Agent Carter 2.08 Review: “The Edge of Mystery”
Contrary to the steady pace of it’s previous episodes, Agent Carter kicked into high gear this week, with heartbreaking betrayals and the power of Team Carter on full display. “The Edge of Mystery” was a deep-dive into the complicated relationships and rivalries that Peggy must face on a daily basis, and how even those of us with good hearts can crack under pressure.
The Complexity of Whitney Frost
Right off the bat, Wynn Everett reminds us all that her Whitney Frost is front-and-center as the villain of this arc. Her portrayal of the classic comic villainess is vulnerable, honest, and absolutely sinister. Whitney is not only able to manipulate those within the show, but the terrified honesty that shines through her violence evokes a sense of sympathy for a villain that rarely takes place within the genre. The countless, contrasting facets of Whitney Frost are truly what makes her so threatening. She’s beautiful, famous, and has more than street smarts; she’s a scientist and a genius. She’s dangerous.
Struggling Against the Dark Side
The theme that seemed to rule this episode was that nearly every character onscreen was struggling against dark temptations – and, in several cases, failing. Thompson’s betrayal and that of Jason Wilkes run parallel to each other, with Thompson immediately attempting to ease over his mistakes due to a sense of guilt and urgency, while Jason’s desperation leads him to double-crossing Peggy at the worst moment.
But as with Whitney Frost, it is so very hard to hate Jason for his betrayal. While Whitney is a little easier to root against, Dr. Wilkes is scared and trying to survive — and with all of his previous attempts ending in absolute failure, he sees no other option. It’s hard not to sympathize with his perspective, and even mores with Peggy, who fell so hard for the good scientist.
Team Carter Strikes Again
Earlier this season, Peggy and her allies proudly marched toward their adversaries — now, they’re in pieces. After the reveal of Anna Jarvis’ infertility after being shot by Whitney, Jarvis is crushed — and is almost immediately centered on Anna’s feelings, which puts him on an immediate path of revenge on her behalf. Chief Sousa and Thompson are at odds again over Peggy’s well-being, but their arguments cease in the face of her orders in the heat of the finale (“Do what Peggy says!”) and, though broken by the events that have put them at odds, all of Peggy’s allies come together to support her as she races toward Jason Wilkes’ battered body.
This Season’s Most Emotional and Exciting Episode
This episode was a cycle through emotional downturns and the sharp curves of surprise that the previous episodes have been teasing from the beginning. Poignant, emotional, and action packed, Agent Carter’s eighth episode eloquently encompassed everything that made us fall in love with the series at the start. With the season rolling closer to the finale, the events of this episode will play into every moment going forward, and they’re sure to make Peggy’s adventures that much more thrilling.
Agent Carter airs Tuesday nights, 9/8c on ABC.