Agent Carter Recap: The Atomic Job


By Katie Hughes, @MsKatieHughes


In this week’s Agent Carter edition of, “well, that’s awkward”: a somewhat botched proposal goes well, but there are lingering feelings for somebody else; an unconventional team is formed, but ends up performing beautifully well; and the same people who are trying to steal the body the team is bodysnatching also end up targeting the same nuclear weapons the team’s trying to steal.  Whew!  We’re already halfway through the run of Season 2 of Agent Carter, and we’ve got X-Files-esque black oil in eyes, zero matter calling out like cursed pirate gold, and two ladies with the names of flowers being awesome.  Let’s dive into Episode 5.


Episode 2×5: The Atomic Job




Peggy sleeps with a gun under her pillow, but it’s no use (nor would she want it to be) against the ghostly Dr. Wilkes showing up in her bedroom to wake her up. He brings her to the in-house lab to show her the latest development with zero matter from the body of Jane Scott (a sample which, last week, had been “misplaced” by Dr. Samberly into the hands of Sousa in exchange for a good word with SSR receptionist/agent Rose).  The zero matter is drawn right out of the tissue sample, through the glass, and into Wilkes. Absorbing zero matter makes Wilkes temporarily tangible (!), but it also seems to affect him creepily, completely blacking out his eyes.  When the moment passes, he’s intangible again, but he inherently knows where Jane Scott’s body has been taken; he’s called to it.


Meanwhile, nurse Violet gets home late from work to find a home invader, and she’s about to take him out with a baseball bat, but it turns out to be Sousa (good thing nothing bad happened to any potential love interests this evening).  Sousa had planned a nice evening in, with presumably a charming proposal to the nurse he met during physical therapy, but fell asleep and lost the engagement ring in the couch.  Violet finds this equally charming, and as they search for the missing ring and any other loose change in the couch, she happily accepts his proposal.  


Rounding out the busy night, Whitney is mumbling in her sleep and Chadwick is unsettled.  He’s presumably going to sneak out of the house, but Whitney wakes up and catches him, indicating she needs his help.  They’re headed to the County Cold Storage building (owned by Thomas Glouster, who had been name-dropped last week by Chadwick’s henchman, Hunt) to find Jane Scott’s body.  Also headed to the building are Peggy and Jarvis, though they’re breaking in through the ventilation shaft.  Before Peggy and Jarvis can snatch Jane’s body, as absorption of the zero matter in her body could fix Wilkes (one may wonder why Wilkes just didn’t go with them), Whitney and Chadwick show up.  Zero matter calls to other zero matter, so Whitney absorbs it, seems briefly possessed by it as Wilkes had been, and then announces, quiet matter-of-factly, that she needs an atomic bomb.


Back in the lab, Wilkes explains to Peggy and Jarvis that Whitney is trying to acquire more zero matter by recreating the original atomic bomb tests that initially created zero matter.  The bombs used in the original tests were created by Roxxon, and the two remaining bombs are in storage. To keep Whitney from acquiring these bombs, Peggy and company are going to steal and dismantle them first.  Unfortunately, the storage facility has high security. So to enter, they will need to acquire the unique key held by Roxxon’s CEO, Hugh Jones.


Peggy plans to steal the key from Jones, but Peggy may need more than a disguise, as she ran into Jones previously (in season 1 of Agent Carter, source of the oft-used commercial clip, “What’s your name, darling?” “Agent”). To help, Sousa and Peggy visit Dr. Samberly in the SSR lab and he provides them with the memory inhibitor: a device which erases the last two minutes of a subject’s memory (and may or may not do other memory damage.  Howard Stark these guys are not, but they’re getting the job done).  


Peggy dons a red wig and the name Wanda (Agent Carter’s own nod to Scarlet Witch, perhaps), and takes to snooping around Jones’ office during lunch.  Jones, appreciating a pretty lady, makes a pass at Peggy, and though she fools him temporarily, he remembers their prior meeting.  He goes to confront her, but she uses the memory inhibitor on him, starting the cycle over again while Peggy has more opportunity to search for the key.  At least half a dozen memory inhibitor zaps later, Peggy’s found the key hidden in Jones’ belt buckle and makes her exit, leaving Jones confused but apparently pleased at his vague memory of “Wanda” and his disheveled state.


Whitney has sold a hesitant Chadwick on her plan to acquire nuclear warheads and zero matter by tempting him with unlimited power by way of destroying/absorbing their enemies (now there’s some quality supervillain motivation).  Since they can’t use the Council of 9 to get the bombs, Whitney decides to visit an old flame, Joseph Manfredi, who seems to have strong ties to the criminal element and also a very bad temper.  Strained relations are glossed over, and Manfredi agrees to help provide manpower in exchange for money, press anonymity, and future political favors from Chadwick, should he become senator.


Peggy and company plot their raid on the Roxxon facility.  Former reconnaissance scout Sousa is set to dismantle the bombs, Jarvis is the get-away man, and Peggy is the muscle, but they need a slightly bigger team.  As SSR agents could be compromised by the council, Peggy recruits Rose to the team, a fully trained and trusted agent, but with no prior field experience.  Also recruited with no field experience is Samberly, because they need his devices, he is the only one who knows how to use them, and he had been previously promised he could pursue his aspirations of fieldwork.  It helps that Samberly has a crush on the adorable Rose.  Thus arranged is our wonderful motley crew, cue slow-motion shot.


Peggy and her team arrive at Roxxon in an undercover van labeled “Civil War Antiques” (a reminder that the next Captain America movie is coming in under three months).  Samberly and Rose pull off the married couple ploy to take out the guards, with Rose showing the same charming manipulation employed by Peggy so well, and Samberly using some sort of device that pulls the electricity out of the fence and through the guards, noting that the now-unconscious guards are suspiciously well-dressed.  Peggy’s team makes it to the elevator, use the secret key to enter, and find the Roxxon guard taken out; Whitney and her team are already there, and they’ve replaced the guards with their own.


Samberly unlocks every door in the facility, and they head toward the secure location of the bombs while Rose goes to fabulously take out Whitney’s henchmen. Samberly attempts to lock the henchmen out of the bomb area, but instead locks Jarvis in alone with the bombs.  Pressed for time, Sousa talks Jarvis through the dismantling process with the analogy of a souffle (personally having made a souffle, I can vouch that they are somewhat delicate, but unlikely to destroy an entire city if dropped).


Rose returns to talk Samberly thorough opening the door locks while Peggy takes out the remaining henchmen and tracks down Whitney.  Chadwick is interested in the SSR helping Whitney, but she’s not interested in being fixed.  Whitney begins to absorb Peggy, but when Peggy breaks free, she topples over a railing.  Rather than risking absorption by Whitney, Peggy drops about two stories onto blocks of concrete, getting impaled in the stomach with rebar. Eep!


Sousa takes Peggy to Violet’s home for treatment, as Peggy could be vulnerable to the reach of the council in a hospital. Violet puts her nursing skills to the test, takes control of the situation and patches Peggy up while Rose and Samberly secure the uranium from the bombs. Peggy didn’t damage anything vital, but Violet tells Peggy to “be boring for a while” (which seems unlikely, but take it easy, Pegs). After Jarvis takes Peggy home, Violet confronts Sousa: she has eyes and can see that Sousa cares for Peggy; Sousa’s going to have to work out his feelings.


At the Frost-Chadwick house, Chadwick has had about enough of Whitney, but he finds that a superpowered Whitney is not to be controlled. Chadwick waits for Whitney to fall asleep and calls for an emergency meeting of the council.


At the Stark estate, Jarvis helps Peggy get settled in her room.  Wilkes suggests taking it easy by listening to some music.  Peggy finds the song they danced to shortly after they met on the radio, but as he goes to talk to her, he fades back to invisibility.  And here we have to wait until next week!


Extra Notes


Cheers to so many ladies being awesome and helping other ladies this week! This cast is a delight and it is great to watch them all interact.


In the comic world, read up on Roxxon and Hugh Jones for a rich understanding of their reach — though always take care for the potential of spoilers; one never knows that comic storyline might end up in use down the line!


Next week, we’re upping to two lady antagonists in a two-part episode: Dottie’s coming back!  But is partnering up with Peggy a good idea?  We’ll find out next week, and then be sure to check back here on The Nerd Machine for the recap!

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