Written by Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby
Directed by Louis D’Esposito
My adventures in watching the Marvel Universe in chronological order now lead me to the series Agent Carter. I’ve watched this before and enjoyed it quite a bit, so watching it again is something I’d enjoy.
New York City 1946. Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) is trying to salvage something of her life after losing Steve Rogers. She’s working for the Strategic Scientific Reserve and will not be marginalized because she is a woman. Unfortunately, this is a time when the men were returning home from overseas and the women were supposed to go back to the roles they had before the War. Peggy is having none of that.
Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) is currently under investigation for selling weapons to enemies of the United States. The Strategic Scientific Reserve has found Stark technology on the black market. Unfortunately, in the midst of testimony, Howard Stark disappeared.
Peggy foils what appears to be an attempted kidnapping, but is actually Howard trying to make contact with her. He wants Peggy to help him clear his name. He tells her to contact Jarvis (James D’Arcy) if she needs anything.
Along the way, she deals with mobsters and other criminals as she tries to make heads or tails of what’s going on. She more than holds her own when someone tries to kill her, but her roommate is a casualty. Peggy isn’t a single-minded hero. She’s dealing with the emotions surrounding what she’s doing as well. When she begins to research “Vita-Rays”, she pulls out the file on Steve Rogers and relives the last moment she was in contact with him.
I love Hayley Atwell. Her roommate is a disposable character but Peggy truly grieves when she is killed due to Peggy’s actions. She begins to see herself as getting those around her killed. Colleen was a friend and was more than just a “red shirt” to Peggy. Peggy Carter is written so well. She is brave and intelligent and knows how to take care of herself. She shows herself to be someone who will be brave when she has to, but also a good person in general. After having lost Steve and then Colleen, she experiences a sense that getting close to people isn’t always a good thing, and worries about other people around her being collateral damage because of what she’s involved in.
Dominic Cooper is great as the young Howard Stark. There are aspects of the way he’s written here that are all too familiar to those who’ve watched the Iron Man movies. Like father, like son?
By far, though, the character I enjoyed is Jarvis. He’s trying to be the straight man in all this but failing. The audience, and Peggy, kind of know he has experienced “cleaning up” things for Mr. Stark, but his ability to respond to Peggy’s needs while being the image of calm, domestic bliss to his wife is a lot of fun.
There are some good action sequences as Peggy tries to uncover what is going on. She does battle with a few assassins and escapes, as well as a good sequence with Jarvis when an allegedly mothballed refinery is exposed for making some of the weaponry Peggy is trying to track down.
The first episode of the series shows a lot of promise, picking up Peggy’s life after losing Steve and trying to build a good mystery for exactly what is going on with Howard Stark’s weapons. She’s every woman who was expected to step aside when the men came back from the war and didn’t want to. The friendship between her and Jarvis is building nicely as well.
Leviathan is coming…
Next episode of the series (link): Agent Carter: Bridge and Tunnel