Warning: The following information is classified. Spoilers are ahead for Agent Carter: “The Atomic Job.”
If your wife could wield a frightening power you didn’t understand, you’d try to sneak out while she’s sleeping, too. That’s what you can distill Whitney and Calvin’s relationship down to in the latest episode of Agent Carter, “The Atomic Job.” He’s scared of his wife’s new skills, as he should be. Whitney tested the strength of her power and tried to pinpoint the ins and outs, but her rational actions stopped there. She’s relishing being able to be in control in a way that doesn’t have anything to do with her physical appearance. She can act in the open–mostly. Her complexity and similar experiences to Peggy make her a fantastic antagonist for our favorite agent. And an aspect I really like about Whitney – she does seem to genuinely care for Calvin. Sure, we saw her manipulate him left and right, but there’s some sincere emotion there.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s back up. We spent more time with Whitney because the Zero Matter called her and she was driven to visit the corpse of the first victim and then steal an atomic bomb. Wilkes felt the same pull, which led to the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) arriving at the same destinations as Whitney, but through different means. Having Wilkes around serves a larger purpose than giving information about Zero Matter to the SSR. Through him, we see how Zero Matter affects people in varying ways. He didn’t have the same reaction as Whitney. It speaks to the versatility of the material and communicates another level of danger.
Whitney and Calvin had to call in assistance from mobster Joseph Manfredi (played by Ken Marino) to get past the hurdles standing between them and the atomic bomb at Roxxon, while the SSR went a different route. Their tactics brought Peggy in contact with Ray Wise’s Hugh Jones again, and the encounter brought on the most hilarious scene of the episode with Peggy using the memory inhibitor over and over on Hugh to keep him confused. It also meant Peggy could don a disguise. She hasn’t done a ton of changing her look drastically this season, so it was a fun touch.
Jarvis was by Peggy’s side throughout the escapades. I hope we see Ana again soon, by the way. We’re at the halfway point for the second season, and she hasn’t been around much. Anyway, the relationship between Peggy and Jarvis is more important at the moment. As ever, Jarvis was supportive and loyal, but I think this episode marked a turning point. His friendship with Peggy evolved because Jarvis likes having adventures. He knew the stakes involved, but he experienced it firsthand. He had to disarm an atomic bomb, and he saw Peggy get seriously wounded. Her injury could have been fatal. Those moments should have a profound effect upon him, and I’m curious about how they’ll play out.
I do have one burning question about Jarvis’ constant presence: Why does Sousa let him hang around? Sousa certainly has every right to make him go away. Is it because of his obvious affection for Peggy? That’s my guess. Because, heck, Sousa had to be pushed into letting actual SSR agents accompany him and Peggy on the mission to Roxxon. Incidentally, it was a brilliant decision because Rose (Lesley Boone) and Dr. Samberly (Matt Braunger) added a whole other dynamic. Their often comedic interactions contrasted nicely against the serious nature of the heist. Rose was a force of nature, and I’m fully prepared to watch a spinoff where she takes down aspiring thespians who won’t take a hint, bakes pie, and kicks ass.
I mentioned Sousa’s feelings about Peggy. Once she was hurt, they were practically falling off his sleeves and Violet noticed. She was tremendously kind and sweet in offering her home as Peggy’s hospital, but she wasn’t dumb. We haven’t seen much of Violet, but my heart breaks for her even though I’m rooting for Sousa and Peggy.
Before we wrap up, I want to call out something Agent Carter does especially well. They find organic ways to make the plot come together and to get characters from point A to point B. In “The Atomic Job,” it made all the sense in the world that Howard would have thoroughly researched a place like Roxxon. It solved the problem of the SSR knowing where to look for an atomic bomb, sure, but it didn’t feel ham-fisted.
- “You know, these adventures–they’re only enjoyable if you return from them, Mrs. Carter.” – Jarvis
- “I haven’t had a day off since Pearl Harbor.” – Peggy
- “It’s funny. I’m seeing Daniel Sousa, but I’m hearing Jack Thompson.” – Peggy
What did you think about having Rose and Dr. Samberly work with Sousa and Peggy? Share your thoughts in the comments or come talk to me on Twitter.