Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season 2 premiere of Marvel’s Agent Carter. Read at your own risk!
Peggy Carter has gone Hollywood — but that hasn’t stopped the influx of bad guys in the second season of Marvel’s Agent Carter.
In the two-hour season premiere, Peggy (Hayley Atwell) basically stumbled upon a rather large conspiracy involving a mysterious council that controls the world and a volatile substance called Zero Matter — otherwise known as Darkforce, which has ties to the world of Doctor Strange. Who is this Council? What will happen to new villain Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett) after being exposed to the Darkforce? Did Peggy’s new love interest Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin) survive? EW turned to executive producers Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas to find out:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Is this council basically the Secret Empire?
TARA BUTTERS: Yes. [Laughs] They don’t call themselves Secret Empire, but that is exactly what it is. It’s the Arena Club.
MICHELE FAZEKAS: The Arena Club is like this social club. Also, the Secret Empire, there’s been different versions of them in comics, it’s run by the Council of Nine and sometimes the Council of 12. We call it the Council of Nine, so they call themselves the Council. They meet at the Arena Club, which is like this social club of white guys. They’re just the guys who sort of run the world. They have orchestrated assassinations. We insinuate that they orchestrated the 1929 Stock Market crash.
Of course, Hugh Jones, from the first season, played by Ray Wise, is a member of the Council of Nine. Whitney Frost’s husband is a member, played by Currie Graham. Whitney Frost is desperate to get more power for her husband, but he is between a rock and a hard place, because he has to do what the Council says, but he’s got his wife like, “No, you have to do it this way.” He’s just trying to navigate between the two and it’s not going well for him.
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Is the pin that Dottie (Bridget Regan) wanted to steal from the bank connected to the Council?
FAZEKAS: There is an A on the pin that comes back, and actually comes back in a couple of different ways. It has more meaning than you originally think it has.
It almost looked like that original Hydra symbol we recently saw on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Does it have any connection to that?
FAZEKAS: No, I would not say that.
Presumably, members of this group took Dottie away from the SSR. Does the Council infiltrate high levels of the government?
FAZEKAS: Certainly Vernon Masters, who’s played by Kurtwood Smith, is beholden to them.
Is this the last we’ve seen of Dottie?
BUTTERS: Let’s just say probably not. [Laughs]
Wilkes appeared to perish in the Zero matter explosion. Can you give any tease about his trajectory moving forward?
BUTTERS: It’s probably not a surprise that this won’t be the last we see of Wilkes. But the larger issue is, what has happened to him now that he’s been exposed to Zero Matter? His fate is a large part of what drives Peggy in the second season, as she feels responsible for putting him in harm’s way. His knowledge as a scientist can help Peggy and the team as they try to find a way to counteract Zero Matter, but being exposed to this substance exacts a toll on him both physically and mentally. In a way, the battle between Whitney Frost and Peggy becomes a battle for Wilkes’ soul.
Whitney Frost has been affected by the Zero Matter. What will we see for her as she discovers her powers?
FAZEKAS: While Wilkes’ exposure to Zero Matter is treated as an affliction, Whitney begins to see her transformation as a gift. For the first time, she feels that she can exert her own power, rather than operate from behind the scenes through her husband. This is our own version of a Madame Masque “origin story,” where we get to see why she does what she does — and even if her actions are villainous, you understand why she’s doing what she’s doing.
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How does Peggy feel about Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) having a love interest?
FAZEKAS: She’s a little bummed and she’s conflicted about it, and that’s something that plays throughout the season. She has an obvious chemistry with Wilkes when they meet, because he’s very charming and very handsome. But then she’s got this thing that’s not really a thing with Sousa. Once she find herself with interest in two guys, she’s like, “How the hell did I get into this? This was not my intention, I’m not this girl,” and it’s like well you are now.
Marvel’s Agent Carter airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.