The Agent Carter season 2 debut brought Peggy Carter back at the top of her game. Looking at the two-part season 2 premiere, what can we expect from the rest of the season?
Peggy Carter made a name for herself in season one, and after the Agent Carter season 2 debut it’s clear that she’s a force to be reckoned with. Bringing her no-nonsense attitude with her to the west coast, Peggy will face her biggest challenge as she works on the strangest case of her career (and that’s saying something for someone who helped Captain America fight the Red Skull.) It goes without saying that there are spoilers ahead as we dig in to the first two episodes of the new season and figure out where we might be going from here.
Time Goes By
There’s been a bit of a time jump between the end of season 1 and the beginning of the Agent Carter season 2 debut. The biggest cue to this comes in the form of Daniel Sousa, who’s been promoted to head of the west coast division of the SSR. Not only that, but he seems to have realized that the spark he felt with Peggy wasn’t really going anywhere; he’s moved on, or at least is in the process of moving on. Peggy’s not thrilled about this, likely because Sousa’s the second guy who got away because she was a bit too reserved and too focused on her work.
This advancement is important, since it not only separates the new season from the events of season 1 (which is important to the narrative and Peggy’s overall character development) but it also illustrates just how much trouble Peggy really has moving on. We saw her struggle with letting go of Steve Rogers in season 1, and now we’ll see her realize that it’s all happening again as everyone else moves forward around her.
Peggy’s All Class
If there’s one thing that we can definitely say about the Agent Carter season 2 debut, it was fun. It captured our attention from the opening scene, with Peggy and Dottie slugging it out and letting everyone see our protagonist beat the snot out of one of season 1’s villains with a bag of cash. The fight was made all the better by Peggy complimenting Dottie’s hat (which was very similar to what Peggy wore in season 1.) The opening reminded us that Peggy can definitely get into the action when she wants to, which has always been a key part of the character (especially in the 1940s-1960s, when marginalizing someone like Peggy would be the norm.)
Moving forward we can expect to see Peggy acting reserved most of the time, breaking out of her prim and proper character at key moments when she needs to be a woman of action. There will likely be more to her this season, though, since she’s also got a few potential love interests lined up and she’ll be facing off against one of Marvel Comics’ most dangerous femme fatales in the form of Madam Masque. This means that we’ll get to see the rarest side of Agent Carter… her vulnerabilities.
Strange New Powers
The driving force behind the new season appears to be Zero Matter, an energy source that was created by an atomic bomb test that went wrong. The really interesting thing about Zero Matter is that we’ve not only seen it before, but we’ll also see it again. In Agents of SHIELD‘s first season episode “The Only Light in the Darkness’, we saw a villain named Marcus Daniels (aka Blackout.) His power was granted by something known as the Darkforce, which is the same thing as Zero Matter. It’s also going to be featured in the upcoming Doctor Strange film, providing a little bit of a tie-in between the shows and the movie as well as giving the audience an idea of when SHIELD/the SSR started finding out about Strange’s power set.
In the show, Zero Matter was being used as a new potential power source by Isodyne Energy. During the two-hour premiere, we start out with a dead scientist who was working with Zero Matter, a missing scientist and the wife of Isodyne owner Calvin Chadwick (the wife in question being Whitney Frost, aka Madam Masque) being exposed directly to the Zero Matter. This indicates that she’ll likely have powers in the series, making her even more formidable than she is in the comics.
The Gang’s All Here
The Agent Carter season 2 debut starts off with a mostly stand-alone story to separate itself from season 1, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t see some familiar faces. In addition to Dottie and Sousa, we also see SSR chief Jack Thompson back in New York and everyone’s favorite unhappy manservant Edwin Jarvis watching over Howard Stark’s Los Angeles holdings. As you could expect from an eccentric genius like Stark, these holdings include a flamingo that Jarvis hates.
This serves two purposes: It brings back fan-favorite characters from the first season, and it positions Jarvis to be a big part of season 2 despite the plot shifting away from Howard Stark’s inventions. This is important for season 2 to stand on its own, since having Stark’s inventions front and center again could make it seem like too much of a continuation of season 1’s plot. Instead, we’ve got different mad scientists to worry about this time (though Howard Stark is set to return in next week’s episode.)
Where To From Here?
The two-part Agent Carter season 2 debut covered a lot of plot in two hours, setting up the season and introducing both a new setting and characters old and new. This clears the path for us to move forward starting in episode 3, following the strange case of Zero Matter (and possibly finding out more about why the FBI or other government agencies are trying to shut down the SSR.) We might learn more about the “supernatural” origin of Zero Matter, and we’ll definitely see Peggy in action leading up to an explosive (possibly literally) finale. Don’t expect any direct setups for Doctor Strange, though you might hear about the SSR or Isodyne in some throw-away line once the film hits theaters.
Agent Carter airs Tuesdays on ABC at 9/8 central.