Episode 3 of [Marvel's Agent Carter](tag:1119765) picks up the morning after that fateful night at Isodyne Labs, and under the floorboards at Wilkes's place, Peggy and Sousa find a one-way ticket to Moscow, fifty grand and a fake passport. Even more incriminating: the same model of gun used to kill Jane Scott, hidden under Wilkes's pillow.
Could Wilkes possibly be a Russian spy? Peggy's not buying it.
No feminism on the film set!
"You wanna play a sassy beer wench?" Howard Stark asks Peggy on the set of his Western. "I'd rather be the cowboy," Agent Carter fires back in another win for feminism.
Aided by a little distraction from Howard, Peggy infiltrates the Arena club, where she finds a copy of a newspaper dated in the future. Apparently, somebody at Arena is manipulating Senator Anderson to resign to clear the way for Calvin Chadwick, which is frankly a little less sinister than what I'd expected to find going on in the club's corridors of power. No masked Illuminati back there.
At the station, Peggy discovers a pen on his desk defying the pull of gravity by rotating aerially around her handbag. Howard takes a well-deserved rest from being a Playboy to give a quick science lesson, concluding that traces of the same Zero Matter radiation that killed Jane Scott are present on Peggy.
A little scientific trickery from Stark brings Wilkes back to life - not that he was dead to begin with, just rendered invisible and voiceless. After disclosing the details of his unfortunate encounter with Whitney Frost, Howard's fix wears off and Wilkes is lost all over again.
Getting to grips with Ms. Frost
This week's action is a little slower, perhaps a necessary change of pace after a duo of episodes which barely stopped for breath. 'Better Angels' seems to be more concerned with setting up the rest of the season.
Peggy's brief and fiery encounter with Whitney Frost is laced with subtext, but neither is quite ready to drop their mask and declare war against the other - and speaking of masks, there's still no sign of Frost's transformation into Madame Masque, so perhaps that's one nod to the comics we won't see play out.
Back at Stark's lab, Wilkes is back, if not quite in body. "You've impressed Howard Stark... and you've impressed me," Peggy tells him, their spark one step closer to becoming something more.
If the episode has one weakness, it's Jack's role. His turning up in the City of Angels feels forced, and it's hard to pity him for his struggle to play the role of the corrupt agent who turns a blind eye when he's making life so difficult for Peggy and Sousa. If Agent Carter has left New York behind, perhaps Jack's place in the show is lost too.
The episode closes with an act of instant karma as Whitney Frosts's overly handsy director comes into contact with her Zero Matter scar. Within seconds he becomes a slithering black mass, before he's absorbed completely into Frost. It's quite horrifying. One senses that mask might make an appearance after all...
And finally, those Easter Eggs
1. "A movie based on a comic book? Sounds like a dreadful idea!" exclaims Peggy on the set of Howard's movie, a cheeky if not exactly subtle little nod to present day Hollywood's current fascination with superheroes.
2. Howard Stark identifies the lapel pin adorned with the mysterious "A" (not the Hydra symbol as some had thought) as belonging to Arena, "a social club for the L.A. silver spoon crowd" where, not coincidentally, Calvin Chadwick conducts his business...
3. When Jarvis introduces Peggy to the voice-based home security system Howard had installed at his place, he remarks that he never wants to end up as a disembodied voice - pretty major callout to the eventual birth of Vision right there...