In Agent Carter season 2, episode 4, "Smoke and Mirrors", Whitney Frost experiments, the War Department stops by the S.S.R., and Carter and Jarvis commit a felony.
With the revelation of Whitney Frost’s true name, Agnes Cully, and the brilliant scientific reputation that comes with it, Dr. Wilkes begins to look through all of her past work as the brains behind Isodyne Labs. Meanwhile, Carter takes a more direct investigative approach and tracks down the man who tried to kill her, Calvin Chadwick’s driver, Mr. Rufus Hunt, who she hypotheses must be privy to many of Whitney Frost’s and Calvin Chadwick’s secrets. Using a tranquilizer gun Jarvis uses for the more dangerous of Stark’s menagerie, specifically the adorable yet vicious koala, they kidnap Mr. Hunt and bring him to the S.S.R. for interrogation, must to the displeasure of Sousa.
After a lengthy interrogation and a clever ruse, Mr. Hunt divulges the names of some high ranking Arena Club members who sit on the “Council of Nine,” and claims they were behind some of the darker events in American History. The S.S.R. is ready to move on the Club when the War Department, led by F.B.I. Agent Vernon Masters coincidentally steps in to stall their investigation, giving the Arena Club time to hide any incriminating evidence. In a last ditch effort, Carter and Sousa let Mr. Hunt escape and attach a listening device to him to get whatever information they can from Chadwick and Whitney Frost, who has been experimenting with her control over Zero Matter.
While the present story sheds light on the motivations of the Council of Nine and moves Carter and her investigation forward, two backstories are also revealed in flashbacks. Agnes Cully, a.k.a. Whitney Frost, grew up impoverished and brilliant from a young age. Pressure was put on her by her mother and society, that no one will care how smart she is, and only her beauty will matter. This impact led her to hiding her brilliance and becoming the star known as Whitney Frost. A young Peggy Carter follows a similar story, being a wealthy and adventurous child, she unfortunately grows out of such things to act as a lady should, until she is offered a spy job with the Special Operations Executive (S.O.E.). She initially turns it down to live a respectable life with her fiance, as any proper English woman should, but the death of her dearly beloved brother on the front lines persuades her to join the war effort as an agent behind enemy lines, ultimately leading her to joining the S.S.R.
It’s interesting to these these two stories of Whitney Frost and Peggy Carter played alongside each other. Parallel isn’t the right word to describe them, but they were both pressured to be a proper lady, beautiful and submissive, and both come to a critical decision. Whitney Frost succumbs to the ideals of her mother and society, hiding her intelligence and smiling to look pretty. Carter spends her adult life as a proper lady, but ultimately decides to be true to herself and join the fight. So far Whitney Frost has been shown as one of the big-bads of this season, but given her history, her motivations are more clear to lift herself out of the shame put on her by her mother, the viewer can empathize with her. You almost want her to accomplish her goals and root for her, a strong intelligent woman fighting against her assigned role in society, if only she wasn’t going against our heroine, Peggy Carter.
Agent Carter Season 2 continues Tuesdays on ABC.