Agent Carter Season 2 episode 3 review: ‘Better Angels’

Read our verdict on episode 3 of Agent Carter Season 2 with light spoilers

Agent Carter Season 2 wasted no time in getting to the action, with explosions and all sorts going off in the second episode. This week, things have taken a slower turn but it hasn’t come to a standstill. ‘Better Angels’ is all about the science. It’s a bit about the action and a tad about the spy stuff, but it’s mostly about the science: solutions and gravitational anomalies and other theoretical shit. The proper sci-fi stuff.

After scientist Jason Wilkes’ (Reggie Austin) apparent death in the previous episode, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) is still quite cut up about it but, in true superspy fashion, she tries not to let on. Peggy’s emotional spectrum through Season 1 was marvellous, particularly for a character of both this genre and this time period, and it seems to have only expanded for Season 2. Watching her deal with losing Wilkes, someone she was beginning to care for in a similar way to how she cared for Captain America, is both interesting and very familiar. She’s constantly stuck between being true to herself and not wanting anyone to know she has feelings and experiences complex human emotions. And it really doesn’t help that people keep accusing Wilkes of being a communist spy.

As it happens (spoiler coming up), Wilkes didn’t die at all. Rather he was displaced as a non-corporeal form or something. This is where the science-y stuff comes in. None of the explanations as to how and why it happened really make sense, but they don’t need to since it’s all made up anyway. These sorts of situations make Peggy leaving the SSR to form SHIELD seem a little bit closer, and it’s kind of exciting.

Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) makes his first appearance of the season in ‘Better Angels’, when he gets to act as both a smarmy Hollywood director and a genius scientist-playboy-billionaire-whatever. He’s as charming, entertaining and infuriating as usual but for some reason, Cooper’s American accent keeps disintegrating into thin air. But oh well, there’s nothing to be done about it now. The Hollywood picture Howard is working on – a Western based on a comic book – prompts some terribly lame gags from Peggy and Mr Jarvis (James D’Arcy) but, as always, Atwell and D’Arcy somehow manage to make them hilarious and endearing. Damn this show. It has my heart in a death grip.

Better Angel’ isn’t quite as exciting as the couple of episodes that came before it, and I’ve decided to put it down to Jack Thompson’s (Chad Michael Murray) return. Why ruin a good thing with the inclusion of Jack Thompson? Sure, his snooping around and his alpha male complex provide obstacles and light threat to hinder the main investigation, but why waste valuable Peggy and Jarvis time with bloody Jack Thompson? Just go away, sir. You’re not needed here.

Agent Carter Season 2 airs on Thursdays at 9pm on FOX.