Warning: The following information is classified. Spoilers are ahead for Agent Carter: “Hollywood Ending.”
Since the past two weeks have featured two-hour blocks of Agent Carter, it was a little jarring to go back to one hour for the finale. The shorter time made the episode seem rushed. Part of that effect was the plot skipping then racing along, but I think getting used to the two-hour installments contributed. “Hollywood Ending” saw everyone come together to stand against the very threatening Whitney Frost, even Manfredi.
The episode picked up right after the explosive ending of the last installment. Peggy threatened to shoot Jack, and I truly believed she would have pulled the trigger if she had to. That alone is evidence Peggy has changed over the course of the season. A different explosion went off, and thanks to some ace driving from Jarvis, the group escaped by the skin of their teeth. They weren’t any closer to stopping Whitney though.
In the final 45 minutes, the SSR plus Howard, Jarvis, and Wilkes had to come up with and build a way to extract the Zero Matter from Whitney and contain it. They have gained information piece by piece over the season, so watching them finally figuring out how to resolve this issue wasn’t terribly sudden, but it did happen rather quickly.
Given the need for genius and speed, it was a perfect time for Howard to come back into the picture. Something I like about Howard: He’s usually the smartest person in the room, but he doesn’t turn down help. He might have been able to solve the problem at hand alone, but he didn’t turn his nose up at Wilkes or Samberly. Sure, he needled everyone for not thinking about stealing Whitney’s research, but he wasn’t arrogant. Plus, I’ve missed Howard’s hilarious and off color comments. He doesn’t say things to be mean but he casually made a killer comment about how people around Peggy end up changed, injured, or dead. He was matter of fact. I don’t know if it should be charming, but it is.
The presence of Howard also opened up the door for Manfredi to come asking for help. When Manfredi first appeared this season, I didn’t expect him to have a big role. He surprised me with his devotion to Whitney. It wasn’t about getting her back as a trophy of sorts; it was about true love. He went to the enemy to ask for help in saving her, and when things went poorly, he visited her in the asylum. Ken Marino brought nuance to the mobster–he was one of the stand-outs of the season.
Whitney descended to a darker place. She absorbed the Zero Matter that was in Wilkes and covered her walls with paper, scribbling formulas. In the history of people of losing their grip on reality, that’s never a positive sign. Hence Manfredi freaking out. Whitney’s role throughout the episode involved a lot of muttering. It didn’t seem like a ton to work with, but I’ll be damned if Wynn Everett didn’t continue to make Whitney downright chilling. In fact, watching her unravel made her scarier. The Zero Matter added so much unpredictability to her behavior.
[Side note: Sousa was the best more than usual while he and Peggy documented Whitney’s research. First of all, he took a second in a time-sensitive, tricky situation to snap a picture of Peggy as a souvenir of her time in California. Aww. And secondly, he changed Whitney’s formula by a number. It’s cute that he thought to do it and cute that he thought it would actually help.]
Armed with new information, Samberly, Howard, and Wilkes worked on a rift generator. The best part about the building sequence, of which we didn’t see much and a montage would have been nice thank you very much, was Jack having a human moment. He admitted he didn’t have the skills to offer much help with the problem, but he did get them dinner. I could have hugged him. Like Peggy said, he’s a good man; he’s just been misguided a time or two. I’m glad Peggy and Jack came to an understanding of sorts. He even gave Peggy the key he discovered in Vernon’s briefcase.
The rift generator was successful in luring Whitney Frost in, and they were able to extract and contain the Zero Matter. Given Howard’s curiosity regarding the material, I’m sure he’ll find a way to bring it back. The actual defeat of Whitney passed by in a blink. She was out of the picture in no time. I think the rescue of Sousa and closing of the rift got more time. We got some resolution with Whitney–we know where she ended up–but I would have liked to see her ending take more than a minute or two, you know?
And speaking of resolution, thank all of the gods and everything else for the Peggy and Sousa kiss. I’m not sure if we’ll get a third season of Agent Carter, and the lip-lock was something I desperately needed to see. Yes, needed. I know people turn their nose up at the idea of Peggy’s romantic life being important, but given all we’ve seen her go through with Steve, I believe it was a worthy avenue to explore.
If another season of Agent Carter gets the greenlight, they left a door open. I’m guessing the “M. Carter” referenced in the file is Peggy’s brother. Whatever was in there, it was worth Thompson’s life… unless he somehow survived.
- “Watch your step, there’s Zero Matter on the floor.” – Peggy
- “I don’t speak megalomaniac.” – Peggy
- “If she weren’t a homicidal maniac, I’d be in love.” – Howard
- “I’ve learned that dwelling on what might have been is no way to live.” – Peggy
What did you think about the season finale? Do you think it’s a series finale? If it is, how do you feel about how it ended? Share all the opinions with me and then some in the comments.