Peggy Carter is fast becoming one of my all-time favorite Marvel heroes. And Agent Carter Season Two is the reason why.
Agent Carter follows the exploits and adventures of Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), she of the first Captain America movie, aka Cap’s first true love. But Peggy was then and is now not just someone’s “best girl”. She’s smart, savvy, brave, bold, adventuresome, and a hero in her own right.
She’s also dealing with what women had to deal with in the ‘40’s (and are still, sadly, dealing with today) – sexism and misogyny. But while it affects her, Peggy never lets this stop her.
Season Two transplanted the entire show to Hollywood. That seemed like a ploy, but if it was, it was a ploy that worked. The show also allowed for time to have passed between the end of Season One – where Peggy and team had saved the day and it looked like she and Agent Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) might be starting a romance while they both watch, and allow, Agent Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) to take the credit for the case they solved.
Season Two begins with Thompson running the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR), and Sousa in Hollywood as the Location Bureau Chief for Los Angeles. An in-joke that never gets old is that the front for the SSR’s Hollywood HQ is a talent agency. The door is guarded by Rose (new cast member Lesley Boone) who brings spunky comic relief to the proceedings.
It turns out that Sousa wasn’t just getting a promotion by coming to LA – he and Peggy did try romance and, for reasons we don’t know, it didn’t work out. They both struggle with the fact that Thompson sent Peggy out when Sousa requested help. Whether Thompson did this to shove them back together, to be a jerk, or because Peggy’s his best agent and he knows it, still remains to be seen.
But Peggy’s closest relationship isn’t with Sousa, Thompson, Rose, her roommate in New York, Angie (Lyndsy Fonseca, making only one appearance this season, but in a fantastic way), or even Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) who’s essentially bankrolling her exciting lifestyle due to her clearing his name, saving his life, and saving the world in Season One. No, the relationship that truly matters in Agent Carter is between Peggy and Stark’s butler, Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy).
Jarvis is indeed the living precursor to the AI we’ll meet decades later in Iron Man. But here he’s a real person, with real fears, real goals, and a really lovely, spunky wife, Ana (Lotte Verbeek). Jarvis is the “normal person” in this series, the one who wants to help because it’s an adventure but also because it’s the right thing to do and, whether she wants to admit it or not, Peggy needs his help, because every good superhero needs a stalwart sidekick.
The new cast members give Agent Carter a fresh outlook, as does the sunny setting of Los Angeles. However, Peggy’s still dealing with out of this world problems, while also juggling two very different suitors, and dealing with another conspiracy.
The conspiracy, like the one in Season One, deals with world altering dangers, evil businessmen, even more evil politicians, a handsome and charming scientist (Reggie Austin), more evil still celebrities, and our favorite Russian Lunatic With A Cause, Dottie Underwood (Bridget Regan). It’s a twisty plot but, as with Season One, the show ensures that you won’t get lost.
You don’t need to have watched Season One to enjoy Season Two – so far, each season has been self-contained enough that you could enjoy one without the other, though I recommend both.
If you like smart characters, zippy writing, lovely period settings, humor, action, creepy bad guys, terrifying bad guys, and a competent, spunky heroine, don’t miss Agent Carter.
Rating: 5 Stars