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Chubtoad Reviews Marvel’s ‘Agent Carter’ Premiere

Written by Richard “Chubtoad” Sheldon

Hayley Atwell reprises her role as Peggy Carter from the Captain America films and shines as Marvel’s latest connection to the Marvel cinematic universe.  ‘Agent Carter’ is a pulp noir, post WWII set spy thriller.  For those that doubt a need for this addition to Marvel’s on screen initiatives need to only watch the first half of the premier pilot episode and they will understand.


Marvel’s ‘Agent Carter’ has found its footing in the two hour premiere that took ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. more than half a season to do when it premiered.  Peggy Carter was an interesting character to get to know in the Captain America films and to get more on that character is very much welcomed.  It is now 1946 in New York and Peggy is working for the SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve) where despite her contributions during the war, she is pigeon holed into the sexism of the time and treated more as a secretary than a spy.

The shadow of the loss of Steve Rogers is still hanging over her head as the show opens.  We are reminded throughout the premiere of this tragic loss.  Don’t get too bummed.  Remember that he wakes up in modern times.  It will be okay.  Calm down.  Shhhhh.  However, despite her becoming the spy agencies unofficial girl Friday, Peggy finds herself in the middle of a plot that is framing Howard Stark to be a war profiteer and a traitor.


Dominic Cooper returns to the MCU in his portrayal of Howard Stark.  It is good to see him back, but he does not get much screen time as he hands Peggy off to the trusted care of his butler Edwin Jarvis played by James D’Arcy.  Most of the two hour premier is the building of the trust between Carter and Jarvis.  The first two back to back episodes “Now is not the End” and “Bridge and Tunnel” are mostly plots that involve Agent Carter espionage missions where she is wearing disguises and using cool spy gadgets to find the culprits setting up Stark and clearing his name before her SSR counterparts get to Stark. 


The show contains just the right amount of fan service without it being contrived and forced in for fan service sake.  Howard Stark is a fugitive from the justice department and being setup to have association with this mysterious group Leviathan working with a shady chemical corporation Roxxon.  Peggy Carter had to find ways to prove herself as a strong, independent woman at a time when women were being forced back into the kitchen as the boys returned from the war as well as be the underground hero needed to solve our mystery.


The cast is rounded out with great supporting characters played by veteran character actors which include Shea Whigham and Chad Michael Murray.  The premier does not get us too far with development of these characters, but uses most of the time to service the plot.  This is okay.  We will have plenty of time for character development.  It seems Marvel learned their lesson from ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ where they tried to overload with character development from the get go which caused the show to have a slow build over the first season.


A lot of the appeal for the show comes from its setting and the use of the period’s technical aspects.  The real appeal as stated is Atwell shining through as Peggy Carter and giving us a better look at a character Marvel comics has not done much within the past.  As far as pilots go for TV, this was pretty solid.  There is a lot of groundwork still needed to be put out there and more development of the cast.  However, having this heroine be the focus and written and portrayed as well as she is, the show should have no problem proving itself as a great addition to the Marvel cinematic playground.



When combining the two episodes back to back, I would rate this premiere as a solid 4 out of 5 stars.