Smoke & Mirrors Recap

The Past

A young Peggy is playing as a knight, saving the damsel from the dragon. Her brother Michael snatches her sword away and holds it above her head until Peggy knocks him down. Their mother comes over and break up their fighting, and tells Peggy that one day she'll have to behave like a lady.


At the Stark estate, Peggy is eating as Jason works as best he can despite the fact that he's insubstantial. He explains that he doesn't have any sense of his body, but says that it's worth it if he's with her. They move closer but then pull apart, and Jason explains that they're looking at the plans for a fast-neutron reactor. Three years before that, Agnes Cully--Whitney Frost--patented a reactor a thousand times more powerful. Jason warns that Whitney defies categorization.

A maid, Mabel, brings Whitney a package. Mabel sets it down and says that something is moving in there, and Whitney dismisses her. She then opens the box to reveal a cat of white rats.

Jarvis joins Peggy in their car outside of Calvin's campaign headquarters and says that Calvin is inside but there's no sign of Whitney. Peggy is reading a movie magazine that notes that Whitney has disappeared, and figures that exposing her is the key to exposing everything. Calvin comes out and gets in his car, and Peggy notices that the driver--Rufus--has the same wound that Peggy inflicted on the assassin that came for her. Jarvis drives off after Calvin's car.

In the suburbs, Peggy calls grace and then tells Jarvis that the car is registered to Rufus Hunt, who was discharged during the war for black market profiteering. He is currently head of security at the Arena Club, and Peggy suggests that they subdue Rufus. Jarvis gets an idea, pulls into an alleyway, and takes a tranquilizer rifle out of the trunk.

Brockton, OK - 1920

A young Whitney is fixing a radio. Her mother Wilma comes in and complains about the mess, and warns that "uncle," Bud Schultz, is coming by any minute. She's surprised that Whitney has fixed the radio, and tells her daughter to clean up and be sweet to Bud. As she goes, Wilma says that Bud takes care of them. Bud comes in and kisses Wilma, and then asks Whitney what she's doing. He takes away her pencil and tells her to smile, and Whitney says that she's thinking. Once Bud goes into the next room, Wilma angrily tells Whitney to be sweet. The girl says that she doesn't like Bud, and Wilma tells her to stay out of her hair for a couple of hours before going to the bedroom. Whitney turns up the radio so she won't hear Bud and Wilma together.


Whitney turns off her radio and checks the black spot on her forehead. She then picks up on one of the rats, concentrates, and nothing happens. Calvin knocks at the door, and Whitney puts the rat back in the cage. Her husband comes in and Whitney says that she's running her lines. Calvin says that her director Kenneth is still missing, and worries that it'd be terrible for his campaign if Kenneth turned up murdered . He asks Whitney to wear a dress for that night's photo session, and assures her that she'll be the most beautiful First Lady. Once he leaves, Whitney locks the door and takes out a rat. She concentrates and this time the dark matter consumes it and reenters her hands. Looking in the mirror, Whitney realizes that the black spot has grown. She takes out some makeup and starts to cover it over.

Jarvis pounds on Rufus' door, claiming to be the police. Rufus hastily dresses and goes out the rear... and a waiting Peggy shoots him with a tranquilizer dart. He doesn't drop and they fight. Rufus tries to strangle Peggy, and she manages to grab another dart and jab it into his arm. The assassin goes down and Jarvis locks him in the trunk. Rufus wakes up and jabs Jarvis with a dart before Peggy knocks the killer out... and Jarvis goes down.

Peggy drives back to Stark's manor and finds Daniel there. He says that Jack called and approved her vacation days, and Peggy tries to get rid of him. Daniel says that he has more information on Whitney, and Peggy takes the files and says that she'll read it. He figures that she's trying to brush him off, and notices a sleeping Jarvis in the car. Peggy claims that he's drunk, and Daniel hears Rufus pounding in the trunk. She finally admits that she has a man there. They go inside and Daniel complains that Peggy committed a felony. He's also unhappy that Peggy didn't bring him in, and Peggy says that she had to give him plausible deniability. Daniel insists on helping her, and Peggy says that she's going to kill Rufus.

Later, Daniel questions Rufus while Peggy looks on. Rufus refuses to say anything, and describes how the Japanese tortured him but got nothing. Peggy prepares a syringe and tells Rufus that they're not going to torture him because they don't have time.

Bletchley Park: England – 1940

At the code department, Mr. Edwards talks to Peggy privately in his office. He offers her congratulations on her wedding proposal, and gives her an envelope from the Special Operations Executive. Churchill has created it himself, and needs field agents. They need women who won't draw attention and are recruiting Peggy, and Edwards says that it's a privilege. Peggy says that she's not meant to be in the field, and Edwards says that it's her chance to strike a major blow for king or country. After a moment, Peggy says that she'll discuss it with her fiancé but doesn't think she's cut out for that kind of work.


Peggy jams the syringe into Rufus' neck and explains that she injected him with a virulent strain of malaria. She'll warns that it will be fatal in 20 minutes, and will return in 10 minutes to give him the antidote if he talks. Peggy and Daniel leaves, and Peggy explains that Stark's formula generates cold. As Rufus yells for them to come back, Peggy makes tea.

Brockton, OK - 1928

A teenaged Whitney is working on her generator plans in the kitchen. Wilma has found out that Bud is cheating on her, and tells her to get out by the next day. Once he drives away, Wilma goes back inside and complains that Whitney could have been nicer to Bud. Whitney says that she doesn't like him, and Wilma tells her that the science program won't take a girl. The girl says that she'll get way from Wilma, and Wilma drags her to the mirror and says that her face is the only thing that will get her anywhere in the world.


Calvin calls Whitney and complains that she's late for the photo shoot. She claims that she's not feeling well and hangs up on her husband... and the black spot has spread further on her forehead.

Daniel tries to get Rufus to give up a name, and he finally gives them the names of Thomas Gloucester and Hugh Jones. He figures that his superiors will kill him and they destroy what they can't buy. Peggy prepares to smash the antidote, and Rufus says that the Council of Nine records their meetings, and the tapes are at a storage room in the club.

Jason has Jarvis write out his equations, but realizes that he's at a dead end. In his incohesive state, he sees dark matter forming on the chalkboard. Daniel and Peggy come in and explain that they're going to get a judge to give them a warrant for the Arena Club. The agents go to the SSR and brief a team on how they're going in. A team of FBI agents come in with Vernon, who tells them that the War Department is auditing the SSR. Daniel has no choice but to agree.

Once Vernon and Peggy are alone, Vernon says that it's safer to be seen as a team player. Peggy insists that the Council of Nine is involved with assassination and market manipulation. Vernon demands to see her source personally, and Peggy refuses to give up Rufus' independence. He points out that she's a non-American spy, and says that she is going to have to work hard to stay out of the coming trouble. Peggy says that she'll manage, and Vernon warns that her friends may not be so lucky.

Hampstead, England – 1940

Peggy meets with her fiancé Fred Wells and her brother Michael at her engagement party. She mentions that they asked her to be a spy, and Fred assures Michael that they turned down the offer. Michael is surprised that Peggy did so. Once Fred goes to get a drink, Peggy asks Michael for his opinion on Fred. He wonders why she turned down the SOE job, and admits that he recommended her. Michael figures that she wants a life of adventure, but everyone has drawn her dreams out of her. He says that Peggy still has time to change her mind, and insists that she is meant to fight. Angry, Peggy walks away.


Daniel catches up to Peggy and admits that the judge is in the Council's pocket. He warns that the Arena Club has removed anyincriminating evidence, and Peggy tells Daniel to stay there and protect himself. He got the same speech from Vernon that the man gave Peggy, and assures her that he's in it with her. Daniel has Jane's tissue sample from the autopsy, and they go to the estate to talk to Rufus. Daniel cuts him free and says that the Council is onto them, so they have to eliminate him. Rufus tells him to finish him off. Daniel pulls the trigger and the revolver jams, and Rufus punches him and runs. Once he's gone, Peggy emerges from hiding.

Rufus goes to Whitney's home and demands to see Calvin. Peggy and Daniel listen in on the bug that they planted on Rufus, and Rufus pours himself a drink, refusing to tell Whitney anything.

Hampstead, England – 1940

Mrs. Carter prepares Peggy for her wedding, and the SOE letter is on the dresser. A man pulls up and delivers a message that Michael has died in the war. Later, Peggy takes off the wedding ring, picks up the SOE letter, and leaves.


Peggy notices Jason staring at the chalkboard. He says that it feels like something is pulling him away, and it would be easy to let go. Peggy says that Michael told her that she was meant to fight, and she believes Jason is the same. She tells him to hold on and reaches out to him... and Daniel notices.

Calvin returns home and Rufus tells him what happened. He claims that he didn't tell Peggy anything, but Whitney doesn't believe him. Rufus admits that he gave up the names of two of the Council, but warns that Calvin will protect him or he'll tell the Council what Calvin is up to. Whitney closes the drapes and tells Calvin that she has something to show him. She chokes Rufus and the dark matter consumes him. The bug goes dead and Peggy and the others have no idea what happened.

Hollywood, California - 1934

Whitney arrives in town and goes to the theater. The ticket lady recognizes her and wonders why she's back, and Whitney says that she comes to escape from her trouble. Whitney doesn't have enough money. for a ticket, and the ticket lady gives her a free ticket. As she goes in, an agent named Ned Silver sees Whitney and assures her that he could get her work as a model or an actress. Whitney says that it sounds interesting.


Whitney stares at her hands and the blackness spreads further across her head. She tells Calvin that was her fixing another of his problems, and her husband wonders what she is. Whitney says that she's whatever she wants and smiles.

Written by Gadfly on Feb 3, 2016