Mark Watches ‘Agent Carter’: S02E01 – The Lady in the Lake

In the first episode of the second season of Agent Carter, I missed this. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Agent Carter. 

Hello, Los Angeles! It’s nice to return to the world of Agent Carter and get a huge change of scenery. The move to Los Angeles is already a brilliant move, and I love that the show feels so sunny, despite that there’s a seedy undercurrent to this season’s story. Indeed, “The Lady in the Lake” is full of contradictions and irony. In the scorching L.A. heat (which is dry, I’ll have you know!), a lake freezes. Sousa asks for more men and gets Peggy instead. Peggy finally comes around to her affections for Sousa, only to discover that he’s now taken.

And amidst this all, we get a glimpse of the greater story for season two, concerning the collision of Isodyne Energy, Calvin Chadwick, Mrs. Frost, and Jason Wilkes. I AM INTRIGUED, LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.

Changing Tides

I love that this show is so explicitly taking place in a post-World War II world. The SSR doesn’t serve the same purpose anymore without the war, and we see that manifest in Jack Thomspon’s story. He’s still a jerk to me, but he’s like… moved a level down the Jerk Chart or something. Peggy was right to call him out for his inadequacy issues because I’m pretty sure that’s why he sent her away to Los Angeles. He wanted the credit for Dottie Underwood’s capture, and that seemed to be the easiest way to do that.

It was pretty funny watching him think he could actually reach Dottie without Peggy, but then she’s completely taken away from him, and his mentor warns him that the SSR probably won’t exist in the near future. I admit it’s not the most interesting part of this episode, but I am curious about how Jack will pursue his own end.

The Lady in the Lake

I have a thing for accurate and believable settings, and the show does wonders in this episode by setting numerous scenes in EXACTLY THE SAME PLACES THEY NAME. But let’s put aside this fairly specific thing that I enjoy in order to talk about the move of this show from New York City to Los Angeles. There’s the obvious change which mostly comes in lighting and color palettes. I still consider Agent Carter to be a sci-fi noir show, so I also have a thing for sunny noirs. IT IS EVERYTHING I WANT ALL PACKED INTO ONE EPISODE.

Yet it’s the way this change affects these characters that’s most compelling to me. Everyone is in a new location, and they’re still getting adjusted, Peggy more so than Sousa. That awkwardness spreads through the script, and it manifests in scenes where Sousa and Peggy are reunited, when men turn to stare at Peggy when she enters the new SSR building, when Detective Henry is first introduced to Peggy. Are these characters starting over, or will they be able to build off their growth in the first season?

We’ll have to see. There’s a lot that happens here that sets up future plots, like the tanking of the Peggy/Sousa relationship (I AM VERY SAD), or the possibility of the Peggy/Jason relationship (PLEASE DON’T LET HIM BE A VILLAIN, I’LL BE SO MAD), or the shutting of the SSR. I imagine that there’s also a huge connection between Dottie and what’s happening in Los Angeles. I couldn’t quite tell who is actually in charge of anything here; I expected it was Calvin Chadwick, but Mrs. Frost is clearly in power over him. Maybe she’s the antagonist??? What of Jason Wilkes? Was his whole bumbling scientist an act so he could get closer to Peggy? I HAD SO MUCH HOPE, Y’ALL.

The one thing that I’ve been dodging around is the plot itself. I find myself more interested in the characters and the setting than the murder mystery itself, but I don’t want that to come off as a harsh criticism of this. There’s a solid story here, though it’s one that’s left deliberately unsolved for the most part because it’s part of something bigger. We know that Jane Scott was killed because Mrs. Frost caught her husband cheating on her with Ms. Scott… right? And that there’s something in Isodyne Energy that caused people to freeze, and it might be related to that weird ball of… stuff? Okay, so this episode is a fun premiere, but it’s also a set-up. There’s much more to come!


The video for “The Lady in the Lake” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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