Buckle up, because [Marvel's Agent Carter](tag:1119765) is heading to LA! After the success of season 1, Agent Carter's creative team are really pulling out all the stops for season 2. Recent interviews have revealed that Peggy will face new challenges in the form of nefarious villain Madame Masque, wacky science and vintage robots, as well as a dark conspiracy!
Season 2 will mark a shift in the show's dynamic: with 10 episodes to play with, the writers are giving us the glitz and glamour of 40s Hollywood, drawing inspiration from film noir. A while ago it was revealed that the plot would hinge on the murder of an actress, a case similar to real life mystery the Black Dahlia case. With Madame Masque now a silver screen actress, how will Peggy's new nemesis tie in to the murder? Is she exploiting Howard Stark? And could Masque's appearance in Matt Fraction's recent Hawkeye comic hold the key to the mystery?
Brilliant Actress, Terrifying Villain
Although the comics' Madame Masque story takes place in modern day, the character herself fits beautifully with the 40s Hollywood setting. Masque is an ex-debutante: elegant yet lethal, she uses her brilliant intellect to invent fantastic and horrific gadgets. While they've had to adjust Masque's character for her new setting, the writers are staying true to what makes the villain so unique.
"I think we’ve changed the look of her a bit obviously. We've made her an actress, which is very Hedy Lamar. She was a '40s siren actress who was also a scientific genius, so that's part of what we’re mining with this character."
Though the part has already been cast, the creative team are staying silent on who the actress might be. But using Hedy Lamar as inspiration for Masque is a great move, both stylistically and in terms of her intelligence.
So what does this mean for Peggy? We can piece together a bit of the plot based on interviews with the cast and writing team.
Following their film noir theme, the writers have confirmed that one seemingly innocuous crime will lead into a larger conspiracy. Considering the show is confirmed to follow the Black Dahlia case, we know that this crime is the murder (and mutilation) of an aspiring actress... or is it?
Robots and Murder and Bombs, Oh My!
It's likely that we'll first be introduced to Masque through Howard Stark's new film studio. It would make sense for Masque to get close to Stark: under the guise of acting she could sign with the studio, while secretly researching his inventions that rival her own. In the comics, she was also romantically entangled with Tony Stark, so it's not too much of a stretch to imagine that this version of Masque might find herself falling for Howard.
So far we can't tell what the conspiracy regarding the murder is, but if the writers are going to draw on Masque's most recent comic appearance, we might have a clue!
It's already easy to draw similarities between Madame Masque's role in Agent Carter and her plot in Fraction's Hawkeye. In the comic, young Hawkeye Kate Bishop heads to LA but soon finds herself at the mercy of Madame Masque. Trying to unravel her own web of conspiracies, Kate gets framed for the murder of her friend before it turns out that Masque is creating duplicate androids (Life Model Decoys) for an elite clientele. Could this be the secret behind the actress' murder in Agent Carter season 2?
While the Agent Carter writers are unlikely to recycle a popular plot, it's possible that this Madame Masque is secretly building her own robots. And after all, we know that season 2 will use plenty of whacky science for its story...
"We’re dealing with Old Hollywood, but also, it’s weirdly the kind of place where there’s a burgeoning scientific community—you had JPL [Jet Propulsion Laboratory] back then and the nuclear testing in the desert."
Of course, Masque could also be involved in building a bomb that could level LA. Peggy is said to face "her most dangerous assignment yet" as she discovers that Hollywood's glamour "masks a sinister threat" (let's just pause and appreciate that the producers hinted at the Madame Masque reveal using a pun in their official synopsis...) This threat will definitely be something to do with weird science, but will it be Masque's robots, or a nuclear bomb?
At least she looks good in sunglasses!
With a new nemesis, gruesome murders, and science conspiracies to deal with, it looks like Peggy won't have much time to enjoy the glitz of Hollywood. But with Jarvis by her side and Agent Sousa heading the LA SSR office, Peggy will have plenty of support as she continues to save the day, and look awesome doing it!