Agent Carter Recap: Life of the Party and Monsters
Wilkes keeps blinking in and out of existence, which frightens both him and Carter. She suggests he build a containment unit for himself. That idea might just work, but he will need more zero matter for that. The easiest way to get it out of Frost seems to be at a fundraiser for her husband. Carter is still recovering from her rebar injury and can barely walk (It is refreshing to see someone actually experience the consequences of a major injury.) Sousa is too recognizable; Rose had a family emergency; and there is no one else in the SSR they can trust. Luckily, Carter has a terrible idea.
Posing as a psychiatrist, Carter goes in to see Dottie. She is her charmingly sociopathic self. Carter tells her that if she helps them with this mission, she will oversee Dottie’s deportation. Dottie is in, with no fuss. They have an agreement. Carter knows Dottie will try to run; Dottie knows she will not be deported. So it is all settled. Carter slips her a compact to help her escape, then promises to take care of the guards. The compact is actually two enormous magnets, which Dottie uses to unlock the door. She follows the path Carter left for her, and ends up on an average street (the black site she was being held in was an abandoned storefront). She breaks into a run, turns a corner, and comes face to face with Carter and Sousa, who shoots her with a net gun. She laughs at the puny trap – then it zaps her with electricity, knocking her out.
Dottie wakes to find herself bound to a chair, wearing a formal gown, with her head under a hair dryer. Carter gives her a Tiffany diamond necklace that has been fitted with a tracking device. She also promises that if she attempts to remove the necklace, neurotoxin will be released that will kill her in 35 seconds. Since Stark is a major donor to all political campaigns (he wants to hold sway no matter who is in office), invites to tonight’s fundraiser are already secured. Jarvis will go as Dottie’s date/handler. Microphones hidden in glasses for Jarvis, a hat for Dottie, will allow Sousa and Carter to hear everything from the surveillance van. Wilkes has a modified injection vial that should suck a sample out of Frost in under a second. Dottie gets flirty with Wilkes, which irks Carter. She tries to caress his arm as he leaves and is surprised to find it goes right through him.
Chadwick is pleased to tell Frost that the council has agreed to meet her at the fundraiser. She is shocked: they never meet with outsiders, or women. Chadwick feels confident that when they see what she is capable of, they will give her whatever she wants. Unfortunately, the crack on her face has gotten bigger. Come the big night, she is having a hard time covering it up (probably because she is wearing her hair up) and she panics, vowing not to go. This is just the nerves talking. Chadwick finds a hat for her with a huge floppy bow that hides half her face. She promises him a proper thank you later.
At the fundraiser, Jarvis is alarmed when he sees that Jack is there with Vernon. Vernon is introducing Jack to various Arena members, grooming him for his rise through the ranks. Vernon finds out that atomic materials were stolen and tells Jack he is certain that Carter is behind the theft. He warns Jack not to let a female subordinate make an ass out of him. Dottie wants to go kill Jack; Jarvis wants to abort. Carter quashes both ideas and instructs Jarvis to distract Jack while Dottie follows Frost into the ladies room.
Dottie bumps into Frost as she enters the ladies room. The sample is easily had, but Dottie isn’t going to just do as she is told. She leaves her hat near the running sink and sneaks into the hallway. She ducks into a room and hides in a cabinet when a fleet of old men show up. Chadwick introduces Frost to the Arena men. Frost tells them that she was wrong about zero matter. It’s not about energy; it’s about power, “the kind that can bring the world to its knees.” She shows them what she can do with a rat, and the men are stunned. They are all in agreement on how they must proceed. On Chadwick’s signal, two men drape animal control loops around Frost’s neck and take her down. At least, they try to. Zero matter oozes out from Frost like Ursula’s tentacles and absorbs the two men. Next she absorbs half the Arena men, before she turns to her husband. He begs for his life; she is hurt that he would betray her, and she sucks him up, too. Dottie sees all of this. Frost is now clearly in charge, and the remaining men are glad to have her barking orders, especially when she promises to bring them unlimited power in exchange for their loyalty and usefulness.
The meeting is adjourned, and Dottie is quite pleased with her newfound knowledge. Unfortunately, Vernon finds her and sends a couple of his goons after her.
Down in the surveillance van, Carter is about to run out to help Jarvis find Dottie, but just opening the door causes her to pop her stitches. She is forced to sit down while Sousa helps staunch the bleeding. She thinks she needs to see Violet again, a topic Sousa does not want to discuss. He confesses that Violet broke off their engagement, which enrages Carter. She insists on talking to Violet until Sousa admits that she broke up with him because she thinks he is in love with Carter. Carter is taken aback by this and apologizes for coming to Los Angeles. She puts her hand on his, and there is a looong moment where they look at each other. They lean in to kiss when a horrific thrashing causes them to rush from the van. One of Vernon’s goons was thrown out the window and landed on the roof of the van, destroying most of their equipment.
Upstairs, Dottie is still battling with the second goon. Jack shows up and knocks her out with surprising ease. He and Vernon take Dottie with them. The vial of Frost’s “blood” is on the floor. Jarvis brings the vial down to Carter and Sousa; Dottie is in the wind. The tracking transponder was destroyed in the crash, and the fundraiser has let out. They are forced to leave without Dottie.
Mr. Jones informs Vernon that Frost is calling the shots now, and advises he get that package to her tonight. Vernon turns his anger to Jack, blaming everything on him because it all circles back around to Carter, who is his charge. Vernon wants Jack to “take her out.” Not kill her, but destroy her. Discredit her. Disgrace her. Jack worries that that opens up a whole new set of problems, leading Vernon to believe she has something on him. “Only way to fight leverage is with leverage,” he warns, then tells Jack if he can’t find a way to take care of Carter, he is not suited for a high command in this government.
Jack pays a visit to Carter, and informs her that he expects her to return to New York with him. She will quit if it comes to that, and Jack warns her she is chasing bogeymen. Carter knows she isn’t wrong about this, and Jack gives up… For now.
Meanwhile, Dottie is being held hostage by Frost, which brings us to the second episode of the night…
Frost gives a statement to the press that her husband and his friends died when their boat capsized on the way to Catalina. Sousa and Carter are at her little publicity stop, and worry that Frost now knows that Dottie is worth more to her alive than dead. Sousa has to go, but “really wants to talk” to Carter later. Awk-ward.
Vernon is laying out his instruments of torture before Dottie. She is not impressed and not scared. He injects her with truth serum. Nothing. To make it more sporting (for her) Dottie teases Vernon, promising he is “really close” to breaking her. Vernon is called up to the pool by Frost, who tells him his only job is to find the uranium rods Carter stole, insisting that they be the same rods from the original experiment. She authorizes the use of “any and all means” then decides to take a run at Dottie herself. She tries to identify with Dottie, which is met with mocking. She informs her that she disabled the tracking in her necklace, so Carter won’t be able to find her. Then Frost grabs her prisoner by the neck and starts sucking the life out of her. Just before she fully absorbs Dottie, Frost lets go and Dottie can’t be shut up. “She wants you!” Dottie gasps, then explains Carter wants Frost’s blood for her “new boyfriend,” who is a ghost. Frost is intrigued; Dottie is still useful to her.
Back at Stark’s lab, Ana is helping Wilkes put together the containment chamber. He flickers, something which has been happening more and more frequently. Each time it does, it seems to scare Wilkes. Carter comes in and all but ignores Wilkes’ requests for help in favor of working with Jarvis on the transponder. Wilkes is angry and yells at Carter for wasting her time on a spy when what he is facing is worse than death. He quickly apologizes and gets back to work.
With the transponder working (but not picking up a signal), Jarvis helps put the finishing touches on the containment chamber. Wilkes steps in and Jarvis turns it on. Carter administers a dose of zero matter, which makes Wilkes seize, then collapse. It is momentary; then he realizes it worked. Carter eagerly shakes his hand through the containment coils. He pulls her close and kisses her. She fumbles; he apologizes; she says it is alright and steps away. Ana goes to make Wilkes some food, and a signal comes up on the transponder. Carter calls Sousa to tell him they got a hit, but Vernon has come into his office. He calls her “mother” and begs off the phone. Carter picks up what he is putting down; it will just be her and Jarvis.
Vernon is at the SSR to warn Sousa, again, that he needs to find the stolen uranium rods. Sousa can’t make any promises, and Vernon tries to butter him up, telling him how this will be an amazing chapter in his life story. Sousa will do his best, but warns Vernon not to get his hopes up.
Carter knows they are walking into a trap, and they are not going in empty handed. Jarvis has a nifty little toy that gives off a concussive, non-lethal blast that affects anyone standing in front of it. They drive off to Newhall, a hideous area of the Santa Clarita Valley that, back then, was virtually undeveloped. It is a long drive, and Jarvis tries to fill the silence by tip-toeing around Carter’s current romantic predicament. She slams her own foot on the brake and demands Jarvis come out with it. There is a lot of nervous British fumbling, but Jarvis finally admits he heard what happened with Sousa, and remarks that she has gone from famine to feast. Carter admits it just happened, and she doesn’t know what to do. Jarvis continues driving, and we are done with the love triangle for now.
It is night by the time Carter and Jarvis arrive at the Chadwick Ranch. Jarvis acts as a distraction for a single guard while Carter knocks him out. The commotion brings a small army of guards running, and Jarvis sets about turning on the concussive machine. Unfortunately, the code he frantically types in doesn’t work. There is only one thing they can do: surrender. The pair end up with Dottie in her basement prison. As the trio tries to free themselves from their bonds, Carter questions Dottie on what happened. She said that Vernon questioned her, but she didn’t tell him a thing. Technically, that is true. Jarvis realizes he put in the wrong code on the concussive device; the one he entered has a delayed reaction. On cue, it goes off, shaking everything and knocking out all the guards. The trio run upstairs and finds that Frost isn’t there. She also notices that Dottie is not as spry as she normally is. She has been injured. Carter realizes it wasn’t Vernon who hurt her; it was Frost. Dottie admits that this was all a trap – just not for Carter.
Back at Casa de Stark, Wilkes and Ana are having a lovely dinner together. She admits that, now that she knows what Jarvis is up to, she is worried about him; he is worried that they will never be able to unlock the mysteries of zero matter. This kind of talk calls for more wine. Ana goes inside for some, and Frost shows up. She is impressed by his containment chamber, and finds it marvelous that the zero matter affects them differently. She reaches a hand into the chamber and tries to suck the zero matter out of Wilkes, but he ends up absorbing some from her. It is a tug-o-war and Frost quits, shocked by the power he has. He is stronger now and he bursts out of his containment chamber. Frost realizes his mass doesn’t last. She wants him to go with her, so they can help each other out. Wilkes sees it as a force of destruction, but Frost sees it as a way to change things for people like the two of them. They were both hired because they would be easily manipulated and completely expendable (a woman and a “colored”) so Frost wants to use that against the powers that be. Joseph comes in, a little muscle so that when Wilkes won’t go willingly and Frost knocks him out, Joseph can carry him out to the car.
Sousa is finally home and calls the Stark home to check on things. Ana answers and admits she is starting to get worried. Sousa is on his way to her, and Ana sees Frost and Joseph carrying Wilkes out of the house. Before Sousa can leave, two thugs burst into his house, their faces covered in ski masks, and beat the hell out of him.
Ana has run after Wilkes, and Joseph pulls a gun on her. Frost stops him – “we aren’t monsters” – but then see headlights coming up the drive. Frost shoots Ana in the stomach to give them time to escape. Carter jumps out of the car and starts to chase Frost, but realizes that will get her nowhere and instead goes to help Jarvis with Ana. They rush her to the hospital, Dottie still in the trunk. While Jarvis takes Ana inside, Carter instructs a beat cop to watch the car and not to open the trunk. Of course, he does open it up, and a few minutes later someone runs into the emergency ward to warn that a cop was killed. The trunk is open; Dottie is gone; and her necklace is on the ground.
The next morning, Sousa limps into the SSR in significant pain. Vernon is waiting for him. “Rough night?” he asks knowingly. Sousa blames it on burglars and says he doesn’t think they will ever find those missing uranium rods. Vernon doesn’t like this answer and tells Sousa that he is taking command of the Los Angeles branch of the SSR.
Carter, still at the hospital, calls the SSR and asks to be put through to the chief. She is shocked when Vernon answers, and hangs up. With nothing else she can do, she sits beside Jarvis and holds his hand. They sit in silence while waiting for Ana to come out of surgery.
You can watch a preview for next Tuesday’s 2-hour event in the player below.