Over the course of the first two episodes, we see Peggy in a range of situations that demonstrate her skills and humanity. She has to defuse a bomb in her apartment bathroom, she uses a stapler as a weapon, she mourns for Steve Rogers, avoiding the awful-but-awesome “The Captain America Program” that is so popular on the radio, and staying one step ahead of the SSR, because they are looking into the missing Stark weapons as well.
It’s also nice to see that the SSR agents are a group of bumbling idiots, but they aren’t stupid. They’re sexist, sometimes oblivious, but there is a reason they are agents, and Peggy has to be on the top of her game to outwit them. As good as she is, she can’t do it alone and the introduction of Stark’s Butler Jarvis is one of the show’s highlights. Peggy has been alone since Steve’s “death” and after we see her roommate get killed, it’s understandable why she is so cautious about creating new relationships. Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy) is a proper English gentleman that schedules time to dry his linen, cook a soufflé for his wife, but isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. One of my favorite aspects of his character is how unflappable he is. From car chases in a milk truck full of explosives, talking about Stark’s bedroom activities, or giving Peggy a pep talk, he is always composed and barely raises his voice. I’m so glad that the relationship is platonic and no hint of sexual tension between the two.
Let’s not forget about the dialogue. Films in the 1940’s had a snappy pace and delivery, and that’s sprinkled throughout Agent Carter. Mr. Raymond telling Peggy to “get the rest of you in here” when she pokes her head into her office was a great moment. Peggy’s colleague at SRR asking her to file paperwork since she is better than him at that kind of thing, and she quips “What kind of thing is that, Agent Thompson, the alphabet? I can teach you. Let’s start with words beginning with “A.”
Overall, Agent Carter is an absolute breath of fresh air. Confident, smart, and funny, the show is off to a brilliant start and hopefully solid ratings with give a second season and more adventures with Peggy Carter. Add in the fact that Agent Carter will tie into Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and I can’t wait to see where we go over the next seven weeks.
- “Don’t hold your breath. Especially with tuberculosis.”
- “Crikey O’Reilly!”
- Hugh Jones: “What’s your name darlin’?” Peggy: “Agent.”
- “Howard, you’re asking me to become a traitor in order to prove you’re not one, you do see the irony?”
- Jarvis: “What happened back there?” Peggy: “If we live I’ll tell you all about it.”