two! It's snappy, it's delightfully vintage, and it's now set in a great time and place for Hollywood, and an interesting point in history as the world recovers from the war and tries to figure out what happens next. That's hinted at when Red Foreman offers Jack a place in whatever comes after the now-going-obsolete-he-says SSR. Hydra is making moves all over the place in the background, and it'll be interesting to see how it does that without Peggy, who fought them directly not long ago, noticing what they're doing.

And it's also great how much lady-bonding there is! No one is jealous of Peggy in the lady camp; all the girls think she's the coolest thing and just sort of wrap themselves around her socially clumsy but professionally awesome self and make room for her in their lives without her having to prove anything.

Her and Jarvis still have a delightfully Steed-and-Mrs Peele vibe about them, maybe moreso now that he's actively going into her cases with her. Her and Souza have a bond that's under whatever they're both currently doing with their lives, and it's great and sad and charming, and it'll be great seeing them working together again. There's that scientist who feels like the field agents get all the glory and leave him out. There's Rose who is probably the best receptionist in the world. There's the SSR's cover as a casting agent that should offer all sorts of bonkers interludes--and dovetails nicely with Howard Stark's new venture as a movie maker.

There's so much going for this season, and it looks great and is just as delightful as it was before, but with new stories and new complications. If they can avoid letting the Hydra stuff take over the plot like Agents of Shield did, it could be even better than season one! I just hope that the first black character they've had isn't actually dead the same story he's introduced in, because that's lame as crap, no matter how great it is to see Peggy pissed off about racism.

What did you guys like best about these two episodes? What do you think the next episodes are gonna be like? Share in the comments below, or come talk to me on Twitter!

*For the next six or eight weeks, anyway, and up against Shadowhunters and iZombie, which is a terrible crime of programming if you ask me.
**It's like literally angry, all thrashing around and attacking things. It looks like the portal from SHIELD when it's active, and like the Ether from Thor 2, and I hope that's  intentional and not just a lack of imagination from the SFX guys, because think of those implications, dudes.
***I'm rooting for portal so a) SHIELD can meet him later when he falls through or they find wherever that stuff goes, or b) Peggy can find him again but with a Blink-episode-of-Doctor-Who time-drift where he's old and they've missed their opportunity for love and it's sad and they have to deal with it, but he's got info now that she needs. If they go that way, I want him to not die like in Blink, but to get hired as a consultant or a scientist or whatever, and still be sweet on Peggy.
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