I’m not sure if the Hedy Lamarr estate (check out last week’s Agent Carter review) likes how her namesake Whitney Frost has gone the way of a double agent, but “Smoke & Mirrors” did its best to fill viewers into Frost’s past and explain why she’d want to gain power. Agent Carter did a great job of using flashbacks. The pacing felt right as this week’s episode went back and forth from Peggy to Whitney and back again in order to form a shared history between these female characters, even though they just met. The woman in a man’s world theme continues to dominate the storyline but the moments where this is most evident in this episode are quieter moments that occurred in the past and that works. Instead of a public display, “Smoke & Mirrors” opted for parents scolding their children and that better illustrated the cause of such a world; this mindset and behavior is learned.
Unfortunately, the rest of the show delved into interpersonal relationships. Sure, there were plenty of laughs, I chuckled at Jarvis’s attempt to be an action hero, but Agent Carter pushed the would-be love triangle of Peggy, Sousa, and Dr. Wilkes. Sousa is engaged, and Peggy would never steal him away from his fiancée, but she has more chemistry with Sousa than she does Dr. Wilkes. Most of Peggy and Wilkes’s forced relationship comes from the fact that Wilkes has no physical presence. Literally. He’s fading from existence and this is another relationship that’s doomed to fail, and Peggy didn’t have enough time to develop a strong rapport before he turned ghost.
Agent Carter continues to hit more than miss. The backstories did a great job of setting up Frost and providing some background for Peggy. The show also takes advantage of the time in which it’s set. And the move from New York last season to Hollywood this season doesn’t hurt either.