Marvel’s Agent Carter is the newest show on ABC, which aired January 6 as a two hour special. The show portrays the life of undercover agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) working for the Strategic Scientific Reserve, or SSR, in the 1940s.
Carter was a side character in Captain America: The First Avenger, but now has moved up to the main character in her own show.
The show included flashbacks from the end scenes of Captain America: The First Avenger, where Captain America sacrifices himself and Carter loses him. Carter still mourns the loss of Captain America, or Steve Rogers, throughout the episodes, but she doesn’t let it interfere with her work.
Another character from the Marvel universe makes an appearance: Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), Tony Stark’s father. His appearances are brief as he is a fugitive running from the SSR, but he leaves his butler, Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy), to help Carter with her missions.
Throughout the first two episodes, Carter and Jarvis race to recover a stolen invention of Starks before any opposing teams get to it–including the agency Carter works for.
Marvel has done well to portray Carter as a hardcore woman who can get stuff done without anyone’s help, instead of a weak woman who’s only concerned about her makeup. However, many of Carter’s male coworkers treat her as a fragile woman and don’t let her do anything.
The show is set after World War II, so all males have come back to reclaim their jobs that women took over during the war. Even though Carter had worked in the war, the males didn’t see that as important and demoted her to a desk job. Carter doesn’t just quietly comply and take calls. She eavesdrops on important meetings, takes matters into her own hands and then fixes the problem before anyone else.
Overall, the show successfully portrayed a strong female lead with an interesting plot that doesn’t rely too heavily on Captain America to make it good.