Marvel’s Agent Carter at last got her “Valediction” with last night’s first season finale, finally letting go of Captain America, but surprisingly setting up The Winter Soldier along the way. ABC has yet to formally commit to Season 2, but what do Carter writers and executive producers have to say on its potential plot, and further Captain America crossover?
You’re warned of spoilers for last night’s Agent Carter finale from here on out.
The end has come upon us. The eighth and final episode of Agent Carter has aired, and a show that was perhaps too beautiful for this world may have seen its last over-the-shoulder goon-toss with a finale that brought Peggy's war against Leviathan to an at times thrilling, and at times perhaps too-familiar conclusion --- featuring Dottie, Faustus, Jarvis, Howard, and all the gang. (Except Dooley. Sorry, Dooley.)
Episode 8, 'Valediction,' was directed by Christopher Misiano and written by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters. Was it a fitting end to the show, and is it really the end?
In last week's recap of Agent Carter I posited that this penultimate episode would see the cast largely confined to the SSR offices, which seems rather less interesting than seeing a rogue Peggy kicking ass at-large on the streets of 1940s New York City. And lo, the prophecy came to pass, with Peggy almost entirely sidelined in her own show, and no-one really stepping up to fill the void.
As a result, episode 7, "Snafu," directed by Vincent Misiano and written by Chris Dingess, was a bit of a disappointment --- though it did offer some top quality Dottie (Bridget Regan), an actual super-villain, and a very welcome character development for Chief Dooley (Shea Whigham).
Agent Carter heads towards its end game with its sixth episode, 'A Sin To Err', directed by Stephen Williams and written by Lindsey Allen. The sad news is that it may be a permanent end, as the show hasn't been delivering ratings that would guarantee a second season -- but I'm not ready to rule it out. I'm hoping DVR numbers will save it.
The good news is, with a tight eight episodes, the show is clearly structured as a self-contained story, and assuming a strong ending, this one season will endure as a solid installment in the Marvel canon. I think the Agent Carter model is a much stronger one for future Marvel TV shows on ABC -- the Netflix model on network, in essence -- than the meandering anticlimactic flab of Agents of SHIELD. Which is a show I don't want to have to think about yet. So let's talk about Agent Carter!
Ahem. Also; 'The Iron Celing' is the fifth episode of Agent Carter, and quite comfortably the best, not just because of Dum Dum, but also because it changes the scenery, places Peggy on a real mission, fleshes out Chad Michael Murray's Agent Jack Thompson, and gives us a real taste of the breadth and color of this Marvel Universe. The only thing I didn't really like was the title, a too-cute hybridization of Iron Curtain and Glass Ceiling that doesn't ultimately capture what the episode was about.
'The Iron Ceiling' was directed by Peter Leto and written by Jose Molina. And Dum Dum Dugan was in it. Let's recap it, SSR-style.
We're halfway through the eight episode run of Agent Carter, and it's now very clear that this show isn't aiming to be a procedural, and that's both a strength and a weakness. Agent Carter has a clear idea what it's about and where it's going, with this week's episode focused on moving all the characters forward (and helping us to better get to know a few of them), but the lack of a 'monster of the week' structure leaves the show -- and this episode -- feeling unfocused.
'The Blizkrieg Button' is directed by Stephen Cragg and written by Brant Englestein, and has easily the best title of the show's run; but sadly the Blizkrieg Button proves to be a bit of a decoy duck, both in the title and in the episode itself.
If you think the Marvel Cinematic Universe is dominating your life now, just wait until 2016 when Steve Rogers and Tony Stark go head-to-head in ‘Captain America: Civil War.’ It’s a movie so big that it actually scared ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ away from its original release date. So when you read the latest comments on the film by screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (who also wrote the first two ‘Captain America’ films), just try to imagine the amount of pressure on their shoulders. Lesser screenwriters would be crushed.
We're onto the third of eight episodes of Agent Carter, and I already know it's not going to be enough. It's not going to be enough of Hayley Atwell's awesome Peggy Carter. It's not going to be enough time in her world. It's not going to be a long enough break from... that other show. And honestly, it may not be enough time for the rest of the show to come up to the level of its star; it's a very good show, but Atwell is great. I want to spend twenty episodes with this show to see if it can raise its game to match her performance.
Episode three, 'Time And Tide,' is directed by Scott Winant and written by Andy Bushnell. Opening with a breathy Peggy recap of the first two episodes, it picks up the threads of that two-parter. In fact, at this point it's clear that this story may be an eight-parter; not a procedural with an arc, but a long-form story divided into eight chapters.
Marvel’s ‘Agent Carter’ arrived only days ago with an explosive two-hour debut, but next week’s installment “Time & Tide” will be anything but back to business. The hunt for Howard Stark’s tech is on, but by the first clip and photos, Peggy will have more than a few forces hunting her; including her own SSR co-workers!
Agent Carter, Marvel's second live action TV show set in its cinematic shared universe, made its debut with a two-hour double-bill on ABC on Tuesday night, with Hayley Atwell reprising her role as spy Peggy Carter. Atwell's Carter debuted in the 2011 movie Captain America: The First Avenger, based on a character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and she's now the second character from the movies to spin off into her own show, following Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) in Agents of SHIELD.
Agents of SHIELD is now on its second season, and trying to recover its energy after a largely awful first season. Agent Carter will run for only eight episodes across seven weeks, rather than a standard 20+ episode season -- a format arguably closer to what Marvel plans to do with its Netflix TV shows -- so it may be the better test of Marvel's TV ambitions. In Cartergraphy, I'll be recapping the show every week using my new 'S.S.R.' method, breaking it down into Strategic Review, Scientific Analysis, and Reserved Englishness.
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