Agent Carter “Smoke and Mirrors” Review by Kevin Morrison
In what is most likely the best Agent Carter episode yet (and that is saying a TON), not only do we see the continuation of Peggy and the SSR’s investigation on communists and the secret liquid weapon that nearly killed Dr. Wilkes, we also get to see the backstories of Whitney Frost and, for the first time, Peggy Carter herself.
Seeing these backstories gives a real emotional draw, particularly Peggy’s, who is a character we have loved and wanted to see more of since 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger. In a similarity to Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, we see that she had an option to be happy for the rest of her life and then circumstance lead her to join the SSR and become a field agent, an idea that is extremely smart and fits Peggy’s character. Now that we know her backstory and why she is the way she is, the show becomes more personal and Peggy Carter becomes the bad-ass we all can feel for even more so. I’m excited to see where they go from here with the show’s story and whether or not we will see more of what happened before Peggy became the Agent we know today.
Along with this, we get the backstory of Whitney Frost and see where she came from. With an abusive mother and a frustrating childhood wanting to be a mathematician, she is lead to Hollywood and becomes an actress, once again getting us to feel for this character. We now understand why she is who she is and what lead her to being an actress and where the holes in her heart came from. She is broken on the inside and blending her backstory with Peggy’s gives us a hero and a villain with connections to tragedy. It’s an amazing blend and well excuted thanks to great direction and performances.
The present (or, should I say, late 40s) in the show also continues the investigation and mystery that has been set-up this season, including Dr. Wilkes’ current physical state and how to track down Frost and her people when the rest of the SSR does not support Peggy or Souza. Again, all interesting stuff and adds to what is the best episode of the season yet and probably of the whole show.
Agent Carter is a gem. It’s a real pleasure to see her in her own show with great supporting characters and well done action, on top of many personal and emotional moments. The backstories presented here are extremely clever and Hayley Atwell and Wynn Everett give great, engrossing performances within them. Continuing it’s streak of great adventures and being a wonderful show, Agent Carter is better than ever-and that is quite the achievement.