Review: Agent Carter Season 2 Ep. 3

(Marvel Studios 2016)

Summary: It’s 1947, one year has passed since Peggy took on the remnants of the Nazis and came out victorious. But not all wars are won after just one battle, and Peggy’s journey to build a life for herself after the war continues. This time in L.A. after a mysterious new substance called Zero Matter has cropped up and begun wreaking havoc. Agent Peggy Carter has been dispatched to find the answers behind this new threat, and along the way she is joined by old friends and new enemies. Season 2 is finally here, and what tale it shall be…

Episode 3 – “Better Angels”

Directed by David Platt; Written by Jose Molina

[SPOILERS!!]

Review: It’s an odd thing, this season of Agent Carter. Season 1 was really, really strong all the way through its 8 episode run. Three episodes into season 2 and this is all just… blatantly bad. Episode 3 in particular is a good example of what’s wrong with this season right now. The entire time I was watching this episode I couldn’t help but notice how everyone feels like a little more over the top version of their season 1 selves, hamming it all up more. Trying to have more fun and instead feeling like they’re in a comedy rather than a drama.

Howard Stark didn’t feel like Howard Stark this episode, he was a clown. And literally every scene with Whitney Frost is just terrible to watch on an acting level – which is ironic since she’s playing a Hollywood actress. Case in point was that final scene of the episode with her Producer, or Director or Agent where each line delivered by both actors – especially by the Agent – were ham-fisted and wholly unnatural in how anyone would act in such a situation.

However, the largest reason why I feel this season is already weaker than the first is because of Peggy’s forced will they/won’t they relationship that is very unlike her character. Like I said last review, I don’t want to see her hung up on Steve now that she is free of his memory to move on. However, I have very strong feelings against seeing her stalk around like a block of wood every time Wilkes is near her, and has so ever since she first looked at him.

Now, it’s one thing to break barriers by having a female lead in your show, it’s still one thing by having her fall head over heels for a male lead that is of color because quite frankly that’s still considered “breaking barriers” in 2016, and we can debate later if that’s a good thing or a sad thing. But it’s a wholly other thing to do all of that and do it stiffly because the writer’s room decided this was the best course of action to take to make sure Agent Carter stood out from the rest. And of course “for the sake of diversity.”

I love that they’re taking such a bold route, don’t get me wrong, but I just wish it felt natural. Not the stiff plotline we’re getting instead.

On the subject of Wilkes though, can someone explain to me the science behind items bobbing up and down as if they’re floating near Peggy equaling an invisible man standing near her? Is it because of Wilkes they’re bobbing, if so why don’t items situated around him later in the episode bob up and down? Was he holding them and bobbing them up and down to be cute? I just don’t get the reveal. Maybe I missed some explanation about Zero Matter that would help me understand it more.

There were quite a bit of obvious and really fun Easter eggs this episode, however. From Howard mentioning that cinema isn’t ready for female leads in movies, to the fact that he’s doing a film about Kid Colt. Jarvis saying he doesn’t want to spend an eternity as an electronic voice (good news if you’ve seen Age of Ultron, Jarvis!) We find out Whitney Frost is from Broxton, Oklahoma, which as an Okie myself made me extremely happy. As well as Broxton being the area where Asgard still dwelled in the comics last time I read a Thor issue. Since Marvel’s “not a reboot” I’m not sure where Asgard dwells currently.

Really this episode just wasn’t good. It was a big step back in terms of the quality I know this show is capable of, and I hope it isn’t an example of what we should expect in the future. Come on Agent Carter, I got faith in you! Do not fail me now!

Final Score: 1.5 Terrible Angels out of 5

DERRICK-imageDerrick is a born and raised otaku with a love for comics, anime, manga and movies. The full list is pretty long, but that’s just the basics. Stories set in space are his bread and butter.

You can find more of his writing at IndieComix.net

@KazekunForever

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