Picking up where last week left off, Carter has a gun to Jack, threatening him to put the detonator down. He won’t, but before he can press it, the building explodes. Everyone races inside, watching their step because there are puddles of zero matter all over. Carter finds Wilkes beneath an overturned table. He feels weak and sore, but the zero matter is out of his system. The zero matter starts oozing on the floor, being drawn to Frost, who emerges from beneath a pile of rubble. She absorbs all the zero matter, and everyone flees. Outside, they find both Samberly and the car gone. “Just pick a direction and run!” shouts Carter, as Frost is coming after them. A car pulls up and slams Frost to the ground: Jarvis and Stark. Behind them is Samberly in the missing car. Everyone piles into the cars and they squeal out of there.
Back at the SSR, Wilkes is trying to describe the zero matter and the rift to Carter and Stark. It was “more than nothing,” he says, and believes it to be like a cancer, looking for a new place to infect. If it comes into their world, it will consume everything. Tests confirm that there is no more zero matter in Wilkes’ body.
Frost is at home, more consumed by her work than ever before. She doesn’t want to eat; doesn’t want to be bothered by Joseph; she just wants to work on the equations and plans that are plastered all over her walls. Joseph complains to his grandmother about how Whitney was once his ray of light, and is now a ray of garbage. He loves her with all his heart and soul, so grandma tells him he must make a deal with the devil.
Wilkes is staying at Stark Manor, and he, Stark, and Carter have lunch together on the patio. They are trying to figure out what to do with the zero matter, even if they can separate it from Frost. Stark wants two things: the zero matter for his lab, and some mustard, which he has called for several times by now. Jarvis finally appears and the reason for his delay is made clear: Joseph has a gun to his back. He makes vague threats to the trio, warns Carter not to go for her gun. Stark begs Joseph to let Jarvis… put down the mustard. Turns out, Stark and Joseph are old friends; this was all a horrible (but funny) joke. Joseph admits he is here because he is worried about Frost. He wants Stark and company to save her, claiming that the zero matter is what is making her a raving lunatic. Wilkes sees her as a “willing accomplice.” Joseph explains that she is working on a project to open another rift, even without the Roxxon uranium. Carter says they have to beat her to the punch: open their own rift, knock the zero matter out of Frost, and send it back from whence it came. First, they have to get her out of her room.
Joseph has a plan. He goes to Frost, who is full-on crazy at this point. Frost proclaims nothing is as important as her work. “Even me?” Joseph asks. Frost finally removes her eyes from the wall to look at Joseph. He wants her to be his muscle, and she likes this. As soon as she finishes her equation, she goes downstairs with Joseph while Carter and Sousa sneak in and start snapping photos of the insane work plastered over the walls.
Joseph whispers to his goon, Hank, to play along. As soon as Frost is in the room, he starts yelling at Hank, trying to get him to admit he has been working for Tommy. Hank insists he isn’t, so Joseph starts beating the hell out of him. Frost is getting annoyed and thinks he has this under control. Joseph begs her to “do her thing” to him, just to scare him. She sighs and approaches, hand outstretched. Before she can lay a finger on Hank’s throat, Hank breaks down into tears. Turns out he was snitching to the Feds, which takes Joseph by surprise. Frost heads back upstairs, and Joseph warns Hank to wait there for him. He’s going to have to kill him. Sousa and Carter hear Frost approaching, so they make a hasty retreat out the window. Luckily they photographed everything, and Sousa even made a tiny change to an equation, just to slow her down.
Back at the SSR, Carter and Sousa watch as Wilkes, Stark, and Samberly argue over naming rights to the device. It is going to be complicated, but they can build this device, which will open the rifts. There are tons of risks, like making sure the zero matter is contained (they will use X-rays for that) and making sure they can close the rift (gamma cannon, back in action). They will shut down Stark Studios and set it up there. Wilkes assures everyone that as soon as the rift is open, it will lure Frost to it.
The whole team pitches in, including Rose, whom Stark flirts with unabashedly. A few personal stories are concluded while they work. Wilkes tries to apologize to Sousa for the way he acted while flooded with zero matter.. Sousa doesn’t need an apology; he just wants to know why he held the gun to Carter’s head, not his own. “I knew you would fold. I would have.” Jarvis assures Carter that Ana will be home soon. They had a good cry over what could never be, but now she is her usual, optimistic self. Jack comes in, wanting to help. Carter suggests he collect the dinner orders, a job that he used to relegate to her. Jack doesn’t fight her on it, and goes to order dinner.
With the dinner order placed, Jack takes a peek inside Vernon’s briefcase. He glances at Carter’s redacted file, then looks at the Arena Club pin. A twist of the pin causes two prongs to pop out. It’s a key.
The team is ready to rock. Everyone except for Rose takes the equipment to the studio and sets it up. Wilkes warns everyone that when the rift starts to close, everyone needs to be at least 20 feet away from the device, or else they will get sucked in. They stand back and start it up. The device works: a rift opens. Frost, still at home, senses the rift is open and smiles.
Now they wait. Stark tries to hit golf balls into the rift. Samberly checks on the X-ray machines. Jack seems to think that Carter will turn him in for siding with Vernon. She assures him she won’t; she knows he is a good man. He shows her the Arena Club pin is also a key.
Frost arrives, drawn to the rift. She is oblivious to the people around her, and stands before the rift. Stark hits her with the gamma cannon and the zero matter flows out of her and back into the rift. Devoid of zero matter, Frost collapses and has a temper tantrum, even as Jack handcuffs her and takes her to the car. Frost doesn’t seem to notice she is being arrested; she wants her zero matter back.
Of course, there is a problem. The radio controller isn’t working, which means Stark can’t close the rift. The longer it is open the more unstable it becomes. There is a safety shutdown lever, but it is on the device itself. Whoever pulls the lever will likely get sucked into the rift. Stark, Carter, Jarvis, and Jack stand around, arguing over who will martyr themselves for the suicide mission. Sousa is way ahead of them. He has already tied a hose around his waist, the other side anchored to a street light. He tells them to keep working on the radio switch; he will bail if they can fix it.
It is tough, but Sousa finally makes it to the device and slowly starts turning the crank. Rocks around him start to levitate, meaning that the rift is closing. His safety line gives way, and Carter dives for it. She is joined by the other men, but they can barely fight the gravitational pull. The gamma cannon will need another twenty minutes to recharge, so that is no help. Sousa urges Carter and the guys to let him go, but they refuse. Jarvis has an idea. He drives up in Stark’s car and pulls the gamma part out of the cannon. If they can send the gamma core into the rift, it can close from the inside. Luckily they happened to drive over in Stark’s hover car. The gamma core is tossed into the front seat; a hankie in the gas tank is lit on fire, the car is activated and sent on its way. It flies right into the rift, and the whole thing shuts down in an instant. Everyone is safe.
Back at Stark Manor, Stark and Carter are debating the merits of zero matter. Wilkes joins them for breakfast and reveals that he has given Wilkes a job in his new facility in Malibu, working on a project he came up with in Peru. Stark goes for a swim, leaving Carter and Wilkes to talk. She is still going back to New York, but they are happy to have met and had the time they had together. They leave on good terms.
Carter is packed and headed out the door when Jarvis arrives home with Ana. Carter was worried that Ana wouldn’t want to see her, but Ana gives her a big hug. No animosity. Carter had called a taxi, which offends Jarvis greatly. Ana begs her to let Jarvis drive her, otherwise he will mope about it forever. Carter agrees, and Jarvis is jubilant. At her insistence, Jarvis drops her at the SSR. She has some paperwork to finish, then will catch a ride to the airport with Jack. Jarvis makes a final push for Carter to stay in LA; she feels she needs to go back to New York.
Upstairs, Carter finishes up the paperwork on the case with Sousa. He wants to talk to her about what happened at the rift, and Carter is surprised that he wants to chastise her. She messed up, he claims. She was reckless and ignored the instructions of a superior, yadda yadda yadda. This feels like foreplay for the two of them, and sure enough, when Carter can’t think of a witty comeback, she kisses him, passionately. The two tumble back into his chair and make out like teenagers.
And what of Frost? She misses her power. Cal is with her, somehow, promising they will find it again. But this is all in her head. She is actually locked up in an insane asylum, staring out the window and talking to herself. Joseph pays her a visit, but can’t give her the roses he brought because, according to the nurse, she will just use them to claw her face open.
Jack finishes packing while talking on the phone. He is surprised to hear that Carter is taking “more vacation time,” but he can’t wait to be back in New York. An insistent knocking at the door causes him to hang up. He is greeted with a bullet to the chest. An unidentified man, in a black suit and black gloves, enters the room and steals Carter’s redacted file, then leaves Jack dying on the carpet.
And thus ends season two of Agent Carter. A few missteps, but overall I enjoyed this season. There was more humor this season, which plays very well with this cast. As far as a third season goes, I am not hopeful. As soon as I heard that Hayley Atwell was cast in another TV series, that wasn’t second place to Agent Carter, I knew it was probably all over (There are all sorts of SAG rules, but it would be really hard for Hayley Atwell to star in two series at the same time. Usually if an actor is currently starring in a series and they are cast in a new series, if there is at least a 50/50 chance of the established show coming back, the new show will be “second place” to the original show, meaning that the actor can go back to their original show without breaking any contracts).
So…farewell Agent Carter…?