Review: Agent Carter Season 2 Finale – “Hollywood Ending”

By March 2, 2016

On the season finale of Agent Carter Howard Stark makes his return, Whitney Frost is becoming even more powerful, and Jack Thompson may have discovered something that he wished that he hadn’t. Let’s take a look back at the season 2 finale, “Hollywood Ending“.

This week’s episode picks up right where the last episode ended with Jack about to blow the gamma canon and Peggy holding a gun on him to get him to stop. For Jack, this is the best opportunity that he believes the have to take out Whitney Frost, the zero matter and Vernon. Unfortuntely, Dr. Wilkes is still inside but Thompson views him as a necessary casualty which is exactly why Peggy is trying to stop him. She is not ready to sacrifice Dr. Wilkes even though he is ready to sacrifice himself. But before Peggy or Jack can make their move, something else goes boom. Dr. Wilkes. No longer able to contain all the zero matter that he has absorbed it is expunged from his body through via a mini explosion. The only problem is that Whitney is able to absorb all of the zero matter that Dr. Wilkes contained, becoming even more powerful.

The season set out with a strong premise full of mystery, intrigue, new characters and a powerful and different new villain. The intro to this episode even provided to be what could have been an exciting and thrilling finale but I was extremely underwhelmed by this episode. I love Hayley Atwell and her performance as Peggy Carter is always fantastic and her chemistry is James D’Arcy is great but this finale left me wanting more. And not more as in “I can’t wait to see what’s next”, well…except for that final scene but we’ll get to that later. I just found the finale to this season (and what just might be a series finale) fell a little short and left a lot to be desired.

Whitney Frost was built up over the season be the very formidable, smart villain and by gaining more power at the end the table was set for a big standoff. But that didn’t happen. After Jarvis hit her with his car, which even though I saw that coming from a mile away the fact that it was Jarvis was great, she really didn’t do a whole lot. Frost spent most of the episode cooped in her room frantically writing down formulas and making notes trying to figure out a new way to open the rift. Which then led to Manfredi getting fed up with not getting the attention that he wanted as well as finally realizing this wasn’t the same Whitney that he fell in love with. So his solution was to come to Peggy and Howard seeking assistance to free Whitney from the zero matter that had a hold of her.

It was weird to see the group be so accepting of Manfredi. I know they had went to him before for information and that he was providing an opportunity to help bring down Whitney but they just seemed to let bygones be bygones. The fact that he and Howard had some sort of friendship or connection seemed a little forced. While Howard is an opportunist and it’s not overly surprising that he and Manfredi knew each other it just felt like a way to give the okay for him to be trusted.

Speaking of Howard Stark, I always love when Dominic Cooper pops up as Stark but I didn’t really care for him in this episode. It wasn’t just the friendship with Manfredi, he was just a little too over the top and ridiculous (much more than normal). I didn’t really think there was a need for that sex joke either when they were all trying to save Sousa from the zero matter at the end.

With Manfredi’s help, he is able to pull Whitney away from her work with this ridiculous plan to have her be his muscle while he was interrogating his men. She didn’t even do anything. She was so annoyed to be there. Meanwhile, Peggy and Daniel were taking their sweet time take pictures of Whitney’s research. Okay, that scene bugged me for kind of ridiculous reasons but they were taking pictures of hand written notes in the dark, from range.

These aren’t present day cameras with HD and zoom. How could you even make out all the notes on the pictures you took? I would have sooner believed so Stark or SSR tech that was some sort of scanner. Again this was a small thing, but it’s something that I thought of while watching. Also, what was the point of showing us Daniel changing some numbers on her research? I know it was to slow her down but we never saw the repercussions from that. I thought we may have seen Whitney becoming even more frustrated but then we get another scene of her working on formulas, so really, what was the point of showing us that.

Now with Frost’s research in hand, Dr. Wilkes, Dr. Samberly and Stark have created a device to open the rift themselves in order to draw Whitney out. When Whitney shows up on Stark’s vacant movie lot, this would have been the perfect opportunity to have a little throw down between her and Peggy and her team. Granted none of them are super-powered, but maybe if she turned on them and they needed to pull out a few SSR and Stark based tech to fend her off while they get the gamma canon or Frost into position. Nope. Frost walks right up the rift right inline of the gamma canon and doesn’t even acknowledge them.

They fire the canon and then all the zero matter is pulled from Whitney’s body by the vortex. That’s the end of this new and powerful Whitney Frost. What? Yes, there was tension and stakes when Daniel went to close the portal on his own but you knew they were going to save him so even there it was a bit anti-climatic.

There were a few things I really like about the episodes. Every interaction between Peggy and Jarvis was great. He was so sad when she informed him that she had called a taxi to take her. Luckily Ana convinced her to have Jarvis take her. He was so happy and overjoyed. It was also great to see Ana Jarvis one last time. She was a welcome addition to the show.  She was great! Peggy and Sousa finally had their moment too! She finally went in for the kiss and they went to town on each other. There was also the reveal that Jack had discovered that the Arena Club pin was also a key.

That had to be why Dottie was after it in the season premiere. This late reveal did kind of bug me because you set it up in the premiere and then don’t address it until the very end of the finale. And even then we don’t get an answer. When you’re unsure if there’s going to another season I would have loved to have been given a little more of a hint to what it was for.

Then we have that final scene which made up for a chunk of this episode. Jack Thompson is freaking murdered by a faceless individual! There was no warning, no indication of who it may be. He was just blown away, all for that redacted file on Peggy Carter that we assumed was fake. What the what?! That was a total shock! Jack could be a pain and jerk most of the time and his ambition led him astray at times but as Peggy had said, he’s not a bad guy. Just on that ending alone I would like to see what happens next in this little corner of the Marvel Universe.

The season may have faltered a bit for me in it’s final hour but overall I enjoyed Peggy’s journey this season and I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing what’s next for Agent Carter.

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Christopher Skalicky
Chris, a film and television junkie, grew up on Star Wars, all things Disney, Stargate SG-1 and a healthy dose of John Wayne. When not thinking about movies he is busy being an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. He will also argue that Surf Ninjas is the greatest movie about surfing ninjas ever made. Tweet him at @Schlick51