Marvel’s Agent Carter S02E02 “A View in the Dark” REVIEW

Marvel’s Agent Carter S02E02 “A View in the Dark” REVIEW

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stars 4.5

 

Airing in the UK on Fox TV, Thursdays, 9pm
Writers: Eric Pearson, Lindsey Allen
Director: Lawrence Trilling

 

Essential Plot Points:

  • The episode begins with Jarvis and Peggy having an amusing judo match, though we don’t think Jarvis quite realises how much more superior she is to him in hand-to-hand combat.
  • Peggy meets Sousa’s new girlfriend, Violet, and they seem to be getting on very well despite his initial fears.
  • Jane Scott’s frozen body is stolen right as it is about to be taken to the SSR.
  • Calvin Chadwick meets with a mysterious council; all the members are wearing the same pin as the one that Dottie Underwood was trying to steal at the beginning of the first episode. They have decided, to the annoyance of Chadwick, that they are going to close down the Isodyne Energy programme, and all research and information about the project will be removed that night.
  • Peggy and Sousa have finally got a search warrant for Isodyne Energy, but when they arrive a “radiation leak” means that they can’t investigate. Peggy turns to Dr Wilkes for help, who asks to meet her alone to explain what’s going on.
  • When Wilkes and Peggy meet they begin to get closer, and after exchanging personal stories Wilkes reveals Isodyne Energy’s secret: Zero Matter. This is a new source of energy which was discovered during one of the company’s nuclear tests during World War II. The pair decide to steal the product before it disappears forever.
  • Unfortunately for them, they’ve been followed by three hitmen and the pair fend them off before reaching the company.
  • At the company Wilkes goes to fetch the Zero Matter while Peggy fights off some bad guys. After successfully transferring the Dark Matter to another container, Wilkes is confronted by Whitney Frost and as they fight they accidentally release the Dark Matter. When Peggy goes to investigate the explosion, but Wilkes is nowhere to be found.

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Review:

Following closely on from last week’s episode, “A View In The Dark” sees Peggy fight against the clock to discover Isodyne Energy’s secrets, and the truth behind Jane Scott’s death, before the company destroys all the evidence. There’s danger, mystery, and romance: all the makings of a good-old-fashioned spy thriller.

Opening in a much lighter tone than the first, this episode begins with a sparring contest between Jarvis and Peggy. The former’s strength and skill is hopelessly unmatched against the first avenger, and the situation soon turns against him despite his best efforts. It’s a fun way to begin the story since it brings to mind the antics had by the two in the first series, and the fact that Mrs Jarvis doesn’t bat an eyelid when she finds the two locked in a suggestive pose reiterates the friendship between them. Peggy is truly part of the Jarvis family now.

While their friendship is the heart of the show, it is the development of the relationship between Peggy and Dr Wilkes that is the main focus of this week’s episode. As they have only met fairly recently, it is clear from the offset that the two are well suited for each other. In both the first and second episode the pair teasingly flirt their way through Peggy’s investigation, and the dynamic between them only strengthens as this goes on. This is especially clear in this episode, as, when faced with the impending removal of any and all evidence of Isodyne Energy’s secret project, Peggy is forced to ask for Wilke’s help and he is only too happy to oblige provided she tells him more about herself.

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Peggy begins to open up to him, and as the sequence of events unfold the pair must fend off a group of thugs hired to kill them. Perhaps it is because they have been placed in life-or-death situations for the majority of the time they have known each other that the chemistry between them increases so rapidly, but it is certainly due to Hayley Atwell and Reggie Austin’s support of one another that it is so believable. This new development in Peggy’s romantic life is interesting, and while the latter half of the episode is disheartening hopefully things will change as the series goes on.

It is the women of Agent Carter that are the most impressive though. Ana Jarvis, Whitney Frost, and even Agent Sousa’s new love interest Violet, are all exquisitely brought to life by their respective actors. Peggy may be the highlight of the series, but the characterisation of these women are certainly striking. Not only are they distinct from one another, but they also all work well together. Ana and Peggy, in particular, have a relationship that could easily rival Peggy’s friendship with her husband, and it is nice to see the bond continue to blossom in the episode. Whitney Frost, meanwhile, is an intriguing villain for the series. While her role as antagonist to Peggy is only in its infant stages in the episode Wynn Everett plays her brilliantly, and it will be interesting to see how she develops as time goes on.

Things are certainly heating up in Agent Carter, and as the stage for the main event is set it is clear that this series is not one to be missed.

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The Good:

  • The episoder remains as exciting and intriguing as the first, and it doesn’t seem like the series will be slowing down anytime soon.
  • Wilkes and Peggy’s relationship is developing particularly well. Even if they’ve only known each other a few days they certainly seem perfectly suited as they flirt back and forth. The dynamic between Atwell and Austin is particularly exhilarating.
  • The women are definitely the strongest part of this episode. Peggy, Ana, Whitney and Violet all have such diverse personalities and characterisations in the show that the variety helps to reinforce the narrative.
  • Agent Carter now seems to also be looking at issues of racial diversity as well as misogyny, this is a great addition to the continued exposition of problems in 1940s America.
  • Bernard Stark continues his reign of terror at the Stark household.
  • “Are you going to punch the whole of LA?” “Maybe, I need a hobby.” This has to be the best line of the series so far.
  • “I’ve performed far more strenuous tasks in heels”
  • “It’s a perfect liquid.” “Are you talking about Zero Matter or your wine-making machine?”

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The Bad:

  • “Who’s this clown?” says Sousa to a man dressed as a clown sat in the agency. Really? Did we need this cheesy line? Probably not.

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The Random:

  • The producers of the show have confirmed that the council of nine that Calvin Chadwick is a part of is the secret empire, an organisation that is part of Hydra.
  • Whitney Frost is seen filming, and for a brief second the title of the film is seen: The Woman With The Golden Mask. This not only a reference to her character Madam Masque in the comic books, but is also a hint to her future in the series.
  • Keep an eye out for Zero Matter in the upcoming Doctor Strange movie (see here).

Review by Roxy Simons


 

Read our other Marvel’s Agent Carter reviews

 

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