When Peggy Carter, the protagonist in Marvel’s Agent Carter, was introduced in Captain America: The First Avenger, I immediately took a strong liking to her. She was incredibly smart, supremely talented, and doing a great job making her way in a male-dominated world during World War II. She made an even stronger impression in the Marvel One-Shot Agent Carter.
When I heard they were making a television miniseries with Carter as the lead character, I was very excited. Agent Carter is set shortly after WWII ends, and Carter is working as an agent for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR), the precursor agency to SHIELD. Rather than taking advantage of her talents, however, the SSR has her doing menial office filing and coffee delivery. Howard Stark has had a number of his deadliest secret projects stolen, and some in the SSR think he is trying to sell them to various nefarious people. Howard secretly hires Carter to clear his name.
Hayley Atwell did an amazing job as Agent Carter, giving the role wit and character in spades. I also enjoyed the subtle character of Edwin Jarvis, Stark’s staid and polished butler and go-to man, played with appropriate reservation by James D’Arcy. We also learn where Tony Stark gets his attitude and personality traits: Howard Stark (played perfectly by Dominic Cooper) is every bit the playboy his son is, and he is just as scientifically brilliant.
The music was classy and period-appropriate. I am a big fan of music from the late 1940s, so I enjoyed hearing some of the classics from that era. I also enjoyed how they tied in some music from Captain America: The First Avenger and the feel from the one-shot short film. The cinematic feel of the series worked very well, and the visual effects were generally so subtle you wouldn’t know they were there unless you knew what to look for.
One of my favorite parts of Agent Carter was how competent Carter was. She could do pretty much anything the other agents could do, often better than they could do it, and she stuck by her principles no matter what. It was also nice to see the Howling Commandos make an appearance again, and I loved how they trusted Carter more than any of the other SSR agents.
And, even though I don’t know if it was meant to be a funny name, I loved the name of Roxxon Oil. I’m sure it was meant to be representative of companies like Exxon. I wonder if I was the only one who thought, “Rock on!” when I heard the name.
I really hope the series returns with a second season, even if it’s only another short season like this one. The short season helped the writers remain focused, and that’s a good thing. There was a little bit of meandering with some of the Agents of SHIELD episodes, so keeping Agent Carter tight to the plot was awesome. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it. It is a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Original Air Dates: January 6 – February 24, 2015 (USA)
TV Parental Guidelines Rating: TV-PG
Alcohol/Drugs: 2 (regular smoking, some social drinking, spy drugs)
Language: 1 (minor)
Sexuality: 1 (some kissing, double entendre, flirting)
Violence: 2 (fisticuffs, gunfights, explosions, young assassins, death)