Last Night on TV: Agent Carter and The Flash Play with Our Fears

By  · Published on February 18th, 2016

Welcome to Last Night on TV, our daily column that looks back at what happened on television the night before. If we’re going to stay up all night and watch TV, we might as well talk about it the next day.

Last night on TV, Chris doubles down on a double episode of Agent Carter while Neil attempts to Escape from Earth-2 with The Flash.

Agent Carter

Christopher Campbell: Thanks to a double-episode airing last night, there’s a lot to talk about. Surprisingly, neither installment was titled “Everyone Is Scared,” because that’s basically the gist of what happened over the course of the two hours. Even the unbreakable Dottie Underwood (Bridget Regan) showed fear in the second half, as Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett) showed the Soviet spy who the biggest, baddest villain of the show is now. But I’m already too far ahead. I should start by admitting that the best way this show could get me excited again was to give us more of Dottie. Regan is as delightful as she is deadly, and it was great seeing her in action and matching wits with Peggy (Hayley Atwell). It was especially fun seeing her, the original Peggy arch-nemesis, teamed up with Jarvis (James D’Arcy) on a mission. It didn’t even bother me that there’s no good reason Dottie was locked up on the west coast other than so she’d be nearby for the show and its heroes’ convenience. I actually almost cried when it appeared as though Whitney had killed her.

Well, Whitney killed plenty in the first episode, titled “Life of the Party.” I’m glad she got her husband out of the picture, as he’d become useless. She then made the council very afraid, at least the foursome left alive following her slithery Zero Matter massacre (including Ray Wise’s character, of course). And she somewhat scared the hidden Dottie then, too. Meanwhile, Ana (Lotte Verbeek) was afraid for her husband, Jarvis, and later he was afraid for her. Wilkes (Reggie Austin) was scared his machine seemingly out of an H.G. Wells movie adaptation wouldn’t work. Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) is scared of not advancing in his career. And even Masters (Kurtwood Smith) starts to show fear around Whitney. Peggy is scared for her feelings for two excellent suitors. And one of those suitors, Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) actually may have been the only one not afraid of anything – not his feelings for Peggy, not his job security, not the agents disguised as burglars sent to give him a warning, nothing. Okay, Peggy’s still pretty strong, too.

The two-episode punch brought a thrilling thoroughfare, with the plot of this season really, finally in motion now. Funny how the energy really picks up once Peggy is injured and pretty much sidelined for a while. The story went round and round with the good guys and bad guys all together in one place and then sort of leading each other to and fro until tragedy struck at the Stark mansion of all places and to Ana of all people and everyone became pretty scattered until next week. It was surprisingly very surprising to see Whitney and Wilkes meeting, like some kind of union of gatekeeper and key master, at last. This was the first time they were together since the accident in the lab with the Zero Matter that made her the female Venom and he the male Invisible Girl. My guess is that he will wind up having to sacrifice himself so he can defeat Whitney by further canceling her out. And then Peggy will marry Sousa – nah, maybe he gets back with Nurse Violet (Sarah Bolger) and we never do find out who Peggy’s husband is.

The Flash

Neil Miller: One of the things that has, for the most part, separated The Flash from its crossover buddy Arrow is that it relies a little less on last-second twist magic. Narratively, The Flash lives on far more stable ground. The audience comes back week after week because the characters are well-constructed and even when it’s a Monster Of The Week episode, this is a show worth spending time with.

“Escape from Earth-2” is an episode that did the Arrow thing, breaking into chaos in the final seconds. Should someone with such a perfect jawline and advanced intelligence as Jay Garrick known not to stand in front of a rapidly closing portal to an alternate world? I’d argue that he should. All that work and he gets nailed in the most painfully obvious way. Now we have Caitlins on two Earths that are heartbroken at the hands of Zoom.

While “Welcome to Earth-2” was an upbeat, Easter Egg filled episode with some big moments (and deaths) spread throughout. Its second part was less chipper, as eventually Team Flash would have to mount a rescue for Barry and Jesse. Once again, we witness the ever-evolving force of Zoom. Do we feel like we’re any closer to knowing who is behind Zoom’s mask? I don’t. And now I wonder who was behind the mask in that other cell. John Wesley Shipp (Barry’s dad) would be a good guess for either, but Earth-2 Barry seems like the type who would know if his father were missing.

This trip to Earth-2 was a fun diversion, but what did it really accomplish? Zoom remains at-large and Earth-2 Central City is likely to fall under his reign. The only real accomplishment for Team Flash was the rescuing of Jesse. Will they revisit Earth-2 and the threat of Zoom in the future, or was that it? It’s not like Team Flash to leave Central City, regardless of dimension, vulnerable to a psychotic speedster. With next week’s episode focused on King Shark (fun!), we’re not likely to get any answers. After that, the show has 8 episodes with which to pay off the Zoom threat. It would be a huge misstep for this to be it. And I have to believe that the Flash writers room is smarter than that.

What did you watch last night?

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