While the penultimate episode of Agent Carter's stellar second season ended with an explosive bang, the finale closed with a muffled gunshot, leaving us with more questions than answers about Marvel's female-powered period piece.
Once mobster softie Joseph Manfredi (Ken Marino) saw that his lady love Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett) was on a terrifying, obsessive tear to open another rift after absorbing all of Dr. Wilks' zero matter, he joined forces with Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Chief Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) to help steal her plans and send all of the zero matter back from whence it came.
Of course, the Strategic Scientific Reserve had some help from an old friend, as Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) returned, offering to host the whole experiment on his Hollywood studio lot. The team's makeshift gamma cannon worked, blasting the zero matter from Whitney Frost's body into the rift, and thanks to some quick thinking by Mr. Jarvis (James D'Arcy), and Howard Stark's flying car, they were able to close the rift again without anyone being sucked in.
After that, the team tied up loose ends. Dr. Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin), back in his corporeal form and finally free of zero matter, is going to work for Howard Stark on a secret new project he dreamed up on his trip to Peru. Whitney Frost sits nearly catatonic in a psych ward, fantasizing about regaining the power she felt when consumed by zero matter. Ana Jarvis (Lotte Verbeek) is released from the hospital, happy to be home and safe with her husband, though sad to see Peggy packed and ready to return to New York.
But Peggy's farewell tour of the Los Angeles SSR office took an unexpected turn when Daniel admonished her for not obeying his orders to let him sacrifice his life to help the team close the rift.
"You talk a pretty big game when your life is on the line, Carter, but when it's somebody else's? Pretty big hypocrite," he teased. "What, nothing to say? No quick comeback?"
Lost for words, Peggy decided to let her actions speak for themselves, planting a kiss on Daniel that had two seasons worth of romantic tension buildup behind it. "Good point," he answered breathlessly.
However, not everyone in the SSR got such a happy ending. As Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) packed his bags to return to New York (without Peggy, who apparently begged off to stay in Los Angeles on more vacation time), a knock at the door leads him seemingly to his death. An unseen figure shoots Jack with a silenced pistol and steals back the redacted war files he had decided not to use as leverage against Peggy.
While the word is still out on whether or not Agent Carter will see a third season, the cliffhanger ending certainly has our hopes up. As we keep our fingers crossed, here are a few things we'd like to see from season three:
• Keep things on the West Coast. Season one was great, but let the Avengers have New York. Agent Carter got new life in its second season, thanks to the sunny Los Angeles locale (which, it seems, even Mr. Jarvis is warming to) and a new cast of supporting characters like Ana Jarvis, Joseph Manfredi, SSR office manager and all-around badass Rose Roberts (Lesley Boone), and even butt-of-the-joke SSR scientist Aloysius Samberly (Matt Braunger).
• Avenge Agent Thompson's death. He may have started out as a sexist snake, but by the end, Jack's respect for Peggy led him to do the right thing, and ultimately, to his demise. Easy money says the villainous Vernon Masters (Kurtwood Smith) had something to do with it, but either way, solving the mystery, and recovering the war file will be a vital next step in Peggy's ascendance to becoming the eventual founder of The Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D).
• More exploration of zero matter. The transdimensional element, also known as Darkforce, is referenced across the Marvel universe, we'll certainly see more of it when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns on March 8 and it will also appear in the upcoming Doctor Strange movie. However, we're still not certain of the implications of the extra-dimensional substance -- which, in the Marvel comic universe, has been a source of power for both heroes and villains -- in the world of Agent Carter.
• More Peggy and Daniel, affectionately known to shippers as "PeggySous." They kissed, now what? It would be great to see those two try and figure things out as they continue to kick ass at the SSR and solve the mystery of Thompson's murder. Could Daniel be the future husband Peggy referenced in Captain America: The Winter Soldier? We need to know!
• More Dottie Underwood. Always. The season one baddie returned for an all-too-short caper this season, but we need more Dottie. Maybe she can break Whitney Frost out of the psych ward for a twisted team-up!