Agent Carter Recap: Hollywood Ending

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By Katie Hughes, @MsKatieHughes

 

Cut, print, that’s a wrap on this second season of Agent Carter! So how did it all end? And what hanging questions were we left with for a possible third season?! Read on!

 

2×10 Hollywood Ending

 

2x10-hollywood-ending

 

The final episode backtracks to the last 60 seconds of the previous episode, with Thompson about to detonate the gamma cannon bomb to take out Whitney, Wilkes, and the not-quite-absorbed Vernon Masters. Peggy is not about to let that happen, and is threatening to shoot Thompson to stop him. Before Thompson can detonate the bomb, the shockwave from the explosion of Wilkes’ zero matter rattles the team. They go to investigate and find Wilkes alive, tangible, and mostly well, just shaken. The gamma cannon remains in good shape, and the team does not find Masters. The zero matter, in puddles on the floor, makes its way over to Whitney, who absorbs it all. The only option is escape, but the team discovers Samberly and the car have disappeared. Whitney follows, but she’s knocked flat out by the arrival of a car, unexpectedly driven by Jarvis, with Howard Stark in tow. Samberly arrives right after, and it’s back to the SSR for the team.

 

At the SSR, Wilkes is given a clean bill of health. But after all he’s been through, including threatening Peggy’s life, he is not sure he can get back to his old self. He also explains when he entered the rift, the nothingness of zero matter had consumed everything in that universe. Given the opportunity, the zero matter would move into our world, and Whitney is interested in it doing just that.

 

Whitney is at home, plastering her walls with sketched designs and formulas for a new device that will create a new zero matter rift without the need for an atomic explosion. Manfredi seems interested keeping her grounded by rekindling a romance, but Whitney is single-mindedly working on her project. Manfredi speaks about Whitney’s obsession to his grandmother, who advises he make a deal with “the devil.”

 

Wilkes has been invited to stay at Howard’s mansion, and Peggy, Howard and Wilkes discuss the zero matter problem over a meal. Even if they use a repaired gamma cannon on Whitney, the zero matter will still be present in our world. Howard suggests a new containment chamber for the zero matter, but Peggy protests that will just be for Howard’s own gain. Before any decision can be reached, Manfredi shows up, having taken Jarvis hostage. As it turns out, Howard and Manfredi are on good terms, and Manfredi has arrived to make his deal with “the devil,” Howard, Peggy and the team, to try to save Whitney.

 

After Howard proposes stealing Whitney’s designs, Manfredi lures her out of her room by using her to threaten one of his associates. Peggy and Sousa then photograph all of Whitney’s blueprints (Sousa cheekily snaps a picture of Peggy, quipping that she needs a souvenir from her trip to LA) and escape through the window before she returns.

 

Howard, Wilkes and Samberly analyze the blueprint photos and conclude that Whitney’s device will work, but the zero matter will need to be contained. While gamma rays would close the rift entirely, they suspect stepping down to x-rays would keep more zero matter from escaping. The rift will be generated at the Stark Pictures lot to keep the rift isolated. After a squabble about the name of the device (Howard’s campaigning for the Shears of God,) Peggy dubs it the Rift Generator, and they’re on their way. Everyone gets to work on building the device, chatting all the while, including Rose being charmed by Howard (Rose, no) Wilkes apologizing to Sousa, and Peggy asking Jarvis about how Ana is doing.

 

While Thompson calls in the dinner order for the team, he checks Masters’ briefcase remaining in his office, rediscovering Peggy’s redacted file from London. He also finds Masters’ Arena Club lapel pin, which turns into a mysterious key upon twisting it.

 

The Rift Generator is ready to go at Stark Pictures. Wilkes calls for a safety meeting (keep science-ing it up, everyone on Agent Carter) and warns everyone they must stay 20 feet away from the generator to avoid being sucked into the rift once it begins to close.  After that, they start up the generator, the rift appears, and Whitney is called to it. While Whitney is en route, Howard uses the rift as a driving range target, and Peggy talks to Thompson. She continues to believe Thompson is a good man, and she won’t turn him in for siding with Masters. In exchange, Thompson gives Peggy the Arena Club pin/key.  

 

When Whitney arrives, she is neutralized in no time — the gamma cannon works, her zero matter is sucked back into the rift, removing the crack from her face, and she is arrested.  Unfortunately, the rift is becoming unstable and cannot be closed remotely, so it must be shut down by a manual crank on the side of the Rift Generator. While our heroes argue over who should sacrifice him or herself, Sousa simply tethers himself with a hose and goes in. When the rift begins to close, he is sucked up toward it before he can finish cranking, thus not being able to completely close the rift. The rest of the team has grabbed Sousa’s tether to keep him out of the unclosed rift, while Jarvis shows up with Howard Stark’s functional hover car. As the gamma cannon can’t fire, Jarvis and Samberly set the gamma core into the hover car and fly it into the rift with a lit fuse: when the car and gamma core explode, it closes the rift. Success and safety for everyone!

 

At Howard’s estate, he’s still arguing with Peggy that zero matter could be beneficial. They’re interrupted by the arrival of Wilkes, to whom Howard has offered a job at Stark Industries in Malibu. When Stark departs, Peggy tells Wilkes that she will be heading back to New York. It would seem that a lasting Wilkes and Peggy romance was a missed opportunity, though Peggy will gladly keep the fond memories of their dance (and though it wasn’t mentioned, probably the fact that that there was some kissing, too).

 

Whitney has been locked in a secure facility. Manfredi goes to visit her, but the roses he’s brought are taken away; Whitney has been scratching at her now zero matter crack-less face. Whitney is left lost in her own mind, distressed at the loss of the zero matter while hallucinating a supportive Chadwick telling her they can keep looking together.

 

Peggy tries to sneak away, but she runs into the Jarvises before her taxi can arrive. She shares a hug with Ana, and then gets a ride back to the SSR office with Jarvis, who encourages her to rethink her return to New York. In Sousa’s office, paperwork finished and Isodyne case closed, Peggy is set to leave. Before for she can go, Sousa stops her to tell her that her actions in trying to save him were reckless. Peggy’s response is to pull him into a kiss. A lot of kissing!

 

As one final scene before the season ends, Thompson is on the phone saying that Peggy is calling for more vacation time in LA while he packs his suitcase. Someone knocks on his door, interrupting the call. When Thompson answers the door, he’s shot in the chest by an unknown person. His assailant steps over Thompson’s body, retrieves Peggy’s redacted file, and leaves Thompson for dead.

 

Extra Notes

 

What!?! You’re going to leave us like that, Agent Carter? Really?!  Sadly, I must admit that I’m left rather wanting by this ending.  With the fate of Agent Carter season 3 hanging in the balance, it’s a risky move to leave so many loose threads.  There are a few candidates from season 2 who could have shot Thompson–Vernon Masters, someone else on the council, a London contact who passed along Peggy’s file, or someone else entirely. The Arena Club pin/key could similarly lead to anything. Dottie is loose, and there’s still a functional Rift Generator, as far as we know. It’s hard to say if the writers even know where they wanted to go with this yet.

 

In addition to the blatant cliffhanger, I’m also left feeling this final episode of season 2 was imbalanced.  

  • Whitney’s end as a supervillain went quite quickly — her “final battle” took a grand total of 90 seconds, from arrival to immediate defeat to arrest.
  • Wilkes’ character had a bit of a confusing narrative turn. How much were his decisions influenced by zero matter? And I’m confused by the zero matter exploding out of him to no ill result — I’m thrilled he’s alive and well! But I’m a little confused. Did the somewhat sentient zero matter itself have a motivation? And his amicable break from Peggy seemed underdeveloped.
  • Thompson won a “not as much of a jerk as he could have been” award, but he was so shifty in his allegiances that I was never entirely sure if we should not trust him or if we should (as Peggy insisted, as she’s generally not an unreliable narrator.) You okay, Thompson? We just don’t know.
  • Peggy and Sousa! I’m happy if Peggy is happy, and she seems to be happy smooching on Sousa. They’re cute. However, I feel like there were some issues there in their relationship that they didn’t entirely resolve.
  • I still don’t know why actress Angie didn’t come to Hollywood with Peggy.

     

    I will say that closing the season 2 chapter on a happy Peggy Carter is nice. We got some fabulous new characters and got to spend time with returning favorites. There were laughs, there was suspense, there was romance, there were amazing costumes, pretty people and some exciting storytelling. We will definitely be seeing Peggy again in some capacity in just two months, as Hayley Atwell is in Captain America: Civil War. Hope remains for a season 3, and, as always, I will look forward to future news of my favorite SSR agent and founder of SHIELD, Peggy Carter.

     

    Thanks for checking out my Agent Carter recaps here on the Nerd Machine, and keep checking back for more nerdy news!


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