Features TV

REVIEW: Agent Carter 2X02 “A View in the Dark”

“A View in the Dark,” may not have been quite as wonderful as Agent Carter’s sophomore opener, but it was still a solid episode that promises a fun season full of the usual mystery and intrigue.

Episode two dealt with a bit more of the obligatory, “information drop,” that was skipped in episode one in favor of giving us an exciting first episode back. The informational episodes are clearly incredibly important, especially where Marvel shows are concerned since the tiniest detail will no doubt come back at some point later in the season, but they tend to be a bit slower and certainly was the case where, “A View in the Dark,” was concerned.

Though, again, it was a solid episode, the amount of information that needed to be audibly explained for the viewers’ benefit meant that it was marginally more lacking in terms of action. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but with a two-hour premiere, the latter half just didn’t quite stack up next to its predecessor. It’s difficult to follow an episode as great as, “The Lady in the Lake,” and it’s likely that, “A View in the Dark,” would have seemed a bit more exciting had it not aired directly after Agent Carter’s first episode of the season.

AC 202

Having said that, the information that we got from, “A View in the Dark,” definitely seems to be setting us up for an exciting few months of television.

2X02’s plot was primarily focused on the mysterious, “Zero Matter,” that we caught a glimpse of at the end of the premiere episode. The black gooey substance (uh-oh… anyone having AoS monolith flashbacks… or forwards? How does time work when Carter is pre-S.H.I.E.L.D. but post-S.H.I.E.L.D-viewing?) in the heart of Isodyne Energy is apparently controlled by a mysterious group of men known as, “The Council.”

Unsurprisingly, Mr. Chadwick is a member of said council and is less than pleased when the others have a vote without him and decide to shut down Isodyne and the Zero Matter project that he’s spent years investigating and working on.

Even less pleased is Mrs. Chadwick (if it wasn’t clear in episode one, it’s sure as hell clear now that Mrs. Chadwick wears the pants in the relationship) who is pretty effing peeved with her idiot husband for screwing everything up by screwing the wrong employee. It’s still unclear why Mrs. Chadwick/Frost is so invested in the mysterious Zero Matter but it’s pretty evident that the plot is something that will be explored as the season continues. She’ll likely serve as, at the very least, a subsidiary villain this season (she is Madame Masque after all) and will no doubt cause a fair bit of trouble for Peggy and the SSR considering her links to the Council and Zero Matter.

AC 202.2

While, “The Council,” informs the viewers of the Zero Matter project, it’s actually Doctor Wilkes who clues Peggy in on it and Isodyne’s involvement with it. After having a date that Wilkes tries to pass off as a way to get to know each other in order to determine whether or not they can trust one another, the two head over to Griffith Observatory (c’mon Wilkes, now you’re not even trying to make it seem like anything other than a date) where Jason shows Peggy some footage of the Zero Matter doing its thing… which involves opening a black-hole like portal (COUGH MONOLITH COUGH) and sucking away everything in the vicinity and presumably transporting it elsewhere.

Yikes. Does not look fun. I would not want to be one of the guards stuck watching that thing.

Unfortunately, we get a first hand look at the Zero Matter in action when a scuffle between Wilkes and Frost (both of whom are trying to steal it from the Isodyne labs before the Council clears the place out) causes the glass container it’s being held in to shatter. The Zero Matter is released in an explosion that presumably kills or transports Frost and Wilkes, who were both caught in the crossfire, to some distant land.

Except… PSYCH! 

The episode ends with Whitney having a mild panic attack in her bedroom as her husband bangs on the door and shouts of an incident in the lab that caused the Zero Matter to disappear. Whitney is obviously well aware of said incident, since she was there and it left her with a gash on the head that appears to be oozing the very Zero Matter that has seemingly vanished along with Wilkes.

We all know that if Frost survived that thing, it’s likely that Wilkes did as well (especially considering Reggie Austin is slated for 10 episodes according to IMDB) and his temporary, “death,” is simply meant to serve as yet another thing for Peggy to mourn. Normally I’d be a little annoyed by the clear trope of fake-killing someone just so someone else can deal with the emotional ramifications, but the situation led to a really nice bonding moment between Peggy and Ana that reaffirmed my believe that their relationship will be my favorite this season.

Agent Carter’s second season is certainly off to a good start. We’ve gotten past the information dump hump meaning that it’s likely that the remainder of the season will have a solid balance of action, information, and humor. This season has already established itself as a lighter, marginally less morbid one, and the humor is being utilized wonderfully. The most appealing thing to me about Peggy Carter is her quick wit and, so far, I’m quite pleased to see that it’s being showcased at every available opportunity.

Episode Grade: B

Episode Highs:

AC 202.1

  • Jarvis chasing Bernard around the Stark lawns is something that I hope to see at least once every episode. I’m confident that I will never tire of such a sight.
  • Peggy instantly bonding with Sousa’s new flame and proving that literally everyone loves Peggy Carter.

Episode Lows:

  • There was a lot of information, which meant more talking than doing. Not too much happened until the final quarter of the episode and I hope that it’s not a pattern that the rest of the season will follow.
  • No Dottie. Who’d’ve guessed that all it’d take was that Russian spy kicking Thompson’s butt with a smirk for me to want to see her all the time. I know she’s bad and all but… could you imagine how much Dottie and Peggy could accomplish as a duo?!

Additional Thoughts:

  • How long do you think it’ll take until we see Agent Carter’s take on Madame Masque?

What did you think of Part II of Agent Carter’s second season premiere? Sound off in the comments below or over on Twitter!

About the author

Silje Falck-Pedersen