EW staffers share their thoughts on Tuesday's double header
EW was so excited about the return of Agent Carter that two staffers — Gina McIntyre and Andrea Towers — decided we wanted to talk through Peggy’s L.A. adventures together. (You can read the full episode recap here.) Below, read a discussion about what we loved about “Life of the Party” and “Monsters.”
ANDREA TOWERS: From the first moment Sousa was introduced, I was on the Peggy and Sousa train (and remembering that quote from Captain America: The Winter Soldier when Peggy references her husband). I’m still all about that theory and tonight, we FINALLY got a moment where they talked about their feelings. And then I felt like I needed a bottle of wine. (Ana Jarvis’ thousand dollar bottle of wine, perhaps?) Now that Wilkes has gone off with Whitney, I’m guessing Peggy will be broken up about losing him again, and I’m hoping that’s not going to put Sousa and Peggy in a tight spot. Also, can Jarvis always play a relationship therapist? I’ll pay him!
GINA MCINTYRE: I think what we’re learning is that romance and espionage are two things that do not easily live side by side. That scene between Jarvis and Peggy in the car, where he broaches the subject of her dueling suitors, offered her a rare chance to verbalize her feelings, something that clearly puts her ill at ease (girl after my own heart). As we so often note, Hayley Atwell and James D’Arcy have such tremendously inviting chemistry, which again is on display here, but I also felt like that scene benefited from the larger universe in which the show exists. Because we understand the heartbreak that Peggy’s experienced, what with losing Steve and perhaps wrestling with the notion that given her career, she might simply have to sacrifice any kind of romantic life, that conversation had even more resonance. (Favorite line? “You underestimate your allure, Ms. Carter.” Quite right, Mr. Jarvis. Quite right indeed.)
That said, I don’t think it’s ultimately Jason who will win her affections — I believe Peggy could really only ever be with someone engaged in the same fight as her, who absolutely understands the world in which she operates and can respect her as peer (or someone with superior skills) in that universe. Who’s to say if that’s Sousa (the series certainly does seem to be heading in that direction), or someone else? Daniel absolutely has his charms, but I honestly think that the identity of Peggy’s husband might ultimately remain a mystery. And to be honest, I sort of like that idea. Don’t get me wrong — Peggy and Daniel are great together, and I wouldn’t be sad in the least to see them make a go of it. But there’s something to be said, too, for keeping Peggy’s secrets secret. After all, isn’t that what the spy trade is all about?
ANDREA: You make a good point. After all, spies and soldiers, right? Maybe that’s why she worked so well with Steve. Speaking of chemistry, I can’t not talk about Peggy and Dottie. What a treat, especially since we’ve been promised a big Dottie return. I have a thing for Black Widows and I adore Bridget Regan, so I’ve loved Dottie from the moment she was introduced last season. What I loved most, though, was that the two episodes really demonstrated how alike Peggy and Dottie really are. Peggy’s proven that she’s breakable (hello, injury) and Dottie proves the same thing in this hour, especially when she sees what Whitney can do. (And she has every right to be scared, I’d say.) In fact, I think that breakdown of vulnerability rings true for all the ladies this hour. We saw Ana Jarvis worry about her husband, we saw Peggy sidelined by her injury (and shaken by love), we saw Whitney at the mercy of men who thought they could take advantage of her, and we saw Dottie finally experience fear. Agent Carter does such a good job of showing us there awesome, strong ladies but underneath, they’re very real people who are susceptible to very real experiences that can sideline them.
GINA: But returning to Jarvis and his adventures in the spy trade, just how devastating was it to see his anger and sorrow over what happened to Ana? I mean, Whitney asserted herself tonight as a major villain in some fascinating ways, but her shooting Ana to buy more time to escape? Heartbreaking! Hoping with all my might that she will pull through. It would simply be too cruel to make us fall in love with Mrs. Jarvis and to lose her so soon.
ANDREA: I knew the moment we saw Ana worrying a little too much things weren’t good, and then when I saw Whitney sneaking around, I made a few loud noises knowing what was inevitably coming. But I can’t imagine they’d kill her off. (Or, maybe I can. It is Marvel.) I think either way, this is going to make Jarvis reconsider his ideas when it comes to wanting to be in the field with Peggy so badly. Will he decide to give up the spy life completely? Go back to buying Velveeta Cheese for Stark’s “fondue”? Just let Ana live!
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GINA: Whitney’s villainy, though — wow! Really something to watch her take the council in hand. As despicable as she’s turning out to be (and to be fair, some of that could just be the zero matter talking), there’s also something tremendously gratifying to watch her bend a group of powerful men with screaming sexist attitudes to do her bidding. It’s the ‘40s. We’ll have to take the empowerment where we find it.
ANDREA: I was thinking to myself, you know, it’s too bad this Council is full of stuffy old men who are probably Hydra because I wanted to seriously applaud our budding villain for taking matters into her own hands (literally). I don’t know if I agree with murder, but you can’t blame her for the fact that she was pissed off that her husband lied to her and tried to kill her himself. The remaining Council members looked terrified, and they have a right to be! And now Whitney has Wilkes in her clutches? This can’t end well.
GINA: Yeah, I don’t quite know what to make of Wilkes’ fortunes. I’m with you, though. Things don’t look good. And is this the place where we talk about the fact that ABC is airing double episodes of the show now? And Hayley Atwell just landed a new ABC pilot? I fear that we might not have a third season in our future. But even if that’s the case, I’ll still treasure that we got this much time with Peggy. If the worst happens, should we just plan to reconvene for Jessica Jones‘ second season?
ANDREA: Absolutely. And I’m still hoping that ABC comes to their senses and realizes what a gem they have in this show. I’m not ready to give up hope yet! The world needs Peggy Carter, and I need more stories.