Marvel’s Agent Carter 2×1 & 2×2 Review: “The Lady in the Lake” & “A View In The Dark”
It’s happened, that thing we’ve all been waiting for since the beginning of last year. That’s right, Peggy Carter is back in our lives, and she’s just as enjoyable as ever. There’s a brand new mystery, a bunch of new characters, some kick-ass fight scenes, and a flamingo. The second season of Marvel’s Agent Carter has got everything you could possibly want.
This week’s double episode saw Agent Carter head west to help the newly-minted Chief Sousa with a rather X-Files-esque case. Peggy’s reluctant to leave New York because of Angie. They finally caught Dottie Underwood and may or may not be embroiled in another conspiracy theory. In LA Peggy meets up with everyone’s fave butler Jarvis and together they solve the mystery of “The Lady in the Lake”. Also there’s a cute new scientist, a fab female villain, and they even made an effort to diversify Agent Carter.
The first, and most important, thing to know about the premiere of Marvel’s Agent Carter is that it is still at its core a super fun show. There were rumblings that this season would be darker than the first, which is cool and all, but this show is at its best when it’s having fun, so it was nice to see that it hasn’t lost that. In fact the shift in location, from New York to Los Angles, allows the show to be even campier than before.
Any doubts about the show shifting focus were squashed by the opening sequence. Dottie dons Peggy’s famous red hat to rob a bank with a legion of minions. She’s quickly thwarted by Agent Carter and the SSR. The whole thing ends in a fabulous fight between Dottie and Peggy. It’s the perfect way to bridge the gap between Season 1 and 2, especially since by the end of the second episode we have discovered that Dottie’s hold up is apparently connected to the season’s big bad.
Dottie is, as always, a delight. I’m a little sad she got left back in New York with Thompson (what a bore), but I’m hoping she gets roped into the mystery as the series progresses. Hayley Atwell and Bridget Regan have fantastic chemistry together (to be fair Hayley Atwell has chemistry with literally everyone); I would watch them do laundry together. And the way Regan plays Dottie’s obsession with Peggy like a school girl crush is my second favourite thing on this show at the moment.
Other than Dottie, I was a little underwhelmed by the happenings in New York. That opening sequence was great, but once Peggy left for LA everything else seemed pointless and annoying. We all know the SSR is going to be shut down eventually to make way for S.H.I.E.L.D. and I really could not care less about whatever issues Thompson has. Thompson has always been an ass and when he’s not interacting with Peggy he’s not worth paying attention to.
Speaking of the boys of the SSR, they are REALLY pushing the romance between Peggy and Sousa this season. The hints in Season 1 were subtle enough to ignore, but they’re really giving it a good old shove this time around. It’s not super offensive, but for me Sousa is still tainted by his nice guy attitude in Season 1. I’m assuming something happened between them before he left for California because otherwise Peggy’s behaviour doesn’t make much sense to me. They are acting like exes when as far as we know they never even went on a date.
There’s also the added complication of two new romantic interests, one for both Carter and Sousa. Both these characters were surprisingly likeable and if they keep pushing Peggy and Daniel together the way they did in the first few episodes, I’m worried about how they’re going to get rid of the competition – the temptation to make either Violet or Dr. Wilkes the villain. Turning the romantic rival into a villain is a trope that is almost always poorly executed, so here’s hoping they steer clear.
Speaking of romantic rivals, Jason Wilkes is pretty great. Not the most interesting character by a long shot, but a very clear and reasonable, well-executed attempt by the Agent Carter team to rectify the lack of racial diversity in the first season. Peggy and Jason have great chemistry (again Hayley would have chemistry with a shoe). Considering the way Peggy connected to Steve – and in a way Sousa – because they understood the trials of discrimination, it makes a whole lot of sense that she’d go for Dr. Wilkes. Also I’m going to go ahead and assume he’s alive.
Really though, there’s only one romantic relationship I want to see Peggy a part of and that’s a polyamorous threesome with Edwin and Ana Jarvis. Clearly that is what Ana, who is a breath of fresh air every time she appears, is going for. Especially in that one scene where Peggy and Jarvis were wrestling, the scene that plays EXACTLY like every self defence lesson between couples in action films. Ana comes in and she’s giving them bedroom eyes and asking Peggy if she wants to go another round.
Anyway, the new villains are a mixed bag. The big bads are a rather unsubtle metaphor for “the patriarchy” – a bunch of old white dudes that are afraid of change. Same old Hydra mess, pretty uninteresting. Whitney Frost on the other hand, now she’s interesting. An aging starlet with a husband she’s using as a vessel for power. Sign me up for that.
The overarching mystery is fairly bland, but that’s not why I watch this show. The characters are still incredibly loveable, and most of the new additions seem to work well with the original cast. Overall this was a solid start to what is sure to be another fantastically enjoyable season of television.
Author: Undie Girl
Undie Girl (aka Von) has a BA (Hons) Major in Cultural Studies. The title of her honours thesis was “It’s just gay and porn”: Power, Identity and the Fangirl’s Gaze. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Media Practice at University of Sydney. Von’s a former contributor The Backlot’s column The Shipping News and a current co-host of The Geekiary’s monthly webcast FEELINGS… with The Geekiary.
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