I’m really happy that we got to have two weeks with two hours of episodes each week, because they felt like mini movies. I’m sad, however, because it means we got to the finale quicker. WHY’S IT GOT TO BE OVER??
Yesterday, Ms. Charlie Jane wrote an article about Whitney Frost after interviewing Wynn Everett, who plays Frost. It was refreshing to read an interview with an actress (or even an actor) who understood the character so well. Frost put on a mask to make it big in Hollywood, and hid her true, genius self from the world (thanks Mom and Uncle Buck!) Now that she’s got a taste of real power, shes slowly shedding that facade and revealing herself to the world. Last night’s episodes showed us more of Frost’s journey to fully embracing who she really is, and it was a hell of a ride.
Frost knows that she is one of the most powerful people in the world, and a force to be reckoned with. She is slowly embracing that truth and slowly dropping the restrictions imposed on her by a male-dominated society, but there is still some hesitation. Frost still reverts back to her old ways here and there. For instance: When Peggy was going to make the trade with Frost for Wilkes, Frost was still covering her face, and she only stopped doing so after her boyfriend told her the power it represented was attractive. And then Thompson met with her and laid on the charm, and she reverted back to her actress persona, acting as if a producer had just given her a compliment. Remember: When Chadwick double crossed Frost with the Counsel, she was genuinely betrayed, and thought her husband really wanted to help her.
Although Frost is slowly learning that she doesn’t need to and shouldn’t lean on others (especially the men in her lives) to get what she wants, she still is holding on to that life in the slightest of ways. We only have one episode left this season, so I assume she will completely embrace the power in the finale. It’s been fun watching her slowly drop the mask and chains of society more and more every episode. Frost is going to go full Dark Force.
Never go full Dark Force.
1. Another thing these latest two episodes were about was desperation. How far are these characters willing to go to accomplish what they want?
Frost wants the power of the Dark Force, and was willing to listen to Thompson and keep Peggy and Jarvis alive (despite the insistence of Joe on both counts) to get it. Peggy and Jarvis have been a thorn in Frost’s side since the beginning.
Wilkes wants to be free from the Dark Force, and was willing to hold a shotgun to Peggy’s face and threaten her life in front of Sousa to get the information he needed.
Sousa was willing to tell Wilkes the location of the iridium rods to save Peggy’s life.
Jarvis was willing to leave Ana in the care of the ever-capable Rose, leave a last will and testament, and shoot Frost at point blank range to get her back for shooting Ana. He was also willing to promise anything for her to get better. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
Red was willing to trust Sousa, Thompson, and Samberly to use the Gamma Cannon against Frost, in an attempt to get himself (and the Counsel) out from under Frost’s thumb.
Hell, Sousa and Thompson were willing to trust Red to help them get rid of Frost.
And Peggy was willing to walk into the SSR and beat the shit out of Red in an attempt to get her friends back.
2. Last week I assumed two things about two characters: That Thompson wasn’t a villain, and would come around and end up helping Peggy and Sousa, and that Wilkes would be swayed by Frost’s manipulation, but in the end, would come to his senses. With both characters, even though they would eventually come back around, the damage would be done, and bridges would be burned.
Sure, Thompson is now helping Peggy and Sousa, but neither of them trust him one bit. When the SSR finally goes under, Thompson will not be invited to SHIELD. I have a feeling he will replace Red at the FBI.
And Wilkes. Peggy gave him a pass for holding a gun to her head, and blamed it on the Dark Force. However, on the gurney, Wilkes told her he did that on his on volition. She understood he wanted to and intended on hurting her if he needed. He may have helped them out in the end (or tried to), but his bridge to Peggy is good and burned.
3. Jarvis was wrecked seeing Ana in the hospital. It was interesting, because on a lot of shows and movies when a main character’s love is hurt or hospitalized or otherwise compromised, the hero springs into action, wrecking shit and saving the day and exacting revenge. No. If my wife or kids were shot like Ana, I’d be a mess just like him, promising the world. Hell, one of my sons wanted to sleep over at his cousin’s house last night and I couldn’t sleep. WHAT THE SHIT, EMOTIONS?
And of course, when Ana was awake and stable, Jarvis took matters into his own hands. He wasn’t thinking straight, and had one goal: Kill Frost. I’m pretty sure I’d have the same feelings there, dude. Again, in a lot of shows, the character is cool and collected and taking names. Not in real life. He’d not be thinking straight, and would make poor life choices. As did Jarvis. I love this show.
4. Thompson’s drunk ploy in London while tracking down leads on Peggy was pretty nifty. A lot of the time the show portrays him as a stubborn chief who goes in strong without any funny business. But we forget sometimes that the SSR is a spy organization. Thompson, for all his brashness and arrogance, is still a damn good operative. He drank that Brit under the table and got what he thought he needed.
And speaking of: Red was unnervingly correct when he talked about how the truth and what happened are two different things. Because the words were written on an official document, that was the truth, and what may have actually happened wasn’t. This happens a lot in the real world: Lawsuits, criminal trials, government agencies, etc. As one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite shows goes: “It’s not what happened, it’s what you can prove.” We ask the courts to take Judicial Notice of things all the time. Hell, a few months ago we used admissions deemed admitted by the court against a Plaintiff, because once the court deemed them admitted, they became an established fact, even if they were admitted because of the attorney’s mistake.
I don’t think that file was entirely made up, though: The file referenced “M. Carter” and Peggy’s brother Michael was in the S.O.E. before her. He’s the one that referred her to the program. Maybe something did happen with Michael Carter, but it was referenced ambiguously, and Red knew it could be used against Peggy.
5. Although these episode were somewhat intense and dower, being Marvel properties, they had the proper amount of humor to lighten the mood. What was it that Joss said? “Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.”
I loved the opening bit flashing (no pun intended) back to New York in 1946 when Jarvis and Ana were talking about Peggy, and how Jarvis felt like she was “different from the others, I think he respects her!” They’ve been dealing with Howard’s harem for a long time. That was hilarious.
My favorite part was Jarvis’ Urkel pants in the hospital. HOLY SHIT DID PEOPLE REALLY DRESS LIKE THAT. Those high pants and short ties are the things of my nightmares. And Peggy’s silent beat down of Joe’s thugs at his restaurant. Peggy did that little eyebrow thing and it was off to the races. That whole execution was perfect. Thompson had some pretty funny quips, too: “My blood is still on the inside, so I think she bought it.”
And seriously, everything Samberly said was hilarious. I love how he still finds things to get offended about, and the fact that he is on Sousa’s last nerve. “Do you even know my middle name?” COME ON. And his smooth talk with Rose: “Will it kill Whitney?” “Uh, what answer is more attractive?” I died. “I don’t care if you’re Vernon, or Tarzan, I expect ‘please’ and ‘thank you!’” Oh my. “Can you build it in three minutes?” “What am I an amateur? I can build it in two!” “Why isn’t it working??” “I ONLY HAD TWO MINUTES TO BUILD IT. YELLING WON’T MAKE IT WORK SOUSA!” Samberly is the best.
6. That whole dream sequence with Peggy knocked out was awesome. I like musicals every once and a while (see: Psych musical episode was amazing) and it hit all the right notes (!!!) My favorite part was Peggy using the rotating door to get into the “diner” when there wasn’t a wall. The whole thing was everyone trying to get her to wake up, and she wasn’t having it until Jarvis told her to and Rose told her she wasn’t right for the agency. POW!
And Dottie, holy moley. “I’ll always be in your head!” Even in Peggy’s dreams she’s creepily fantastic.
7. That heart to heart between Peggy and Jarvis in the desert was heart wrenching. Jarvis was still pissed about Ana and kind of thrown off that Frost just ABSORBED HIS BULLETS, and went too far. It was rough hearing Peggy tear Jarvis down like that, but as harsh as it was, it was exactly what he needed to bring him back to Earth. And she was right: He was bored out of his mind in Hollywood until Peggy came to town, and has always jumped at the chance to go on an adventure. He even calls it that. Ana told Wilkes she let Jarvis go on his adventures, but always worried about him. It was all an adventure for Jarvis until it got real, and he couldn’t deal. I’m glad they made up (mostly), but I do feel that Jarvis may play more of a supportive role in any future jaunts.
8. Earlier I remarked that Frost was still on her way to going full Dark Force, and last night, she did take a big step in that direction: “Pain is often the harbinger of progress.” YIKES. Who talks like that?
9. Wilkes. After going into the Dark Dimension (hello Gamma Rays!), he seemed to have absorbed all of the Zero Matter that would have spilled on the ground otherwise. Now that he learned how to control it, and can phase in and out of tangibility at will, he seemed to be using all of his efforts to not explode. Until the end, of course.
We’ve seen that his powers include the ability to unconsciously draw Dark Force from other sources, including Frost. At the end of this episode, he let it all out in a big black explosion of Dark Force. Red is gone (I hope). Frost, already having some Dark Force in her, will get more powerful thanks to that outburst. But my initial theory holds: Wilkes will use his ability to draw all of the Dark Force from Frost, and will finally get himself free from its grip in doing so: He’ll sacrifice himself to save the day and as an attempt make it up to Peggy for holding a shotgun to her face.
10. So Both Wilkes and Frost hear something calling them from the Dark Force. Frost thought she was going crazy, until she realized Wilkes could hear it too. Wilkes wasn’t able to control his powers until he fully embraced the voice.
We know that Dark Force is going to be used in Dr. Strange, and that Baron Mordo is involved, and played by Chiwetel Ejiofor in the movie. In the comics, Mordo plotted to kill the Ancient One, used his powers to control Dr. Strange, and Dr. Strange and the Ancient One eventually exiled him. Mordo has used black magic against Dr. Strange over the years and was even backed by Dormammu at certain points. Dormammu resides in the “Dark Dimension,” but is not from it.
Maybe the voice in Frost and Wilkes’ heads is Dormammu, and the “Dark Dimension” he resides in will be changed to be the same place the Dark Force is from. He corrupted Frost and tried to corrupt Wilkes, and will do the same to Mordo in the movies.
He could be a set up for the next big bad villain after Thanos in Phase 4 and beyond.