HOLLYWOOD ENDING – 9/10.
Okay, let’s address the elephant in the room; there’s a chance that this season finale could actually be the series finale for Agent Carter. Hayley Atwell has been cast as the lead in a major series on ABC, good news for Hayley but potentially catastrophic news for fans of Agent Carter. It’s not like we need any real resolution to Peggy’s story; we know that she goes on to form S.H.I.E.L.D. with Howard Stark and lives a long and happy life, but there is still a wealth of adventures to be shared. It would be a shame if this truly was the end for Agent Carter simply because it has been such a wonderful show to watch. The writing and performances have been absolutely exceptional, with it consistantly striking the perfect tone between comedy and suspense to deliver a show that is utterly engaging.
Regardless of whether it was a season finale or a series finale, this week’s episode delivered on all fronts and was filled with the trademark wit and charm that has defined the show. Things pick up immediately from last week’s cliffhanger with Peggy threatening to shoot Thompson if he tries to set off the gamma bomb. The stand-off is interrupted when Jason Wilkes turns into a walking Zero Matter piñata, but against all odds Jason manages to survive the experience. Having been completely expelled from his body, the Zero Matter is now absorbed by Whitney Frost. Frost chases after Peggy but the pursuit is brought to an abrupt halt when Jarvis runs her over with Howard Stark’s car. Apparently Jarvis is far less concerned than his employer about hitting a two time Oscar nominee.
Frost returns home, where she begins work on plans to open a new rift to allow the Darkforce into our dimension. Meanwhile Stark, Samberly and Jason work on a plan to open their own rift so they can remove the Zero Matter from Frost with the gamma cannon and return it to where it came from. It seems as though Jason has made a full recovery from his experience, but he is wracked with guilt about the things he did while under the influence of the Darkforce. However there is little time to dwell on this as Joe Manfredi appears at Stark’s mansion demanding to speak with Peggy. After revealing that he shares a very strange past with Howard, Manfredi asks Peggy to help him save Frost from the Darkforce that is consuming her mind, body and soul.
Manfredi distracts Frost while Peggy and Sousa break into her house to photograph her plans for what turns out to be a rift generator. While the scribblings make no sense to Sousa, Peggy reassures him that Howard is fluent in ‘megalomaniac’ and the pair escape before Frost returns. Peggy’s assembled geniuses use Frost’s plans to create their own generator, giving Peggy time to have a heart to heart with Jarvis. Their friendship has formed the backbone of this series and it is good to see them back on the same page after their huge argument in the desert. He tells her of his wife’s reaction to the news that she would be unable to have children following Whitney Frost’s attack. He commends Ana for her strength and describes himself as a coward but Peggy reassures him that he is the bravest man she knows.
With the generator assembled the gang heads over to Stark’s studio to safely open a rift, well as safely as anyone can open an interdimensional rift that exposes a parasitic Darkforce. While Frost makes her way to the rift Howard passes the time by whacking golf balls in to the parallel dimension. Frost finally arrives and they use the gamma cannon on her, drawing out all of the Zero Matter and sending it back into the Darkforce. However the generator is damaged in the process meaning it can only be closed manually. Sousa volunteers himself to do this and in a moment that it both intense and utterly endearing, it takes the combined efforts of everyone to stop him from being sucked into the rift. They finally manage to close it by loading the gamma bomb on to Stark’s hover car and flying it in to the rift, sealing it shut forever. Yes, Stark had a hover car.
With the world saved and a depowered Whitney Frost locked up in an asylum, it seems that Peggy’s business is concluded in LA. However Jarvis suggests that she may have a reason to extend her visit a little longer and he isn’t just talking about the tacos. The only misfire of the entire season has been the somewhat forced loved triangle between Peggy, Sousa and Jason. Jason was incredibly charming, but Peggy and Sousa were always destined to be. This is why it is so wonderful to finally see them kiss at the end of this episode. It is a happy ending and if this is the series finale then that would be the perfect way to finish it… except it doesn’t finish there! As Thompson prepares to leave LA he is shot by a mystery assailant who then makes off with Peggy’s redacted file.
The cliffhanger ending suggests that there is every likelihood Peggy will be return to our screens, maybe not for a full run but certainly for a one off special to close off the story. This is great news as Agent Carter really has been a lot of fun. This finale showcased everything that was so right about it, especially the wonderful dialogue which was particularly fantastic in the exchanges between Stark and Jarvis. The final showdown may not have been the huge interdimensional battle that some people were expecting, but Agent Carter was never that kind of show. It’s a smaller, more intimate affair than AOS and that has allowed us to bond with Peggy in a way that we never have with Coulson’s team. But if this truly is the end then at least we have two amazing seasons to treasure.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- This episode left so many unanswered questions; Did Vernon Masters survive the Zero Matter blast? Who shot Thompson? What was in Peggy’s file? What does Master’s secret key open? Where is Dottie? And what was Howard doing in a sauna with Manfredi?
- Line of the night goes to Jarvis; “Sir we are standing in front of an incomprehensible rip in the fabric of our world… use a 7 iron.”
- It was good to see Jason not only saved but also redeemed and forgiven for his actions while under the influence of the Darkforce. Hopefully we get to see more of if the show returns.
- Howard Stark and Jarvis make such a good double act, hopefully they get their own special or at least a one shot on the season 2 DVD. Come on Marvel, make it happen!