Instead of recapping and reviewing each of the eight episodes of Agent Carter, I decided I’d wait for the season to finish and try to grasp it all. Agent Carter’s series premiere was such a strong episode, with Peggy deciding to betray her agency, the SSR, and covertly trying to clear Howard Stark’s name. What I enjoyed most about this show, was Peggy’s unique sense of self and being a complete badass. Repeatedly through the season, Agent Carter took on men that were much bigger than she, and remained victorious. The writers didn’t try to make it classy, or make her fighting style feminine; they wrote Peggy Carter to use their size against them and utilize heavy objects to her advantage.
With such a strong start to the show, it’s curious why the middle episodes of the season were at such a slow pace. Whether it was to further introduce the place of Peggy and the SSR after the war, it just didn’t fit, especially with only eight episodes. The episodes were still great, however, they lacked the usual Marvel charm and development that we usually see. In such a short season, it’s hard to expect a full delve into a character’s backstory, but I think that is part of the mistake of the viewers. Eight episodes is too short to expect much, except an overall good leading story, to which Agent Carter spectacularly delivered.
A continuation of The First Avenger, and introducing plot lines in the finale to connect to The Winter Soldier were some of the writers’ stronger choices. With Steve gone, we see Peggy trying to move on and honor her lost love, as she believes he is dead, while she is sidelined by the SSR because she is a woman. Howard, still problematic as ever, tangles Peggy and his employee, Jarvis, in his mess and they create quite a bond while trying to clear Howard’s name. The first few episodes focused on Peggy trying to find Howard’s inventions and clear his name, while her organization was getting closer and closer to revealing her as the culprit. Inevitably, she was outed as Howard’s “partner” in his accused treason, but with the greater threat of a mad scientist and Russian assassin about, the SSR reluctantly allowed Peggy to help, after the SSR’s Chief Dooley was murdered.
Where the season finale left off could lead to a potentially stronger season two for Agent Carter, with Peggy’s decision to rejoin or leave the SSR looming, and her moving into one of Howard’s guest houses with her friend, Angie Martinelli, (and where the internet fan base is concerned, potentially more, as they are the most “shippable” couple in the show.) It also showed the possibility of Peggy and Jarvis reuniting to complete “missions” again, something the show thrived so well from.
The first season wasn’t the strongest that it could have been, but the writers did a great job of introducing Peggy Carter, as more than Captain America’s love interest, but not forgetting that fact either. Peggy, in a world of female oppression, is the leading lady that we need for television. In the season finale, Peggy says “I know my value. Anyone else’s opinion doesn’t really matter.” She is the strong, female lead that viewers have been waiting to see, and it’s a shame that more people didn’t see that. The mistake that the writers and creators made was spending eight episodes introducing Peggy, but that’s also the network’s fault. With such a short season, it needs to be completely strong, and that’s not enough to introduce a complete set of characters and stories. The writers’, however, focused too much on making the audience acquainted with Peggy Carter, because most of the audience learned who she was in Captain America: The First Avenger.
But don’t let this fool you; season one was fantastic. Quite possibly one of my favorite series, and the potential for season two is so outstanding, so we shall see what happens. ABC has yet to renew the drama for season two, but if so, it will more than likely be another short season (hopefully they give it 2-4 more episodes, so the stories have more time to progress.) Fingers crossed!