Week of March 5, 2023:

Hollywood Ending (Agent Carter s2 e10) released March 1, 2016 (where to watch)
Bouncing Back (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. s3 e11) released March 8, 2016 (where to watch)
Erik Bates | April 16, 2023

Agent Carter: Hollywood Ending
Before we start the episode: Is Wilkes a precursor/reference to some other future hero/villain? Or, more specifically, is Zero Matter something that comes up again later, or in the comic universe?

Don't shoot Frost! It won't do any good! Lightly tap her with braking car and send her flying off-screen! That's her true weakness! Also, Howard Stark is an idiot, and the attempt at humor just isn't fitting.

What the hell is going on here? Is Manfredi on Team Carter now? Is that what I was supposed to pick up from the non-subtitled and poorly translated conversation he had with his grandma?

If we're going to end this show, let's be sure to throw in some more meta humor before we're off the air. We can't open a rift to another world in the middle of downtown! (pause for laughs)

Also, where are we coming up with the idea that this will definitely work? X-rays? Have we discussed the impact on X-rays on this rift prior to right this second? And to be so certain it will work? We're really playing fast and loose with the science to drive the plot on this one.

A little prediction: Peggy and who else will be on the wrong side of that line with only Peggy escaping at the last minute? Frost, for sure will be over there. I'm guessing either Jason or Sousa will sacrifice themselves to save Peggy. Tune in at the end to see if I'm right.

Meanwhile, Jack found a key to a place that we'll likely not get to really get good use out of because it was supposed to be in Season 3.

He gave the key to Peggy?! I just knew that he was going to try to use the key for himself. I just cannot figure him out.

Is there a reason (aside from plot necessity) that the device Sousa is cranking isn't also floating away?

Ok, so my prediction was a little off, but I'm still taking the 'W' on calling a Sousa suicide mission.

Jason is going to Peru. Am I missing a reference there? Is this foreshadowing Season 3 that never happened, or to another part of the MCU?

And everything is tied up in a neat little bow.

...except for Jack getting shot in the bonus scene.

Oh well, on to the next show!

Scott Hardie | May 3, 2023

Hollywood Ending: It's been a frustratingly lackluster season, but at least it has a lot of fun on the way out. I enjoyed the humorous banter here (especially making Jack Thompson fetch everyone's dinner), and the sense of long-overdue forward momentum in the plot that leads to resolution. The grand finale of the zero matter storyline was a predictable struggle over floating CGI black goo and giant fans blowing every actor's hair on set, but on a character level, this ambush was great for forcing conversations between disparate people like Thompson and Peggy Carter and then for forcing them all to pull together (literally) in the end.

I'm also satisfied with Whitney Frost's epilogue despite its similarity to Johann Fennhoff's last season; she is trapped in a hell that nobody would wish for. Jason Wilkes even gets a happy ending; I wonder if the writers ever seriously considered sacrificing his life to save Carter, thus resolving the love triangle more finally. This is (I assume) Joseph Manfredi's last appearance and I still have no idea what to make of him; he remains as baffling as the unsubtitled conversation with his grandmother. In the big finale scene, if that cranking device in the street was strong enough to weigh down a man of perhaps 200 pounds like Daniel Souza, how much did it have to weigh, and how did the team place it there without industrial equipment? (8/10)

season rating: 5/10 (It was ok.)
best of season: "Hollywood Ending"
worst of season: "The Atomic Job"

overall series rating: 6/10 (It was ok.)
best of series: "Bridge and Tunnel"
worst of series: "The Atomic Job"

Erik, you asked about Jason Wilkes. He's a character from one story in an anthology sci-fi comic book that Marvel published in 1961, before the Silver Age of superheroes kicked off. He was a scientist who experimented on himself and became permanently invisible and intangible, to his horror. He does not come up again in the MCU to my knowledge.

Scott Hardie | May 3, 2023
This comment contains spoilers for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Cloak & Dagger. Reveal it.

Scott Hardie | May 3, 2023
This comment contains spoilers for What If...? and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Reveal it.

Scott Hardie | May 3, 2023

Bouncing Back: What a good introduction to a new character, and a fun story about how people suddenly granted powers might choose to use them. Given how corrupt the Bogotan police are portrayed to be, Elena Rodriguez is right to fear and resist them, so I'm surprised that she let Alphonso Mackenzie live. But I appreciate her determination to press on with or without help; like Grant Ward's brother Thomas a few episodes ago, it's refreshing to meet someone on this show who has their own life beyond the endless cat-and-mouse game between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra that occupies nearly every scene. I have no idea how the physics of Rodriguez's rapid-movement powers or Lucio's vision-based powers are supposed to work, but the show clearly doesn't give a damn about the specifics, so I won't either.

Also! The show acknowledged the immorality of forcing someone into the memory machine, something that I never expected it to do, and this came from the mouth of Jerkass Coulson of all people. This is a notable step in the right direction for a show where the "good guys" do all kinds of evil things without any hint of a conscience. I also enjoyed Coulson's discreet conversation with President Ellis, which was a clever way to bring POTUS onto the series in a budget-friendly way, although the logic of using Rosalind Price's apartment doesn't add up to me. (Coulson was so traumatized by her assassination that he would murder Grant Ward in cold blood, but he'd also choose the site where it happened for an important business conversation with the president of the United States?) The assignment of Glenn Talbot to work with Coulson promises to be fun or at least interesting. (7/10)

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