Team Carter is back at it again in Los Angeles! We’ve got new team members, an atomic bomb, romance, action, and impalement! Spoilers abound — Let’s get started.
We start this week’s Agent Carter in Peggy’s room. A sleeping Peggy is called on by Dr. Wilkes, who clearly startles her, waking her abruptly as her armed arm goes straight through his head (it’s a good thing he’s intangible). He has something to show her: the zero matter found in Jane Scott’s tissue sample (the one Sousa stashed away after the War Department took over) appears to be attracted to him—so much so that it phases through the glass and joins with him. His eyes go black and, for a moment, he’s tangible — Peggy being able to hold him by his arm for a moment. He also suddenly knows where Jane Scott’s body is being stored and believes the cure for his condition can be found there. They discuss with Jarvis and figure out it’s in County Cold Storage Building, which is owned by Thomas Gloucester, a chum of Chadwick. So, naturally, time for a break in using Howard Stark’s trusty Woodie (unfortunate, probably deliberate, name).
Meanwhile, Violet returns home to find the door already open. She grabs a baseball bat from her umbrella stand (sign of a baseball player or a woman living alone). She finds dinner set for two on the table and Sousa asleep on her couch. She wakes him up and he appears to have lost something (HINT!) and, when she asks what he lost, he pauses before saying that she’ll know when she sees it (HINT! HINT!). This becomes the most adorably awkward engagement ever. Sousa tells Violet it’s an engagement ring and goes on about how mean, cruel, uncompromising, and…lovely she was when they met. She says yes to his proposal and they search for the ring together.
Cut to: Peggy and Jarvis (sporting his recreation tie) break into the County Cold Storage Building via air vent. After Jarvis draws parallels between the vent and his grandmother’s apricot preserves cellar (both are cold, cramped, and teeming with spiders), they discover Whitney and Chadwick already creeping over Jane’s body. She explains to Chadwick, “It called me here. It wants to be let out.” This game with zero matter is not going to end well for anyone. Whitney absorbs (yes, I’m almost positive she’s absorbing at this point) the zero matter that’s in Jane’s corpse, her eyes turn black momentarily, and the power it gives her convinces her that she needs an atomic bomb.
But why does she want an atomic bomb? She’s a scientist, duh! Wilkes explains that, as a scientist, she wants to replicate the original blast, reopening the rift “or whatever it was” that released the initial zero matter. Sounds like a great, totally safe idea. They need to stop her, which means figuring out where, out of all of Hugh Jones’ facilities, the bombs are placed. Jarvis knows! Because of Howard Stark’s rivalry with Jones, he’s done extensive research, discovering that one facility has far more intense security than the others. It’s practically “impenetrable” — the key can’t be replicated and all forceful plans of entry lead to a mishap that “will kill us all”.
So first things first (I’ll eat your brains), they have to get that key. With help from a great red, fringed wig (supplied by Sousa), and a phenomenal SoCal accent (Hayley Atwell always brings it in the accent department), Peggy searches Hugh Jones’ office.
Jones makes an appearance, prompting the best interaction of the entire episode. He claims to never forget a face as they flirt (Peggy’s fake flirting is fantastic) and leaves her to rummage through his things—until he reaches the elevator with a realization: “AGENT!” He runs back in to confront her, but Peggy has a new weapon from Dr. Samberly, an SSR weapons engineer with a distaste for the lack of respect he gets that is eased with pie. The “memory inhibitor” shocks the victim, forcing them to forget the last two minutes (with a slight risk of brain damage). Peggy uses it on Jones. He walks out again. “AGENT!” ZAP! This time, he passes out.
Peggy still hasn’t found the key, but with help from a conveniently placed poster (“The Key to Success is IN YOU!”), she figures out that, “Oh crumbs, he’s wearing it.” While she searches him he wakes up three more times (met with three more zaps) until she realizes the key is in his belt. After reminding herself that she’s saving the world (three times) she gets the key and zaps him again for good measure.
We then catch up with Whitney and Chadwick at lunch with Mr. Manfredi, who is such a Hollywood version of a mob boss—think every hot-tempered, violent mood-swinging mafiosa ever depicted ever. This is Whitney’s connection, but apparently Chadwick had stolen from him ten years ago. Whitney offers construction contracts for the new freeway system (shout out to that LA traffic) in exchange for discreet men with good hands to help her move some equipment (A.K.A. atomic bombs). Naturally, Manfredi wants more, requesting that his name and the names of his associates no longer appear in the paper. They make a deal.
Now to the main event, the moment the episode has been working up to—it’s time to defuse a bomb!
Step one: form a team.
Peggy has already roped in Sousa, but they soon discover that they plus Jarvis just won’t be enough to get the job done. They can’t go to the SSR because of Council of Nine infiltration. Peggy suggests Rose, switchboard operator. Sousa is skeptical, reminding Peggy of the ignorance of our beloved Jack Thompson, until he sees her throw around a one-man-band. She’s in. Now they need gadgets. They return to Samberly’s office to “return the memory inhibitor”, but are caught red-handed and without invitation by a very ticked-off Samberly—and this time, pie won’t win his favor. But the pie maker, Rose, will (“Your pie was in me!”). Rose’s flirting gets him to agree to lend weapons, but they don’t have enough time to be properly trained to use them. So Samberly offers to go along with them. They’re all skeptical, but Samberly explains why he should be able to help.
This small chunk of dialogue is one of my favorite parts of this episode. Samberly explains that after the end of the war, he had 11 job offers. When he spoke to Sousa about joining the SSR he was promised a chance to do field operations. Sousa doesn’t remember, stating he spoke to a lot of candidates. “But you picked me,” Samberly says confidently, “And I picked you.” Samberly is such a minor character at this point, but I’m sold on him. He’s awkward, a bit whiny, and kind of a mess, but he’s so clearly underappreciated and yet so adamant about receiving respect. He’s got my respect—and a spot on this mission.
Cut to: a rebooted Team Carter walking side-by-side in slow motion outdoing all the slo-mo shots. We’ve got Jarvis swatting dust off his jacket, Samberly tripping over himself, and Jarvis running to grab the car from around the corner after forgetting to move it.
Step two: break in.
This is a bad plan. It’s a horrible plan. It’s a SOLID PLAN! Rose and Samberly are sent to talk to the guards on the other side of an electrical fence surrounding the facility. They pretend to be a married couple, much to Samberly’s delight, but the guard’s a bore so they get turned away rather rudely (“Whatever happened to please?”). They throw a gadget under the fence that appears to pull electricity from the fence, shocking all the guards. Solid plan. They take an elevator into the facility and the doors open to reveal an unconscious guard—Whitney’s already inside. Samberly manages to override security, unlocking the many doors within the facility. A map reveals a room that has much thicker walls than the others, definitely housing the bomb. Whitney, also searching for the bomb with a bit less direction, orders her borrowed men to split up and search the rooms. Team Carter’s signal detects a presence a room over and Rose goes off to get him. The dude has a knife, but Rose has “seen bigger” (wink, nudge), and defeats him pretty easily. Go Rose!
The rest of Team Carter find the atomic rods in crates. In an attempt to keep Team Frost out, Samberly opens up the lock controls for the door that consist of multi-colored wires (red wire? blue wire?) and manages to lock Jarvis alone in the room, leaving him in charge of transferring the atomic rods. Sousa assures Jarvis that moving the rods is just like taking a soufflé out of the oven…probably. Insert Jarvis worry face. Jarvis successfully transfers the bombs (“That was nothing like making soufflé”), the door is opened, and Sousa goes after Peggy as Rose and Samberly transport the bombs.
When Peggy hears Whitney arguing with Chadwick about why they need to get the bombs, she goes after her. It’s time for a Whitney-Peggy showdown! Peggy tells Whitney that the SSR can help her return to her normal state. Chadwick wants Peggy’s help, but Whitney doesn’t; “Why would I want to be fixed? I’ve never felt more powerful in my entire life.” Remembering last episode, this sentiment is obvious. Whitney finally has all the power she’s always been denied. Cured? Please! They go head-to-head. Peggy gets a punch in, Whitney’s unimpressed and grabs Peggy’s arm, using her zero matter powers. The look on Peggy’s face says it all—this hurts. Peggy manages to fight her way away from Whitney, but ends up hanging on a ledge. When Whitney approaches the ledge, Peggy lets go and falls on top of cinderblocks and is impaled by an upright metal rod!
She’s alive, but not well.
Sousa witnesses her fall and he and Jarvis rush her to Violet’s home (they can’t go to the hospital because of possible Council infiltration). Violet tells Sousa to grab linens to pack the wound and Jarvis to boil some water, but Sousa stays at Peggy’s side. Violet reminds Sousa — again — to grab linens and when he rushes off assures Peggy that the bleeding is under control. Peggy ends up in a stable, but weak state. Sousa, with his love-struck, puppy-dog eyes tells Peggy to never do that again. Peggy responds sarcastically, but with a smile, “Get impaled? Thanks, chief.” Violet sees their interaction and interrupts, telling Peggy that her injuries will be fine but that she will have to be boring for a while. Jarvis and Peggy decide it’s best for Peggy to return back home to rest and leave. Sousa thanks Violet for helping out, but Violet isn’t a fool—she calls Sousa out for leaving New York not to get a fresh start, but to run away from his love for Peggy. Sousa doesn’t deny it.
Meanwhile, Whitney tries to convince Chadwick to ask Jones for permission to run another atomic test. Chadwick snaps. He will not ask for favors or put himself into another situation where he can die. He does not like being indebted to a leader of the criminal underworld nor does he like to be at the mercy of Council (and the Council does not trade in mercy!). Basically, he tried it. Whitney is past following his orders; she is not playing around and threatens Chadwick. She’s strong and she knows. Try again Chadwick. But Chadwick is still done. He calls for an emergency meeting and doesn’t care about procedure. This won’t end well.
We close this episode with our favorite scientist lurking around our favorite agent’s bedroom. (Okay, I’m poking fun, but does he live there now?) Peggy is telling Wilkes how painful it felt to be touched by Whitney; she would rather feel the pain of being impaled than go through that again. Wilkes understands. He says the place where zero matter comes from is dark and painful. How he knows this is a mystery to both Peggy and us, but Wilkes leaves the explanation for another day. His song (THEIR SONG), “I Want to Be Loved” (don’t we all) comes on and just as things get adorable he starts to disappear.
JASON! Guess we won’t be finding out how much he knows about the origin of dark matter any time soon.
- I want to be in that squad. I am loving the new additions to Team Carter and want to see more of them.
- Whitney is getting really scary—as her power increases, so does her creepiness. I don’t think revealing her to the Council is going to work out in Chadwick’s favor, at all.
- And when will Wilkes catch a break? Where did he go? Did the power of zero matter finally get him?
- And finally, Sousa! I am not a fan of love triangles, so I’m glad Violet recognized the love Sousa still holds for Peggy and calls him out for it. I honestly hope she calls it off, and not necessarily so Peggy and Sousa get together (though I do root for them), but for him to sort out his feelings without running away from them.
Double episode next week (with the reappearance of Dottie). See you then!
Jaymee Gray is an Undergraduate English and Journalism major studying at NYU who loves film and television. You’ll probably find her singing too loudly, doodling on everything, or complaining about people not using the Oxford comma.
She tweets about everything and nothing @jmeemarie