60 Seconds Ago...
Jack orders Samberly to fix the timer, and the scientist shuts down the jammer. When Peggy aims a gun at Jack, he doesn't believe that she'll shoot him. She says that used to be true but it isn't now, and orders him to put the timer down. Jack refuses... and a burst of energy sweep over the group. Jack tells them that the detonator is still armed, and they go inside. There is zero matter on the floor and the gamma cannon is intact. They find Jason buried in the rubble, and he realizes that he's all right. They figure that Jason expelled the zero matter from his body, and he gets to his feet. The zero matter moves across the floor toward where Whitney is buried in the rubble. She absorbs the zero matter and says that everything is where it belongs. Whitney advances on them, and Peggy says that they have to move because bullets won't stop Whitney.
The team heads to the car and discover that it's gone along with Samberly. Whitney comes after them and says that she knows where they're going. Jarvis and Howard ram her with Howard's car, and Samberly pulls up and apologizes for getting turned around. Everyone gets into the cars and they drive off as Whitney recovers.
The team returns to headquarters and Jack gets Vega to give up all of the agents on Vernon's payroll. In the lab, Jason describes what he felt in the other dimension, and it felt like nothing. Howard is disappointed that there was nothing there, and Jason explains that zero matter consumed everything there. It will spread to their world by "infecting" it through Whitney. Howard confirms that Jason is clean of zero matter, and Jason admits that with everything he's done, he's not sure that he can go back to his old life.
Whitney is in her room putting paper on the wall. Joseph comes in and suggests that they get something to eat, but Whitney says that she is going to open the door for the zero matter and this time it will stay open. When the mobster puts a hand on her shoulder, Whitney brushes him off and warns him not to touch her when she's working. She goes back to work writing down formula on the paper, and Joseph leaves. He meets with his mother Nonna and wonders what to do now that Whitney is rejecting her. Nonna tells him to make Whitney mind her manners, but Joseph says that something has hold of Whitney. He insists that he loves Whitney, and Nonna tells her son to make a deal with the devil.
At the Stark estate, Howard, Jason, and Peggy are having lunch outside. Jason warns that even if they use the gamma cannon to separate Whitney from the zero matter, the zero matter will still be on Earth. Howard suggests that Jason create a new containment unit and they take the zero matter to Stark Labs, and Peggy points out that Howard is only in it for himself. Joseph brings Jarvis out at gunpoint, and then Howard and Joseph share a laugh and hug. Jason explains that Joseph helped Whitney capture him, and Joseph admits that it was wrong. He holsters his gun and says that they're all worried about Whitney. They have lunch and Joseph asks them to save Whitney. He insists that the zero matter is changing her, but Jason insists that Whitney is consumed with a lust for power. Joseph explains that Whitney is writing down formulas and preparing to open the rift, and Jason figures that she figured out a way to do it without an atomic explosion. Peggy suggests that they have to end it once for all by opening the rift, knocking the zero matter out of Whitney, and send it back to its point of origin. Jason warns that isn't that easy, and Howard suggests that they steal Whitney's research and use it. Joseph warns that Whitney never leaves her room, and Peggy tells him that she'll have to give Whitney a reason to.
That night, Joseph goes to Whitney's room and finds her muttering over the formula. She tells him to leave her alone, and Joseph says that he needs her help getting some information out of one of his guys. Whitney realizes that he wants her to be his muscle, and she says that she'll help him. Joseph goes out and gestures Peggy and Daniel back.
Joseph brings one of his men, Hank, into the study and tells him that he'll make it up to him. Whitney comes in and Joseph accuses him of working for his rival. Hank denies it and Joseph punches him, and Whitney offers to use her powers on Hank.
Peggy and Daniel enter Whitney's room and take photos of the formulas. As they work, Daniel takes a photo of Peggy as a souvenir for her. He says that he's glad they got to work together, and Peggy doesn't know what to say.
Joseph keeps beating Hank, who swears that he isn't a traitor. Whitney says that she's going back to work, and Joseph asks her to scare Hank with the zero matter. Exasperated, Whitney reaches for Hank. He says that he's cooperating with the Feds because they threatened his family. Joseph is shocked to realize that Hank is actually a traitor. Whitney heads back to her room, and Joseph goes after her.
Peggy and Daniel hear Joseph calling to Whitney, and Daniel pauses to change one of the formulas. The agents get out the window just in time as Whitney comes in. She tells Joseph not to interrupt her again and goes back to work.
Back at the SSR, Jason, Samberly, and Howard examine the formula and arguing about what to call the machine Whitney was creating to open the rift. Howard warns that the design is incredibly complex, but they don't know how to stop more zero matter from coming through. Peggy flatters the three men and they come up with the idea of using x-rays to contain the zero matter. They need a large empty space, and Jarvis suggests that they use the Stark Acres studio. Jason says that Whitney will sense what they're doing and they go to work.
Later, Rose helps the scientists with their work and Howard flirts with her. As they work, Jason apologizes to Daniel. The agent asks Jason threatened Peggy instead of him, and Jason says that he realized that he knew Daniel would fold because he would have. Meanwhile, Peggy asks Jarvis how Ana is feeling. He says that his wife is fine and she can come home in a day or two, and Jarvis tells his friend that he and Ana had a good cry about her losing her ability to have children. When he says that Ana is stronger than him, Peggy assures him that he may be the strongest of them all.
Jack coms in and offers his help, and Peggy suggests that he get their dinner orders. After a moment, Jack agrees. He goes back to his office to place an order by phone, and then checks Vernon's case. Inside is an Atlas Club pin like the one that Dottie stole, and Jack discovers that it's a key.
The next morning at the studio, the team sets up their equipment. Jason draws a no-go zone 20' from the generator, and warns that when the rift closes, anything within the zone will be sucked in. Howard turns on the generator and a contained rift opens.
In her room, Whitney senses the rift opening.
As they wait for Whitney to arrive, Howard practices his drive. Samberly checks the x-ray generators, and Jack asks Peggy what her gut tells her about him. He figures that Peggy will turn him in for siding with Vernon, and Peggy says that Vernon took advantage of Jack's ambition. She tells him that he's a good man at heart, and Jack gives her the pin key. He says that they’ll have to figure out what it opens... together.
Samberly is adjusting the generator and Whitney comes up behind him. She walks past him to the rift, and Samberly screams. Peggy hears him but the scientist doesn't respond on the radio. Daniel spots Whitney heading for the rift and warns the others. Whitney approaches the rift and Howard fires the gamma cannon at her. The zero matter leaves her body and enters the rift, and Whitney screams in frustration. Jack handcuffs her and takes her to the car with Daniel, and Howard tells Peggy that the radio controller isn't responding. Howard suggests that they use the manual override to shut down the generator, but the crank is on the device. Whoever shuts it down will be in the danger zone when the rift closes. Peggy volunteers, but Howard says that it's his device and his design flaw. Jason, Jack, and Jarvis all volunteer as well...but Daniel ties a power cable around his chest and goes in.
The team watches as Daniel approaches the generator. The cable is just long enough, and Daniel struggles to turn the crank. Peggy suggests that they detonate the gamma cannon inside the rift, and Jack warns that Samberly took the explosives out. Jarvis runs off, and the matter in the zone starts rising into the rift. The cable comes unanchored and Peggy grabs it. The others grab her, and Daniel hangs in mid-air. He tells Peggy to let go but she refuses.
Jarvis and Samberly drive up and Jarvis says that they'll drive Howard's hover car into the rift with the gamma cannon inside. Howard, tells Samberly to get the core out of the gamma cannon, and Jarvis puts it in the car's front seat. He then lights the gas tank and starts the engine, and the car flies into the rift. The core explodes and the rift closes, and Daniel drops to the ground. Peggy and Daniel look at each other for a moment, and then Daniel passes out.
Later at the Stark estate, Peggy and Howard argue over what to do with the technology. Jason comes in and Howard says that he expect him in the office the next Monday. The scientist explains that he's startinga new project and wants Jason to head it. Peggy offers her congratulations, and Howard goes for a swim. Jason asks if Peggy is heading back to New York, and she says that dwelling on what might have been is no way to live. The scientist points out that they never had more than half a dance, and figures that it's better than nothing.
Jarvis brings Ana home as Peggy prepares to leave. She says that she thought Ana might not want to see her after what happened, and Ana hugs her. Jarvis offers to take Peggy wherever she's going, but is shocked when Peggy says that she's already called for a taxi. The agent says that Jarvis should stay in his wife, and he goes inside. Ana begs Peggy to let Jarvis take her or she'll never hear the end of it. When she calls to Jarvis, he runs right out.
In an insane asylum, Whitney imagines Cal returning and promising that together they'll reunite her with the zero matter. Joseph watches from the door window, holding roses, and the orderly warns that Whitney will just use them to claw her face open. The man lets Joseph in, and he calls to his beautiful girl.
Jarvis drops Peggy off at the SSR HQ, and she says that she has paperwork to finish. He points out that Los Angeles has agreed with Peggy, and wonders if she has to grow back to New York. The butler admits that he has grown fond of certain elements of the city, but Peggy says that her life is in New York. Jarvis suggests that she might need one compelling reason to stay.
In the SSR office, Daniel and Peggy finish closing the case. He points out that Peggy's actions at the rift were ill-advised and reckless, and she risked the world to save his life. Peggy is stricken speechless for a second, and then kisses Daniel.
Jack is at his hotel room packing to leave when there's a knock at the door. He answers the door... and a man shoots him in the chest with a silenced gun. He takes Vernon's files and leaves.
Written by Gadfly on Mar 2, 2016