Agent Carter Season 2 Finale: “Hollywood Ending”

reviews, TV

 

It’s finally here–the Agent Carter season two finale! I’m both excited for the resolution of such an amazing season of TV and sad that we won’t have more Agent Carter to look forward to every week (if the rumors of cancellation are true). But an exciting resolution it was, so let’s dive into this “Hollywood Ending.”

 

Last week’s episode ended with Dr. Wilkes exploding in a giant kamikaze zero matter-splosion right in front of Whitney Frost and Vernon Masters. As I suspected, this did nothing to make Frost weaker– in fact, she just absorbed all of the zero matter from Dr. Wilkes. As I did not expect, Dr. Wilkes miraculously and conveniently survived the explosion unscathed. I guess anything can be explained away by saying that zero matter “works in mysterious ways,” but it really seemed like that was going to be the noble end of Dr. Wilkes. Vernon Masters, though? He dead.

 

02x10 AC 2So now Whitney is even stronger and even crazier than before, and the more power she gains, the more power she wants. Her new obsession becomes finding a way to reopen the zero matter rift without needing a nuclear explosion. This is an obsession in the truest sense of the word–Whitney won’t leave her room, won’t eat, won’t even let her mobster beau Manfredi (who I love) touch her while she’s working. She really becomes a woman possessed. In an adorable scene where Manfredi complains to his Nonna that his Whitney turned from a “ray of sunshine” into a “ray of garbage,” his grandmommy tells him that to save the woman he loves, he’ll have to make a deal with the devil. In bad-guy-speak, “the devil” is the good guys.

 

Meanwhile, the great Howard Stark (his words, probably) returns just in time to help repair the gamma cannon they plan to use to separate Whitney from her beloved zero matter. But as he, Peggy, and Wilkes are having a lovely breakfast at Stark Manor, Manfredi busts in with a gun to Jarvis’ back. The Jarvis family can’t take another gunshot wound right now. Worry not though: turns out Manfredi is besties with Howard, to absolutely no one’s surprise, and is there to ask for their help to save Whitney from herself. Peggy and company figure that saving Whitney from herself will also be saving the world from Whitney, so they agree.

 

How are they going to do this, you ask? The same way all successful scientists do things. Not by Jarvis’ suggestion of “drinking copious amounts of alcohol and cavorting with loose women,” (though that does work for Howard) but by stealing the work of smarter scientists–in this case, Whitney herself. I really enjoy that everyone concedes, throughout the entire season, that Whitney Frost is the smartest scientist they’ve ever known. Not the smartest female scientist, or “pretty good for a woman,” but hands down, a certifiable genius across the board. Dr. Wilkes reminds Peggy in almost every conversation that Whitney’s genius far outweighs his own. Even Howard Stark, a man whose favorite pastime is tooting his own horn, admits that she’s the superior scientist. He even says that if she weren’t a murdering psychopath, he’d be in love–a nod to the fact that his son, Tony Stark, has a long and tumultuous romantic relationship with Whitney Frost in the comics.

 

To infiltrate Whitney’s Beautiful-Mind-style crazed genius room, they need a distraction. Manfredi lures Whitney out to help him interrogate one of his men–an adorable moment where he calls her his beautiful muscle–and I start sweating bullets just waiting for something to go wrong and Manfredi to be sucked into oblivion the way Calvin was when he double crossed her. Peggy and Sousa sneak in to take old timey photos with old timey film cameras of Whitney’s walls of crazy notes. They gaze into each other’s eyes a few times and I assume they say something important but I was too busy muttering “kiss already dammit” under my breath to hear them. They hop out the window right before Whitney returns to her mad scientist cave.

 

Now that they’ve got this awesome blueprint for this awesome02x10 AC 4 machine that opens a rift between our world and the zero matter one–courtesy of Ms. Whitney Frost, genius scientist–it’s time for the men to start fighting over naming rights. In one of the most hilarious scenes of the episode, Dr. Wilkes, Howard, and Samberly all preen at Peggy’s well-placed ego stroke. Men will be men. As they work together to build the “rift generator,” trademark Peggy Carter, Howard hits on Rose (as he damn-well should), and Thompson gets the dinner orders like a good little boy. After the science-ing pow wow, they take their gamma cannon and rift generator down to Stark Pictures Backlot for an isolated and picturesque showdown locale.

 

Everything goes according to plan–Whitney shows up, called by the zero matter, they gamma cannon blast the zero matter out of her, and the black space goo gets sucked into the rift just as planned. Except that the rift won’t close. So while everyone else argues that they should be the one to risk life and limb to manually shut the rift and possibly get sucked into the zero matter space zone themselves, Sousa just goes for it. Now, I love Sousa, and have always loved Sousa, but I’ll admit that he’s usually a pretty subtle guy, not one for action heroics–he leaves that to Peggy. So the fact that he raced in there with no hesitation was really impressive to me, and I feel like it’s character development for Sousa. He realized last week that when he plays it safe, he puts other people (like Peggy) in danger. So even while I was shrieking in fear for his life, I was also proud of our little Chiefy Chief for putting himself on the line for the cause, and for those he cares about.

 

Don’t worry, though. Sousa may have been floating in the air, literally tethered to this world only by a hose being held by Peggy, Howard, Thompson, and Wilkes, but Jarvis saves him, and the day, by launching Howard’s hovercar (it works this time!) and the gamma cannon’s exploding bits into the rift to close ‘er up for good. All is well and no one gets hurt, mostly. Thus resolves the major plotline of season two: zero matter is gone from our world and Whitney Frost is defeated.

 

But where does this leave our friends and foes?

 

Whitney Frost is stuck hallucinating her dead husband in a mental institution where poor, heartbroken Manfredi can’t even give her roses because she’ll use them to try and claw her face off. I just need to give props here to Ken Marino for making Manfredi one of my favorite characters–a mobster with a pure heart of love for his crazy super villain gal. He always thought she was beautiful and he never downplayed her strength as an independent woman. You go, Manfredi, you go.

 

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Peggy makes peace with what could have been between her and Dr. Wilkes. Jarvis and Ana are returned to the Stark residence, safe and sound. Peggy is about to head back to The Big Apple, when Jarvis gives her the most hurt and offended look of all time that she would even consider taking a taxi to the airport rather than have him drive her. Jarvis extols the benefits of her staying in LA–tacos being one very important, and completely valid benefit–and concedes that maybe she just needs one very compelling reason to stay. Cut to Peggy wrapping up the case file with Sousa in his office. Hint. Hint. And then, what I’ve all been waiting for, the mother flippin’ kiss! And with that satisfying and wonderful kiss, Agent Carter season two indeed has its “Hollywood Ending.”

 

Oh wait, there’s more?

 

02x10 AC 3In the final, final scene, we see Jack Thompson packing up to head back to New York–without Peggy. Guess she found her compelling reason. Earlier on, Thompson and Peggy had a nice chat where she tells him that she still believes he is a good man who was manipulated by a very bad man, thus she doesn’t plan to turn him in for his previous dickery. He shows her that he’s figured out the Arena Club pin, which started off this whole season back in episode one, is actually a key–to what, we don’t know. But now, Thompson is about to head home when he hears a knock on the door. Who could it be? It’s a faceless dude with a GUN here to SHOOT YOU and steal your redacted files on M. Carter! Man, right when I started to trust this d-bag.

 

So basically, ABC must renew Agent Carter for a season three because they left off on such an amazing cliffhanger! Things I need to know: who the heck shot Thompson? Is he dead? What’s really in that file? Is it actually a file on Peggy’s brother, Michael Carter? If so, IS MICHAEL STILL ALIVE? Will Peggy and Sousa get married and live happily ever after like they both deserve? What does the Arena Club pin key unlock? Are they associated with Hydra in some way? (The answer better be yes.) When will Howard Stark get married, settle down and have baby Tony for Jarvis to care for and play with? Will Rose get to punch more goons?

 

Here’s to hoping all of these questions will be answered in season three!

 

If you want there to be an Agent Carter season three, please tell the network! Tweet using the hashtag #RenewAgentCarter! Show them that this amazing show has fans who love it and will continue to support it.
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Until next time, be all the Peggy you can be and never forget your own value.

 

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