Amy Richau reviews the fourth episode of Agent Carter season 2…
In the fourth episode of Agent Carter, “Smoke and Mirrors”, the audience gets to know Peggy Carter and her nemesis this season, Whitney Frost, a whole lot better. Well-done flashbacks throughout the episode show the audience how both women were strong and smart young girls living in a world that just wanted them to fit into a pretty box.
As a young woman Peggy had her brother as her cheerleader. He encouraged her to follow her dreams, even if they prevented her from a traditional walk down a wedding aisle. Whitney (then known as Agnes) wasn’t as lucky as Peggy in her youth. Agnes’ only family member shown in her flashbacks is a desperate mother who believed a woman’s only worth was her beauty.
The focus on Whitney Frost’s face in the flashback really hits home this episode as the disfiguring scar on her forehead is both taking away her Hollywood looks, and empowering her more than her wildest dreams could have imagined. Frost learns how to use, if not perhaps control, her zero matter powers with the help of a few unlucky lab rats. It’s a bit of a surprise (and a lovely one) that Frost’s character doesn’t show any signs of being sad about her zero matter scar getting larger every time she uses her power. She turns away a chance at being on the cover of Life Magazine as if it were an annoying fan following her into the restroom.
There is a lot of talk this episode about how Frost isn’t just “good at science” – she’s a true genius. Unfortunately for everyone else, she isn’t interested in harnessing this power for anything good. Right now she wants to just erase anyone who gets in her way. Peggy and Jarvis (who it turns out has a delightful ‘cop voice’) work together this episode to try and find out more information about the mysterious Arena Club. They make some significant progress in their investigation but it is the dueling backstories of Peggy and Whitney that truly make this episode a special one.
Amy Richau is a freelance entertainment and sports writer. Follow her on Twitter.