Love is in the air in Los Angeles, a society of the rich and powerful meet in secret, and Jarvis chases a flamingo.
Carter is eager to continue her investigation into the mysterious lady of the lake, but a professional hit is taken on S.S.R. agents and the frozen corpse is stolen. With no leads, Carter and Sousa rush to Isodyne with a warrant to search the premises, but are met with a building under quarantine. To get more information she speaks with Dr. Wilkes, who knows more than he’s allowed to let on, but is willing to cooperate.
Isodyne’s quarantine is simply a cover while the lab is scrubbed clean and shut down. A secret society of the country’s rich and powerful convene to discuss the mistakes made by one of their own, Calvin Chadwick. This secret council believes Calvin’s dalliances have put them at risk, and feel he should focus on his Senatorial race, in which they have already donated a fortune to see that he succeeds. Chadwick is reluctant to let Isodyne go, especially his project on Zero Matter, but not as much as his wife, Whitney Frost is.
Carter and Wilkes meet over drinks and dancing to discuss Wilkes’ inside knowledge of the happenings at Isodyne. After some flirtation and digging deeper into each other’s’ pasts, Wilkes tells Carter about Zero Matter, a substance created during a nuclear bomb test that could be extradimensional. Carter decides Zero Matter is too dangerous and unknown to be left in the open, and makes a plan to steal it from Isodyne before it can be swept away.
Since the loss of Steve Rogers, Carter has made an effort to keep herself closed off romantically, constantly focusing on taking Captain America’s place of, as Jarvis has put it, holding the world on her shoulders. But at the end of season one, and now in season two, we have the chance to see a more open Carter. However, it’s this same openness to romance that brings out tragedy for her. It was common knowledge that the loss of Steve weighed heavily on her, but just as she is beginning to get back up from the loss, she loses another person for whom she cared, and the shock is tragic to see. She immediately holds in everything emotional, focusing on the facts, delivering her report to Chief Sousa, reluctant to even ask for a ride home. It was genuine shock and despair as she feels history has once again repeated itself.
Shifting from story to themes, Agent Carter has always fought for equality, specifically feminist equality, showing that Agent Peggy Carter is just as smart and tough as Captain America, or her S.S.R. colleagues. Now, season two seems to be spreading out its fight for equality to other areas. Her date with Jason Wilkes sheds light on the racial tensions of the 1950’s, when a black man who fought in the war and is a doctor can’t receive respect from a white baker, who immediately sees Wilkes and Carter together being a problem. Or how he was treated in his return from the war and difficulty finding a job that would put his doctorate and expertise to use. This episode even brings up the double standard in Hollywood with Whitney Frost’s motivations as an “older woman” in movies. As beautiful and talented as she is, she’s berated with comments about the lines around her eyes or her weight, and how she’ll have to skip lunch, when her romantic partner in the scene is an older gentleman who resembles a bassett hound. It’s interesting to bring up these issues now as tensions are high with issues of equality in Hollywood and the Oscars.
“A View in the Dark” also holds numerous connections to the greater M.C.U., specifically towards Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. The lapel pin worn by members of this secret society resemble the evolving logo of the pathfinder mission from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as the discovery of Zero Matter, which has a close resemblance with gravitonium, the substance found in season one of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Already two episodes in and Agent Carter looks to be setting the future groundwork for events of the past and present in the M.C.U.