Dee Discusses: Agent Carter 1×3

Posted: January 14, 2015 by Dee in Agent Carter, Dee, General Media, Marvel, Recaps, Television
Tags: , , , , , ,

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There are spoilers for the episode in this review.

Since the premiere was two episodes, this is technically 3 of 8. And that means we’re nearly halfway done with the season and I’m already terribly sad about it. Agent Carter may officially be my favorite new show of this year, and I’ve only seen it for two weeks. It was everything I wanted from it and more, and at the end of the episode I went ‘noooo it’s already over.’ Followed by ‘no new episode for two weeks? You’re killing me!’ Much like the Avengers movie, Agent Carter exceeded high expectations, and it’s wonderful to see the story and characters showing strong development so quickly and seamlessly. Previously on the show, we rejoined Peggy Carter 1in 1946 after the war is over. She recently lost the love of her life Steve Rogers, and she is struggling to gain respect in a misogynistic world, working for the SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve). Peggy was approached by Howard Stark who is being framed for treason since his weapons were stolen by enemies of the state, and he’s gone underground. He asked Peggy to try and clear his name, working as a double agent since the SSR was currently in charge of tracking him down. She was given his butler Edwin Jarvis as a support system. She also was convinced by waitress Angie to move into a women’s housing building which has strict rules. Other major characters include colleagues Jack Thompson, the arrogant lead agent, Roger Dooley, the gruff chief, and Daniel Sousa, a war vet with a kind heart and crippled leg. Peggy learned about a mysterious Leviathan, who may be behind Stark’s thievery, but her lead was cut short when his agents died. The SSR are not aware they are technically hunting Peggy, since they’re two steps behind her as she hunts Leviathan.

This episode takes place immediately after the last one, with the SSR trying to figure out who was behind the massive car explosion. They have dead bodies – one of whom was supposed to be dead two years ago – and a mysterious woman they can’t seem to find but who was involved. However, they find Stark’s bumper from the first lab that blew up in the premiere, when Jarvis and Peggy were fleeing the scene. They went down to the Stark household, not knowing Peggy was already there. Inspired by seeing a man try to break in to his girlfriend’s room at the housing complex, she decided figuring out how they broke into Stark’s house might give some clues. Instead they are side tracked by Jarvis being taken in for questioning. Jack interrogates him, and reveals that Jarvis was wanted for treason briefly, and it would be very bad for him and his wife if they were sent back to England. Without Howard’s protection, he was vulnerable. Peggy manages to sabotage the interrogation by intentionally saying in front of Jarvis that they found the stolen car report, making her look horribly incompetent in front of her colleagues, but Jarvis got away free.

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After getting ripped to shreds by the chief, Peggy maintains her composure, but she is deeply upset and knows this is taking several steps back in earning their respect. She goes back to Stark’s house to go into the tunnels with Jarvis, and confronts him at the same time over the treason charge. He forged his General’s signature in order to save his future wife Anna, who is Jewish and could have been taken by the Nazis if he didn’t. The charge was cleared thanks to Howard’s intervention on their behalf, which gives some explanation to Jarvis’ complete loyalty to Stark. I really love how devoted Jarvis is to his wife, although I’d like to see her one of these days, instead of her only being referred to or hear her voice. Peggy and Jarvis come across the stolen weaponry, and she has yet another brutal hand-to-hand fight with a man far stronger than her. Hell, far stronger than most other men. He was very intimidating. Jarvis stepped out to call the SSR and inform them of where the stash is, as a compromise since Peggy wanted to bring them in herself. He pointed out that it wasn’t going to win her colleagues’ respect, and she would only become a target. We got to see Jarvis’ amazingly awkward American accent. He came back in time to help her with her opponent, but really he just distracted the man long enough for Peggy to taze him.

Peggy as an action hero is always enjoyable to watch. Hayley Atwell apparently does as many of her own stunts as possible. People who follow her Twitter know that, because she made a lot of references while shooting to injuries during the fights. Leading the SSR to the weapons didn’t get the result she was truly hoping: one of her fellow agents takes her opponent in for questioning, and they are both assassinated before they can get there. Which was lucky for Peggy, since the man mentioned the British woman who beat him, and her colleague seemed to start putting it together. It was extremely realistic to show the grief in the whole office as they dealt with their agent dying, and Peggy’s enormous guilt considering her actions led directly to it. The show is consistent and brutal in the way it has people dying, such as Peggy’s roommate and now the agent, because this is a realistically dangerous world. And there are consequences to the life Peggy has chosen that she has to live with. She opens up just a little to Angie, but she can’t tell her the full story, so she’s still alone with her grief at the end of the day. Peggy is such a nuanced and complex character. I appreciate how they handle her, and with Jarvis now getting good backstory, I hope the other characters will get the same treatment eventually.

Also Sousa might have a crush on Peggy and I’ll be honest, I secretly (not so secretly now) hope that he is her future husband. She did mention her husband was saved by Captain America, and we don’t know where Sousa was injured. It could happen! It’s probably just my love for Enver Gjokaj talking. Obviously it would take time before any of that happened, seasons maybe, and I want everyone to become respectful colleagues first. I do think eventually the team will come to appreciate Peggy, but this week was very hard on her reputation. She’s willing to make the tough decisions. The next episode is in two weeks. The previews keep showing her having a falling out with Howard, so I’m interested to see what will happen there.

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