Agent Carter Season 2: “Hollywood Ending” Or Just The Beginning?

We’re back for the Season 2 finale of Agent Carter. It’s been a season of meeting new characters only to have them disappear shortly after being introduced, but now that we’ve reached the “Hollywood Ending,” let’s start off with a recap.

The Recap

This episode picked up where last week’s cliffhanger left off. Agent Carter, holding a gun on Chief Thompson, demands that he drop the detonator to the gamma bomb. Their tense interaction is ended by a shockwave, not from the gamma bomb but from Dr. Wilkes releasing the store of Zero Matter from his body. Unfortunately, like all of this season’s cliffhangers, this one is basically just another tease.

When the team goes to investigate the blast they find no trace of Masters. They do find an unhealthy but Zero- Matter-free Dr. Wilkes. Whitney Frost absorbs Dr. Wilkes’s previous store of Zero Matter for herself and becomes more powerful than ever. The team runs in fear but Frost, in a pretty goofy turn of events, is hit by Edwin Jarvis driving Howard Stark’s car. The villain temporarily subdued, the team makes its hasty getaway.


Back at the SSR LA office, Thompson and Sousa are rounding up the agents who were working with Vernon Masters, presumed dead after Dr. Wilkes’s Zero Matter expulsion that Masters was present for. Dr. Wilkes with a new lease on life as a solid person describes Zero Matter as a cancer and underlines the importance of ridding the world of it.

It’s trouble in paradise for Whitney Frost and Joseph Manfredi. Frost is diligently coming up with plans to re-open the Zero Matter rift but her changed and withdrawn personality troubles Manfredi. He consults his nonna who asserts that if Manfredi wants his old Whitney back then he must make a deal with the devil, in other words Peggy.

Back at Howard Stark’s mansion, Manfredi arrives to make a proposition. After a few non sequiturs are exchanged between Stark and Manfredi, it becomes obvious that they’re old friends. Manfredi agrees to help the team lure Frost into a Zero Matter trap that will allow the team to suck the Zero Matter out of her and into the Zero Matter rift. First, though, the team will have to steal the Zero Matter rift generator designs from Frost. Agent Carter and Chief Sousa are able to do so by taking photographs of Frost’s designs while Manfredi keeps Frost busy in the other room. During this tense scene, Sousa and Carter find some time to engage in a bit of office flirtation and escape out the window in the nick of time.

While placing the team’s dinner order back at the SSR LA Office, Chief Thompson finds Masters’s Arena Club pin that turns unexpectedly into a key.

After a quick recap of the plan and a safety meeting from Dr. Wilkes, the newly-built rift generator is assembled at Howard Stark’s movie lot. The rift generator is engaged and once again the laws of time and space are manipulated. Frost, having a kind of telepathic link to Zero Matter feels the rift in her mind and starts making her way to the movie lot.

Stark, not fully appreciating the gravity of the situation, slices golf balls at the rift while they wait for Frost. Chief Thompson who appears to have made peace with Agent Carter reveals his discovery of Masters’s key-pin to her. Frost arrives before too long and, lined up for the shot, they blast her with the gamma cannon. Her Zero Matter gets expelled into the rift and Frost is arrested.

The catch is that the remote shutdown of the rift generator is broken so it must be shut down manually. Unfortunately the generator is inside an unsafe zone within which all objects will levitate and be sucked into the rift. While the team argues about who should be the one to do it–all of them volunteering–Sousa runs in to shut it down. The hose that Sousa had tied around his waist slips from its anchor point but Peggy and the team are able to hold on until Stark’s hover-car, which contains the power core from the gamma cannon, can be auto-piloted into the rift. The hover-car explodes and the rift is closed. Here endeth the conflict.

The morning after, Howard, Peggy, and Dr. Wilkes have breakfast in Stark’s mansion. Dr. Wilkes, we find out, has agreed to work for Stark at Stark’s Malibu facility doing work involving something Stark found in Peru. Peggy and Jason bemoan their ruined chances at love and Howard swims naked. Peggy, on her way to the SSR LA Office to finish up her paperwork runs into the Jarvises. Peggy and Ana make peace and Edwin coerces Peggy into letting him drive her to the office.

The audience gets to see an unhinged Whitney Frost ranting at her window. She hallucinates that she is talking to Chadwick but is in reality being kept in solitary confinement in a psychiatric ward. A regretful Joseph Manfredi appears with roses. Unfortunately, he can’t give them to Frost. As the attending intern says, “She’ll just try to use them to claw her face open.”

Agent Carter Season 2
Ross and Rachel–er, Carter and Sousa finally kiss

In a touching goodbye between Jarvis and Peggy, Jarvis attempts to convince her to stay in LA, “perhaps all you need is one convincing reason to stay.” And, in Chief Sousa’s office, the audience is treated to a cute scene between the de facto romantic leads. Chief Sousa reprimands Agent Carter for saving his life and the two steam up the office windows with an old-fashioned American make-out session.

The final scene sees a potentially grim end for Chief Thompson. Following a phone call in which he’s told that Agent Carter will be taking more vacation, Thompson gets shot in the chest by a mysterious man who knocks on his door. The mysterious shooter walks over Chief Thompson’s body and steals the doctored file that purports to show that Agent Carter is a war criminal.

My Critique

Although this wasn’t a bad episode, it wasn’t a really good one either. This episode was almost completely devoid of a conflict aside from the near death of Chief Sousa. Frost was dealt with so easily and Chief Sousa seemed in so little danger that the episode was basically just a romp. “Hollywood Ending” was also missing what generally makes Agent Carter worth watching, solid scenes between good actors. Although there were a few emotional moments, the only really solid acting was in the scene leading up to the kiss between Carter and Sousa.

I suppose, though, that at the end of the season I’m still interested to see what will happen next, so this season obviously wasn’t horrible. All in all, I hope Agent Carter gets renewed for a third season. We still haven’t seen her form S.H.I.E.L.D., nor have we seen her get married. Will she marry Sousa? Will she ever go back to New York? What’s the deal with that key? Who killed Chief Thompson? If Thompson’s dead, will Carter become Chief of the New York Office? Will we get to see Whitney Frost in a mask? And, as always, what about Zola?

I hope these questions get answered, some more than others. With Hayley Atwell purportedly starring in another show from ABC next year, though, I have my doubts that there will be any answers. This could be the end of Agent Carter. And, although it wasn’t an absolute garbage heap, it left me thinking about why it’s sometimes so hard for great ideas to translate into great TV shows.

Michael Bedford
Michael Bedford
Under intense scrutiny by the Temporal Authorities, I was coerced into actualizing my capsule in this causality loop. Through no fault of my own, I am marooned on this dangerous yet lovely level-four civilization. Stranded here, I have spent most of my time learning what I can of the social norms and oddities of the Terran species, including how to properly use the term "Hipster" and how to perform a "perfect pour." Under the assumed name of "Michael Bedford," I have completed BA's with specialized honours in both theatre studies and philosophy, and am currently saving up for enough galactic credits to buy a new--or suitably used--temporal contextualizer ... for a friend.