This episode of Agent Carter, “Monsters,” which aired immediately after the previous episode, “Life of the Party,” starts off with a bang. Frustrated with the lack of follow-through in getting his containment device completed, the otherwise polite and sunny Dr. Wilkes has an emotional outburst in which he questions the necessity of hunting down Dottie Underwood. Wilkes demands that more work be done to solve his problem and I don’t blame him. If he may actually disappear forever at any moment, who cares about the well-being of a Soviet killing machine when the life of an apparently good-natured genius hangs in the balance?
Kicking off this episode for the baddies, we see Vernon Masters hard at work attempting to get information out of Dottie Underwood. As an interesting twist, though, Dottie resists Masters’s attempts to break her. Instead, the woman with the sparkly facial tattoo, Whitney Frost, is the only one who can break Underwood. And break her she does. Dottie spills every bean she has. She tells Frost about the mission she was involved in to steal Frost’s blood (last episode) and that Agent Carter needs the Zero Matter in Frost’s blood to help save Wilkes who is “a ghost.”
This was a good sequence. The belligerence that Dottie (Bridget Regan) treats Masters (Kurtwood Smith) with as he tries, and fails, to torture her is noticeably different from the childlike fear Dottie shows when she breaks after just a few seconds at the hands of the super-powered Frost (Wynn Everett). Information extracted, Frost reactivates the homing device that Peggy had previously supplied Dottie with and leaves Dottie tied up.
Meanwhile, Peggy and company are finally getting Dr. Wilkes’s containment device going thanks to the pilfered Zero Matter and the construction efforts of the tangible members of Peggy’s team. Zero Matter and sparks fly as Dr. Wilkes’s containment device makes him tangible again. After a polite handshake or two, kissing Peggy is one of the first things he does with his reacquired body. Some more good news: Dottie Underwood’s tracker has reactivated. So, Jarvis and Peggy decide to locate her by “walking into a trap.” Sousa won’t be able to assist in Dottie’s recapture since he is unavoidably detained by a meeting with Masters. In the meeting Masters, on orders from Whitney Frost, instructs Sousa to track down the plutonium that Sousa–and Jarvis–helped Peggy steal in “The Atomic Job.”
Then after a couple of touching scenes, one between Jarvis and his wife (Lotte Verbeek) and one between Jarvis and Peggy about the budding love triangle Peggy’s involved in, the two get trapped by Whitney Frost’s goons. They escape relatively easily with Dottie Underwood in tow. Unfortunately, it had been Frost’s plan all along to lure Peggy away from Howard Stark’s mansion so that she would be able to get near Dr. Wilkes. After a short discussion and exchange of powers between Frost and Dr. Wilkes, she and Joseph Manfredi kidnap Dr. Wilkes after shooting Mrs. Jarvis in the gut. At the same time this is going on, Sousa is getting the crap kicked out of him in his own home by a couple of men in masks. On their way out, one of them makes reference to being a hero, a direct reference to the meeting Sousa had earlier with Masters.
“Monsters” ends on a decidedly maudlin note. Masters takes over the LA branch of the SSR until further notice citing Sousa’s battered physical state as the official reason. Jarvis and Agent Carter sit in the waiting room during Mrs. Jarvis’s life or death surgery, and Dr. Wilkes has been kidnapped by Whitney Frost.
This episode addressed a few unanswered questions that Agent Carter viewers may have had up to this point. For instance, Whitney Frost in a single line addresses why Zero Matter affects her so differently than it affects Dr. Wilkes. And, although it’s a throwaway line, at least this question was dealt with in some fashion: Zero Matter is an amazing substance that affects different people differently. It was also great to see some engaging scenes between some good actors: Atwell/Regan, Atwell/D’Arcy, D’Arcy/Verbeek, Regan/Smith, and Regan/Everett.