‘Marvel’s Agent Carter’: Peggy Plans Her Next Move to Take Down the Council (and Whitney Frost)
Things are going to be Frost-ier than usual on Tuesday’s episode of Marvel’s Agent Carter.
Last week’s episode saw Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett) reveal her Zero Matter-imbued powers to her husband Calvin Chadwick (Currie Graham) while taking care of a henchman, Rufus (Chris Browning), who confessed to their involvement with the Council—much to Peggy (Hayley Atwell) and Co.’s confusion as they listened in on the exchange via a planted bug. Elsewhere in the episode, Dr. Wilkes (Reggie Austin) faced some unexpected side effects of his Zero Matter-induced state of existence.
With Peggy working out the next steps to take down the Council and Whitney Frost settling into her powers, we spoke to executive producers Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters about what Whitney’s “unmasking” means for her marriage, what’s going on with Wilkes and whether Bernard the Flamingo will be making a return appearance.
How will Whitney’s revelation of her powers affect her relationship with Calvin?
Fazekas: Whitney always had the power in that relationship, but she was always operating behind the scenes. We had always been inspired by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, that he’s the face of the power, but she really is the power behind the power. Now that [Whitney] has her own power, it scares the hell out of Calvin, and it becomes a game changer in their relationship. Now that she’s coming into her own, and she doesn’t now really need him, he recognizes that. She needed him to exert any control, and now she’s starting not to need him, and that is very dangerous for him.
Will she be using her powers to become a part of the Council or is Calvin still her connection?
Butters: She certainly wants in on the Council, but for Calvin, that is a very dangerous prospect. He will try to use that desire against her, but it doesn’t go very well for him.
How are Peggy and the team doing? They know Whitney did something to Rufus, but they don’t know what. What are their next steps?
Fazekas: Going forward, the fact is, they need to figure that out. They need to figure out what happened because they haven’t even really seen [Whitney’s] powers yet. They know that the Zero Matter has affected Wilkes, and they believe it’s affected her; they just don’t know how. That’s something they will find out in subsequent episodes. Moving forward into Episode 5, that’s where they are trying to figure out how to stop her, whatever it is she doing. Basically, they do learn very quickly in Episode 5 what her next step is, and they’re doing everything that they can to beat her to it.
Are they still preoccupied with the Council, or is their main focus Whitney now?
Butters: There is a shift towards Whitney, but the Council’s never far from everything.
What does it mean for Peggy to go up against a villain who has super powers?
Fazekas: That’s the fun thing we’ve had in this season, where a villain actually has super powers. We always try to root it in science, but she becomes a very formidable challenge to Peggy, and there are some very serious consequences that are, hopefully, not expected. [Whitney’s] more than just a bad guy with a gun. She seems to have powers that initially seemed like, “God, we can’t beat that.” Peggy’s so good at kicking people’s ass, but she cannot beat that in this mission. She has to, in addition to brute force, use science and brains to figure out how to beat [Whitney]. She becomes a real significant threat.
Will we get to see Whitney rely more on science? We saw her test her powers very scientifically, but will we see her in a lab conducting experiments?
Fazekas: Oh, for sure. Because Whitney is a scientist, and she sees how Zero Matter affects her very differently than Wilkes. Wilkes sees it as an affliction, like, “Oh, this is a terrible thing that happened to me.” She sees it as a fascinating sort of experiment where she is the subject. She’s trying to learn what the limits are, how far she can go with it, and how she can control it. She’s never far from the science from it.
In the last episode, we saw that Wilkes is starting to see rips in the fabric of reality. What is he going through right now?
Butters: He’s being drawn more into the Zero Matter world, and trying to fight and stay in our reality. He is being torn, and it’s both a mental and physical kind of torture, to a degree. The fact is, as much as they can see him, [they] often forget that they don’t fully understand the experience he’s going through. The longer that he is in this situation, the worse it’s becoming, and it starts to become a ticking clock where they really could lose him forever. The longer he is experiencing this situation, the worse it becomes. The danger is that they may lose him forever if they don’t figure out how to stop this, how to fix him. It also affects him in that it’s starting to make him desperate. When you’re making choices out of desperation, you’re not always going to make the right choices. You understand he’s terrified, but it’s become a real challenge, and it’s going to affect Peggy as well.
How is Peggy dealing with what’s happening to him?
Fazekas: She has a lot of guilt. She feels responsible for his situation. It ties back to Season 1, when her roommate got killed and she felt like, “I put her in danger and she died. I put Steve Rogers in danger and he died.” It seems like history is repeating itself, so she’s determined, like, “I am not going to let this happen again.” And even that can cloud her judgement. It’s an interesting journey for her.
Will we see Dottie (Bridget Regan) again?
Butters: We have not seen the last of Dottie. We will see her in a very surprising capacity when she’s back. The last we saw of her, Vernon Masters (Kurtwood Smith) and his FBI goons took her away. We don’t know where she is. She will raise her head again in a way that even Peggy doesn’t expect, even though it’s sort of Peggy’s idea.
How is Peggy doing with Vernon Masters? When she last saw him, he threatened her. Should she be worried?
Fazekas: [Peggy] never responds well to threats, and she doesn’t respond well to people trying to coerce her. She should be worried about him. [And] they should all be worried about him. He is even more devious than any of them expect.
We know that Whitney wants more power, but what does Masters want? What is his endgame?
Fazekas: Masters works for the War department and he is a very smart, very opportunistic guy. He’s also very political. He knows how to work the system. Even in the first episode of the season he tells Thompson (Chad Michael Murray), “Look. The S.S.R. is going to be a thing of the past. Everything is changing.” The S.S.R. is the Marvel version of the O.S.S., which was a wartime [intelligence agency] for the United States. We were modelling [that] after how, once the war was over, we didn’t need it anymore, so they sort of reorganized things and part of the O.S.S. became the C.I.A. Masters can see that coming and he sees a real opportunity: “I should really be in charge here.” He has a cause that he is desperately trying to protect, and the Council was a big help to him. Whitney is not only shaking up Peggy’s world, she’s shaking up Masters’s world. He did not plan on her, so he’s going to deal with her in a different way.
Will Thompson become aware of what Masters’s grand plan is, or will he still be in the dark?
Fazekas: Thompson always suspects something is going on with Vernon. Like, he knows Vernon’s not telling him the whole truth and more things will come out, and Thompson’s going to have a choice to make. Like, “Do I want to stay with this guy who was my mentor and who has really helped me get to where I am?” When we’re peeling back the layers of the S.S.R. and Vernon Masters and the Council and how they are manipulating things even within our own government, Thompson’s going to have a choice to make. “Do I want to help myself out, or do I want to do the right thing?” We’ve always said Thompson is not a bad guy, but he’s very ambitious. When you’re ambitious, you make the choices that help you out. It’ll become very difficult for Thompson to make choices. It really is going to become, “Do I want to advance my own career, or do I want to do the right thing?”
Sousa was threatened by Masters as well. Is he worried about that?
Fazekas: You know what, that’s exactly something that comes up for him. He definitely picks a side that puts him at odds with Masters. It’s something that plays out in the next couple of episodes.
Jarvis (James D’Arcy) has also been really involved in helping Peggy with her investigation. What’s coming up for him?
Fazekas: He has a very interesting journey through the course of the upcoming episodes. He’s so excited to have the thrilling adventure of working with Peggy again but this time, we obviously met his wife, Ana (Lotte Verbeek). It’s going to be different. He will have to balance everything in his life. We all enjoy seeing him with Peggy, but it’s definitely more challenging this time around. He will see the consequences of the efforts because for him, it’s an adventure. For him, it’s a change from the norm. [But] it’s not just adventure. It’s serious and serious things will happen. All we can really say is there will be a consequence that is going to really rattle him.
Will we see more of Bernard the flamingo? I’ve really been enjoying Jarvis’ whole storyline with the animals.
Fazekas: Sadly, we will not. We had had plans, but these episodes are so full and there was so much story left over that we couldn’t do Bernard again.
So not even the menacing koala then?
Fazekas: I don’t know that we will see any more animals. Once you’re going down the road on stories where it becomes life or death, it starts to get harder to stop for animal jokes.
Marvel’s Agent Carter airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on ABC.