Avengers-Peggy smile

Agent Carter episodes 2x01-2x02

Okay, finally a proper post about the new episodes ... well, no, not a proper post at all; a flaily post laden with belabored bullet points and fueled by two large glasses of merlot. There were going to be a bunch of screencaps as well, but I ran out of steam (and wine). I'll save the pretty for a future post.

The opening
  • WAS THAT NOT GREAT.
  • No, really, it was great. I loved how it echoed the opening of the previous season, then with the sudden identity reveal and the very different outcome. I thought it was just going to be an homage to the first season with Peggy walking into the SSR HQ and getting a better reception, but NO, it was so much better than that.
  • I now want ALL the fic about the SSR trying to catch Dottie, and Dottie impersonating Peggy CONSTANTLY.
  • I can't tell if Dottie is supposed to have an outright crush on Peggy, or is merely ("merely") obsessed with her in a wearing-her-clothes-and-replacing-her kind of way, but that was sure a lot of innuendo in the interrogation scene.
  • SO HAPPY DOTTIE IS BACK! I knew in a vague kind of way that she'd be in this season, but I didn't realize we'd get her so early. Which means this season has two female villains, who are very different kinds of people, which is awesome.
Thompson
  • Is stlll a jerk.
  • No, REALLY, he's such a jerk. I definitely didn't expect him and Peggy to be BFFs or even like each other post-season-one, but I think it actually went in the opposite direction to what I was expecting -- I thought it'd be her having trouble getting past what he did, but actually, no, he KNOWS she's better at the job than he is, and he can't handle it. It's interesting to speculate on how the past year might've gone down, because it really doesn't seem that Peggy is miserable, and she's getting field assignments, and their other co-workers clearly respect her -- but you also see Thompson trying to cut down the praise for her behind her back. DAMMIT THOMPSON THIS IS NOT WHERE I WANTED YOUR ARC TO GO but I can also 100% see it, if you know what I mean. It's definitely not OOC.
  • THOMPSON AND SOUSA THOUGH. Okay, so we've only had one tiny scene with them so far, but AAUUUUGH excuse me while I go watch it again 1000x.
  • I really do think Jack likes Daniel a lot. I got that from the last half of season one -- once he gets past the towering stack of prejudices that he has about Daniel, Jack really likes the guy. Daniel, er ... I am really not sure. As of the end of season one, I think about the best thing that you can say in actual canon (as opposed to, um, most of the fic I've written) is that he doesn't seem to dislike Jack as much as he used to. As of season two, the playfulness seems to go both ways, but Jack still seems to genuinely annoy him at least as much as mock-annoy him. On the other hand, Jack, as the chief of the East Coast division, must have played a pretty big role in Daniel getting the West Coast posting, which is another sign that Jack really does like and respect him. I think Daniel may enjoy verbally sparring with him, or at least doesn't really mind having to call him up on a more or less daily basis because of departmental cooperation etc. It keeps him on his toes.
  • I am actually more excited/nervous about Thompson's arc than almost anything else this season ... no, okay, THAT'S A TOTAL LIE, I'm excited about EVERYTHING, but his is probably the season arc that has the most potential to either go exactly where I want it to go, or blow up horribly. If it does go down how I hope, it will be AMAZING. If it doesn't it will be tragic and disappointing (but probably well done). So ... yes. Excited. And nervous. *twitches*
Sousa
  • IS THE FUCKING CUTEST
  • I think I forgot how adorable Enver Gjokaj is, really. And I hope they give him more funny bits, because his comic delivery is so great. ("Who's that clown?")
  • And Daniel is so much happier this season than last season. Things are a bit up in the air regarding his love life right now, but ... he's just so confident here. It's amazing to look back on him in early season one as the guy who was the office joke, ignored and belittled and struggling with his own self-image. ("We're both people no one cares about.") And now he's confident and respected and things are going really well for him. I also loved seeing him dressed up to go out.
  • DANIEL BEING THE FLIRT to distract the secretary so Peggy can sneak in, aaaaauuuugh. XD XD
Wilkes
  • Does not quite manage to be the cutest thing in existence because basically everyone else on the show is also. But still, WHERE DO THEY FIND THESE PEOPLE, GAWD.
  • His little face.
  • But he can do serious too! I loved the scenes where he's telling Peggy about the prejudice he had to deal with, or having to face the bakery guy (and eating the eclair afterwards).
  • He is totally not dead. nOPE. I am leaning about 80% towards "zapped into alternate dimension, may come back with superpowers" and about 20% "is still here but is in some sort of weird zero-energy state; see above re: superpowers".
The Jarvises
  • OH MY GOD, THE JARVISES
  • I was not sure what Mrs. Jarvis would be like, but she's ADORBS
  • She's also ... so European. It is probably very American of me to say this, but she is! I am really enjoying the contrast between her effusiveness and Peggy's somewhat affronted British reserve.
  • SHE SEWED PEGGY A GARTER WITH A GUN IN IT. The cutest!
  • AND JARVIS. Learning martial arts! Dealing with flamingos! Deadpan snarking at Peggy. ("What do you do for relaxation, assemble rifles?") AAAAHHHH they play off each other so well. I am so here for the Peggy and Jarvis Buddy Cop Hour.
Whitney Frost
  • Okay, so here, my Marvel comics fangirl background comes into play: I was SO EXCITED that they'd be having Madame Masque this season, because for no reason I can quite put my finger on, she's always been one of my favorite Marvel baddies. And the reality does not disappoint! At all! I was expecting something terrible and weird to happen to her face, and this is definitely terrible and weird. Looking forward very much to seeing where this goes! I have rarely been disappointed with the way the MCU movies handle the transition from comics to screen, and this is no exception.
PEGGY
  • STILL SO GREAT.
  • New things I am loving about Peggy this season:
  1. SHE CAN BE SUCH A DORK. In particular, I am pretty sure that Peggy is the most obtuse thing when guys are into her. I think it's pretty clear she didn't have a clue about Daniel last season until after he asked her out and she turned him down ... then she seems to get that little "oh ... wait!" moment of realization. At the time I had attributed it mostly to Peggy getting over Steve, and that's certainly part of it, but after seeing her with Jason this season, I think that for all her self-possession, she is just kind of a giant clueless ball of dork where guys are concerned. She seems to COMPLETELY miss the giant sign Jason may as well be waving around saying "O HAI AM FLIRTING WITH YOU", and then once she does catch on, she turns into a bundle of fluster. Same thing with trying to pick out a dress for her (not) date. And that brings us to ...
  2. Peggy is ALSO a bit clueless, or perhaps I should say inexperienced, when it comes to being buddies with women. I think the actress mentioned once in an interview that Peggy is not used to having female friends; she's mainly been around guys. And I really feel like it comes across, first in her tentative friendship with Angie last season (SHE TOTALLY CALLS ANGIE EVERY NIGHT TO TELL HER ALL ABOUT L.A. BTW) and now in the slightly awkward way she relates to Ana. I loved/still love her friendship with Angie, but I also love seeing her and Ana do stereotypically "girly" things, like picking out pretty clothes, which Peggy is clearly not used to doing with someone else.
Other things
  • Still loving the 1940s feeling of the show. I think this show does an amazing job with the "period feeling"; it never feels overly modern to me at all.
  • SO PRETTY. Love the lusher, more saturated color palette this season, and the rich glowing light, very appropriate for California! The clothes are beautiful. Everything is beautiful.
  • I totally recognized that viaduct or whatever it was where they found the agents' bodies at the beginning of the second episode. I am quite sure I've seen something else filmed there, although I'm not sure precisely what -- but that shot, with the bridge in the background and the concrete walls, was so familiar.
  • ROSE! I love that she's getting a bigger role this season! I am crossing my fingers that she gets to have a badass moment before the end of the season. (I bet you a giant plate of Violet's cookies that Rose has a gun under her desk.)
  • Violet! Violet is great. I loved the surfing conversation with Rose, and I think she and Daniel are very cute even though I still (apparently) ship Daniel and Peggy with a fervor that I rarely feel for a pairing. I don't know what is going to happen with Violet, but I hope the show treats her decently.
  • I am kinda missing the cool 1940s spy gadgets from the previous season, and hope we get to see a few in future episodes. That said, Howard's sex car is HILARIOUS.


This entry is also posted at http://sholio.dreamwidth.org/1057629.html with comment count unavailable comments.
Oooh, I didn't realize Whitney Frost is a character from the comics! Yay! I really liked her as villain and I hope she sticks around. Her being from the comics makes that more likely.

I also didn't expect Thompson's arc to go quite that far in the wrong direction, but it makes sense. And while I love me a redemption story, I actually think that he's not that kind of character. I think he'll always be a bit of a weasel when it comes to grabbing for power because of his insecurity or sexism. I just don't see him turning into an upstanding guy. That said, I think there's a world of improvement between that and where he's now, so he can still make good decisions occasionally without becoming OOC.

I completely agree on "everyone is so cute, how are they so cute?!" Part of the fun of watching this show is just the genuine enjoyment I get out of doing it. I just loooove these characters. I love the setting! I love how pretty everything is and this "post war" feeling of progress and peace that's everywhere is nice.

even though I still (apparently) ship Daniel and Peggy with a fervor that I rarely feel for a pairing.

Hahaha, I'm glad to hear that!

And completely with you on Peggy being a bit clueless about men liking her. I think she's used to being hit on for her appearance but when a decent guy comes along who treats her with respect she automatically friend-zones him a bit before the clue-bat hits her. Probably has something to do with her having only male friends before.
Yes, Whitney Frost is a comics villain. I think of her as more of an Iron Man villain -- at least, that's mainly where I remember her from -- but I'm perfectly happy to have her turning up in Peggy's world. :D

And while I love me a redemption story, I actually think that he's not that kind of character. I think he'll always be a bit of a weasel when it comes to grabbing for power because of his insecurity or sexism. I just don't see him turning into an upstanding guy. That said, I think there's a world of improvement between that and where he's now, so he can still make good decisions occasionally without becoming OOC.

Agreed. I mean, I don't really see him doing a total 180 and becoming a nice guy. I just don't want him to be an outright villain. /o\ I'm totally happy with him as a slightly-weaselly ally of Team Good Guy who mostly does the right thing when the chips are really down, but can't quite be trusted most of the time. I'm crossing my fingers that when he's confronted with actual evil, he'll do the right thing. But I don't knowwwwww. I'm enjoying the suspense, but hoping desperately for a happy outcome.
I also think if Peggy is going to organize SHIELD, it can't be organized from only purely heroic people like herself and Sousa. It'll need people like Jack, too, sort of those having a hard time finding the right thing to do, but maybe in the end finding it anyway. I too am enjoying the suspense a lot! Plus, he makes Peggy's awesomeness stand out even more :D
Yes to all of this. :)

My favorite thing of 2016 so far is Jarvis flamingo wrangling. There's nothing funnier to me than a main character with a funny comic subplot. Jarvis was absolutely epic in this entire episode.

I'm with you on the Wilkes-not-dead bit. He's out there (in there??) *somewhere* and will probably re-emerge as an Inhuman or at the very least in time to seriously mess with whatever romance arc Carter & Sousa have going.

FYI... that's the Los Angeles River. I think it must be a California law that every movie and television show have a car chase and/or dead body discovery scene shot in that location.

Edited at 2016-01-23 02:51 pm (UTC)
The flamingo subplot is a lot of fun. :D It could easily be too over-the-top, but it's recurring just often enough to be funny without being frustrating.

And, ha, that would definitely explain why it looks familiar!
well, no, not a proper post at all; a flaily post laden with belabored bullet points and fueled by two large glasses of merlot.

This made me giggle. And your post! I want to draw hearts and flowers around it and carry it with me in a little notebook because I love it so much!!

My take on Jack: Peggy saw him at his worst. Peggy knows the *truth* about him and forgave him anyway--and this is eating him alive. If he were a different man, it would have been a healing moment for him, the hero who really isn't a hero and knows he's a fraud. Instead, he can't forgive Peggy for knowing the truth about him. And knowing that he's really a fraud has made him say, 'fuck it' on some level. He'll go with the plans offered to him by the powerful people because it's the only way he can continue to validate and justify his actions--by throwing in with people he knows are as soul-corrupt as he thinks he is.

I'm so with you on Wilkes. They gave him too prominent a role for starters, just to throw him away like that. Not to mention if Whitney survived--changed--then it only makes sense he could have as well. Plus, Peggy is going to need an expert/scientist to help her out with the Zero Matter conundrum--he's got to come back. Different, yes. With powers, yes. I'm betting that he won't embrace the changes the way Whitney will, and that is going to be a source of tension and pain between him and Peggy. *nods firmly*

I think you're dead on with Peggy not having any girl friends--certainly none that she could be 100% *herself* with, without secrets, before she let Angie help her in S1. I love Ana--especially how 'European' she is, and it makes perfect sense to me that Jarvis would fall for her so hard he'd do all kinds of crazy things to save her. She appeals to that part of him that thrills at assisting Peggy--and I love that Ana is so confident of her relationship with him that she's not threatened by Peggy at all.

I was SO PLEASED to see Rose again! Yay for giving her a bigger role! And Violet is wonderful too. I'm so glad they made her a nice person and that she isn't some horrible GF 'standing in the way' of Sousa and Peggy. Yay, yay, yay.

And you're so right about the cinematography and color palette too. All in all, I'm thrilled the show is back and can't wait for the next installment. :-)
Thank you!! :D

Peggy saw him at his worst. Peggy knows the *truth* about him and forgave him anyway--and this is eating him alive. If he were a different man, it would have been a healing moment for him, the hero who really isn't a hero and knows he's a fraud. Instead, he can't forgive Peggy for knowing the truth about him. And knowing that he's really a fraud has made him say, 'fuck it' on some level. He'll go with the plans offered to him by the powerful people because it's the only way he can continue to validate and justify his actions--by throwing in with people he knows are as soul-corrupt as he thinks he is.

Oh yes, this makes SO much sense ... and, aargh, it makes me want a better outcome for him while also suspecting that he's probably not going to get one; the further down he goes, the harder it's going to be to walk himself back from. (I'm still hoping that when he's confronted with genuine evil, which is almost certainly going to happen eventually this season, he's going to put the gun down instead of pulling the trigger, so to speak, but I have a bad feeling that's probably not where it's going ...)

All in all, though, I'm SO excited for the rest of this season. Bring it on!!
All in all, though, I'm SO excited for the rest of this season. Bring it on!!

Grinning from ear to ear here. :-) YES!
I'm very suspicious on how this might actually cross over with Agents Of Shield. I've heard the A pin is similar to some of the previous HYDRA insignia, and the FX were the same as the portal rock. I can't wait to see how that'll play out.
Even more than the portal stone, for me it was reminiscent of the gravitonium in AoS 1x03. But it's different enough from either that I wouldn't be surprised if it were some third substance, or some third manifestation of a common substance linking the other two. We'll have to wait and see!
I definitely think it's going to tie back to AoS somehow. Right now I'm guessing it's connected to the portal somehow, but it'll be interesting to see where it goes. On the other hand, I hope it's not TOO closely interwoven with AoS's mythology, because one of the things I like about this show is that it (mostly) stands alone from the rest of the MCU, so you don't have to watch all the other ones to watch this.
I'm curious about this too. I expect it's related to the monolith and/or the world on the other side of the portal in some way -- which is another thing that makes me think Jason's not dead; I think he's just been gated somewhere.
Howard's sex car was killing me.

I absolutely adore the Jarvises. I love them so much.

So looking forward to where this goes this season.
The thing about Thompson that irritated me most? HIS HAIR.

.... hahahaha. XD Maybe he thinks it makes him look more ~leaderish~?

But yeah, I agree with this, and I also think it's more likely than not that he's going to make a string of wrong decisions that leads down into Bad Guy Land. Which ... is really not the outcome I want for him, and I'd be utterly delighted if he ends up making the right decision (contrary to his usual habit) -- but it's definitely not the direction things appear to be headed at the moment.
Thanks for that detailed reflection, I love reading that stuff, it's nearly as satisfying as a rewatch.

Peggy and Javis are so much fun, and such great foil for each other. And Mrs Jarvis is such a doll, and good buddy for Peggy. Clearly we don't have to worry about any annoying jealousy/possessiveness sub-plots from that end.... 'Do you want to go another round with my husband?' /relieved

I agree that Thompson came back darker than expected, but I do enjoy an ambigious character with many shades of grey, both in terms of plot (everything he does could turn out to be a clever, helpful, selfless thing or expose him as a total sleezeball and fraud, you just never know) and character (redemption or villinification).

Not sure how I feel about the California relocation. It looks lovely and bright, but it's such a contrast to the New York setting. I also don't really like the characters being geographically removed, having them interact via phone is not really the same as in person.
I agree that Thompson came back darker than expected, but I do enjoy an ambigious character with many shades of grey, both in terms of plot (everything he does could turn out to be a clever, helpful, selfless thing or expose him as a total sleezeball and fraud, you just never know) and character (redemption or villinification).

Yeah, this! :D I don't think he's faking -- that is, I think he's being genuinely tempted to the dark side, as opposed to going undercover or anything like that -- but he could end up falling on either side of the hero/villain line, and I'm really enjoying the suspense to see what he does.

I also don't really like the characters being geographically removed, having them interact via phone is not really the same as in person.

Agreed! I am really enjoying all the changes in their circumstances (Daniel in charge of his own office, the Jarvises adjusting to life in the foreign wilds of LA, etc) but I also miss having the whole cast in one place.
I just want to agree with virtually everything you said here and in your 2.03 reaction post—I don't have time to write anything other than

SQUEEEEEEEEE!

Oh, and we hooked Daughter into it so bad!