Does Agent Carter Deserve a Third Season?
By Tahlia Merrill Kirk
You may remember from my previous article that I began watching Agent Carter as a skeptic (http://www.thegeekedgods.com/a-skeptic-watches-agent-carter-marvels-first-agent-of-shield-agent-carter/). After Season 1 completely won me over with its wit and charm, I was nervous about whether Season 2 would build the show’s momentum enough to make me want a Season 3.
So what’s new this season? (Warning: Spoilers ahead!)
- New setting = It always feels kinda lazy when tv shows put their characters in Southern California. But I guess when your show has struggling ratings, doing all your outdoor shots in your own backyard is a great way to keep the budget slim.
Although I would have enjoyed a more unique location (I vote for season 3 in 1950s Australia!), the writers definitely made the most of the west coast setting. Peggy and Jarvis’ “What ho, jolly good” British mannerisms are played for laughs as they navigate the laid back style of casual California. Plus, the throw in some nice scenes in the desert wilderness to balance out all the overdone views of palm tree boulevards. So, overall, not an inspired choice, but they make it work.
“Sousa left his 3 piece suits behind in NYC”
- New Villain = Oh, yeah, since the show is now in L.A., the featured villain is a famous actress. At first glance, Whitney Frost seemed a lot like last season’s baddie, Dottie Underwood. Both sleek blondes who cover their brilliance with feminine wiles, right? Thank goodness, the writers go out of their way to showcase their differences.
For one thing, Whitney is a much more serious character than Dottie. Similarly to Moriarty in the new Sherlock, Dottie is flippant and blase about danger. On the other hand, Whitney is a visionary with a laser focus on her ambitions. It’s no surprise that she’s the only one who’s been able to freak Dottie out so far.
And can I just say that Wynn Everett just nails Whitney’s descent into madness?! She perfectly captures the character’s suppressed hopes for what her life could be and the manic joy she receives from finally putting her intelligence to use. It just feels natural for the character to transform from the power behind her husband’s throne to wearing the metaphorical crown herself. The question is never whether she’ll seize power for herself, the question is always how far will she go?
The only moment that had me rolling my eyes was that scene where the board members thought the best way to kill her was by strangling her with ropes? C’mon, people! Slow deaths just give people time to escape and then–oh, wait, you’re already dead. Well, I tried to warn you!
- New Love Interest = To slow down the inevitable Sousa/Peggy hookup, the writers toss a handsome scientist into the plot to throw us off the scent. And it’s a shame that Jason Wilkes is just meant to be a distraction because he and Peggy definitely have chemistry. Sousa’s great, don’t get me wrong, but the spark they had in Season 1 is put on autopilot once they hit California and I found myself forgetting why I’d originally thought he was so great for Peggy. Having Wilkes become incorporeal rather than killing him off was a stroke of creative genius and I’m kinda bummed he won’t be sticking around, although I am not bummed that there will no longer be a love triangle.
“How can Peggy say ‘no’ to a man who wears purple so well?!”
Also, I know most fans will probably kebab me for saying this, but that musical number is NOT going on my favorite moments list. It was a good attempt, but frankly, the choreography is uninspiring and Haley Atwell’s dancing looks super stiff for some reason. Such a shame that they didn’t let Jarvis dance, since he’s sure to have some smooth moves.
- New Bestie = We finally get to see the mysterious Ana Jarvis! Why they hid her away last season makes zero sense because there’s nothing particularly strange about her. She’s nice, supportive, and has a distracting accent…nothing terribly exciting, but I guess the you can’t expect every side character to be complex. It was kinda disappointing to see that Jarvis is still his stuffy self around her–was kinda hoping to see a different side of him when he’s alone with Ana, but we can’t have everything, right? At least they’re not having Ana be jealous of Peggy and Jarvis because that would have been just tiresome.
- Flashbacks = The show tries to give us some glimpses into characters’ backgrounds by using flashbacks. These scenes were great, but showed up inconsistently and didn’t always flow into the rest of the episode. Would have loved to see more, but I enjoyed the snippets that made the cut.
Basically, there have been some high and low points in Season 2, but here’s the thing–none of what I just talked about is the main reason why I watch this show. For me, it’s all about the dialogue. The dialogue and James D’arcy’s goofy facial expressions. It’s nearly impossible to explain to people who haven’t seen the show just how hilarious it is. Agent Carter’s secret weapon is that I can’t get through an episode without a fit of giggles. Here is my proof that we need a season three of this show: