Agent Carter Review: “The Lady in the Lake/A View in the Dark”

photo credit: ew.com

photo credit: ew.com

Here’s my review of Agent Carter season two premiere episodes “The Lady in the Lake” and “A View in the Dark.” Please note that this isn’t a recap of what happens. I’m assuming that you’ve already seen the episode. There are spoilers in this review.

The first season of Agent Carter was a fun adventure which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I expect nothing less from season two. The first two episodes, “The Lady in the Lake” and “A View in the Dark”, did not disappoint. We quickly jumped into a new story with some new characters, but the show still retained the charm from season one as well. These two episodes were a good mix of humor, action, and even romance.

Season two was quick from the get-go in establishing just what has changed since the last season ended. Carter and Thompson have just captured Dottie up to no good, and Sousa has moved to LA to run the west coast branch of SSR. Also quickly established is the new mystery that they’ll tackle this time: the mysteriously frozen solid body and the ice surrounding it. The pacing for all this works quite well. It’s not too fast for anyone to keep up with, and there’s not really any part that seems pointless or lags (well maybe that tap dancing routine went too long… but whatever). Unlike some other shows I review, the introduction of the mystery was coherent and made sense.

The introduction of all the new characters worked well too. Sometimes it’s easy to be overwhelmed by a multitude of new characters, and it’s a struggle to make sure they don’t feel flat. In these episodes, we are introduced to Dr. Jason Wilkes, Ana Jarvis, Whitney Frost, Calvin Chadwick, and Vernon Masters. That’s a lot of people but they all serve clear purposes for the story, which makes it easier to remember why they’re on screen at any given time. They’re written (and acted) with distinct personalities, making them all feel more like real people than characters. Wilkes is charming and very determined, Mrs. Jarvis is spunky, Whitney and Calvin have an interesting relationship and their own personal struggles. And the list continues. If you want an audience to be invested in a story, make sure the characters are interesting and flawed. It will be fascinating to see how our main characters will continue to interact with the new ones.

Of course, the season opener was packed with action and humor (most of the humor courtesy of Mr. Jarvis), but there was focus on romance as well. Love triangles are so common that they can be incredibly boring, but that angle here was a bit more understated. It doesn’t take up a large amount of episode time, and it does serve to add a bit of conflict between Carter and Sousa. In addition, Wilkes and Sousa’s girlfriend both seem rather lovely so there’s no character for the audience to hate. Plus, I think the love triangle is okay because we also have the very fun platonic friendship between Carter and Jarvis to balance it out. And for Sousa, he also has a nice friendship with Rose to balance him out. Neither character is solely focused on the romance story.

Like I said before, I have high expectations, and so far I am not disappointed. We’re back for another adventure with Peggy Carter and I’m curious to see what happens next.

Notes in Disguise

  • For the record, I don’t read the comics. So if there are references to things, they’re gonna fly over my head.
  • I really really hope that Wilkes isn’t dead. I read conflicting reports that he is a season regular or just a recurring character, so I’m not sure. But we never got to see a body, and I don’t usually pick a ship so fast, but I definitely like him and Carter together.
  • Curious to see when Thompson’s story will intersect with the one on the west coast. Also, as a fan of That 70’s Show, I was waiting for Kurtwood Smith’s character to tell Thompson he was being a dumbass.
  • The phrase “lady of the lake” just kept reminding me of Spamalot.
  • Sarah Bolger, why are you in everything I watch lately??
  • Jarvis has the best line: “They eat avocados here” he says with disdain, and “he’s the devil in pink” he says, referring to Bernard Stark the flamingo.

So what did you think? Like it or hate it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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