In a schedule already overcrowded with superhero shows, Agent Carter stood out a little for me: she’s a woman with no superpowers herself, and we’re in the 1940s. Season 1 was full of the frustrations of a very capable woman facing horrendous sexism, eventually using this underestimation to accomplish a great deal.
Season 2 changes location, sending Peggy (Hayley Atwell) to the sunshine of Los Angeles and away from a few of the ‘hiccups’ at the end of the previous series – although many of these seem to follow her.
Still feeling slightly unusual on tv, there is a single plot line through the ten episodes – which can be a problem if it’s not strong. Here, it’s a mysterious ‘zero matter’ substance, and an aging actress finally grasping some power into her life. Throw in a mysterious cabal pulling the strings behind the scenes, a scientist badly affecting by the zero matter, a bit of a love triangle, and… well, meh, a bit.
Despite not being overly enthralled with much of this – the villain was a bit weak, the macguffin and danger under-explained – I still found the show entertaining. Most of this comes from the character of Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy), Howard Stark’s stiff upper-lipped English butler, and from Carter herself as a kick-ass, do as she pleases, modern woman. The twisted psyche of the Russian sleeper agent is also hugely fun, especially compared to whiny villain Whitney Frost, so it was a shame she sort of disappeared rather abruptly.
Overall, it’s a shame these characters weren’t given a stronger story line – this ‘filler’-feeling season puts renewal in serious doubt. If by some chance it does come back, I’d also like to see it start to tie back in to the MCU a little more – we know this is history to the movies and other shows (a direct ancestor of SHIELD, of course!), so a little glimmer of the bridge would be great.
First broadcast: January 2016
Episodes: 10 @ ~42 mins each
My rating: 6/10 – I preferred season 1