‘THE EDGE OF MYSTERY’ & ‘A LITTLE SONG AND DANCE’ PLOT SUMMARY:
Carter (Hayley Atwell) and the gang organize a trade, the atomic bomb for Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin). Complicating matters, however, are Wilkes’ desperation and Jarvis’ (James D’Arcy) pursuit of vengeance. Even more chaos ensues when Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) makes his true intentions known.
To say a lot happens in these episodes would be an understatement. There are revelations, betrayals, and other plot twists. The best place to start though is probably with Edwin, who goes from comic relief to grief-stricken and cold-blooded. It’s a completely different side of him, and D’Arcy pulls it off, proving that he’s just as a good an actor as any of his co-stars.
The obvious outcome of Frost (Wynn Everett) wounding Ana (Lotte Verbeek) would be to have it so she will never walk again, but instead we learn that she will likely never be able to bear children. It’s an interesting development when you think about the harsh online criticism that another Marvel property, Age of Ultron, received for making sterilization a major plot point. Somehow though I doubt the same backlash will occur. Ana isn’t Black Widow. And for people complaining that this is just another example of women in refrigerators (a term used to describe female characters being put in peril or harmed just to develop male ones), remember the multiple strong and well-written female characters this show has, plus that we saw the reverse with Peggy and her brother a few episodes back.
Edwin’s rage culminates in him mercilessly gunning down Frost in the desert. Honestly, it would have been satisfying if that were how her story ended, but it isn’t. Not because revenge is a good thing, because it’s not, but because how dangerous Frost is and how much trouble she’s given everyone, as well as because Wilkes is much more fascinating at this point. I’m happy that he might be Zero Matter’s chosen instead of her (still a good character, but it’s long past her time to go). It’s a little surprising that we don’t see him transported to a border-world like Xen or another planet or what not.
If I’m going to talk about surprises though, I would be remiss if I didn’t address the strangest moment in the short history of Agent Carter. Coming out of left field, an already odd dream in black and white turns into a vibrant Hollywood dance number. I’m not joking. Chief Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) and Carter sing and dance together; Jarvis has a top hot and a cane. Even Peggy’s neighbor, Angie (Lyndsy Fonseca) shows up briefly to join in. The entire dream adds nothing to the plot and it takes up roughly five minutes of the second hour. It’s only in there to play with the classic Hollywood setting. But I must admit that it is immensely entertaining.
Something that does further the plot in a big way is pretty much everything that Thompson does in the both episodes. He changes sides more than once, beginning with his double-cross of Vernon Masters (Kurtwood Smith), after he finds that he’s in cahoots with Whitney Frost, and then later when he commits to murdering Wilkes, Frost, and Masters against the wishes of Carter and the team. He’ll probably still get a happy ending but it adds some much need tension.
What the show doesn’t really need is Aloysius Samberly (Matt Braunger), who I’ve compared to Jar Jar Binks. However, he’s not as annoying as before. In fact, he’s kind of likeable, seeing as he’s a competent character who isn’t good-looking like the rest. Still, I could do without him trying to impress Rose (Lesley Boone). It isn’t one of TV’s all-time greatest romances.
Every so often it’s hard to rate something, and this pair of episodes falls into that category. There are a lot of really good elements, especially some of the intrigue, though it also kind of feels like the show could have wrapped up this week. My mood is also slightly dampened by the promo for next week, which puts more focus on Frost, who as I said, is not as interesting as Jason.
Maybe’s it’s not fair to judge these episodes on something that’s technically not part of them. But, in this case, I have to.
RATING: 7.5 OUT OF 10 (GOOD)
Aaron Sarnecky is Pop-Break’s television editor and covers Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, among other things. He is a graduate of Rowan University with a degree in television and film. He probably remembers that show you forgot existed. Follow him on Twitter: @AaronSarnecky