Agent Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Forties Hollywood go together marvellously. Everything that was glamorous and suave about Agent Carter Season 1 is transferred across the country from New York City, along with a little extra razzle-dazzle, and the result is fabulous.
The premiere of Season 2 sees the start of a new case for Carter; when the new chief of the SSR’s LA bureau, Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj), requests backup after a body is found frozen in a lake during a heat wave, Carter sets off for Hollywood, sunglasses and Jarvis (James D’Arcy) in tow, to crack the case.
Just as Carter thinks she’s getting closer to the centre of the mystery, more strings start to unravel as actress Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett) gains superhuman powers, and Carter’s new scientist associate Dr Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin) gets absorbed into a substance known as ‘Zero Matter’.
Agent Carter’s second season doesn’t pack the same punch as its first. The stakes are still high in a life-or-death sort of way, but our heroine’s career and integrity are no longer on the line. What Season Two lacks in that department it makes up for in just how spangly and ‘Hollywood’ it is. In this universe, palm trees, flamingos and casting agencies are a very welcome addition.
Season 2’s ongoing love triangle between Carter, Sousa and Wilkes often feels like it’s undermining the basis of Carter’s character that was established in Season 1, and that it’s there just for the sake of getting some sexual – though prim – tension in there. We got to see Carter’s romantic side in The First Avenger; now we just want to see her sleuthing and kicking butts.
Like Season 1, however, the brother and sister-like working relationship between Carter and Jarvis is the best thing about the show. Every time they share the screen (which is still happily often), Atwell and D’Arcy absolutely kill it. In a perfect world, the show’s cancellation would make room for a buddy sitcom spin-off starring the pair of them.