Will Everyone Please Watch Agent Carter Now That It’s on Disney+ & Get on My Level??
Not enough people were upset at what the end of Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame means for Peggy Carter, and I’m not surprised. If more people had watched Agent Carter, the first female-led live-action property in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it wouldn’t have been canceled in the first place. Before the MCU drops the continuing adventures of various heroes in the form of WandaVision, What If…?, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, do yourself a favor and watch Agent Carter, the best Marvel show that is on Disney+ in full right now. (Inhumans is also on Disney+, but we don’t talk about that.)
Please watch it? I can’t stand by and watch Peggy Carter get relegated to “Captain America’s girlfriend” again. She’s so much more than that. She had a whole journey on an ABC series that nobody watched, and it was so good. Come for, like, one episode in which Peggy and Howard Stark yell about how much Steve Rogers meant to them … and stay for lots of ‘40s shenanigans, some very good punching, and Peggy’s bad American accents while in disguise.
First and foremost, there are so many good female characters, in addition to Peggy. Since Agent Carter premiered, a lot of superhero movies and TV shows with female leads (Wonder Woman, Jessica Jones, Supergirl, Batwoman, and Captain Marvel, to name a few) have faced their complex lady heroes off against complex lady villains—which is fine, but Agent Carter was there first. In Season 1, we had Dottie Underwood, who is an honest-to-Loki Soviet assassin trained in the Red Room years before Natasha Romanov first tried on her ballet slippers there. In Season 2, the main antagonist is Whitney Frost, a.k.a. Madame Masque, a genius engineer and Hollywood starlet. Both of these villains are plenty brutal and nefarious, but also as layered and occasionally sympathetic as any male Marvel villain or antagonist.
On the other side, there’s Rose, an SSR-trained telephone operator who packs a punch, and Peggy’s waitress friend Angie Martinelli, a perfect angel. Really, the only flaw with Season 2, which takes place in Los Angeles instead of New York City, is that Angie didn’t follow Peggy to California. In Angie, Peggy actually gets to have a female friend and get close to someone outside of work. How many other superheroes can say that?
There are also men on this show, including Chad Michael Murray and Ken Marino, oddly enough. Dominic Cooper, not John Slattery, occasionally drops by to play Howard Stark. Once you start watching Agent Carter, I highly recommend checking out Cooper’s chaotic internet presence, as well.
— Dominic cooper (@dominiccoop) September 29, 2015
— Dominic cooper (@dominiccoop) October 1, 2015
— Dominic cooper (@dominiccoop) October 26, 2015
Howard stark has just invented the electric car. Although calls it a guitar by mistake. pic.twitter.com/EubpJcK8rR
— Dominic cooper (@dominiccoop) December 14, 2015
Dollhouse babe Enver Gjokaj plays Daniel Sousa, who I will marry myself if the events of Endgame now insist that Peggy doesn’t, or didn’t, or whatever. He’s such a good fictional crush, and everyone is sleeping on him. Maligned at work because of an injury sustained in combat, Daniel relates to Peggy’s underdog status, and they bond. He’s supportive, but not patronizing (read: he loves her so, so, so much). They’re a great slow burn, if you’re into that.
I’m a Peggy/Daniel stan myself, which is now obvious, but there’s also Peggy/Angie, Peggy/Dottie, Daniel/Jack, etc. etc. etc. because Agent Carter launched about a thousand ‘ships. She and Steve have that in common, I guess. Peggy may be “Cap’s best girl” or whatever, but that didn’t stop fans from ‘shipping Steve with a ton of other characters in her stead. Why can’t Peggy kiss anybody and everybody else, too? One of the best things about Agent Carter is that it portrays Peggy as the kind of hero that doesn’t need a romantic partner, but is allowed to want one.
And then, there’s Jarvis. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Tony Stark didn’t name his computer D.A.D. for a reason, and Agent Carter allowed us to get to know that reason. The OG, human butler Edwin Jarvis is simply the best. He’s the platonic Pepper to Howard’s Tony. He’s a total wife guy, completely obsessed with his partner, Ana. He loves his fitness regimen and going on adventures but also manages to be slightly annoyed at all times. He hates flamingos. Aside from “Danger,” he says, Jarvis’ middle name is “Charm.” He and Peggy are the perfect team, but also idiots. The whole show is pretty much just Peggy and Jarvis as a comedic duo trying to out-British each other.
But most importantly, Peggy managed to do something in Agent Carter that no Marvel hero has really been able to do: move on. She got over the war. She got over Steve Rogers. It makes me so upset thinking about how Endgame basically erases all of that character growth by sending Peggy’s past back to her in the form of Steve. Say what you will about her romantic life, but the founding member of S.H.I.E.L.D. can’t be a spy with a Captain America who has seen the future in her living room. He’s like an external hard drive full of classified and compromising information, but at least we can watch Agent Carter and appreciate it for what it was: a funny, charming, kick*ss series that took a beloved female character from the MCU and made her a superhero in her own right.
(featured image: ABC)
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