Overview: Peggy Carter, adjusting to her life as an SSR agent after the supposed death of Captain America, takes on a whole new mission when Howard Stark comes to her for help after being accused for treason. 2015; ABC Studios/Marvel Television, TV-PG; 8 episodes.
Life after War: Peggy Carter is the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s best “love interest”, because she never was just a love-interest. She is neither the damsel-in-distress, nor the object of desire, nor the deadly, morally-conflicted female assassin the franchise has repeatedly given. She is simply a hero and is always something more than anyone has painted her to be. This series does an exemplary job at exploring her as a character, and by doing so, delivers one of the most human stories of the entire franchise. The story picks up a year after the end of WWII and the “death” of Captain America, and we find Peggy still trying to move on from losing him. It’s completely heart-breaking to see her remember her time serving with Steve, but it’s as equally uplifting when it’s made clear that all the actions she’s been doing is to continue the good that Captain America valued so much and the legacy that he left behind. It’s so emotionally satisfying to watch and it makes for a great companion piece with Captain America: The First Avenger.
One of the Guys: The series was also able to tackle the discrimination against women issue of that period, which is still sadly around today. Peggy proves to be a real feminist icon worth rooting for, as she overcomes all obstacles her job and the society make for her. Interestingly, the series is also able to avoid any fully misogynistic characters, instead using characters who are products of the time, and it’s gets even better when we learn more about each of them individually and each of their different post-war struggles. All the supporting actors are great in their respective roles, especially James D’Arcy, Chad Michael Murray, Enver Gjokaj and Shea Wingham. They all blend in with the time period so well, and D’Arcy’s chemistry with Hayley Atwell is just through the roof.
Sensation Series: Joe Johnston made Captain America: The First Avenger a fun war film, capturing some of the flavor of the comics. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the writing duo behind the Captain America films, wrote the first episode and set the tone for the whole season, and what showrunners Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas are able to do from there is just golden. It contains that Marvel fun while also feeling slick and retro. There are a lot of fun, brilliantly executed sequences, including one directed by Captain America: The Winter Soldier co-director Joe Russo and another which managed to incorporate a big reveal into the mix. It’s basically a lot of fun adventures with Agent Carter followed by the last three episodes which is just one big ramp of awesome, while also giving one of the most moving season finales I’ve ever seen.
Overall: Marvel has produced blockbuster films which focused on gods, aliens, and people of magic, yet look no further than Agent Carter, an 8-episode season on ABC that focuses on a secret agent in 1946, for a top-tier Marvel story.