Marvel's Agent Carter (2015) season 2, episode 10
WRITERS: TARA BUTTERS, CHRIS DINGESS and MICHELE FAZEKAS
DIRECTOR: JENNIFER GETZINGER
AIR DATE: March 1 2016
"Hollywood Ending" brings the second season of Agent Carter to a close, an appropriate title since the majority of season two’s action has been in Los Angeles. A lot has to be resolved before it’s all said and done though, with the major story line coming to an end, while resolving the fate of a multitude of characters - and leaving one character in an unresolved state.
There are maguffins here and there throughout the episode - an incriminating file on Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) that was in Masters’ possession, a Council key, as well as the big maguffin of the season - Zero Matter itself. Whitney (Wynn Everett), meanwhile, seems ever closer to her end game goal, while her right hand man Manfredi (Ken Marino) seems to understand that she’s growing ever more unstable - and has to make an unlikely decision of his own.
There’s a returning player in the game; Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) is back from his time abroad chasing down leads in the case, and willing to help Peggy and her associates. It’s good to see Howard back; Cooper clearly has a ball playing the character, and I’m reminded whenever he’s on screen of how much father and son are alike - at least the young Howard, since the older Howard we’ve seen in a couple of movies seems to have matured and tempered his brash nature. Cooper’s Howard is flirtatious, devil-may-care, and a wise guy. There’s a moment late in the episode - during which everyone’s trying to shut down Whitney and Zero Matter itself - in which Howard has a brilliantly funny line - at the oddest of times.
In the aftermath, characters find themselves at new beginnings. Jarvis (James D’Arcy) and Ana (Lotte Verbeek) are trying to come to terms with what they’ve lost. Whitney is broken in more than one way - in a way that suggests this is the last we’ll ever see of her. Wilkes (Reggie Austin) has a chance at a new beginning and a new career. And Peggy has a choice of her own to make; things appear to be a happy ending of sorts for her and Sousa (Enver Gjokaj). For the character, it’s a gradual transition from the woman who lost one love - Captain America - and is now moving on with her life, which Atwell plays to. A season three is a welcome thought - perhaps the founding of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Though one main cast member might not be there when the time comes, considering where things leave off.