Agent Carter: S02E03 – Better Angels
Agent Carter is a show you should be watching. Mark will be reviewing the entire second season week to week. Follow along with him as he explores one of Marvel’s best shows.
Dear reader/ watcher I hope you’re continuing to follow along with this season for several reasons. First, after a plot-heavy start to the second season, we’re getting some great character exposition. Second, the ratings are low and that’s not good because we need this show to continue. Lastly, we need this show to continue because it’s the Marvel show with the most gall!
Howard Stark: “You want to play a sassy beer wench?”
Agent Carter: “I’d rather be the cowboy.”
Howard Stark: “I like it. I don’t think the audience is ready yet.”
Agent Carter: “But they’re ready for a movie based on a comic book? Sounds like a dreadful idea.”
You would think that the Marvel show with the most machismo would be male driven. Yet for all the muscles and mayhem of Thor or Daredevil, Agent Carter puts up the most fight. This show stands directly in the face of Marvel’s missteps on marketing their female characters. Why they’ll let Agent Carter continually poke fun at the very nature of what they do but are too scared to put Black Widow on marketing materials for toys is beyond me. But I digress.
This week’s episode continues to examine the roles we play in society as the show does so well, and does so by taking a hard look at the masks we choose to wear. It’s quite apt, since we have now revealed our villain to be Whitney Frost, who we know from the comics will eventually become Madame Masque- a frequent Iron Man foe who wears a golden mask to cover her disfigured face. Almost everyone is hiding something at his point in the story, and we know it will soon come to a head.
Agent Carter (To Agent Thompson): “You’re being a coward… you’re doing what you always do: burying an ugly truth and hoping someone will pin a medal on you.”
At some point we’ve all feared an ugly truth. It’s easy to bury them and put on a mask. It’s why it is crucial to be surrounded by a community that loves us and isn’t afraid to poke holes in our masks. The result of last season was a stronger sense of community within the SSR thanks to Agent Carter’s fearlessness. It seems it once again is going to benefit from that as Agent Thompson is back to looking out for himself to the detriment of his team.
Agent Carter: “Every eye in the country is on her, and no one sees her.”
Madame Masque is what results when we are allowed to hide our true natures from a loving community. Every eye in the country may be on us, but it won’t do us any good if all they see is a façade. It is essential for us to be known, ugly truths and all, or we risk becoming victim to those truths. Though likely without the ability to consume people through zero matter.
Whitney Frost makes for a powerful counter to Carter. After all, we saw Carter hiding a lot of truths from her team last season. But there’s a key difference. Frost, thus far, doesn’t dare show anyone her secrets. Carter, however, wanted to be able to reveal her truths, but felt forced to hide them. It was only through building trust in her community that she could break free from her mask. It looks like Frost is going to do a lot of damage this season while she hangs on hers.
Next Week on Agent Carter: Peggy Carter- vigilante? We’ll she’s blurring lines to get to the answers, but how blurry will her own lines get until she starts resembling the super villain she’s trying to take down? Also, can we get continue to get some meta pokes at Marvel? We need it more than we realize.