“Better Angels” – aired 1/26/2015 – ***** stars!
Written by Jose Molina
Directed by David Platt
*Spoilers Contained Within.
Last week’s two-hour season premiere of Marvel’s Agent Carter started and ended with a bang. First Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) foiled Dottie Underwood’s (Bridget Regan) bank robbery, leaving Chief Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) to question her while Peggy is transferred to Hollywood to help new West Coast Chief Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) on a case involving frozen women on a lake. It turns out it was a substance called zero matter developed by Isoydyne Energy which is a front business for Calvin Chadwick (Currie Graham) and his actress wife, Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett). When Dr. Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin), a worker for Isoydyne tries to get the zero matter out of the lab, he is confronted by Whitney, dropping the zero matter and setting off an explosion. He is lost and Whitney is scarred by zero matter on her face.
The best part of this week’s episode, “Better Angels”, is not only the return of Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) but new revelations in all forms. Howard is a movie director now, but still lives life in the fast lane. He does not know what to make of the zero matter bomb, but he helps Peggy get information about the Arena Club and what really goes on behind its doors in an unconventional way. The club is exclusive to rich, white men so when Tony is not satisfied with their service, he signals Jarvis (James D’Arcy) to open a door and in storm Howard’s female fans and followers. In this episode we see Peggy’s emotional side, especially when it comes to her feelings towards Dr. Wilkes. Despite what evidence and Chief Thompson may claim, she’s convinced he was not a Communist and fights Chief Thompson on this tooth and nail. She enlists Howard’s help to figure out why objects are floating around her. When Howard sprays a solution around Peggy, it reveals a living apparition of Dr. Wilkes. He survived but he was turned into zero matter. Speaking of zero matter, we see what happens when it uses Whitney or as she is revealed by Sousa, Agnes Curry, to reveal its dark side. She tries to hide her mark on her face, but when a director gets too close for comfort, the zero matter consumes him and sucks him into Whitney. The mark gets bigger; setting the stage for Madame Masque.
Agent Carter has not disappointed me since it’s debut last year. The plots are intriguing, the characters are fun and the action packs a punch. Hayley Atwell has taken Agent Carter to a another place we have yet to see her in. It’s great to see such strong, independent women on TV and in the movies lately. She has the look of a woman from the 40s and plays the part superbly. Dominic Cooper is great as Howard Stark. He has this carefree way about him and you can’t help but laugh at his character at times. James D’Arcy makes Jarvis fun and enjoyable to watch. The writers behind this show are brilliant at what they do and this show will be remembered for years to come, especially in its contribution to not only the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but for female led comic-book and female-led shows period.
Agent Carter and this week’s episode “Better Angels” get five stars! In case you missed the two hour premiere, you could find out my thoughts on it here.