The MCU Ranked: ‘Agent Carter’ (Season 2)
Showrunners: Tara Butters, Michele Fazekas, Chris Dingess
Heroes: Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell)
Villains/Support Cast: Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy), Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray), Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj), Dottie Underwood (Bridget Regan), Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett), Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin), Calvin Chadwick (Currie Graham), Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper)
Cameos: Ray Wise makes an appearance of head of Roxxon Hugh Jones, and Lyndsy Fonesca returns as Angie in a brief cameo.
Plot: Agent Carter relocates to the west coast to join an investigation run by the newly appointed Chief Daniel Sousa. Here she reteams with Jarvis and Stark to investigate deaths linked to a conspiracy involving
Review: As indicated in the review for the first season and it’s current standing in the top 10 of the master list below, we really loved Agent Carter. It was smartly written, had great characters and blended social attitudes of the period with modern issues. Mostly it centred around Peggy Carter herself, the first MCU leading woman and still only one of two (seriously, get your ass in gear). When the second and unfortunately last season came around we were expecting more goodness.
We sort of got it. The characters are still there and most of the new additions to the cast made strong contributions. The story, unfortunately, was a bit lacking. Whilst the first season developing plenty of intrigue with a plot involving Carter playing double agent to clear Howard Stark’s name. This time is a bit more straight forward with Carter and gang investigating some poorly explained science that results in one person becoming a villain, one becoming a ghost and a portal to another world.
None of this science marlarky adds much to the story, and you get the distinct sense that they’re keeping it vague so it doesn’t clash with anything the modern set MCU wants to trot out. It begins interesting enough with a girl dead in a giant block of ice but as the episodes play out it becomes white noise.
The characters are the real strength here, and it’s easy to see why Hayley Atwell got given a spin-off series. She was bombastic in Captain America: The First Avenger and did not get enough screen time or narrative. She seems like a natural leading actor, brimming with charm and confidence. Carter and Jarvis make for a great double act throughout, with Jarvis getting fleshed out a bit more with the on-screen introduction of his wife Ana. Ana is a fun subversion of expectations, and her small arc dealing with her husband putting himself in danger actually played out well. Their relationship is really sweet and gives us some of the most emotional moments of the season.
Carter, meanwhile, has a love triangle brewing with scientist Wilkes and her colleague Sousa. This toed the line with tacky cliche, especially for an action based show saddled with a female lead they don’t know what to do with (looking at you, Legend of Korra). Fortunately they avoided the cringe by handling it with a degree of majority. Does it add much to the plot? No.
New villain on the block is Whitney Frost. Well, additionally there’s a Men’s Club who secretly rule society, which was a good enemy to pit Carter against. She’s been established as a forward thinking woman who subverts and attacks the system and it would’ve been fun to see Carter take these clowns apart. Instead Hollywood actress/evil scientist Frost kills them all and becomes the Big Bad. There’s a brief moment of Carter and Frost being like-minded women in a world that doesn’t want them, which would’ve been something to explore in more detail, but they don’t dwell on it. During the final stretch Frost is just there to be the villain. It’s a shame that Dottie spent so much of the season on the bench, because she was a lot of fun. Instead they pull one of my least favourite cliches of turning the popular bad guy into an ally of the hero.
Although the showrunners clearly have a good handle on the characters and know how to write for them, this transfer to the west coast did not do much to serve the story. There’s fun to had with the film industry setting it’s a step backwards for the series. Sadly it’s the last one they got to make.
Credits Scene: None.
Most Notable Easter Egg: We didn’t pick up on many this time around, but we caught the link between Whitney Frost and comic villain Madame Masque. They share a name and aspects of a back story, and both have an arc involving facial disfiguration. TV Frost just forgot her shiny gold mask.
Coolest Moment: It’s not an epic moment, but Jarvis challenging Peggy to spar is just endearing.
THE MCU MASTER LIST
The flimsy story just isn’t enough to showcase the great characters, and the lack of any sense of scale of spectacle puts it far down the list.
As always, hit those numbers to see what we said about the others.
1. THE AVENGERS
2. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
3. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
4. THOR: RAGNAROK
5. JESSICA JONES (SEASON 1)
6. BLACK PANTHER
7. DAREDEVIL (SEASON 1)
8. IRON MAN
9. AGENT CARTER (SEASON 1)
10. JESSICA JONES (SEASON 2)
13. THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
14. THE PUNISHER (SEASON 1)
15. IRON MAN 3
16. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
17. AGENT CARTER (SEASON 2)
18. AGENTS OF SHIELD (SEASON 3)
19. IRON MAN 2
20. AGENTS OF SHIELD (SEASON 2)
21. AGENTS OF SHIELD (SEASON 1)
22. THOR: THE DARK WORLD
23. THE INCREDIBLE HULK