Marvel’s Agent Carter: Life of the Party

Agent Carter

“Life of the Party” has all of Agent Carter’s strongest elements; a compelling mission, disguises, and maybe most importantly, Dottie Underwood. If we don’t get a spin-off (series, movie, comic) whatever of Peggy-Dottie teaming up and fighting crime through the 1950s we as a society will be the worse for it.

Still sidelined with a pretty severe injury, Peggy is forced to rely on her team to get the job done. While it takes Pegs out of direct butt-kicking duty – it does serve as a showcase of just how much the people around her are inspired by her, and trust her leadership completely – including Dottie.

Without going too far into GUSH territory, “Life of the Party” reminds me why I love this show so much. It’s just so damn rich. Each moment is full, serving purpose for the plot, sure, but for the characters. And that so many characters are served so well – given details, brought to life so quickly is something to truly be admired.

I avoid going back to the Captain America well too often, but the way Steve inspires folks around him inspiring complete confidence in his leadership, and the desire to do the right thing, even if it means it’s not the popular choice – so much of it can be traced back to Peggy. She inspired him early on in his career, and more and more Agent Carter shows how that shaped who he became.

Anyway, “Life of the Party” was full of just excellent moments. From the pretty serious smooch Dr. Wilkes laid on Peggy upon becoming tangible again, to Peggy donning a disguise to spring her nemesis, Dottie, for help.

I don’t remember Dottie being quite as sassy last season – she had more of a robot quality about her then, but maybe prison has had that effect on her. I think more than ever … and this is really the time to keep circling back to Captain America – Steve Rogers has teamed up with Natasha Romanoff, another Black Widow, time and time again – finding friendship and a trusted partner in battle, and in crime. Mirroring this relationship with Peggy and Dottie decades earlier only feels fitting.

Dr. Wilkes emerged almost fully formed as a charismatic scientist, former marine, and something of an idealist who fell for Peggy’s charms in no time flat before being dazzled by her strong leadership and genuine attitude. His cracking under the pressure – frustrated and frightened having survived a horrific accident with a barely unknown substance and losing his grip on this world – played out quickly but packed a punch. When Wilkes lashes out against Peggy we’re able to sympathize. And Peggy – drawing on her training calmly talks out a strategy – piecing together that zero matter makes him solid, at least for a little while. And draws on his training as a scientist working on zero matter to figure out a solution – a containment device.

This business with Thompson is killing me. I’m waiting for him to have his moment of clarity – the realization that he’s on the wrong side of this. There’s a look in Thompson’s eyes when he’s being dressed down by Vernon Masters where I think he might just get it. But then I think, Thompson is one of them. If he hasn’t got it figured out by now he’s not going to. And having characters like him in his world is important. He’s not entirely evil, but he’s not one of the good guys either. He represents something else entirely. Without being cackling, scheming evil, he has a stake in the status quo – he has no reason to believe in Peggy Carter or to risk anything for her and the change that she represents.

As usual, James D’Arcy brings it big time with the comic relief delivering a gleeful performance as he eavesdrops on Peggy and Sousa. I’m sure Jarvis’ real time reactions to the cringe-fest that was Sousa’s forced confession of being super really into Peggy and blowing up his relationship with Violet over her mirrored many of our own

At the end of “Life of the Party” where do we leave things?

Whitney Frost has kicked into high gear code pinking the fuck out of the previously “men only” Arena Club, beginning her tyrannical reign at the helm of this cabal. She liquidated the extraneous members of the board and made certain that the remaining few will remain loyal. She’s also taken Dottie prisoner.

Jarvis, a good Jr. Agent, has recovered the sample of Frost’s blood despite not managing to keep track of Dottie. Dr. Wilkes is stable, for now, Sousa’s secret is out and Peggy is just having kind of a hard time right now with the being injured and attempting to uncover a massive conspiracy so maybe let’s just take it easy on her when it comes to who she might want to be smooching. (Obviously Team Wilkes).

And a few more thoughts:

  • Love that Rose is at the top of Peggy’s list as a go-to gal for a mission
  • Wilkes nervously spilling the danger beans to Ana was just so perfect. As was her reaction. Sometimes we need to hold on to the little lies
  • Whitney reacting to her husband asking if everything is ok as if anything will ever be ok
  • Highly skilled, unknown face, who can blend in with the glamour and throw down in the gutter… and damn if we didn’t already know exactly who was coming now we do

Photo Courtesy of ABC

About Sara

Sara is determined to break the space-time continuum to allow for more hours in the week to watch all the TV. Her entry into TV geekdom came with Firefly, Battlestar Galactica and Eccleston's Doctor Who, and has continued to spiral since. You can also read her TV musings at The Viewing Party and follow her on Twitter @janie_jones.