After appearing in Captain America: The First Avenger — and very briefly in Captain America: The Winter Soldier as an elderly lady — SSR Agent Peggy Carter was given her own TV show to help fill in the history of some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including the early years of Stark Enterprises, the early development of the modern S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra, and few other fun surprises. ABC has brought Marvel’s Agent Carter back for a second season, and the show continues to cement its place within the MCU.
The first episode brought back most of Carter’s friends (and some enemies) from season 1: Edwin Jarvis, Daniel Sousa, Jack Thompson, and Dottie Underwood. We were also introduced to a few new villains and new romantic interests for both Sousa and Carter.
In a nutshell — a recap
The episode opens with Dottie Underwood — doing her best Peggy Carter impersonation — trying to rob a bank. She is stopped by Agent Carter and the SSR. She was after the contents of one safety deposit box, which turned out to have nothing more than a silver lapel pin with an unusual symbol. Dottie refuses to crack when Peggy interrogates her. After Chief Dooley died at the end of last season, Jack Thompson is now the man in charge. Meanwhile, a new SSR branch opened in L.A., where Daniel Sousa is chief. Thompson sends Carter to help Sousa on a peculiar case.
Edwin Jarvis picks up Agent Carter at the airport. He has been in Los Angeles since we last saw him. He is forced to care for a flamingo — a new acquisition of Howard Stark — who is consistently a pain in the butler’s side. Once they arrive at Stark’s L.A. home, Carter meets Jarvis’ wife, Ana, who has a personality nothing like her husband. When Peggy arrives at the SSR office in L.A. to help Sousa, it is apparent that the two tried to have a relationship in between seasons, and it simply didn’t work out. There are several awkward moments, and we learn later that Sousa has a new girlfriend (a nurse).
The case Carter is assisting with involves a murder victim being dumped in a lake. The odd thing is that she’s in a block of ice in the middle of a California heatwave. The victim also glows in the dark. The SSR connects the victim (Jane Scott) to Isodyne Energy, where Agent Carter meets Jason Wilkes, a genius physicist with whom Agent Carter is vaguely flirty with in the first episode. The SSR learns that the victim was having an affair with the president of Isodyne Energy, Calvin Chadwick. As Carter investigates, she meets Chadwick’s wife — Whitney Frost — a famous Hollywood actress.
The doctor performing the autopsy on Scott dies, apparently from exposure to whatever killed the victim. Soon after, one of Sousa’s L.A. detectives is exposed and he’s fully aware of what will happen. He kidnaps Wilkes, saying he needs a cure before he dies. Agent Carter breaks this up, but not before the detective reveals to Wilkes that he’s been covering things up for people and that he can’t screw this up. Just as he is apparently about to reveal some information, he is shot by another cop. We find out later that the other cop was on Chadwick’s payroll, along with the now-deceased detective.
In New York, Thompson is making no headway with Underwood. As Tor.com observed, Underwood is obsessed with Carter and only wants to talk to Peggy. As the show ends, we see Wilkes back in L.A., at Isodyne, where he’s looking at a black substance that looks eerily like the Darkforce from the current season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-ins
- The symbol on the silver lapel pin is one of the old Hydra symbols that Fitz discovers while researching ways to help Simmons in S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Although it isn’t called “Darkforce” in the first episode, as explained at Movie Pilot, the substance that Wilkes is looking at appears to be the same substance that Fitz and Simmons deal with in S.H.I.E.L.D. as the latter gets sent to another planet through the monolith.
- “Whitney Frost” is the legal name of Madame Masque, who was an enemy/love interest of Iron Man in the Marvel Comics. This is her first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where she exists about a generation earlier than she existed in the comics.
The second episode of the second season — A View In The Dark — aired on ABC immediately following this episode.
ABC airs Marvel’s Agent Carter Tuesday evenings at 9/8c as Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is on a mid-season break.
[Image credit Marvel’s Agent Carter]