Season two of Agent Carter started out about as well as anyone could have asked. Unfortunately after six episodes into the ten episode season things began to fall apart. If the show returns for a third season I hope they move on from all of the writers responsible for the final four episodes except for Brant Englestein who also wrote the season premier.
In an effort to make the show more exciting with multiple plot twists and double crosses the writers lost sight of the characters that had been developing over the course of the season. A more dynamic plot line led to muddied characters who made decisions out of the blue and almost out of character. Hayley Atwell and James D’Arcy were great again this season carrying both the comedic and dramatic elements of the story. Hayley was able to demonstrate great chemistry with two love interests and a brotherly relationship with Jarvis. Now let’s discuss some of the other highs and lows for this season.
Worst New Character:
Joseph Manfredi the Whitney Frost obsessed, undefined mobster and raging Italian stereotype was easily the worst new character. He is nothing more than a side character until the seventh episode and part of my dislike for him could be the subpar episodes he was a large part of. The unpredictable violence that he displayed when he was first introduced, the way he cared for Whitney and interacted with his grandmother could have made him a great character. The more time he spent on screen the less interesting he became, in the end he was just a love sick Italian stereotype.
Best New Character:
This is the hardest decision to make about this season as we were introduced to several new characters that could get this title. An honorable mention goes to Sarah Bolger as Violet, agent Sousa’s short lived fiance. She was incredibly endearing as a nurse who fell in love with the man she was helping through some physical rehabilitation. Ideally the show would have kept her around and had Peggy pursue her relationship with Dr. Wilkes. The best new character I guess has to go to Wynn Everett’s Whitney Frost, a girl from a small town in Oklahoma, daughter to a kept woman, world famous actress and at least the second smartest person in the Agent Carter universe. The only character that can rival her genius is the great Howard Stark who at times act as the series dues ex machina. We were shown a lot of her backstory and how it compared and contrasted from that of Peggy’s own childhood, but they did nothing to show us how she gained all of her knowledge. I know she liked to read as a child/teenager but you don’t gain the capabilities she possessed with a good memory and a library card. Easily the most disappointing part of her story line was how as she became more powerful and more of a threat she became more single minded and possibly insane. She tried to cover her obsession with talk of scientific research and being a true Robin Hood, but it was all for the singular purpose of gaining the power and respect she felt she was owed all of her life.
Episode 6 Life of the Party: This episode is filled with personal and professional dangers. Peggy is dealing with the love triangle which is now in full force after Violet leaves Sousa and on the professional side she decides to break Dottie Underwood out of SSR custody. After the injury she suffered in the previous episode Peggy is unable to go on a mission herself and it is a mission that requires a special woman’s touch and the only one that Peggy views as an equal is Dottie. The episode also put Frost’s new powers on display as she takes over the council keeping only the members she thinks can help her with the goal of getting more zero matter.
Episode 9 A Little Song and Dance: The episode starts off strong with a literal song and dance about Peggy’s love interests and a spat between her and Jarvis. After this portion of the episode it is constantly downhill as it is filled with pointless double crosses, misdirection and false accusations. With more editing to remove some of these split end arcs we would have had a healthier overall story line. Whomever was in charge didn’t think that a small team of good to great characters versus a very good villain was enough and that we needed more spy thriller elements in the show and this is never more evident than in this episode.
Overall this was a good season that is deserving of a 3rd. There are rumors that the renewal talks are positive but there is no word yet and may not be for a couple of months. I think if the show continues to grow and learn it will be truly great. Season two was better than season 1 and if season 3 is as good as the first 60% of season 2 it will be the best comic related show on tv. Hopefully we will all be ample to tune in next winter for another adventure with our favorite SSR agent.