We are a little behind on this, but since there’s going to be a season 2 and we have already mentioned Peggy in at least one post, we thought we’d do a little review on season 1, for those of you who haven’t watched it yet. For those who have, bear with us please, and we’d be delighted if you shared your thoughts on the show!
Warning, though: Spoilers ahead!
The show evolves around Agent Margaret “Peggy” Carter, played by the beautiful, talented and altogether awesome Hayley Atwell (check out her Twitter, she’s amazing), who we’ve met in “Captain America: The First Avenger” in 2011. Now that the war is over and Steve is gone, Agent Carter finds herself still working for the S.S.R. (Strategic Scientific Reserve), but it’s the 40ies, and she’s a woman, so she is constantly degraded by her fellow agents to a secretary and the likes. She handles it very well, though, being sassy and witty and not letting the men trample all over her just because she’s a woman. So here’s the very first reason to watch this amazing show: it’s a show with a woman as lead character in a world dominated by men, who handles herself very well without the help of any man. There’s not much of a love story, and although of course there’s sexism, it’s never coming from Peggy. She’s strong and capable and totally badass.
The plot is basically Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) showing up at Peggy’s because he’s in trouble: someone broke into his super-secret vault and stole his super-secret plans and weapons. That sucks in itself, but even worse, the stuff is resurfacing on the black market, which attracks the unwanted attention of the S.S.R., who, of course, assume that Howard is the one selling his weapons. Howard asks Peggy to help him prove his innonce, and she agrees, but he then makes things complicated for the both of them when he flees the country. So Peggy now finds herself basically working as a double agent, although technically, she’s not betraying anyone. She is working with Howard’s butler Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy) – let me just tell you that watching those two work together is delightful in itself. It could just be Peggy and Jarvis on screen for 40 minutes talking to each other, and the show would still be fantastic. They have great chemistry (the friend kind, though, not the romantic kind), and they are such opposites that they are just fun to watch. That’s another great thing about this show right there: Peggy is the strong badass one, independant and dangerous, and Jarvis is the one with the ordered routine, a wife at home for whom he cooks at the same time every night, and very uncomfortable around violence, even though he, too, saved in the military.
The S.S.R. goes after Stark hard after one of their agents is killed and they believe Stark to be the killer, which, again, puts Peggy into a peril position. She doesn’t give up on him, though, not even after he lied to her about something very important. The Howling Commando appears in one episode that I particularly like, because these are men of war who respect Peggy as one of their own, and who don’t give two f*cks about her being a woman. In that same episode (they’re in Russia, btw), they discover that something called “Leviathan” that Peggy in particular had been looking for in connection with Stark’s missing weapons, is a program that, it turns out, trains young girls to be Sleeper Agents in the U.S. They rescue a psychologist, Dr. Ivchenko (Ralph Brown), from Russia and bring him to the U.S., which, it turns out, was not the greatest idea they’ve ever had, but more about that later.
The S.S.R. discovers what Peggy has been doing and she’s arrested – by doing so, they ironically save her from Dottie Underwood (Bridget Regan), a woman living in the same house as Peggy, who is actually one of the girls from the Leviathan program. In custody, Peggy has another great speech: she tells them that had they not taken her for granted, or seen her as a person and not a woman to be used whenever needed, they would have seen what she was doing. But they didn’t stop for a second to think about her as a human being, because she’s a woman first, and then a person, and women are considered lesser people than men. That’s another thing I love about Peggy: she knows exactly where she stands. And she knows what the world looks like, not from the tainted eyes of a girl raised to believe whatever men tell her, but as a person who thinks for herself, and that is rather rare in the 50ies, and sadly, in the medias today as well.
Now, it turns out the so-called psychologist wasn’t a psychologist per se, but a hypnotist, and he hypnotizes the Captain, Roger Dooley (Shea Whigham), to make him steal a self-distructing vest, thus turning him into a suicide-bomber. Peggy, realizing the severity of the situation, tells the S.S.R. what she has been doing and why, and they reluctantly believe her and set her free. She doesn’t manage to save the Captain, though, who jumps out the window with the vest to at least avoid any other casualties besides himself.
Howard then comes out of hiding and the S.S.R., with Peggy’s, Jarvis’ and Howard’s help try to set a trap for Dottie and Dr. Ivchenko. They fail, however, and Howard is kidnapped by Dottie and hypnotized by Ivchenko. The now hypnotized Stark flies a plane loaded with a bioweapon toward Manhattan, believing he is on a rescue-missing to find Steve Rogers and bring him home. Peggy, Jarvis and the S.S.R. go after them, but arrive too late – the plane has already left for the city. A fight ensues, with Peggy and Dottie fighting against each other – awesome fight, by the way, because they both know how to handle themselves very well in a fight – and the men of Peggy’s team going after Ivchenko. It’s touch-and-go for a minute, but then the good guys win, and Peggy goes to try and snap Howard out of his hypnosis. It works, and the city is saved – by a woman!
The last episode ends with Peggy telling her teammates that she doesn’t know if she’ll return to the S.S.R. or not, and Dr. Ivchenko in a cell with a thing over his mouth to keep him from talking and hypnotizing more people. But, bad news: he’s in the same cell as Dr. Arnim Zola (Toby Jones), whom some of you might remember from “Captain America: The First Avenger” as the guy working with the Red Skull; or, even worse, from “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” as the guy who kept Hydra alive.
For a while, no one knew if Agent Carter was going to get a season 2, but it did, and thank god because it’s awesome. Now, from what we know, Peggy is not staying in New York but moving to L.A., which probably means new cast members, new team etc. We’ll see how they’re going to do that, because, even though I haven’t mentioned her yet, there’s one other very important character named Angie Martinelli (Lyndsy Fonseca) who everyone hopes to see again in season 2. She’s Peggy’s best friend and they, too, have great chemistry. So I sure hope they bring back Angie! Make her move to L.A. with Peggy. Angie wants to be an actress anyway, and what better place for that than Hollywood?
And let’s not forget Jarvis, because he’s freaking awesome as well. I want more Jarvis in season 2! But they haven’t revealed anything about the cast this far, which sucks big time, because we want to know! Guess we’ll have to be patient and wait.
Fact is, season 1 of Agent Carter is brilliant. The writing is great, the characters – especially the women, which was a nice change from what we normally get – have layers and are not just two dimensional, everyone’s acting is terrific, and the story is interesting and keeps up the pace for the entire 8 episodes. Sure, there are a couple of moments where it slows down a bit, but that’s just for a few minutes in an episode – you never lose interest in the story, nevermind the characters. Agent Carter surprised us and had us sitting on the edges of our seats at the end of the episodes, biting our nails waiting for the next one. It’s definitely worth the watch, and since it’s only 8 episodes, it’s definitely worth binge-watching (see our first 5 Fandom Friday post). It is an amazing show, and you fall in love with Peggy and Angie immediately, and not just because they’re beautiful women.
Agent Carter definitely gets and Outstanding from us.