Monday, January 18, 2016

Agent Carter - Season 1 Recap

Season 1 of Marvels “Agent Carter” begins after Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, has been lost to sea fighting the Red Skull in his film “Captain America: The First Avenger”. Peggy Carter is part of the SSR which eventually morphs into what we know in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as S.H.I.E.L.D. She is one of the most experienced and capable individuals in the unit but she’s a woman and that poses a particular struggle she must overcome in a male dominant society. Peggy Carter finds her path and using only the abilities and connections she has, Peggy finds a way to save the day, and America. 

The overall plot of the show is this: The SSR has been notified that Stark Industries technology is being sold or stolen on the black market. This makes Howard Stark public enemy number 1. As Peggy Carter searches for the truth, her male counterparts search for Howard. The SSR encounters a strange Russian who has the power of hypnosis and the Black Widow program is proving to be a surprise difficulty that everyone must overcome in order to survive.

This show was enjoyable. Agent Carter was a delight on screen in the “Captain America” film and it only made sense to explore more screen time for her character. She has everything you want from a potential leading role. She’s charismatic, driven, motivated, intelligent and visually appealing. Peggy Carter has it all. 

The fist season looks at life post World War 2 from the eyes of the female. Having played such an important role in the activities leading up to this show it’s easy to empathize with her as she faces her male counterparts. Their blind chauvinism, as well as the majority of the men in this show, serve well to paint a picture of the struggle a woman must face in the 1940’s male dominant work force. That being said, the series is done so well that you don’t necessarily hate the men for their roles but understand their stance on things. 

The show fills you with a sense of “Yes you can!” as Agent Carter manipulates, fights and outsmarts everyone who stands in her way. At no time do you feel that Peggy is out only to prove a point but you do get a sense that she is out to be the best she knows she can be. In fact, one of the final lines of dialogue in the season she has, she says, “I know my worth” reinforcing what the viewing audience came to appreciate and enjoy. Agent Peggy Carter is a strong female lead that is out to do what is right to the best of her ability. 

The season ends by showing her finally accepting that Captain America is no more. She also shows how she is beginning to move on with one final act that I will not spoil here. As the tear runs down her face we see that she is saddened by this painful reality and understands it’s necessary to move forward. Incredibly powerful scene in that final episode of season 1, I do say. 

The characters in season 1 are all acted well. There are a few surprises regarding who does not survive and I will not spoil those loses here. I will say that learning about the Russian training program that spawned “Black Widow” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was enjoyable to see. It was quite revealing as well. I enjoyed seeing that aspect of the films mentioned in this show and I also enjoyed the back story it provided us.

Finally, Howard Stark, Jarvis and the Howling Commandos were all great additions to this show. This first season masterfully combined the characters we know to the greater cinematic world while still maintaining its own unique personality. There’s even a slight nod to “Union Jack” but if you aren’t listening you’ll miss it. It’s brief, but it’s there, and it’s one of those little details that make the show a delight.

I’m looking forward to season 2 which starts Tuesday, January 19th on ABC. I’ll be watching and I hope you will be as well. Agent Peggy Carter goes to Hollywood. This can only be good times on television. 

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