Agent Carter: Hollywood Ending
March 3, 2016 5:40 AM - Season 2, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Peggy needs Howard Stark to eliminate Zero Matter as they are faced with a mission none of them could come back from, on the season two finale.

Season Two comes to a close, although apparently few people notice. While there's a cliffhanger on the show, the real cliffhanger is whether or not there's a third season.

Regardless, Peggy Carter is sure to live on in other Marvel cinematic properties.

A good review from the AV Club.

io9: So What Was This Season of Agent Carter About, After All?

Variety: Why ‘Marvel’s Agent Carter’ Should Battle On
posted by GhostintheMachine (39 comments total)
This season wasn't as good as season 1, but I still enjoyed it. I liked Rose, more Rose in season 3 please.
posted by Pendragon at 5:49 AM on March 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

I feel like Whitney Frost as a villain started off strong and then just became ... flatter. Her end was just disappointing.

Also, it would have been SO MUCH BETTER if Dottie was the one to shoot Thompson.
posted by dinty_moore at 5:49 AM on March 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

Also, it would have been SO MUCH BETTER if Dottie was the one to shoot Thompson.

Point of Order: Everything is better when Dottie is the one to do it.

Do we have any confirmation that the M. Carter from the file is her and not her brother? His name is Matthew or something so I figured season three was going to be about clearing his name or investigating his final actions or similar. Also we don't know what the Hydra key is for, right?

Anyway, this episode gripped me less (probably because of less Dottie); it was okay but it didn't have the joy and fascination for me of some earlier episodes and it felt like a lot less fun.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:23 AM on March 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Caught up on these. Overall, I tend to agree that S2 was a little weaker than S1, and I do agree this finale was not the greatest. I will be sorely disappointed if Agent Carter is canceled though - this remains my favorite small screen MCU property. (Daredevil and Jessica Jones are harder to watch, and Agents of SHIELD has improved greatly but just isn't ever as much fun.)

Specific thoughts:
* Wilkes was very underutilized this season. I agree with the AV Club reviews that pointed out there were some unpleasant racial undertones there, and I felt like his sendoff was especially weak. For all they made the love triangle seem super important, it just sorta ended. (I'm a big fan of Souza - thought his actor was the absolute best in Dollhouse, too - it just felt like they made a big song and dance over what turned out to be nothin'.)

* I am glad Ana wasn't fridged, but her injuries were also troubling. (I wouldn't necessarily feel as strongly about that if not for the weird subplot in Avengers: AoU that also hit that note.) I am glad she turned out to be super awesome though, and loved that she insisted Carter let Jarvis take her to the airport.

* I am also in the 'argh gimme more Dottie' camp. Whitney Frost was all right, particularly during the three way conflict between those women, but Dottie is Carter's true opposite number/shadow archetype, and she was even more fun in S2.

* Howard Stark stole the show. I wish they could have a season with more of him in it. I can see why they wouldn't - he's the only one who can upstage Peggy Carter, plus the actor's got a show of his own coming up - but man, Howard Stark was great. I especially loved that it turned out he was pals with Manfredi, because of course he was. "Let the man put the condiment down!" Also, him espousing industrial espionage was a brilliant touch, (especially given Ivan Vanko's complaints in Iron Man 2).

* I liked how Thompson went out: complicated. Earlier in the season, someone said he came across like a blond Grant Ward, but I feel like he was something much more interesting by the end of this episode. (Opportunistic and dangerous, but minus the outright villain ties.) The scene where he took dinner orders was pretty great.

* They do indeed need an S3 for more Rose. She was great, and there just wasn't time for more of her here, and that's a shame.

* While I found the resolution to the conflict with Whitney Frost pretty underwhelming, I did love the vintage hovercar. Starks gonna Stark.
posted by mordax at 8:02 AM on March 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

Having all the characters together bouncing off each other was a real pleasure, but the resolution of the main plot was pretty anemic. This is my favorite Marvel TV show, but it almost seems it would be better for the absolutely happening season 3 to be more of a procederual with weird science mysteries being used as frameworks to let the characters hang out.

Jarvis putting his hands up KILLED me. I must have rewatched it five or six times marveling at how his hands could be so high and his body so low.
posted by humans are superior! at 8:29 AM on March 3, 2016 [5 favorites]

The Matter That Has No Name.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:37 AM on March 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

I assumed that the M. Carter was in fact Michael, not Margaret, because Peggy didn't blink for a second at the hint about war crimes, and if she didn't know about her brother's history - which she probably wouldn't, if it was classified and he died before the war ended - then it wouldn't have any weight.

I was quite surprised Thompson went out, but then, I assumed this would be a thirteen-episode season and that threw my instincts way off. (Also, yeah, that should have been Dottie.)

It'll come back, one way or the other. I gotta believe that - it's just getting good!
posted by restless_nomad at 9:22 AM on March 3, 2016

I was really frustrated with Thompson's arc this season. It seems like it was nothing more of a repeat of the first season. At the end of season one, it seemed like he was in a better place mentally and socially (with Peggy) then at the beginning of this season, he was back to acting like the stupid jerk he was at the very beginning of the show. So this season, he slowly comes around, and winds up in a better place mentally and socially. I guess they had no choice to kill him off, otherwise we probably would have been subjected to this same pattern all over again.
posted by sardonyx at 9:31 AM on March 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yep, also assumed M. Carter was her brother. I thought he was going to turn up again, Winter Soldier-style, later in the season, but maybe that'll be for Season 3, if it ever happens.
posted by adrianhon at 11:50 AM on March 3, 2016

Yes, this season was ultimately weaker, the last two episodes felt pretty stretched thin. Whitney started out as a fascinating character, but then felt stuck in the same place, obsessed by the zero matter and trying to get it, while our heroes dream up zany schemes that actually work.

Compared to Dottie, the character was a dud. Season three should be all about Dottie vs Peggy.

FYI, there is a general premise for Season 3 (hurrah for nosy actors!), but we won't find if there will be one until sometime in May, but the creators aren't hopeful.

As for Jack being shot, they're careful to say simply that he was shot, not that he was killed.

Hurrah on Sousa and Peggy though, woot! Their banter is pretty great and it's also good to see similar banter between Peggy and Jarvis, which is non-romantic.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:08 PM on March 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

Also, I reaaaaaaaaaally want to see that vintage hover car show up in some future Marvel tv show or movie, when we visit the zero matter dimension.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:14 PM on March 3, 2016 [4 favorites]

Yeah...I wasn't as captivated by this season as I was the first. Honestly, I came away with the impression that Peggy didn't actually do much throughout the season. I know that can't be right, but that's how it ends up feeling to me.

If the show gets a third season, I'd love to see it scaled-back a bit. Not so many characters, but a small bunch of well-written ones. Maybe even a slower, more spy/secretive pace. This season felt pretty frantic.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:41 PM on March 3, 2016

8 episodes seems about perfect, 10 felt too stretched out this season.

I do hope there's a season 3 at some point. Atwell indicated if doesn't happen now, it could happen in a few years.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:00 PM on March 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Joining in the chorus of saying that this season wasn't bad, but not as good as the first. But, damn, I didn't realize that the show had low ratings and I'm genuinely angry about that. What's wrong with people? There are so many great things about this show.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:31 PM on March 3, 2016

What's wrong with people?

Duck Dynasty.

I'm just baffled at people who thought this was worse than S1. I found this more confident, more enjoyable.

Sadly, it looks like Not Night Nurse has been ditched.
posted by Mezentian at 11:14 PM on March 3, 2016

I just love this show so much. Jarvis is fantastic and makes me giggle left and right. Peggy is a total badass.

And I feel like a broken record but - the OUTFITS you guys. Oh my god all those tulip-sleeve blouses and dresses. Just everything was pure perfection and I would literally gasp and say "I love that dress" like 4 times every episode for different characters and costume changes. Just, perfection.

I really hope we get another season because everything in this show is just great. I mean, sure I could nitpick but overall it's fantastic TV and so much better than tons of stuff out there.
posted by Crystalinne at 6:16 PM on March 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

I agree that the resolution felt a anti-climactic. I was expecting an epic last stand by Frost, but nope.

Was super surprised Thompson wasn't the one who went to close the rift while everyone else was yapping about it. Then I almost yelled at him for giving the key to Peggy. "That's the only thing keeping you alive, you idiot!"
posted by ODiV at 7:05 PM on March 4, 2016

And I feel like a broken record but - the OUTFITS you guys.

Even I noticed that.
That last dress was pure Sinestro.
posted by Mezentian at 12:06 AM on March 5, 2016

Was Howard straight-up hitting on Rose?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:58 AM on March 5, 2016

It's Howard, of course he was.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:13 AM on March 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

And, what happened to the flamingo?
posted by Mezentian at 6:37 AM on March 5, 2016

I hear they go great with mustard.
posted by ODiV at 7:23 AM on March 5, 2016

And, what happened to the flamingo?

I think Bernard is in talks for his own series
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:42 AM on March 5, 2016

I'm in the 'preferred S1 over S2 camp.' There were a lot of fun scenes in S2, but it didn't feel as well-structured to me, especially the ending. Oh well. At least I have so little investment in Thompson's character that I don't mind him that cancellation will leave him as Schrodinger's SSR Agent.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:57 AM on March 5, 2016

Actually, a lot of the outfits--the dresses in particular--bothered me. They were just way, way too low-cut for the period. There was on in particular that I think had a flower tacked onto the bottom of the V just to make sure that there wasn't so much cleavage showing.
posted by sardonyx at 10:01 AM on March 5, 2016

Good news everyone!
posted by Mezentian at 2:48 PM on March 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I want to believe, but await official notice.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:40 PM on March 5, 2016

Hayley Atwell: James D’Arcy is so nosy, so he went sniffing around the writers’ room trying to figure it out. He finally found out what the secret was, and then on the last day he ran up to me and told me.

That is so delightfully in keeping with Jarvis that I imagined the whole scene playing out in costume and character.

Brandon Blatcher: As for Jack being shot, they're careful to say simply that he was shot, not that he was killed.

MICHELE FAZEKAS: We did not kill off Jack Thompson, we shot Jack Thompson.

Yup, that's pretty damned clear. After all, how many people survived what appeared to be fatal injuries? Thompson, Carter, Mrs. Jarvis, Ms. Frost and Wilkes, off the top of my head. It's a comic book show, unlikely survival is key to the fabric of this world.

Speaking of comic book adaptations - because this is a period show, and characters get the chance to be goofier (you know, because that's how people were then), which makes me like this so much more than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. So many pretty, smug fighting types, so many annoying dramas plaid out.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:57 AM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Whitney started out as a fascinating character, but then felt stuck in the same place, obsessed by the zero matter and trying to get it, while our heroes dream up zany schemes that actually work.

Yeah, exactly. And so then what happens is:

1) Peggy spends most of her time re-acting to Frost rather than taking the initiative. Which is disappointing, because at some point you want the hero(ine) to start driving the plot rather than just following along; and

2) Because so much of the plot revolves around Frost trying to get MOAR ZERO MATTER, even when Peggy is taking action, the "action" is more telling her crew, "Build me another flux capacitor, boys!" I get the idea that the show was trying to contrast "Peggy Carter Has A Posse" vs. Whitney Frost being increasingly isolated, but the plot MacGuffin was a tech thing, and Peggy's not a tech, which kinda left her with not much to do too much of the time.

I could see how they wouldn't want to repeat the first season (or other MCU plots) too closely, but something like having Frost actually start using the Secret Council once she took it over, and then having Peggy & crew try to figure out who this Secret Council is and what they want and how thoroughly they've infiltrated the government and society would've played more to the strengths of the show and Peggy's skills and character. More spy/secretive stuff, less whiz-bang end-of-the-world magic/tech stuff.

Plus I was honestly disappointed that there wasn't more attention paid to the idea of all of this leading to Peggy & Howard creating SHIELD out of the ashes of the SSR.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:31 AM on March 8, 2016

No love for Matt Braunger as Dr. Samberly? He was hilarious.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:05 AM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

But if she stays in California then we don't get more Angie

Like I know Peggy/Angie can never happen because a) Marvel and b) she canonically has a husband in the future but they could at least let me pretend
posted by vibratory manner of working at 9:37 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Also I kind of liked Sousa's fiancee so really there's a better solution here for everyone
posted by vibratory manner of working at 9:48 PM on April 5, 2016

posted by unliteral at 6:01 PM on May 12, 2016

Is this where we mourn what might have been?

So disappointed in the cancellation. There was a ton of potential here, and I wish it had caught on. But it overall lacked a long-term vision. I expected this show was going to be more about the founding of SSR/SHIELD, instead of what Peggy was up to before that point. It just didn't seem to be building to anything, and felt more like a prequel to the origin. This wasn't even "Bruce Wayne at Boarding School", it was more like "Jimmy Olsen Goes to Photojournalism School" or "Elevator Days: The Story of Willie Lumpkin". Why tell the third- or fourth-most interesting story about a secondary character?

Ah, well. At least we got two seasons of fun. I just wish it had been more world-foundational than background colour.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 11:12 PM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

The best idea I saw: Netflix movies.

The other idea I like: 1960s MCU: Carter, Fury.... and Coulson's flying car. And a hiden barber shop.

Why did it rate so badly. I heard it was up against NCIS and... stuff, but it's the summer (or winter) break. Too expensive?

Peggy was great, and I am sure we will see her again, I am just not sure where.
posted by Mezentian at 3:31 AM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

This made me sad. Granted, the second season wasn't nearly as good as the first. But this was such a different show, in all the best ways.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:47 AM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I agree withe the Netflix movies idea. Atwell is going to be busy on her new ABC series but if they can borrow her long enough to knock out a 100 minute Peggy Carter adventure, that would be cool.

Something else that could actually be awesome would be if they could find a way to incorporate her into an Agents of SHIELD storyline that finally went into some detail about how SSR became SHIELD.

That show could use an injection of awesome.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:15 AM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think the entire shared universe thing could end up being a game changer in terms of extending how long character stories can play out on tv.

Look, for instance, at the way that Constantine has popped up again on Arrow. There's no reason Marvel can't do that, too. So fine, Agent Carter is canceled. So what? Hayley Atwell is alive and well and loves playing her. Pencil her in to star in a revelatory flashback sequence in some later Marvel film. Marvel's Most Wanted didn't get picked up? So what? Have Mockingbird guest star on The Defenders.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:41 AM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Children of Tendu special episode regarding yesterday's cancellations - with Agent Carter's Jose Molina.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:21 PM on May 13, 2016

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