Agent Carter Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot
Written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
Directed by Louis D’Esposito
Confession: I’m not all that up to speed on the Marvel Universe; I’ve probably only seen half of the films that have come out in the past few years and I’ve watched only a handful of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. But what I do recall about the less-than-compelling first Captain America movie was Agent Carter.
Giving Peggy Carter her own series is a great idea if the pilot episode is any indication, and Hayley Atwell is a big part of the reason why. She owns the screen with her strong presence as a character who is ahead of her time, and yet also fits right into the historical period.
Agent Carter takes advantage of the realities of the period too, as Carter struggles to accept her less than rewarding work with the SSR after working alongside Captain America during the war. The sexism of the time is as much an enemy as any of the other foes she will face in the series, including whoever stole Howard Stark’s secret, advanced weapons cache; the theft of which puts makes him the target of the SSR and sends him into hiding. Carter’s first personal mission is to clear his name and get to the bottom of who’s behind the theft with a little help from Stark’s butler, Jarvis, while attending to her menial duties at the SSR.
Carter and the uptight Jarvis make a great team, and Angie, the waitress at the local diner Carter frequents steal the few scenes she’s in, but the supporting cast of SSR agents are not memorable so far, aside from Sousa, who’s the only team member who’s not a complete sexist ass. Hopefully these characters will evolve and Carter starts getting her due. It can’t be Carter and Jarvis saving the day every week with the clueless SSR one step behind.
Agent Carter has so much potential, especially if it can exist in its own Marvel micro-universe without having to worry about messing with the epic plot-lines of the Marvel films in production for the next few years. If the writers can balance the historical drama with the far fetched science fiction elements, and evolve the characters with some well-thought out story arcs, Agent Carter should do as well as the other successful comic book series on the small screen.