Brief Summary: After the end of the Second World War , Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) is an office clerk/secretary at the Strategic Scientific Reserve while covertly helping clear Howard Stark’s name with the assistance of his butler, Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy).
It is easy to be skeptical towards Marvel in the sense that people will say that this just another superhero television show. We have CW’s Flash & Arrow (DC) with ABC’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D with two more shows in the works which are CBS’ Supergirl (DC) l & CW’s The Atom (DC) . Furthermore Netflix have four more shows in production. They are: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist & Luke Cage (Marvel) and they will form up to make The Defenders Marvel) in yet again another television series. So I guess people have every reason to be skeptical. These shows just seem to be nothing special because they are so regular in television.
Judging by first appearances I think Agent Carter is what Arrow is to Flash rather than vice versa. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D took a while to get going and to fully get me excited for the show. The plot was not clear from the first episode of AOS. From day one, we know that the main plot for the season is to clear Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) of the ‘false’ charges against him. Agent Carter is not a superhero show. I would deem it as a period crime drama with elements of science fiction but it will have superhero elements in the incoming episodes due to Marvel announcing that it will have links to Ant-Man. This may be Hank Pym’s (Michael Douglas) Ant-Man, rather than Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) Ant-Man. It would be truly marvellous if Michael Douglas was in a cameo role as Hank Pym in Agent Carter.
Carter is one of the main protagonists in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). In 1943, after the sudden end of Project Rebirth, she gave him her aid in becoming the world’s first superhero (Captain America). Rogers’ was MIA in 1945 and was presumed dead. She continued the Strategic Scientific Reserve’s battle against HYDRA, in the process capturing the final high-ranking HYDRA officer Daniel Whitehall as we saw in the second season of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
As an Agent of the SSR, she helped Howard Stark clear his name when he was accused of selling weapons to the enemy, and helped him found the peacekeeping organization (Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division) thus we have S.H.I.E.L.D.
Hayley Atwell was a great choice to play Carter in ‘The First Avenger’ but she plays the role even better in ABC’s Agent Carter. Her british charm rubs off in every situation with her male American colleagues, much to their annoyance. She has a sharp-tongued witty response in reply to her American colleagues’ arrogant, under-the-breath remarks. Being a woman in the 1940s is not easy, especially for a woman in the espionage sector. She is the only woman in her division and the office judge on what a woman should stereotypically be doing. In this era, it would be doing such things like: having children and making your husband dinner.
Carter defies all gender norms for this era. She is trained in hand-to-hand combat and she is educated to degree level. Society did not like educated women in this era. Attitudes were still very conservative and freethinking was a moral crime (for women). With each episode we see, Carter shows us what it means to be female in this time. This is not just in espionage but in industries like catering. She makes a friend called Angie (Lyndsey Fonseca) who works in a café. She puts up with dictatorial men who order her around like she is some sort animal. Even strangers in the cafe try to get physical with the odd ‘slap on the arse’ as if she was a naughty child receiving an occasional slap for being naughty.
In conclusion, I believe that Atwell was well cast for the role. Her acting is supreme. They could not have cast anyone better. So, the show as a whole (so far) has me wanting more. What I have seen so far is nothing short of epic. Great action sequences and great examples of hand to hand combat with the addition of society’s backward ideology of women and their roles and persona in the workplace and in the home setting.