There’s plenty of comedy and drama in this second episode, with Lotte Verbeek’s Mrs Jarvis making a great foil for both Peggy and her husband, and Enver Gjojak’s Daniel Sousa providing the soapier elements of the story. There’s also some enjoyable action scenes, as well as more than a few surprises – the tag scenes are obviously going to throw a spanner in the works each time.
There are plenty of questions raised by events – who are the committee with the candle-snuffing ritual who decide not to proceed with Zero Matter experiments? (The producers have hinted that it links into a long-running aspect of the Marvel universe.) And what happens to Jason Wilkes at the end of the episode, given what we see happen to the person with whom he was? Is Zero Matter the stuff that opens portals in Agents of SHIELD – and does that mean HYDRA’s involved?
We got a lot of both overt and subtext discussion of the sexism of the time during the first season of Agent Carter, and that’s very well used to also deal with racism in this season – the scene where Peggy and Wilkes ask for help from the diner owner doesn’t play to the expectations of the first year, where even if Peggy asked, her male companion would be answered. Because he’s non-Caucasian, he’s considerably lower on the scale… As long as this becomes a note in the show, rather than a complete symphony, then it should work well.
Verdict: A better paced and balanced episode. 8/10