Marvel's Agent Carter (2015) season 2, episode 5
"The Atomic Job"
WRITER: LINDSAY ALLEN
DIRECTOR: CRAIG ZISK
AIR DATE: February 9 2016
"The Atomic Job" picks up where things left off for Agent Carter, with Zero Matter continuing to play a big part in events, from the points of view of those who have absorbed it - Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin) and Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett). Wilkes, left intangible but still alive after the explosion at Isodyne, worries that his condition won’t be reversed - even if, for a moment, circumstances in this episode allow that. Whitney has been left tangible but capable of dark powers, and we’re seeing hints of how dangerous and unbalanced she may well be.
The episode revolves around Agent Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Jarvis (James D’Arcy) working with Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) on a mutual task - the recovery of the body of the victim from the first episode. Wilkes believes the Zero Matter contained within it might be able to permanently reverse his status. The problem of course is that Whitney’s after it as well. Enlisting help from within the SSR might well be the order of the day, and it comes from the more unlikely places.
Rose Roberts (Lesley Boone) has been an occasional sight in both seasons, operating as a front door receptionist of sorts for the SSR in both New York and Los Angeles. It’s a bit unexpected to see her take part as an operative in a case - and it ends up being fun too. The actress gives the role a brash sort of attitude - even if she’s finding herself in trouble.
There’s a bit of comedy this time too - in the way one of the supporting characters is treated. Hugh Jones (Ray Wise) was in the first season, president of Roxxon, and therefore a dirt bag and villain. The character has a counterpart in the comics, a Roxxon chief and frequent string pulling villain. Peggy’s work requires her to give him several charges from a device robbing him of a few minutes of memory - a sequence that certainly does get played for laughs, something the actor is capable of - even if we’re still reminded that Wise has got a history of playing dirt bags.
Peggy Carter and Hugh Jones
Another character turns up for the first time - Joseph Manfredi, a mobster Whitney knew, played by Ken Marino. A quick look at the character’s name, since he seemed familiar, turns up a lot of history in the comics. That Manfredi is a villain, son of the crime lord Silvermane, who I wouldn’t mind seeing turn up at some point in either here or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., since the cybernetic Mafioso angle of the character is an interesting one in comics lore. Joseph himself took on the identity Blackwing, and tangled with many Marvel heroes down through the years. There are hints of issues between Manfredi and Chadwick (Currie Graham); certainly the ambitious politician and businessman doesn’t want any part of associating with a criminal, and yet Whitney is in need of assistance.
Things end as the series has shown on something of a cliffhanger, with a desperate attempt to thwart Whitney, the defusing of atomic bombs (Jarvis has many, many talents, it turns out, even if he’s not quite as calm under pressure as he could be), and one of our heroes seriously injured - in a way that makes you wonder how they can get through the rest of the season without extensive convalescence.