After the explosion at Whitney Frost’s and Manfredi’s waste disposal facility, expelling the Zero Matter from Dr. Wilkes and into Whitney, Carter and her cohorts escape to safety, with the help of Jarvis running over Ms. Frost with Howard’s car. Having exactly what she wanted, more Zero Matter at her disposal, Whitney Frost has become completely obsessed, locking herself away to design a machine to reopen the rift and keep it open. Joseph Manfredi is worried, and tries to get help.
That help is in the form of longtime friend, Howard Stark. After a humorous entrance involving mustard and underpants, Carter believes Manfredi to be genuine in his desire to get rid of the Zero Matter so he can have Whitney back to normal. Together they make a plan to distract Whitney Frost and steal her designs. Once pictures are taken of them and copies made, Stark, Dr. Wilkes, and Dr. Samberly set to build the “rift generator” (patent pending). The idea is to reopen the rift, use the gamma cannon to expel the Zero Matter from Whitney Frost into the rift, then close it before anymore can leak into our world to consume like a cancer.
Once the rift is open, it calls to Whitney Frost, bringing her into their trap, and, with her distracted by her obsession over the rift, they are able to rid Whitney of the Zero Matter and finally bring her to justice, but first they must close the rift, which due to mechanical difficulties, requires someone to get within the blast zone to manual shut it down. While everyone throws their hat into the ring, Sousa takes the initiative and makes the attempt. The manual crank to shut down the device seems to work but not quick enough, putting Sousa and everyone in danger, when Jarvis gets the idea to blow up the gamma cannon core inside the rift, with the help of Stark’s infamous flying car. With the world saved, things start to return to normal, and Carter has many good reasons to return back to her life in New York, though all she needs is one compelling reason to stay.
“Hollywood Ending” was full of funny moments and entertaining, however, by the end, everything wraps up in a nice little bow fairly easily. While the open rift was certain to be a threat to the entire world, it was just hard to believe that there was any danger as everything seemed to be under control. Howard Stark was hitting golf balls into the thing. Even the end, finally bringing Carter and Sousa together romantically, there seemed to be no consequences. Sousa didn’t cheat on Violet, but simply let feelings that had since been put aside come up in a moment of extreme duress. But Violet was still understandable upset, and aside from a restless night, there are no consequences of their break-up. He ends up with Carter, apparently the woman of his dreams. There is one consequence at the end, dealing with the redacted file on Carter, leaving Thompson’s fate unknown, but other than that, it was clean sailing.
The second second season of Agent Carter holds many of the strengths as the first, specifically in it’s representation of minorities and fighting for equal rights with strong, fleshed out characters. It wasn’t a major theme for the season, and being set almost 20 years before the Civil Rights movement, this season touches on the treatment of black Americans and racism. Today, a black veteran scientist like Dr. Wilkes wouldn’t be such a shocker, but in the 1940s, as displayed numerous times, Dr. Wilkes is disadvantaged anywhere he goes, even discovering the only reason her was hired at Isodyne was for a diversity hire.
Another strong character that, in my opinion, stole any scene she was in, was Ana Jarvis. While only mentioned and heard from another room briefly, Ana was immediately an equal to Jarvis’ politeness and Carter’s strength. I mean, come on, her introduction involved giving Carter a garter belt with a holster in it. Of anyone, I want to see more of Ana in upcoming seasons.
While enjoying the last season of Agent Carter, I had a few reservations, two of which being that the S.S.R. seemed very weak and had little more than brutes with guns and fedoras banging on doors. This season fixed that, putting the scientific back into the Strategic Scientific Reserve. With the inclusion of Samberly and Dr. Wilkes, and Howard Stark actually doing science instead of womanizing (mostly), this entire season was full of intelligent characters, including Whitney Frost, the brilliant scientist and strong character using her brains and beauty to gain power. My other was with the backstory of Peggy Carter herself. I was interested to know why Carter was so much more skilled as an agent than every other S.S.R. agent she worked with, and this season answered that question; her involvement with the S.O.E. (Special Operations Executive). Her brother Michael had a strong influence on her, and with his death she made the decision to be true to herself and him and join the fight on the front lines, becoming a skilled and dangerous agent in her own right, before joining the S.S.R. to stop Hydra.
Of course, there are questions left to ponder until next seasons. What was the Zero Matter? Is there any connection between it and the Gravitonium from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? What was in Carter’s redacted file that would be worth killing for? Where is Dotty Underwood? And what does the key Thompson found in the Arena Club pin open? These questions could be answered in the upcoming mid-season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or even in Captain America: Civil War in May. If not, we’ll just have to wait til next year to see further adventures of Agent Peggy Carter.