Marvel’s Agent Carter Thoughts: Season 2, Episode 4 “Smoke & Mirrors”

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WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of Agent Carter.

By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)

Flashbacks

This was an episode of tragic flashbacks. We got to see the childhood of Whitney Frost and the beginnings of Peggy Carter. The interesting aspect of this was the juxtaposition of Whitney having a mother who tells her she’ll never amount to anything if she isn’t pretty and Peggy having a brother who tells her she’s not cut out for a boring life behind the front lines of war. Both women were influenced in immeasurable ways by the ways the people who loved them (or were supposed to love then in Whitney’s case) talked to them. Both women were inspired to leave their lives behind and search for something more. Whitney found what she was looking for in Isodyne Energy while Peggy found it in the SSR. Despite their wildly different upbringings, these two women are more alike than they realize, and we watched the groundwork being laid for an epic showdown between them.

The Conspiracy

Last week I posited that we may be watching the slow re-emergence of Hydra. Tonight’s episode did nothing to prove or disprove that. Marvel, through Agents of SHIELD, changed the history of Hydra when they made it a centuries-old organization. In the comics, it was merely founded during WWII by Red Skull. This change in the MCU allows Hydra to be inserted into many background stories. Since it’s been aged considerably, it’s plausible that Hydra was responsible for the assassination of President William McKinley and the Black Tuesday stock market crash. Hydra is a significant Marvel villain and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see them turn up in Agent Carter.

There’s only one thing about this theory: Hydra cannot have a big reveal like they did in season one of Agents of SHIELD and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It wouldn’t make much sense for Hydra to be discovered in 1947 only to surprise everyone when they return in 2014. The revelation of Hydra would have to happen subtlely and in the background. Maybe the last episode of this season can end with Vernon Masters shaking hands with Calvin Chadwick in a prison cell and saying, “Hail Hydra.” It’s not as thrilling as the downfall of SHIELD, but it would still be pretty exciting.

Favorite Scene

It was a sad scene, but the death of Peggy’s brother was the best one tonight. We’re used to seeing Haley Atwell playing an ass-kicking secret agent, so watching her show off her dramatic side was a nice change of pace. The pain in her face looked real when she looked out her window to see the two soldiers breaking the tragic news to her mother. No words had to be said after that. Watching Peggy put down her engagement ring and pick up her SOE letter before departing her bedroom said more than words could. Well done, Hayley Atwell.

Thanks for reading!