When I first heard that Agent Carter was getting her own show, I was excited. I loved the personality and spunk of the character in Captain America, but it seemed like she was too fascinating to remain a side character. To me, it was necessary to add life to Peggy Carter through something, whether it be a comic book, movie, or a television series. A mini-series starring Miss Carter seemed like the perfect way to give us more of the woman who stole Steve Rogers’ heart.
I did my best on keeping myself in the dark on the plot of Marvel’s Agent Carter, so when I watched the pilot all I knew about the show was that it would feature Peggy Carter at some point after the events of Captain America. The two hour pilot and the following episode were ok, but they left me feeling like we would be getting a very generic comic book plot. However, after episode four the story started picking up speed and by the end of the series I felt very satisfied with how everything played out. In the end it was still a standard plot, but the execution was well done and I’m hoping for a second season or mini-series.
While I went into the series watching with optimism, I found myself skeptical as well. I was concerned that Peggy would end up being written like a generic strong female lead with a flat personality, and that we wouldn’t see any real human-like depth to her. I was proven wrong throughout the course of the series, and Haley Atwell’s brilliant acting made Agent Carter all the more interesting. We see Peggy struggling with a lot- coping with the death of the man she loved, finding respect inside and out of the workplace, working to clear a friend’s name and so on.
To me the most unexpected thing about Marvel’s Agent Carter was how often we saw Peggy struggling with Steve’s death. She’s the heroine after all, how can she be a strong woman if she’s emotionally distraught over a man? That seems to be a common issue with strong female leads- the “don’t need no man” complex. While I thought the romance plot between Peggy and Steve in Captain America felt forced and unnecessary, Agent Carter helped add depth to their relationship. Seeing Peggy cope with Steve’s death, and by the end of the series come to terms with it, made her character not only more-human, but more relatable.
I think a lot of women can relate to Peggy Carter. Not so much in Captain America, but in Marvel’s Agent Carter we see her day-to-day struggles of obtaining basic respect. While women are certainly more respected in 2015 than they were in 1946, every woman has dealt with a harsh lack of respect simply for being a woman at one time or another. Seeing Peggy deal with not being respected was interesting throughout the series. Sometimes, she would let it slide and prove them wrong later. Other times, she would put her foot down and prove herself right then and there. But no matter what, Peggy always showed she was deserving of respect and was never disrespectful in the process. In some ways, we can all learn how to better conduct ourselves by watching Peggy.
As for the story of the mini-series, I enjoyed it. It was a well balanced plot that was neither too busy nor too empty. There was just the right amount of action and suspense to keep the show moving steadily to its end. While I thought the first two episodes (the pilot being one episode) were rather dry, they provided a lot of necessary information that allowed the story to drive forward through action rather than dialogue as the series went on. As is common with mini-series and shows on their first season, we are left with the potential for a second season should there be enough fan interest, studio budget, etc.
Overall, I loved Agent Carter, but I would be lying if I said nothing bothered me. I found my suspension of disbelief shattered several times throughout the series which marred my viewing experience. The biggest issue I had was the amount of times a [different] character had their gun pointed at Dottie, with her being outside of arm’s reach, but refusing to shoot. This happened at least four times throughout the series, and each time it bothered me. I can assume that with all the characters with guns being male, they would hesitate to shoot a woman. But at least two of the men had already suffered from her combat skills and they knew she was capable of killing, so why not take the shot? The other big plot point that bothered me was the end when Fennhoff and Zola were, for some reason, imprisoned in the same room. You would think that with a man as dangerous as Fennhoff, he would be kept in solitary confinement. But, as television goes, in order to make room for a second season some compromises must be made.
Do I hope Marvel’s Agent Carter gets a second season? Yes! I would love to see another standalone mini-series starring Peggy. Nineteen forties America focusing on a woman living in a man’s world is a great starting point for a show, and with what we’ve seen from this season I can only hope for more. Peggy Carter isn’t a generic “strong female”; she’s got loving female friends and a support network featuring both men and women. She’s not afraid to admit her pain at having lost a man she loves. She utilizes all of her assets- intelligence, combat training, education, and appearance- to get the job done. Agent Carter was an interesting character in Captain America, but I wasn’t attached to her by any means. After Marvel’s Agent Carter, I will be watching Captain America with a different view of her, and a newfound attachment. I look forward to seeing more from Peggy Carter- both in upcoming movies and hopefully a second season Marvel’s Agent Carter.
What did you think of Marvel’s Agent Carter, and the character as a whole? Let us know in the comments!