Agent Carter Recap: Singing, dancing and exploding in a double episode
Wilkes wakes, finding himself chained up in Frost’s underground torture room. She thinks he will lose mass in two minutes and wants to compare notes. Wilkes is offended at the idea of helping her, but she promises to let him go if he complies. She hears a voice; Wilkes does not hear it. Maybe she really is going crazy. She suggests he give in to it, but Wilkes doesn’t want to control his zero matter side. He wants it gone. She convinces Wilkes to concentrate on the voice, to accept what he is. This little moment is interrupted by Joseph, who has a message from Agent Carter. She will trade Wilkes for the uranium rods. Frost is only too happy to comply.
After Sousa told Carter that Frost wanted the uranium, the next step is to get a message to Frost. They find Joseph at his grandmother’s Italian restaurant, and Sousa threatens to tell a local thug, about to be released from prison, that Joseph snitched on him. Joseph is only too eager to prevent that from happening.
But first, Carter has Samberly make up some fake uranium rods that will set off a Geiger counter, but not contain any radioactive material. Jarvis returns from the hospital. Ana has finally woken, but Jarvis’ relief is short lived when the doctor reveals that, due to complications from the surgery, Ana will never have children. Jarvis can’t bring himself to tell Ana, so he channels that into anger towards Frost. When he shows up at home, he demands Carter make Frost pay for shooting his wife. Their argument is interrupted when Stark’s telex machine goes off. They think it is a code, but Samberly corrects them. They are design specifications to build some kind of gamma cannon, something that could eliminate zero matter. Samberly gets to work on it.
Jack made a trip to London, where he pretended to be fall-down drunk in order to trick an agent into turning over a heavily-redacted file. Luckily Jack has a magic device that can read beneath the blacked-out bits. It is a file on Carter, stating that “none were spared from the massacre.” He returns to the states and presents his findings to Carter before she, Sousa, and Jarvis can leave. Carter maintains her cool and blows off the threat. They have fake radioactive material to deliver.
Frost and Joseph are waiting for their delivery at a warehouse. He tells her that the mark on her face is what makes her so beautiful. It is a sign of power. Their kiss is interrupted when a truck pulls up. Goons bring Wilkes out, and Carter brings out the case of “uranium.” Joseph checks it out; it is legit. The transfer is made. One of the goons takes the uranium, but he drops it, and the rods spill out of the case. No explosion; they have been duped. Carter gets Wilkes into his containment chamber at the back of the truck and they peel out.
Frost is chasing Carter’s vehicle, but maneuvering very slowly, which causes Carter and Sousa, in the back of the truck, to become suspicious. Wilkes steps out of the containment chamber with a shotgun. “Frost taught me how to tap into my power,” he threatens, and demands to know where the real uranium is. Carter refuses to tell him, taunting him to kill her. It is Sousa who breaks under the tension, fearing for Peggy’s life, and reveals the uranium is at the SSR. Wilkes disappears through the wall of the truck and jumps into Frost’s car.
At the SSR, Vernon is very proud of Jack’s work in getting dirt on Carter. Jack thinks the file is too “good” to be true. “This is an official document, which means it is true regardless of what happened.” Jack’s gut tells him differently. A woman calls in and Vernon takes the call. Jack, wary, sneaks out to the bullpen and listens in on the extension. It is Frost, giving Vernon an update. Jack follows Vernon into the lab, where he is opening a hidden vault. Jack confronts him, won’t let him take the uranium.
Carter and Sousa arrive at the SSR, but when they go to the lab, they find Vernon, and the uranium, gone. Jack is there, confused. Vernon used the memory zapper on him. Carter and Sousa help him retrace his steps. The last thing he remembers was listening in on a phone call. He made a note of coordinates. Whitney Frost’s coordinates. Sousa wants Jack to stay behind. They are not sure they can trust him, but they let him come anyway.
The caravan rolls out to the desert. Carter and Jarvis are in the car; Sousa, Jack, and Samberly are in the truck with the gamma cannon. Frost, Vernon, Joeseph, and his thugs are already set up in the desert, ready for the test. Wilkes remains in the car, worried about what will happen with the second test. Frost seems pretty confident that another rift will open, zero matter will pour out, and they will both get a healthy dose of it. They blow the uranium before Carter’s crew reaches the launch site.
A rift opens, and both Wilkes and Frost move closer. Wilkes hears that little voice in his head, but Frost doesn’t. The rift turns into some kind of black hole, an orb with a golden ring around it. Wilkes floats up towards it and is sucked inside. Frost has a temper tantrum, insisting the rift take her.
The guys set up the gamma cannon. They only have one shot at hitting the rift, and Samberly has no idea what will happen when they fire it. Jarvis is too concerned with revenge against Frost to pay attention to anything else around him. Carter tells him that Frost will have to wait, which angers Jarvis. He hops in the car and drives towards the rift. Carter, a frustrated kindergarten teacher at this point, jumps into the truck and follows him. The gamma cannon is fired, and it zaps the rift into nothing, leaving only a small crater in the ground. Wilkes is in the crater, with an enlarged head and something moving beneath his skin. Jarvis arrives at the site, and Frost asks him for help. Instead, Jarvis shoots her twice. Carter pulls up and is furious with Jarvis. Then she sees that Wilkes is still alive. Unfortunately, so is Frost – the zero matter absorbed the bullets. Joseph’s goons are ready to kill Carter and Jarvis, but Frost tells them to hold off. Wilkes’ loved ones are the key to controlling him and getting what she needs from him. She insists they be kept alive. The goons knock them out instead.
And so ends the first episode tonight. It was a really good episode, plenty of action, well paced, and scenes that actually propelled the plot forward. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the second episode. Maybe it is a bit of fatigue after two hours of Carter, but the second episode dragged about halfway through. Maybe it was just the double and triple cross thing.
“A Little Song and Dance” opens with just that: a musical number in Agent Carter’s subconscious. She sees her brother, who insists that she is doing what she wants; not what he wanted for her. Then she is at the automat, and a huge musical number shows us that Carter is more stressed out over who to choose: Wilkes or Sousa. I would choose Sousa. He isn’t loaded with radioactive material, and he didn’t hold a gun to her head. Seems like an easy choice. The number is cute, but I don’t like the fact that this is the biggest worry on her mind.
Carter wakes up to find she is bound in the back of the truck, beside Jarvis. She works on the ropes, then frees Jarvis. She is furious at him for shooting Frost and blames him for this mess they are in. It turns out that the back of the truck is chained shut. Luckily Carter has a utility belt of sorts, and pulls out a “hot wire” which melts through the chain. The doors fly open; she pushes Jarvis out and jumps out after him. Jarvis is annoyed that they are in the middle of nowhere; Carter points out that he is free. She starts walking.
Jack, Sousa, and Samberly are sitting around the cannon, wondering what to do next. Clearly, Carter and Jarvis aren’t returning with the cars. An SSR car approaches. Vernon’s thugs. Jack has a plan. When Vega arrives, Sousa and Samberly have Jack on his knees in surrender. The goons were under the impression that they were supposed to kill all of them – Jack included. Jack insists Vernon will want to hear what they have to say. Vega concedes and they take all three of them – Sousa and Samberly as prisoners – back to the SSR.
Wilkes wakes in the backseat of Frost and Joseph’s car. His eyes are glowy and something feels wring. Frost grills him on what he saw, but he saw nothing – just blackness. He doesn’t know why he has come back, but he is in pain and afraid to go into a populated area. Frost agrees to let him have a minute and they pull the caravan over. Frost and Joseph take Wilkes back to the truck to show him how they are going to control him, but find the truck empty. Joseph shoots the driver and sends two other goons to retrace their tracks and find Carter and Jarvis.
Carter and Jarvis are trudging along, and both are very grumpy. Jarvis believes he did the right thing, and takes note that everyone around Carter dies. He apologizes, realizing that was over the line, but Carter is glad he said it. Jarvis has begged her to come along on her “adventures,” which is what they are to Jarvis: a lark. At the end of the day, he gets to go home and live a life of luxury. When there is a consequence, he blames Carter. “Yes, there is a cost, one that I have paid a thousand times over,” Carter says. “Your wife will survive and you can go on, knowing nothing of loss.” Jarvis finally reveals to her that Ana will be unable to have children, and the tragedy of that brings the fight to an end. Well, that and the fact that the truck has doubled back for them.
The truck driving goons find Jarvis hovering worriedly over Carter, who collapsed on the ground. One goon puts Jarvis into the truck while Carter beats the hell out of goon #2. Then she sneaks up on the first goon and leaves the men on the side of the road and take the truck to civilization.
Back at the SSR, Vernon is not happy to see Samberly and Sousa alive – albeit behind bars. Jack convinces Vernon to keep the two prisoners alive. They are the only ones who can fix the gamma cannon. Frost could do it, but then Vernon couldn’t use the cannon on her. Jack assures Vernon that he is with him, no matter what he decides. Vernon decides to try Jack’s plan. Carter storms into the SSR, straight to Vernon, and starts beating the hell out of him, demanding to know where Sousa, Jack, and Samberly are. Sousa and Jack pull her off him and take her down to the lab, where they lay out the new plan. Carter doesn’t trust Vernon, and wonder what’s to stop him from coming after the rest of them. Vernon assures her he has no interest in her. They all have dirt on one another. It’s a stalemate, and the only way out is together. The most immediate problem is that Frost wanted the gamma cannon an hour ago, and Samberly still needs another hour to tweak it. Jack offers to go explain the hold up to Frost.
Joseph has set up a makeshift lab for Frost in an empty waste management facility. Wilkes is strapped to a gurney and begs to be taken back to the desert, away from the population. He can’t fight “it” much longer, and he is tired of fighting whatever this “it” is. Frost jams a huge needle into his chest and turns on a machine. She is attempting to suck the zero matter from his body. After an hour, they don’t get even a drop. With a sigh, Frost concedes to giving Wilkes a break before his heart gives out.
Jack arrives and he plays on Frost’s actress ego to get her in a good mood. It only lasts a few minutes, then she wants her cannon. Jack explains it is still undergoing repairs, but that Vernon has promised to use the cannon against Frost, to destroy her. Jack has another plan in mind: he will deliver the cannon to Frost and let her use it as she sees fit. He doesn’t want Vernon’s job; he wants a seat on the council.
Jack returns to the SSR and they load the cannon onto the truck. Jack and Vernon ride with the cannon, while Carter and Sousa follow behind in a car. But the car won’t start – the fuel line has been cut. Thinking Vernon sabotaged them, they rush to Samberly to borrow his car. Samberly thinks this is part of the plan, which was to turn the cannon into the bomb. Except it wasn’t Vernon who told him to do that; it was Jack. Samberly promises he can build a jammer to interrupt the signal sent to the bomb.
Samberly, Carter, and Sousa are outside the waste management plant. Carter wants to run in, guns blazing; Sousa thinks that is a bad idea. She runs in when Sousa’s back is turned, knocking out guards as she progresses into the building. She finds Wilkes and untied him. He again proceeds with his warnings and begs her to leave him. She steadfastly refuses, even when Wilkes insists that when he took her hostage, he did so of his own volition. It was not the zero matter. Wilkes gives in and follows her out, but as soon as she is through the door he locks her out. Wilkes is ready for this to be over. With no other option, Carter runs, and the zero matter starts to take over Wilkes.
Frost assures Vernon that she only needs to use the cannon once, on Wilkes. He wants to show her how to use it, a ploy to get her in his sights. Frost knows what is going on and slickly dodges. She shuts it off, and admits she almost didn’t believe Jack. Vernon realizes he has been double crossed. “I didn’t think you had it in you,” he tells Jack with a grim acceptance. He is on his knees, but he tries to convince Jack that Frost can’t be trusted, and that there is a way out of this. Jack leaves the honors to Frost and leaves the two alone.
A safe distance away, Jack stops to push the detonator. Nothing happens. He rushes back to Sousa and demands they turn off the signal jammer. He believes what he is doing is the right thing, taking out both Frost and Vernon. Carter is concerned because Wilkes is still inside and he doesn’t deserve to die. And Sousa wants Vernon brought to justice, not just slaughtered. Jack holds his gun to Samberly, who quickly turns off the signal jammer. But then Carter puts her gun on Jack.
Inside, Frost is slowly sucking the energy from Vernon. “I am remaking the world in my image,” she gloats (ironically, a near-identical statement was made by Cigarette Smoking Man in last night’s disappointing The X-Files finale). But Vernon smiles. “They got you too, b*tch.” The light on the cannon is blinking. Before the bomb goes off, Wilkes stumbles in and explodes into a blackout of zero matter.
You can watch a preview for the second season finale in the player below.