Jan 182015

Well, the first three episodes of Agent Carter have come and gone, and viewers have gotten a peek into the very beginnings of S.H.I.E.L.D. as Peggy Carter works for the Strategic Scientific Reserve, an agency that was later absorbed into S.H.I.E.L.D. as a separate division. The premise of the eight episode run is that Peggy Carter is still grieving over the death of Captain America but is forging ahead with her life. Howard Stark, the father of Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) has had some secrets stolen from him that have found their way into the hands of hostile countries. The US government now considers him a traitor, and he asks Carter to help clear his name and find the culprits. To that end, he offers the services of his butler, Edwin Jarvis. So how has the show’s quality been so far? To be honest, it’s been living up to the hype.

Agent Carter
Hayley Atwell is superb as Peggy Carter, playing her with both toughness and compassion. She grieves over the deaths of those she knows in the first few episodes but continues to fight for what’s right. The show made a good decision to focus on Carter as a complex individual and not just be an action show. There have been some doses of action, along with the promise of some more in the latter episodes, but Atwell grounds the entire series with her portrayal. She chafes at being relegated to doing the job of a glorified secretary when she’s obviously capable of so much more, which has been proven in the past during WWII. It’s an interesting plot device to use the sexism of the 1940s as a backdrop, but the show doesn’t go into any moralizing or grand speeches. It accepts that such was the practice of the day, and that Agent Carter has to work harder to prove herself.

The biggest treat of Agent Carter is James D’Arcy as Edwin Jarvis. He serves as a somewhat comic foil to Carter but is capable in his own right. All the really funny lines go to him as he’s a very domesticated type of man, cooking soufflés for his wife and getting to bed early every night. The last episode showed his inner strength as he revealed that he had been dishonorably discharged from the British army for forging a general’s signature on some documents that allowed the woman he loved, a Jew, to escape to the West.

The story has been pretty tight so far as Peggy Carter is trying to find who, or what, Leviathan is as they are the group (or person) who masterminded the theft of Howard Stark’s inventions. It’s pulpy good fun as the operatives of Leviathan have all had their voice boxes removed. The other agents in S.S.R. are well portrayed, especially the chauvinistic Bornheimer, who is later killed by a hitman.

Overall, Agent Carter does a tremendous job of depicting the immediate post-war era. I’ve read some people nitpicking minor details, which I find extremely tedious and somewhat sad. Hayley Atwell serves as a superb foundation for the show as she quietly expresses her loneliness with her eyes and demeanor as she can’t reveal to people who she actually works for nor what she actually does. I’m really looking forward to Dum Dum Dugan of the Howling Commandos entering the show as the pace of the show will probably pick up with a ton of good old-fashioned, two-fisted action.

  2 Responses to “Agent Carter Living Up to the Hype”

  1. Me prettier than she! Me be Captain America she friend! With Engrish accent and red fedora on me lumpy boil back! Me shuffle back and forth beat bad guys with two-fisted lump attack! Me too sexy for you! Me big star now!

    No kill I!

  2. What’s better than watching a beautiful damsel beat the tar out of some villainous rouges?! Watching a guy hobble around on metal cane of course! He’s my favorite jester on the show! Except for the effeminate limey butler who has less balls than Ms. Carter! And she’s a woman! Hee hee! Ho ho! Ha ha!

    ‘The jester is an annoying fellow…’

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