The L.A. branch receives a surprise visit from Chief Thompson, Whitney Frost sees Agent Carter as a threat, and Howard Stark causes a code pink.
All of Los Angeles is talking about the explosion at Isodyne labs. While Carter regrets the loss of Dr. Wilkes, the newspapers are calling Wilkes a communist spy, helped to that conclusion with evidence planted by in his home, presumably by Isodyne. Out of leads, Carter looks for help from Howard Stark at his new movie studio, showing him the footage of the discovery of Zero Matter. Unsure of the discovery, Stark does give some insight into the lapel pin connected to Isodyne and Dotty Underwood. It’s the badge of membership to an exclusive Gentleman’s Club known as the Arena Club, a place for L.A.’s rich and powerful to convene, though to Stark’s disappointment, it’s not the usual type of “gentleman’s club,” as women aren’t allowed. Carter has plans to change that.
Using Howard’s flair, they fill the halls of the Arena Club with giggling girls, serving as a distraction for Carter to sneak in and gather information. What she finds is the secret chambers of the infamous “council” that Calvin Chadwick serves on, as well as two copies of tomorrow’s newspaper, implicating Chadwick’s senatorial rival as either stepping down gracefully from his campaign, or being brought down by a sex scandal. Chief Thompson, recently arriving to L.A. from New York, is less than thrilled at the idea of Carter disrupting the prestigious club and orders her to stand down from her investigation and accept the lie that Wilkes was a communist spy. Carter isn’t about to be taken off the case just yet, but the effects of Zero Matter forming around her cause her pause. Going back to Stark, they discover that a ghostly Wilkes has been shadowing her since the explosion, trying to get her attention.
As Wilkes was closest to the Zero Matter explosion, he was transferred to a spectrum of existence just beyond normal sight, much like the light from a projector. Stark gets to work to figure out how to make Wilkes corporeal again, while he informs Carter of the events before the explosion, and Whitney Frost’s involvement. Sousa begins to dig up anything he can find on America’s sweetheart while Carter questions Frost directly. Proving her talent as an actress, Frost dodges any questions of her involvement, and convinces her husband, Chadwick, that something must be done about her. It’s clear who has the power and the intellect in Calvin Chadwick’s home.
While “Better Angels” moves the plot along, focusing Carter’s investigation on the Arena Club and Whitney Frost, there’s much more foreshadowing than events, such as the effects of the Zero Matter explosion on Wilkes and Frost are shown clearly, but not yet fully explained.
As usual, Howard Stark steals the spotlight of any scene he is in, running around as the eccentric movie director, womanizer, and scientist. According to Wilkes, he’s brilliant, but clearly a danger to himself and others. But, he’s a good man, aside from the womanizing, anyway.
The episode also dips into foreshadowing events in the greater M.C.U., such as Jarvis spending all of eternity as a disembodied voice. It made me wonder, with all the love in the air around Carter, will Howard Stark ever meet Tony’s mother and have scenes of Jarvis babysitting a toddler Iron Man? And while Carter flirts with Wilkes, it’s already known that she ends up marrying one of the surviving Howling Commandos, so what will ultimately happen between the S.S.R. agent and the scientist.
Speaking of science, one issue I had with the last season was the lack of science in the Strategic Scientific Reserve. It was only one line of dialogue, but during a scene everyone is surprised when Sousa knows more about science than the others, which he proudly declares it’s the Strategic SCIENTIFIC Reserve. It was only a line of dialogue, but i was happy to have it brought up, and we’l hopefully see more science within their ranks. It’s also a little meta as Howard Stark directs a film based off of a comic book, which Carter thinks is just a preposterous idea.