I am having a flash of the chef from Little Mermaid: “Zut alors! I have meesed one!”
Apparently, there were two episodes for Agent Carter, and I completely missed one! That has now been remedied! (thank you, Swan!)
Well, that was an accurate title, wasn’t it? Let’s see…
We have Dottie Underwood, early-generation Black Widow, who has done terrible things and is perfectly untouchable by conventional means of torture. She has extremely little left to her after that debacle about targeting Howard Stark. All she had was Mother Russia and the Soviet regime to serve, but she doesn’t have that anymore, and her old compatriots would probably kill her on sight. I wonder if that was why she tried to steal the Arena Club pin. Looking for a new master, perhaps? Even if so, that bridge seems well-burned now. In fact, it seems to me that the only thing she has now is Carter, twisted as that may be.
Then there’s Vernon Masters, who tries to interrogate Dottie and fails spectacularly. Frost puts him on a different task, to find the Isodyne uranium for her nukes. To that end, he returns to the SSR, and tries to sell Sousa on the same ladder-climbing crap that he used to turn Thompson into the Club’s lapdog. Sousa doesn’t buy it, being a man humble enough to serve others instead of himself. There are few things ants despise more than giants, and Masters has a task to carry out, with a most dangerous overseer holding him accountable. So he sends two men to Sousa’s home that night. He actually sends two men to beat a man who can’t walk without a crutch. And then he casually takes over the LA branch “until Sousa can recover.”
And then there’s the monster, Whitney Frost. She squirts out a performance about being a grieving widow, even while she lays down her challenge to Carter. She pulls the strings to command kings of the criminal underworld and the SSR. She breaks Dottie all but instantly with just a little touch of zero matter in her system. When she learns of Wilkes’ survival, she goes after him, using Dottie as a diversion.
Meanwhile, Wilkes has his corporeal form back. He was on edge, more than a little, and snapped at Carter about facing something much worse than death, which, I think that darkness the zero matter is drawing him into probably qualifies. Fortunately, the cage is completed and he’s able to stay physical for awhile. Which leads to a feast of feasts. Oh, and kiss with Carter. Can’t forget the kiss with Carter.
I love how Ana’s jaw dropped and Jarvis looked away like the ceiling was suddenly so interesting. LOL!
That leads to a little conversation, both pointed and hilarious to behold, between Carter and Jarvis, while they’re driving to rescue Dottie. Carter has suddenly found herself in a triangle, after all, and Jarvis cares too much to keep quiet. She can’t really decide anything at the moment, but at least now she’s acknowledged and addressed the problem. That’s always the first step.
When they get there, things don’t go quite as planned. Jarvis had brought one of Stark’s inventions to even the odds against a numerically-superior force, but he kept entering the wrong sequence. That sort of worked out, as the device was set to an automatic blast that took out all of their captors, but it still cost them precious time, every last moment of which counted. The trap, after all, was merely a diversion.
The three of them race back to the mansion, and it’s Dottie’s first time seeing Carter afraid. It makes sense for her to notice that. Dottie wasn’t allowed to care about anyone since she was very young, so she doesn’t know what it is to be most afraid for someone else. Not to mention, the only people who know Dottie fears are Carter and Frost, but she might just hope that Carter is strong enough to beat Frost, so seeing a chink in her armor is significant in all sorts of ways.
Back at the mansion, Ana is sharing a meal as well as her thoughts and feelings with Wilkes, who is happy to support his hostess as she has helped him so much. She refuses to allow Jarvis to let down Carter or himself, but knowing the danger he faces is very much real, she can’t help but fear for him. Wilkes, on the other hand, is a man who doesn’t know what to do with the rest of his life even if he gets it back and gets out of that cage that keeps him alive. They have things to deal with… but, hey, they do have expensive wine and good food! 🙂
…until Frost and her gangster friend come invading, that is.
I admit, I was afraid Frost was going to absorb all of the zero matter within Wilkes, and end him as a result. Fortunately, and to the surprise of both parties, it was Wilkes who absorbed zero matter from her, becoming stronger and more rooted in the corporeal world. She shifts strategies, trying to convert him to her side, saying they can change the world. He reacts to that, saying the world is fine just as it is, which is a bit of a lie, he knows. There are many problems with the world, both then and now, including racism and sexism among many others. However, Frost’s will is to change the world through force and fear and power and destruction, and I highly doubt she can control the zero matter infinitely and indefinitely. Wilkes is far less willing to risk the world’s entire existence merely for the sake of “change.” So she knocks him out and has her gangster carry him.
And then… well, Ana tries to stop them, or delay them. When it’s just Ana, Frost keeps her friend from shooting Ana, saying they’re not monsters (all evidence to the contrary). But as Carter and Jarvis are pulling up, Frost slows them down, by shooting Ana right in front of them, leaving her to bleed in the driveway.
Jarvis is understandably upset. When he signed up to help Carter, he was risking his own life, not Ana’s. He was the one rushing into danger, not her. Now all they can do is rush her to the nearest hospital, where the doctors take her straight into surgery, and wait. And wait. And wait. They can’t even say if she’ll survive. And I note: we’ve never seen any evidence of Jarvis’ descendants in the present, so the danger of her passing is very much real.
That is one of the single most hellish things I can conceive of, seeing your dearest love on the brink of dying, not knowing if she’ll make it, because she stood in a monster’s path. Jarvis is a wreck, and Carter is so strongly affected that she actually turns her back on Dottie for a moment, which is all she needs to escape.
So, in this single episode, crippled Sousa is beaten, black Wilkes is taken, female Dottie is tortured, and, above all, Ana is shot.
They really are dealing with monsters.