Agent Carter 2×08 “The Edge of Mystery” and 2×09 “A Little Song and Dance” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Does anyone else feel as though they’ve just gotten off a wild roller coaster?

Episode Summary: There was a lot of double crossing and way too many plans to keep up with, but the best news is, Ana Jarvis is alive. Peggy and Jarvis argue over everything that’s occurred making their friendship even stronger than before. Dr. Samberly and Rose return to help our heroes. Jason Wilkes is strong with the force, but Whitney Frost isn’t. Angie Martinelli (Lyndsy Fonseca) returns in a dream sequence to help Peggy with her difficult decisions. And in the end, it appears as though Zero Matter has completely consumed Wilkes.

Review | Analysis: “The Edge of Mystery” and “A Little Song and Dance” were superlative episodes continuing to remind viewers of the fact that Agent Carter is a series that knows how to keep a proper balance between an ongoing plot and character development. It’s also the series that tackles prominent issues in a way that allows us to understand things we may not have otherwise on much profound levels. It’s about learning to lean on other people with each and every character contributing something exceptionally unique. And if these two episodes were to teach us to anything, it is that we must learn how to take responsibility for our actions. The choices we make determine the kind of person we are, but above all, it’s how we react to the consequences of our choices.

To begin with, Jason Wilkes has reached a fascinating new position this week giving Reggie Austin the opportunity to deliver a full range of emotions. Just as everyone else, Wilkes went back and forth a few times, but instead of blaming Zero Matter, he took responsibility for his actions like the gentleman we met back in 2×01. Wilkes chose to apologize for threatening Peggy and Daniel claiming that it wasn’t in fact the Zero Matter, but rather he himself. When we first met Wilkes, he was a complete sweetheart, it’s no wonder Peggy was swept off her feet, but as we’ve learned, Zero Matter is tremendously dangerous. And whether or not his general frustrations as a human being played a role in his outburst and choice to backstab our heroes, I do believe it’s more so the ramifications of Zero Matter. Zero Matter has made him intangible, if any of us were in his position, eventually our anger would do the talking for us. Additionally, since he didn’t seem at all phased by what Whitney was trying to convince him of last week, it seems ridiculous that he’d suddenly be on her team. But again, while he is no villain at the moment, we can be certain that Zero Matter does do the talking to an extent. It was calling to him after all. And perhaps that’s why he gave into Whitney when she was telling him to listen to it. Most importantly, the fact that the characters on this series take responsibility for their actions is huge. Once someone makes a mistake, they often place more of the blame on someone else rather than themselves; thereby, the fact that Jason came forward to Peggy spoke volumes on his behalf. It’s exactly what separates him from Whitney — they both may be in consumed by Zero Matter to an extent, but Jason’s still fighting with his heart. He’s choosing to make the hard decision which is to hold on to the integrity left in him. And this is particularly why it broke my heart so much more to see him fully consumed by Zero Matter. I have no idea what’ll happen to him, but my best guest is that much like in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. he may be sent away where it could be controlled. Let’s hope however, that this is the last resort and instead, he finds a way to move on with his life without Zero Matter.

When it comes to taking responsibility for their actions, Jack Thompson hasn’t exactly grasped the importance yet. But maybe there’s still hope for the New York Chief. To be quite honest, 99% of the time, I have absolutely no clue what Jack’s up to. It’s hard to trust him. It’s hard to believe when he’s being truly sincere because we know he’s often out for himself. And though it appeared as though he’d realized which side isn’t playing dirty this week, in the end, his intentions are still unclear. The thing with Jack is that though he makes tough calls for the sake of protecting the world, they aren’t always right. He doesn’t consider alternatives. He doesn’t look deep into the lives of these human beings wondering if redemption is possible and that may be his biggest flaw. He’s an enormous coward in the sense that he often basks in the glory of another’s success, but for once I wish he’d actually work in a team. And that’s what generally throws me off with his character — the fact that he never shares his plans doesn’t make him a stronger agent, it makes him weaker. S.S.R would be 100 times more successful if it was built on a solid foundation of trust, but clearly that trust can only be found with a few and at this point, Jack isn’t one of them. He’s still got one more episode to prove he’s truly a team player, but I’m not entirely sure that’ll happen. Prove me wrong, Jack. Prove me wrong.

Whitney and Joseph’s love story couldn’t be more toxic. His anger and her need to control are two traits that effortlessly set up destruction, and I’m surprised they’ve even lasted this long. But if promos don’t deceive, and he’s now double crossing her, I wouldn’t actually be surprised. The force just isn’t strong in Whitney and a part of me wonders if Zero Matter chooses the body it wants to fully consume. Why else would the portal (a galaxy far far away) call to Jason and not Whitney. She’s in possession of a lot more isn’t she? Or perhaps, the amount of people she’s absorbed make it much more difficult for her to fully consume the power? I don’t know. Nor am I actually good at theorizing things like this so I’ll just leave it up to next week’s episode to tell us. But as far as Whitney and Peggy’s scenes go, I loved the way Peggy shut her down by essentially saying members of a sisterhood don’t shoot one another. And Whitney isn’t wrong by saying sometimes you have to make a tough call, but the call she made wasn’t a tough one. Shooting a defenseless woman who’s attempting to stand up with her words is just cowardly behavior. It’s petty even. It’s downright villainous because while we all know she only did it to slow down Peggy, she didn’t have to harm an innocent being the matter. She could’ve shot Peggy herself. Once innocent lives are harmed instead of spared, there’s no tough choice, but rather the decision of someone who’s lost remorse and humanity.

Speaking of the sisterhood, I say once the show’s over (years and years later hopefully) we get a movie featuring Peggy, Angie, Ana, and Rose titled: Sisterhood of the Traveling Lipstick (or high heels, whichever, I’m not married to the title.) That said, Rose Roberts is an absolute ray of light, and I’m so thankful writers are finding reasons to give her more screen time. Despite the fact that she has absolutely no idea who Rose is, I’m sure Ana felt a bit at ease with this adorable woman playing nurse to her. Hangman and apple torte seem like wonderful things to wake up to.

My heart could not be more broken for Ana Jarvis right now. However, the reality is, even though she cannot have a biological child, it doesn’t mean she can’t be a mother. It also doesn’t mean she’s any less wonderful than before. Agent Carter is a series that knows how to tug on the heartstrings and with James D’Arcy’s distraught performances, it made their scenes that much more difficult to watch. The desperation, heartache, and downright brokenness D’Arcy conveyed was outstanding — just as I had mentioned last week, you felt every once of his love for his wife. And when Jarvis was making promises to Ana, with every word he spoke, D’Arcy exuded profound sincerity. Jarvis and Ana are such a fascinating couple. We don’t see simplicity often on television — especially two people who are essentially living in a home that isn’t theirs. Two people who are often looked down upon — as less than. However, Jarvis and Ana are anything but less than; they’re giving, compassionate, and wonderful souls whose hearts beat to an honorable rhythm towards the world around them, and towards one another. And this kind of relationship isn’t something we get to see often, but these last three episodes have shown us that these embarrassingly amazing creatures (Jarvis’ word) would give the world for one another. They complete each other. And the truth is, it clearly doesn’t matter where they live or what they do, or who says what, because the love they share for one another is more beautiful than anything else they’ll ever known. Love is about doing things for one another that we may not always want to — it’s making promises we truly intend to keep even if we don’t manage to, and it’s loving even when it gets ugly. She is just as selfless with him and he is with her. Plus, while they may not have biological children of their own, we all know Edwin Jarvis has left an enormous imprint in Tony Stark’s life. I feel it’s safe to assume that Ana and Jarvis will love Tony as if he were their own. Ultimately, in that brief moment where Jarvis was tearfully making promises to Ana, as an audience, we were able to feel the kind of love that’s described in the book of Corinthians. We’re not just told how much they love one another as we were in season one, but now, we’re able to see it ourselves.

Since we’re on the topic of love, Agent Carter once again proves that it’s great at all things, but subtly. The musical segment in “A Little Song and Dance” didn’t exactly do much plot wise. If I weren’t a ridiculous fan of musicals plus Angie Martinelli (Lyndsy Fonseca), I’d probably be sitting here questioning the point of such a scene. But since I’m a massive fan, I feel I’ve earned myself the chance to be a little biased here and say it was perfect. How is this already perfect cast even more perfect? The only flaw in Peggy’s dream sequence was the absence of Steve Rogers, but apparently, he’s a busy guy preparing for a Civil War or something. It’s okay, Evans — you’re forgiven just this once. The love triangle is undoubtedly the worst trope in history, but I can’t give Agent Carter writers enough praise for writing it with such eloquence and grace. You understand why Peggy’s in a dilemma, but the important thing is the fact that she isn’t juggling both, and when the time comes to make a choice, she won’t go back on her word a few days later. It won’t be an ongoing issue inside her head and our screens.

I loved seeing Peggy’s brother Michael return to tell her that she’s doing exactly what she wants to do. And should she ever come to find that something isn’t right — she has the choice to walk away. She can turn it all around. The reality is, Peggy is a selfless woman who’s always chosen for others and when it comes to matters of her heart, she’s always been concerned with the other’s feelings in the progress as well. But when it comes to love, it’s the one thing where when given choices, we must choose selfishly. We must choose selfishly because the right partner only comes once, twice if you’re lucky.

Daniel and Peggy are the lucky ones — the two honorable heroes who’ve survived the war and lost so much. They’ve been given a second chance at life and because that’s rare for people like them, ceasing what’s meant to be theirs is the only way to go. Peggy needs someone who’s going to treat her as his equal — someone who understands the tremendous loss of innocence and the struggle of being taken seriously. And while Jason undoubtedly understands this too, since day one, there’s always been a potent connection between Peggy and Daniel.

And the most proper paradigm of the above statement is the scene they share by the car in “The Edge of Mystery”. Hayley Atwell and Enver Gjokaj have established such exquisite chemistry it’s hard not to root for them. Intimacy in its most quiet form often contributes to making ordinary scenes breathtaking. It was in the way Daniel’s hand was placed near Peggy’s waist to comfort. It was in the way Peggy’s fingers lingered over the wound above his eyebrow. Atwell and Gjokaj delivered some of their best work in that quiet moment of unexpected sorrow. In the line of work they’re in, their lives are constantly at risk, at any moment, one mission could go wrong and they’ll find themselves losing the battle. However, it’s little moments like this, where despite the fact that a choice hasn’t been made, it’s clear these characters care about one another in ways they’d never expected to. Daniel’s a man in love — he’s always been, and today, Peggy’s learning that she’s a woman whose heart has opened up again through time. She’s learned to love again. She’s learned to trust. Despite the unspoken words, the concerns that run incredibly deep for this man can be seen most gorgeously in Atwell’s expressions.

Peggy’s lost the man she loves before. And when posed with the question of whether or not she’d let someone shoot Daniel if it came down to it in an ultimatum, once again it’s Atwell’s expressions that scream louder than any word Peggy could’ve said. Instead, the reflection in her eyes told the story of a woman admitting that of course she would choose him. But thanks to Jack interrupting, we didn’t get more than we would’ve.

During her argument with Jarvis, there’s a moment where you come to the realization that Peggy believes a steady, simple life isn’t in the cards for her. She can’t just go home to a happy marriage and listen to the radio while having a light night drink with a man. It’s a brief moment where Atwell conveys such subtle heartache because of the losses she’s known. You were able to feel her fears of never finding that solace it appears the entire world has found. But that’s the thing with Peggy and Daniel’s relationship — they both understand each and every risk that comes with their line of work. It’s why they’re so perfect for one another. Daniel understands, adores, and believes in Peggy in ways not many people do and when it comes time for her to make a choice, we all know she’s going to choose the man who encourages her to push forward. The man who’ll hold her hand when it feels the walls are caving in, and the one who’ll stand by her side in every fight she faces as her equal. Peggy’s first engagement was to man who had no idea who she was and what she was capable of, but Daniel understands every bit of her being. He’s seen her at her best and her worst, but despite it all, he’s always been on her team — always on her side ready to call the shots whenever necessary all while trusting her instincts along the way. In the end, the choice is Peggy’s, but what’s ultimately most satisfying is knowing that she’ll choose the happiness she’s always deserved. She’ll get to live the life she’s always wanted with a family, and an enormous company (S.H.I.E.L.D.) that’ll help protect the world.

Politely Sarcastic British Heroes: (Jarvis & Peggy) In what was Hayley Atwell and James D’Arcy’s strongest performances yet, Peggy and Jarvis’ argument in the desert was poignantly profound illuminating the series’ theme remarkably. After Jarvis shoots Whitney in order to get revenge for what she’s done to Ana, Peggy gets upset stating that he risked all of their lives, to which he responds she’s done the same thing by going after Dottie in the first place. Jarvis then states that though she may not be a murderer, everyone around her dies. Ouch.

As human beings, when we’re upset and hurting, it’s easy to be cruel. It’s easy because despite the fact that our hearts say one thing, anger and frustration have a horrific way of clouding our rational judgment. And despite the fact that there’s truth to what we’re saying, it’s not exactly what we’re saying, but it’s how we’re saying it. We choose all the wrong words. It’s a scary thing, but the reality is, it happens to the best of us, and it’s sadly normal. This conversation between Peggy and Jarvis not only showcases how far the two have come in their adventures, but it reveals just how much they’ve both truly learned. What I can admire about each of them is that they know they were being harsh. There is absolutely no right or wrong here, but rather they’re both people who’ve had to make choices, and a day in the life of the hero requires taking responsibility for such choices. And that’s exactly what Peggy and Jarvis have done by the end of their argument.

The life of a spy/agent looks like it’s a lot of fun. I’ll admit to always wanting to join the CIA just because TV makes it look great — it sounds like an adventure where helping people is involved, but the harsh reality is that it’s dark. It’s a devastatingly dark world out there, and when your job requires making hard choices, it’s even more terrifying. Peggy’s always had to make tough choices. Many people don’t know about the fact that Steve’s last words were assuring her that this is his choice — just as Bucky had made the choice to sacrifice himself and she had reminded him of the fact when he was grieving. Peggy’s tried tremendously hard to make the right decisions, and while there have been moments where she’s been wrong, what makes her so admirable is the fact that she’s taken responsibility for them. Perhaps going after Dottie wasn’t a good idea, but it’s easy to understand why she did it. And it’s easy to understand why she felt responsible in the end — why she didn’t want her killed in Whitney’s hands. Peggy breaks so often because of the losses she’s known and the worst part is, she breaks in silence. She doesn’t share her late night heartaches with a single soul. No one will ever know how many nights she’s stayed up crying for Steve. No one will ever know how often she’s cried over losing her best friend back at the pilot. She blames herself, but at the end of the day she tries — she tries desperately hard not to involve other people and though she’s learning to open up, she’s also learning that more risks are involved now. She’s has more to lose now. She cares about a great deal of people now making every choice she makes that much more difficult. And Jarvis understands this, he knows this incredibly well which is why he instantly apologizes after realizing how harsh he was.

There aren’t enough words for the vulnerability Atwell and D’Arcy conveyed when Jarvis states that Ana can no longer have children. In that moment, you saw their hearts. You saw their genuine, heartfelt deep remorse for everything they’ve said and done. But more importantly, you saw the deep adoration that resides within them for one another. Jarvis couldn’t have been as bold and honest with anyone else. Peggy’s friendship and closeness has allowed him to feel safe enough to confide in her with the darkest secret he’s ever kept. He can admit he’s a coward around her. He can admit he was wrong. As Peggy said, there’s no need for apologies, for they both know exactly where they were wrong. They know their mistakes and they know the risks — each of them have made choices that have led to unfortunate consequences, but they’re learning, even Peggy who’s done it much longer.

Jarvis is the one person who’s always reminded Peggy of the fact that there’s no need for her to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders. She needs to share her burdens and everything she faces in order to be successful. She needs to learn how to trust and open up. And while Jarvis has taught her how to rely on people, Peggy’s shown him a life outside the simplicity he’s known. While he may not have kept all the promises to Ana in the past, something tells me he will now. He may hate vacations, but imaginably seeing so much destruction will allow him to take advantage of the fact that he’s lucky to live the life he has. This friendship is about growth in countlessly wonderful ways, but because they can be so bold and honest with one another, it makes everything that much easier.  

Three Favorite Quotes:

S.S.R. Men: DO AS PEGGY SAYS!

Daniel: You walk in a room and nature takes its course. Conquers me by force, and with no remorse baby, I assume that you always knew: the recipe, it’s simply me and you.

(Yes, song lyrics totally count the entire musical number was superlative)

Jarvis: We walk? We walk? This is your grand plan?

Worth Mentioning:

  • Surely I’m not the only one who was reminded of Gene Kelly through Enver Gjokaj’s performance in the musical segment? What a breath of fresh air in what would’ve otherwise been a darker episode.
  • Additionally, I’m sincerely hoping Lyndsy Fonseca makes another appearance next week as well because I want to know what’s actually going on with Angie. She was such a pivotal character last season and it just doesn’t feel entirely complete without her.
  • There’s a lot to love about this series, and if next week’s the final episode, what I’ll miss the most is being completely amazed each and every week with the performances this cast delivers. I’m constantly in awe and it’s truly an absolute shame that more people aren’t watching.
  • Okay, but seriously, how amazing was the musical segment? I’m never getting over it.

What are your thoughts on this week’s episode? If there’s anything you’d like us to discuss that wasn’t covered in this review, let us know and we shall do so. If you live in the states, please make sure you’re watching the series live. If you’re watching on DVR, please make sure you watch the commercials as well. I know that’s tough, but this series is worth it. Additionally, if you have programs like OnDemand, consider having the series play while you do something random around the house. If you live elsewhere, perhaps consider using the hashtag #AgentCarter on Twitter. ABC.com is also an option. This is the most exceptional series on air right now and it genuinely deserves all the love it can get. Tell all your friends, all your family members, all your coworkers. Visit http://abc.go.com/feedback and let them know you want the series back. Tell everyone!

 

@GissaneSophia // @MGcircles

 

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “Agent Carter 2×08 “The Edge of Mystery” and 2×09 “A Little Song and Dance” Recap

  1. I know I’m super late to the party with this one, but what a beautiful review, Giss! You managed to give me more Peggysous feelings than ever, which is saying something because I’ve basically been drowning in feelings since this season started. 😉

    Also, I love that we both talked about the importance of choice and responsibility in these episodes. It’s a great theme to unpack, and you did it marvelously.

    Finally, you were not the only one getting serious Gene Kelly vibes from Enver in that dream sequence. IT WAS PERFECT. HE WAS PERFECT.

    Like

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