Marvel released publicly that Agent Carter was canon, so it is only right that a review of both seasons is in order.
Agent Carter takes us back in time to the 1940s, where Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) is trying to navigate a world where men have returned from war and women are expected to return to their traditional roles. Despite being a highly trained spy and having played a vital role in defeating HYDRA during World War II, Peggy is stuck working for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR), a department that doesn’t quite appreciate her talents. But when Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), a genius inventor and Peggy’s friend, is accused of selling his dangerous technology to America’s enemies, Peggy decides to clear his name and embarks on a dangerous mission.
The eight-episode first season of Agent Carter has a clear arc and follows Peggy’s journey to clear Stark’s name. Along the way, she is joined by Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy), Stark’s butler who proves to be a valuable ally. They are opposed by SSR agents who are hunting down Stark, and by Leviathan, a shadowy organization that wants Stark’s dangerous technology for their own purposes. Peggy and Jarvis must navigate the dangerous world of espionage and sabotage to uncover the truth and save the day.
One of the strengths of Agent Carter is the character of Peggy herself. Hayley Atwell delivers a powerful performance, showing us a woman who is skilled, brave, and smart, but who is also vulnerable and haunted by the loss of her love, Steve Rogers. Peggy’s struggles against sexism and the societal norms of the time are also highlighted, and the show does a great job of showing how much harder she has to work to prove herself in a male-dominated field.
The show also features some great action scenes and tense spy moments, with each episode feeling like a mini-movie. The villains are suitably menacing, and the show sets up some interesting mysteries for future seasons. The 1940s setting is also expertly done, with great attention to detail in the costumes and sets, and the soundtrack adds to the period feel.
Agent Carter season 1 is a well-crafted spy thriller with a great lead performance from Hayley Atwell. It’s a worthy addition to the MCU, providing a fascinating look at the early days of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the role of women in the post-war world. It’s a shame that the show only lasted two seasons, as it had the potential to become a beloved part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Season 2 of Agent Carter picks up with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) in Los Angeles, where she continues her work with the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) and takes on a new threat – a group of powerful, deadly women led by the mysterious Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett).
One of the strongest aspects of this season is the development of the characters, especially Peggy and her relationship with Chief Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj). Their chemistry and dynamic are given more attention, and their romance feels organic and earned.
The season also explores important themes such as sexism and racism, as Peggy confronts obstacles within the SSR and encounters characters from marginalized communities who have their own struggles to overcome. These issues are tackled with sensitivity and nuance, adding depth to the overall story.
Whitney Frost, the primary antagonist, is a compelling and complex villain. Her backstory is revealed throughout the season, giving insight into her motivations and making her more than just a one-dimensional villain. The conflict between her and Peggy is intense and personal, with both women using their intelligence and resourcefulness to gain the upper hand.
The action and set pieces in Season 2 are also impressive, with several memorable fight scenes and chase sequences. The show’s attention to detail in recreating the 1940s setting is evident in the costumes, set design, and cinematography.
Season 2 is a strong continuation of the series, with excellent character development, compelling themes, and exciting action. While the show was unfortunately cancelled after this season, it remains a favorite among MCU fans and a reminder of the talent and charisma of Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter.