Agent Carter Series Premiere Review
After the so-so first season of Agent of Shield anyone would think that ABC and Marvel got balls for trying to launch another starring Peggy Carter. Peggy is played by Hayley Atwell as the title character. SHIELD may have improved in quality but a show centered on one character, remembered mostly from the first Captain America movie sounds too much like trying to come up with filler material. Yet, Agent Carter was hotly anticipated from the moment it was announced (with some reservations). Yesterday the first two episodes aired and the first thing I noticed was that the show couldn’t be more different from Agents of SHIELD. If ABC plays it cards right they will have two shows that fans will care deeply about.
It’s 1946 and peace has dealt Peggy a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy finds herself stuck doing administrative work when she would rather be back out in the field; putting her vast skills into play and taking down the bad guys. But she is also trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life, Steve Rogers – aka Captain America.
When old acquaintance Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper, Captain America: The First Avenger) finds himself being framed for unleashing his deadliest weapons to anyone willing to pony up the cash, he contacts Peggy – the only person he can trust – to track down those responsible, dispose of the weapons and clear his name. He empowers his butler, Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World), to be at her beck and call when needed to help assist her as she investigates and tracks down those responsible for releasing these weapons of mass destruction. But Jarvis, who is a creature of habit and sticks to a rigid daily routine, is going to have to make some major life changes if he’s going to be able to keep up with Peggy.
If caught going on these secret missions for Stark, Peggy could be targeted as a traitor and spend the rest of her days in prison – or worse. And as she delves deeper into her investigation, she may find that those she works for are not who they seem, and she might even begin to question whether Stark is as innocent as he claims.
Agent Carter is distinctly different from Agents of SHIELD. It relies less on an ensemble cast (though that could change) and relies more on the personal interaction than intelligence gathering. As the series is intended to flesh out the back story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe circa late 40’s I was wondering how the show intends to make itself relevant. After the seeing the first episodes I was not yet convinced, but there is potential.
Agent Carter’s cast is of course larger than just Hayley Atwell. James D’Arcy shines as Howard Stark’s butler Edwin Jarvis, a man who is devoted to his wife and who seems very homely. Lyndsy Fonseca plays Angie Martinelli, a waitress who admires Carter but otherwise seems to willing to accept social situation women where in for Carter to like her. Of course that will come as Lyndsy Fonseca has been confirmed as a series regular.
At the SSR, the fore-runner of SHIELD, Carter deals with her overtly sexist partner with the exception of Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj). Carter can’t rely on him for too much sympathy as he has problems of his own. The sexism that Carter deals with will no doubt remain a continuing theme throughout the show one way or another. I would be intrigued to know how fans of Marvel will deal with it. It is after all inescapable that some of the comics have become dated.
The first season of Agent Carter is scheduled to last 10 episodes. After the first two were aired we have to wait until next week (13th) for the episode ‘Time and Tide”. Agents of SHIELD will be back March 3rd. I am not certain of review of Agent Carter will be a regular thing, but so far Hayley Atwell has managed to intrigue me. This was Agent Carter Series Premiere Review. I hope you enjoyed it.
Score; 7.8 / 10.