Agent Carter “The Lady of the Lake” and “A View in the Dark” Spoilers Ahead
A badass queen who’s now twice as remarkable, a new city, new characters, impeccable banters, and good ol’ fashioned drama.
Episode Summary: Dottie Underwood is still causing havoc, but now she’s disguised as Peggy. When a body’s found in a block of ice, Los Angeles based S.S.R Chief Daniel Sousa calls Thompson for backup and gets a surprise when Peggy’s sent in. In an attempt to uncover the body’s strange form of decay the two visit Isodyne Energy in order to access more information and here we have the pleasure of meeting Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin). We later get to meet this season’s big bad husband and wife duo Calvin Chadwick (Currie Graham) and Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett). It also appears as though the thing otherwise known as Monolith will bring a lot more eeriness to the cases, but thankfully we’ve got Jarvis’ delightful wife Ana (Lotte Verbeek) to lighten and brighten the vibe.
Review | Analysis: Both Agent Carter “The Lady of the Lake” and “A View in the Dark” were solid episodes that not only did a wonderful job of setting the rest of the season in motion, but it was able to effortlessly evoke all sorts of emotions. And in my book these are the kind of episodes that make writing genuinely fun. Although it was a bit overwhelming for a moment in the beginning, the new characters feel as though they belong. The biggest flaw in these episodes however was the absence of Lyndsy Fonseca’s Angie Martinelli, but thankfully she won’t stay gone too long. And while I’d normally object to any sort of a love triangle, it seems as though Agent Carter writers have found a way to tastefully execute a much more entertaining version of what I like to call #HowIMetYourFather.
LA always appears much more magical in the 1940s — Hollywood was the place to be and glitz and glamour was a marvel to be exposed to. Palm trees, pink flamingos, and what feels like 365 days of sunshine plus dry heat aside, it’s beautiful to be witnessing a more open and happier Peggy Carter. Her life still isn’t as easy it should be, but she’s no longer carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders and though the trouble in LA will be far worse than it was in New York, it’s clear we’ll be witnessing what’ll be an elegant illumination of the fact that with confidence, solid partnerships, and honor there’s nothing that can’t be done.
I didn’t think it was possible to love Edwin Jarvis more but I suppose I shouldn’t ever set such ridiculous limits. And as if his inimitable character wasn’t enough, Ana Jarvis is the exact opposite of him making their banter that much more fabulous. Can they adopt me? Truthfully, I could spend pages and pages pointing out the brilliance in dialogue, but you’ve all seen the episode — you’ve been exposed to the genius. What’s incredibly beautiful about this series, and why it’ll perpetually be one of my favorites is how wonderful the dynamics are. It’s only been two episodes, but it’s certainly imaginable how much the woman laughs and lives the life she knows she’s been fortunate to be given. Ana Jarvis is a woman who comes from a dark place, but instead of allowing her past to make her cruel, she’s taken the second chance at happiness and welcomes everything with open arms. Plus, who wouldn’t want to watch their husband attempt to catch a flamingo but sorely lose in the process? Ana could’ve been written as the jealous wife, but instead we’re exposed to a woman who’s not only grateful for her ridiculous husband, but she’s kind, warm, and loving making it not only easy to be a house guest, but a friend to her. While it was hysterical to watch her plant one on Jarvis in an attempt to embarrass him, it was lovely to watch her offer fashion advice then whiskey as she reached out to comfort Peggy towards the end. Women who are kind to each other deserve all sorts of praise, and thereby Ana’s the perfect addition to this series. Verbeek’s done an outstanding job of grounding the character so far, and I’m positive she will only make us love Ana more with every passing episode. | (Note: I’m used to calling Edwin “Jarvis” as opposed to by his first name, but now that there are two of them, I’ll be referring to Mrs. Jarvis as Ana and therefore, anytime I say Jarvis, I mean Mr.)
There’s nothing more glorious than the fact that the politely sarcastic British partners in crime are back on our screens, and they’re even more wonderful than when we last saw them. It’s lines like “other than danger ‘charm’ is my middle name” that leave me wanting a Jarvis of my own. But perhaps, his greatest moment in this episode although difficult to choose was born at the end of Agent Carter “The Lady of the Lake” when he yelled “I’m parked down here!” after honking his ridiculously dorky car horn. He’s legitimately everyone’s embarrassing dad — you love ‘em, but sometimes all you can do is shake your head. James D’Arcy is a gift to us all and scenes with Jarvis not only have me laughing out loud, but they’re what make Agent Carter such a unique series — Jarvis may not be an agent, but he’s brave even when he’s afraid, and the compassion he continuously shows makes it easier to feel safe. As he stated last year, “no man or woman no matter how fit he or she may be isn’t capable of carrying the entire world on their shoulders,” and it’s remarkable to see the way Peggy now lets him in. Jarvis’ kindness, loyalty, and wit are irreplaceable — she’s much stronger with his marvelous means of helping by her side. And of course, he just makes adventures a lot more fun. It’s amusing to watch them laugh together, but what makes their partnership so special is the fact that they can also lean on one another in times of plausible weakness. It’s comforting to know that Peggy has a kindhearted friend (
or embarrassing dad figure, same thing) who’d be there at any distress call and drive her home to a place where she’s safe and taken care of.
Last year, though Peggy was open to help and friendships, the fact that those relationships are now more solidified will undoubtedly play a role in making this season more remarkable.
Agent Carter is a series that tackles significant social issues without making it seem as though it’s trying too hard — the grace it carries these topics with continues to astound me and I’m grateful for show runners that know what they’re doing. The 1940s weren’t the best of times for women, and it especially wasn’t the best of times for people of color. I know I’m supposed to dislike Wilkes because he gets in the way of the relationship I’ve been rooting for since last season, but Austin along with the writing do a fantastic job of making him likable. Sure he’s smitten with Peggy Carter but who wouldn’t be? And as much as it stung far more than I’d like to talk about watching Peggy get her dance with a man that wasn’t Steve Rogers, I’m okay with the idea of the two of them exploring their feelings. Okay, never mind, I’m going to talk about it a little. I was okay with the two of them kissing in a phone booth and all that jazz, but yeah, I’m not okay with the dance. It seems like such a small thing to be sad over, but I just wish it didn’t happen after a few hours of knowing one another. It’s so special to Steve’s memory and because I’m still torn up about the fact that they never got their chance, it stings a bit today. Ultimately, Peggy’s a wise woman who knows discrimination all too well and it seems fitting that she’d find comfort with someone who understands it. It’s fitting and beautiful that she’d defend him every chance she gets.
And then there’s the matter of Chief Daniel Sousa who’s presumably transferred to LA because the heartache was too much to bear. Same. It all started from the from the moment Agent Krzeminski made the comment about how no girl would trade in the red white and blue for an aluminum crutch not knowing that Peggy Carter fell in love with Steve Rogers before he was Captain America. It was from that very moment a lot of us began avidly rooting for Daniel because on top of all the kindness he’d shown Peggy, he was an underdog just like her. It felt right. And to learn that she had called him only to reach a voice mail was much more heartbreaking than I imagined it’d be. At this point, it’s safe to assume that Hayley Atwell and Enver Gjokaj will be making their way onto my list of favorite scene partners because I can spend hours just discussing the incredible work they’ve done with their expressions alone. The longing looks with no dialogue alone deserve their own separate category in these reviews.
Moreover, if subtlety is what these writers were going for then my oh my have they failed gloriously. I’m not sure how anyone could possibly take lines like “everything is through the first door on your right, you can’t miss him”, “he’s the only one that matters,” and “chief’s got a special kind of worry for her” as anything other than foreshadowing. The English nerd in me is absolutely wrecked. And I’m not the only ones who see it, Rose Roberts and Jack Thompson definitely agree too. For the most part, I don’t agree with anything Thompson does and frankly neither does Dottie because Peggy’s better, but sending Peggy to Daniel was perhaps the best thing he’s ever done. And just like I can’t hate Wilkes, I also can’t hate Violet (Sarah Bolger). Although as delightful as Bolger is and as adorably sweet Violet seems, the ending threw me off a bit. Who was watching them and could she really be trusted? We’ll have to wait and see but it seems she has a secret — it could be the fact that she’s Princess Aurora and actually married to Prince Philip with a child but who knows. It’s because she was on Once Upon A Time; get it? I’m sorry sometimes I try to be funny and I fail miserably.
That said, the events of this week’s episode reminded me a bit of the film Serendipity — sometimes fate just steps in. Sometimes the thing we want most is right in front of us and though we miss a few chances, it doesn’t change what we’re destined for. Daniel was on his way to propose but as he’s about to leave, he gets the call notifying him of the fact that Peggy’s in danger and just like that plans are changed and he’s off to bring her home. And what I found most praiseworthy in the final moments of “A View in the Dark” is the terror and perplexity Gjokaj conveyed through Daniel. Sure, Peggy’s presence has thrown him off, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s a man who cares deeply about her happiness and well being. And what we saw in this moment is that nothing could be more important than her safety.
Daniel and Peggy not only understand and respect one another on profound levels, but they know how to work together. It’s easy to finish each other’s sentences and it’s easy to know exactly what they should do through one small glance. And that kind of understanding comes once in a lifetime, twice if you’re really fortunate. One of the things that has stuck with me since the beginning is when Peggy tells Daniel he’s one of the lucky ones in the Pilot. Something about that line is so special, and I’m not quite sure what it is yet. When I come to find it, I’ll refer back to this and tell you all. It’s also necessary to note that there’s something significantly different about their relationship — Daniel’s not just the man who was kind to her when others weren’t, he’s a partner. He may not be able to fight the same way he used to, but he’s still a man with immense strength, admirable bravery, and cleverness. He’s gentle and considerate, but he’s impeccably bold and this is the characteristic that makes him the most suited S.S.R. Chief. He’s not just the boss, but he’s Peggy’s equal, however, when he needs to be, he uses his place of authority to take control of the situation if it’ll benefit her. It’s scenes like the one in “A View in the Dark” where he demands she goes home in order to get rest that not only showcase his nobility but the fact that he really sees her. Daniel knows Peggy can take care of everything, but it doesn’t mean she has to. They’re both clearly wearing their emotions on their sleeves now, and I don’t for a second doubt that this going to be one of the most memorable stories in the end.
It’s going to be so much fun seeing Peggy, Jarvis, and Daniel work together more. And I don’t doubt for a second that the banters will be perfectly amusing — the previews have already left me impatiently waiting until next Tuesday.
- Thompson’s old boss states that the S.S.R is essentially nothing now, could this mean the birth of S.H.I.E.L.D. is coming?
- Hayley Atwell’s American accent is on point — is there anything she can’t do? The wide range of emotions she conveys in every episode never fails to leave me in awe — from the confidence to happiness followed by exhaustion and heartbreak all cobbled wonderfully with a perplexity we’ve yet to see in her. I can barely look away from my screen to live blog or tweet it’s that good.
- How do Dr. Wilkes and Whitney know one another? Or better yet, how does she know him? Learning more about both these characters is undoubtedly going to be fascinating, but please, let’s not make him evil, too.
Two hour episodes always get a bit frustrating to review, but I’ll be back to my normal routine next week. Perhaps a new column of some sort will be added in as well as it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Please make sure to watch this series live and if you can’t, tell those who can to. It’s the strongest superhero series I’ve ever seen and it deserves all the ratings it can get.
What are your thoughts on Agent Carter “The Lady of the Lake” and “A View in the Dark”? If there’s anything you’d like us to discuss whether we agree or disagree, we can be civil adults about it. Let us know in the comments below.