The Pilot episode.
Agent Carter, first seen in the film Captain American: The First Avenger, is a popular character right away. Actress Hayley Atwell does a wonderful job portraying the character, so it’s not a surprise we get a TV series about her. It’s also a chance for Marvel to further expand the already established universe, and with the series takes place during the 1940s, a look into the universe’s history.
Unlike Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., the show is not restricted with events in the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s already better, as the show is free to do almost whatever it wants without being inconsistent to the films. Take place a year or two after the events of the First Avenger, Peggy Carter has difficulties adjusting her lifestyle in SSR, SHIELD’s precursor. She’s being mistreated by her fellow agents, and mocked as a “liaison” of Captain America. The series picks up quickly, as Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) is being accused as a conspirator, and Peggy’s goal is to clear his name by doing dangerous missions.
Stays true to the superhero genre, Peggy Carter keeps a secret identity no one knows about. Her friends think she works in a phone company, and her fellow agents don’t know she’s conducting missions to clear Howard’s name either. Not to mention, Peggy also has a sidekick in the form of Edwin Jarvis. The show chooses its approach, and the decision is a great one.
And yes, the show finally gives us Edwin Jarvis. Fans of the comic series would be excited to see Jarvis, the butler of Tony Stark and then members of Avengers Tower. In the MCU version, Howard Stark instructs him to assist Peggy during his absence. Peggy/Jarvis have great chemistry together, and it really brings the show to life. I especially enjoy Jarvis’ many restrictions on performing missions, and keeping it as a secret from his wife.
I’m glad the show decides to focus the characters on a smaller scale, but it doesn’t mean the supporting case don’t stand out. Agents such as Roger Dooley (Shea Whigham) and Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) both serve as the problems Peggy has to face in the agency. At the same time Agent Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) is that warm, kind-hearted character serves as the only shinning ray for Peggy in the cold agency. Meanwhile, we have Lyndsy Fonseca as Angie, Peggy’s waitress friend at the diner that balances out her life as an agent, and some well-deserved downtime.
Knowing the show takes place in the 1940s, a few sexist jokes are expected. However, after the constant comments from characters, the joke can be really tiresome. I get it, women are treated poorly blah, blah, blah. All the jokes are really distracting, and it really takes away my overall enjoyment of the show. Hopefully this is something the show will be more careful about in the future.
Overall, Agent Carter opens strong. The premiere does a wonderful job establishing the show, and the Carter/Jarvis dynamic works perfectly. The 1940s setting gives the show freedom without being restricted by current day MCU, but it also provides some really annoying sexist scenarios.