She has to free her worst enemy to stop Whitney Frost’s plans, but Dottie Underwood’s not even the worst person this week.
Fans must be happy to see Dottie (Bridget Regan) again after she made a brief appearance in the season premiere. Since the FBI got her, and got the ridiculous idea of giving her therapy, she’s been behind bars. It’s surprising she hasn’t tried to escape, but it seems Russia has dumped her after last year’s plot to blow up Times Square failed. She keeps her confident and amused attitude, claiming America is a big cesspool. The Arena Club and its dark influence on the world may prove her point, and she claims she tried to steal a club key for someone else.
She’s even more amused Peggy needs her help. She wants Dottie to get into a fundraiser for Calvin Chadwick (Currie Graham) so she can get a bit of zero matter out of Whitney (Wynn Everett). It’s part of an effort by Dr. Wilkes (Reggie Austin) to create a containment chamber to keep him solid. He nearly faded out completely and headed towards another dimension. Peggy is determined, despite the serious rebar stabbing she got last week.
Dottie does get away, apparently from a prison disguised as a dress shop. However, she gets trapped by a net gun…that’s also a taser. Thanks, Peggy.
This doesn’t break Dottie’s attitude, though, even when she wakes to find herself tied to a chair. This is before the Russians teach spies how to escape from them (like Natasha Romanoff). She and a very reluctant Jarvis go to the party, and apparently Dottie wasn’t lying about being a dancer. She’s still under Peggy’s leash, with a diamond necklace that tracks her..and might kill her. Dottie does get a sample, then splits on Peggy. Of course she does.
Meanwhile, Whitney hopes to meet with the Arena Club council and convince them to help her research on zero matter, and the incredible power it promises. Instead, they decide to tie her up. That’s a bad idea, because she winds up killing four council members, and Chadwick, thanks to the zero matter inside her. The council, especially the head of Roxxon (Ray Wise), quickly agrees that Whitney’s the new boss. Dottie’s seeing this, but she’s still not worried.
That changes when Whitney captures Dottie and tries to get her to talk. Thanks to the zero matter, she does. It may be the first time she’s lost control, but she’s determined no one will ever know that. After all, if she can pull out her own teeth and hair and burn her skin to avoid talking under torture, she can’t lose that reputation.
Aside from Whitney and Dottie causing trouble, Vernon Masters’ (Kurtwood Smith) influence is getting wider. He’s still trying to keep Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) under this thumb using promises of more influence and federal funding. He tries the same thing on Souza, but Souza’s not fooled. It gets him clobbered by two thugs, allowing Vernon (who sent the thugs, of course) to take over the SSR office. He’s determined to destroy Peggy’s career and life in the name of America, but mostly for Whitney Frost. He also proves Dottie’s claim to Peggy that the SSR is rotten, and that her idealism will kill them all.
We also see a lot of Ana Jarvis (Lotte Verbeek), who does her best to support her husband and his adventurous life. Fans are happy to see her again, and maybe a bit worried.
The most surprising news is that Souza tells Peggy that the engagement with Violet is off, and that Peggy is the reason. In fact, they almost kiss, until a body lands on their communications trailer. Later, Wilkes is able to build his containment chamber that makes him solid, and Peggy kisses him. She actually has two suitors, which surprises Jarvis, as well as herself.
The double episode climaxes with Jarvis and Peggy arriving at Whitney’s house, where she’s “mourning” her dead husband. They had hoped to deal with Whitney’s security, led by Manfredi (Ken Marino) with a special weapon called the “Jitterbug”. It does work, eventually, but Peggy realizes Whitney is really after Wilkes and Ana. Sure enough, Whitney finds Wilkes, and finds he can absorb some of her zero matter. She tries to get him to join her cause, mainly because no one else will hire him because he’s Black. When that doesn’t work, she and Manfredi grab him. Ana sees them, and Whitney shoots her.
Dottie also gets away after shooting a cop, and its hard to say who she’ll side with. She wouldn’t side with Whitney and her power…could she? If she hopes to grab Wilkes and his zero matter and give them to Stalin, she could be in over her head here.
In the end, Peggy and Jarvis are both alone, and it looks bad for Ana. How will they stop Whitney from recreating the nuclear tests that created zero matter in the first place?
Two more episodes will be shown next week, including a dream sequence featuring someone from New York.