THE NEWSENING, part 3: Enver Gjokaj confirmed to appear in SHIELD S7 as Daniel Sousa
(but we basically already knew that thanks to Ming-Na Wen leaking a photo last summer). This is the perfect piece of news to lead into my post on...
#2.01 "The Lady in the Lake":
--No beating around the bush, we jump straight into the action.
--Tonight's forecast: A freeze is coming.
--Howard Stark has gone from 60% Howard Hughes to 90% Howard Hughes.
--Ana Jarvis is just delightful. Also, she's the douchey author's nice assistant from A Fault in Our Stars.
--Red Forman is now on this show.
--Dr. Wilkes is a smoothie.
--I'm glad Sousa didn't just spend the past year pining.
#2.02 "A View in the Dark":
--Violet is blindingly bright.
--An ominous council of rich white men is secretly organizing catastrophes for their own profit. And there's also one on this show.
--Whitney Frost reminds me a bit of Hedy Lamarr.
--Zero Matter reminds me a bit of Darkforce.
--I like the clown joke far more than I should.
--I also like that Peggy is being made to acknowledge that there are struggles she doesn't face, without denying her the struggles that she does face.
--I also also like that she is ok with learning this.
#2.03 "Better Angels":
--Thompson, can you ever not be terrible?
--The Starklet Invasion is exactly what this club deserves.
--I'm going to quote from a review of this show back when it first aired: "Atwellian pulchritude."
--Did Stark just develop a man like a filmstrip?
--Seriously, if not for the subtitles, I would think Thompson is calling Daniel "Susan."
--Chadwick thinks he's the main antagonist, but he's wrong.
--That "disembodied voice" line seems like foreshadowing.
--Welp, that's one way to get out of a casting-couch situation.
#2.04 "Smoke & Mirrors":
--Baby Peggy is adorable.
--Baby Whitney is creepy.
--Teen Peggy is ironic.
--Teen Whitney is tragic.
--This episode is heavy on the smart spy work again. Love it.
--Vernon is about to put his foot up Peggy's--
#2.05 "The Atomic Job":
--I remember the dude playing Manfredi from an episode of What I Like About You.
--Sousa has a solid point about Rose's lack of field experience. While she is well trained, she is also in poor shape, & she protects the office with firearms from a stationary position.
--Removing a souffle was a completely valid analogy, Jarvis.
--If this wasn't the middle of the season, I would've thought for a second they were killing Peggy off.
#2.06 "Life of the Party":
--THEY SAID THE THING.
--Whitney's dedication to her marriage is so tragically sweet.
--Dottie's back, so the chaos level is raised.
--Jarvis's sword cane idea is adorable.
--There are two things wrong with Thompson in this episode. First of all, he's in it. Secondly, he's still an idiot.
--Looks like all Peggy had to do to to figure out what was going on was unleash an enemy agent.
--Manfredi's lack of terror around Whitney is unironically heartwarming.
--For a makeshift Faraday cage they just slapped together overnight, this thing is ridiculously ornate.
--Vernon seems to be under the assumption that the SSR is a normal police department.
--Peggy may be in a silly love triangle, but at least they aren't even beginning to suggest that Jarvis is part of it.
#2.08 "The Edge of Mystery":
--Radios were very flimsy in the 40s.
--Manfredi's nonna reminds me of my grandma.
--Thompson is so dumb he doesn't realize he's holding a file about Finow, a case he worked on.
--Everything with the Jarvises in the hospital is just capturing me.
--Good ol' Jack Thompson, once again deciding to do the right thing just after it's too late.
--Is Wilkes's head bigger, or have we just never seen him from below before?
--I did not think Jarvis would go through with this.
#2.09 "A Little Song & Dance":
--This opening is trippy & has Angie in it. I like. (Dancing Sousa is very disturbing, though.)
--Peggy & Jarvis are the arguing duo we deserve.
--Thompson's plan is not bad; there are a lot of things that can go wrong, but it's basically the best they've got at the moment.
--Did they just end an episode in the middle of a detonation!?
#2.10 "Hollywood Ending":
--This may be Howard's best entrance ever.
--Manfredi, a big eater, lets his hostage finish delivering food. Real recognize real.
--I'm sure those zero-matter effects looked better on a non-HD screen.
--I love that Sousa leaves his crutch behind so he can use both hands.
--Frost's breakdown has been incredibly compelling; her final scene is a real gut punch.
--Well, it seems to have taken Peggy 2 years to finally move on.
--Stinger: O hai, cliffhanger ending.
Executive summary: Not quite on par with season 1, probably because they didn't expect renewal (season 1 was billed as a miniseries). Better main villain, though, & still deeply enjoyable.
Marvel One-Shot "Agent Carter":
--Ok, here's Cap crashing again.
--"One year later" must be a mistake; we'll just ignore it.
--Looks like Thompson's replacement (Flynn, it seems) has both tightened the reins around the office & completely ignored everything previous chiefs have said about Carter's field record.
--Peggy is now Batman, so that's cool.
--The heck is "the zodiac"?
--I do enjoy me some spy gadgets.
--Stark's influence finally pays off.
--Shane Black has a creepy voice.
--Mid-Credit Scene: The '40s are an important & exciting time.
Executive summary: Solid transitional piece from the SSR era to the SHIELD era. Narratively, a nice micro-finale to take the edge off of season 2's cliffhanger.
And remember, "I'm-a Luigi, number one!"