After a killer double feature start to the season, Agent Carter Season 2’s third episode continues forward with two strong choices that have almost nothing to do with Peggy Carter.
We were originally stoked that the kick-off episodes got us out of New York City, and seemingly away from the boys club narrative of that office. Three episodes in, we have Peggy investigating an even more sinister boys club and the West Coast appearance of her former douche-boss, who is being formally inducted into the aforementioned literal boys club. Suddenly, we find ourselves hitting that same chauvinist nail as hard as we possibly can.
As if to add to the testosterone, we’ve jettisoned Mrs. Jarvis and welcomed Mr. Stark back into the fold, as a constantly hungover film executive who already forgot that Peggy isn’t going to crawl into bed with any member of Stark Industries.
Luckily, “Better Angels” also sees the return of the only minority member of the main cast, Dr. Wilkes, who reappears after being exploded into oblivion at the end of the premiere. We always knew Marvel would not so summarily get rid of its only minority character and the only love interest in whom Peggy appears genuinely interested. His presence is a welcomed one, and watching two brilliant scientists engage in a ghostly dilemma — as Wilkes is now an intangible apparition thingy — makes for some fun quips, but ultimately the episode comes off like filler material.
Despite sending Peggy into a secret lair in a failed attempt to bug said lair — and perhaps the weakest assassination attempt in history — she adds almost nothing to the episode. The meat of the episode falls upon Whitney Frost, the crazed starlet who we learn is also far more deadly than she lets on.
After spending most of the episode as a would-be Lady Macbeth, the final scene finds her absorbing a creepy director after overcoming his body with the Zero Matter that is now flowing through her veins. Realizing her full potential to execute those who stand in her way is an opportunity for Frost to finally get her hands dirty while also putting an interesting clock on her as usage of her powers comes at an aesthetic cost. Every episode finds her inching closer to her Madame Masque alter ego, and we can’t wait for that golden mask.
All in all, a pretty blah episode. We can tell when Peggy isn’t really forwarding the story, and having her confront both Big Bads to no avail isn’t in anyone’s best interest.