EW was so excited about the return of Agent Carter that two staffers — Gina McIntyre and Andrea Towers — decided we wanted to recap Peggy’s L.A. adventures together. Below, read a discussion about what we loved about the premiere.
ANDREA TOWERS: It’s fitting that the premiere opens with a scene similar to what has become iconic for Peggy Carter: the red hat, a bold splash of color, a patriotic arrival among a sea of bleak suits. The twist here is that the woman in the red hat is not Peggy. It’s Black Widow Dottie (Bridget Regan), who has returned with a new mission and a renewed vengeance. Dottie walks into a bank and attempts to make a withdrawal from a vault — 143, to be exact — where the real Peggy is waiting for her, along with the other agents from the Strategic Scientific Reserve. Within the first two minutes of season 2, we’re greeted with a glorious Peggy and Dottie fight scene, complete with Dottie’s patented Black Widow moves and even a little banter (“Love the hat,” Peggy deadpans to her nemesis, before getting the best of her). Later, Peggy attempts to interrogate Dottie about why she was in the bank, since no one can explain the lapel pin found in the box. Why is the object so important? All we know is that according to the FBI, Dottie was attempting to steal from “a powerful man with powerful allies,” but the object is something that will undoubtedly play a key role in this season’s story. (And we have even more reason to suspect it’s important when Peggy later finds a lapel pin with the same symbol in Howard Stark’s car.) As Dottie tells Peggy, “We both know there are currencies stronger than money.”
While I love a good, evenly matched BAMF fight, I love watching a quiet power play more. (“Girls like you raised with silver spoons and perfect skin…you expect everything to come to you so easily.”) Give me Peggy interrogating Dottie any day, because I could watch these two face off in a 10-episode series of their own. When Peggy removes Dottie’s handcuffs, it’s a big moment: she proves she’s not afraid of her and also proves she’s willing to trust her. One of the biggest compliments I can give Agent Carter this season is that we’re actually building on the progression of last year. We left off with Peggy finally achieving the respect she deserves at the SSR, and we pick up finding that she’s no longer fighting that battle. This season, Peggy’s greatest threats will be more tangible — villains like Dottie and Madame Masque (more on her later) — and while there will probably still be gender-related setbacks, we seem to be past the point of Peggy having to sneak around in order to do her job.
GINA MCINTYRE: And she’ll be doing that job from LA now! Once Daniel Sousa, heading up the SSR’s newly opened West Coast bureau, is tasked with investigating a mysterious case involving the body of a woman found in a frozen lake in the middle of summer, he phones back to headquarters for backup. Sensing an opportunity to dispatch his office rival, Thompson sends Peggy to assist in the case. She arrives on a jetliner on a picture perfect Los Angeles day looking like a classic movie star (compliments on trading her red fedora for red-framed sunglasses). There to greet her on the tarmac, umbrella in hand, is sight-for-sore-eyes Edwin Jarvis, who’s having a little trouble acclimating to the sun-dappled Southern California lifestyle. Also along for the ride? BERN-ard, the flamingo, a recent acquisition of Howard Stark for his backyard meagerie. (Although he’s not glimpsed in the opening episodes, Howard has had absolutely no trouble acclimatizing to Los Angeles, it seems. In fact, he’s opened his own movie studio — what better way to bed starlets?) On their way to the Stark residence where Peggy will be staying, Jarvis informs her that he’s “exhaustively bored” and desperate to join in on some of her adventures. “You have no idea how foreign Los Angeles will seem to a civilized person such as yourself. They eat avocados. With everything.” What’s more, “The foliage is preposterous.” Perhaps, but the ocean breezes seem to suit Peggy Carter just fine for now. And away from the SSR headquarters, Peggy will be free to continue to assert herself as the talented spy she is (“I know my value. Anyone else’s opinion doesn’t really matter.”) and afford her a richly deserved fresh start — isn’t that always the allure of a westward move?
Not only do the sunny new surroundings stand to give Peggy a fresh perspective on the spy trade, they also bring the promise of new friendships, including one with the absolutely delightful Ana Jarvis (Lotte Verbeek). Peggy seems pleasantly surprised to find her wildly outgoing — a lovely, colorful counterpoint to her painfully proper husband. She’s ready with a drink and a smile (and a hot and heavy kiss for hubby), not to mention some great gal-pal fashion advice. Maybe forging new relationships will help Peggy find some real work-life balance and emotional stability, possibly even joy, post-Cap? Here’s hoping.
NEXT: Let’s get down to business