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20 January 2016 @ 02:42 pm
Agent Carter: The Lady in the Lake & A View in the Dark  
Welcome back, Agent Carter! Below is my somewhat disjointed recap and reaction to the episodes (I'm feeling a little sick so my thoughts are jumbled).


Peggy Carter is back and still kicking ass. When we first catch up with her, she's still working with the NY branch of the SSR to capture Dottie Underwood, the 1940s Black Widow. You see some changes in Peggy's status since season 1. For one thing, she gets to be an actual field agent. And two, she is garnering more respect from fellow agents than before. We also catch up with Thompson who is now Chief of the NY Branch officially. Before the interrogation of Dottie by Peggy can really get underway, Sousa calls from LA, requesting an experienced agent to help with a murder case the new LA branch of the SSR just picked up. That's right, Sousa is now in LA and Chief of the SSR there. Thompson kicks Peggy over to LA and does it in a randomly secretive way by not telling Sousa who he's sending while telling Peggy Sousa asked for her specifically.

On my initial viewing, I wasn't sure what was happening with Thompson. Was he sending Peggy away because of jealousy reasons or was he doing some strange favor for both her and Sousa because he knew their relationship was in a weird limbo place after Sousa's move? Or both? Either way, Dottie is super disappointed she won't be interrogated by the only competent agent in her eyes. I loved that despite Thompson's initial physical posturing, Dottie completely took him down both figuratively and literally by pinning him with that table. We also see bits of Thompson's story throughout the premiere that I actually kind of liked. Not because I like Thompson but all his choices are so in line with what we've seen of him. He seemingly has little loyalty to the actual mission statement of the SSR. He just wants to matter, hence his willingness to jump ship should the SSR truly become obsolete. He's such a politician in the making that I almost want that for him. Also, finding out he got his job at the SSR via nepotism made even more sense.

Anyway, we move onto LA with Peggy where we're reunited with Jarvis and meet Mrs. Jarvis. So, I was kind of shocked at first at how different Ana Jarvis was from what I expected. She's a sharp contrast to Jarvis' buttoned up attitude with her overt affection and sassy attitude. For about five minutes I was concerned she'd go the way of "Sassy, Spunky Wife" trope with little substance but I thought the actress did a nice job of balancing out Ana's more flamboyant attitude with more thoughtfulness, particularly when she comforted Peggy at the end of the premiere about Wilkes. Jarvis is still Jarvis and therefore awesome. He longs for espionage even as he's kind of shocked and appalled by it.

We also catch up with Sousa. What exactly happened between him and Peggy? Were they dating and he left for LA and they lost touch? Were they about to start something and he left? His reason of the 3 hour time difference feeling like a lifetime sounded seriously ridiculous. Maybe I'm minimizing this but considering the kind of insanity SSR agents deal with, a 3 hour time difference feels like nothing. Or maybe because his work life is so insane, Sousa wants someone extremely conventional. Either way, he has a girlfriend he's trying to propose to except the events of this premiere happened.

I won't really get into the main mystery because it's pretty involved and actually, I had to google what that black substance was because I don't watch Agents of SHIELD. I'm not even entirely sure what the ramifications of that ooze is or how it will affect Whitney Frost as it now seems to be inside of her. I do know her character is Madame Masque so she's clearly the villain for this season. We also meet Dr. Jason Wilkes. Despite the ending of the premiere, he is listed as appearing in all 10 episodes so I'm pleased about that. I'm also really glad that Hayley Atwell's tweet about race coming into discussion during the Agent Carter writers meetings actually came to something. At first, I wasn't sure if the show was going to address that Wilkes is a black man who is also a physicist in the 1940s. They seemed to kind of do a soft throw with the detective making a casual assumption Wilkes was a janitor rather than a scientist. But boy, they really brought it front and center when Wilkes and Peggy were at the diner. I liked the contrast of Peggy's indignant fury at how Wilkes was being treated versus Wilkes taking the high road and asking if Peggy planned on punching all of LA. It reminded me of Peggy and Sousa's conversation at the end of the 1st season with Sousa being angry on Peggy's behalf and Peggy stating she knows her own worth without need for validation from others. Peggy and Wilkes' budding relationship was also a nice callback to Peggy Carter having an interracial relationship in the comics which I think was a first for Marvel (?).

So by the end of the two hour premiere, Peggy will be staying on in LA for a bit since the black zero matter has detonated, Whitney is partially infected with it and it looks like we get to see an earlier branch of HYDRA.

And now for some stray thoughts:
1) I really like that the villain of this season is looking to be a woman. Mainly because I can very much understand Whitney Frost's position and her frustration with being so blatantly objectified and thrown away as an actress. She wants to wield some real power.

2) LA's SSR has a front as a talent agency and we don't get Angie??? I know that's not completely true since I see Angie's name as a guest star later in the season. But come on! Angie and Peggy's friendship was one of the highlights of this show. As much as Peggy may get close to Ana or even Violet, I don't want them to forget about Angie and what she brought to the show and Peggy's life.

3) OF COURSE HOWARD WOULD WANT A FLAMINGO. Also, him putting a mirror on the inside roof of his leisure car is the most character-appropriate thing I've ever heard.

4) "Who's this clown?" This was weirdly one of the best visual gags ever. I laughed way more than I should have.

5) This season is looking way more Global Implications Action than season 1 which had a more personal touch to all the evil that was happening. I'm usually more a fan of the latter kind of story but at this point I trust the writers of Agent Carter to tell a good story. Onward!
 
 
 
Liliaethliliaeth on January 20th, 2016 08:51 pm (UTC)
Honestly, keeping Jarvis personality in mind, it actually makes perfect sense for Ana to be as she is. Think about it, no matter how prim and proper Jarvis might be, he's actually easily bored just living a regular life. Considering how much he enjoyed being a part of Peggy's life, and how quickly he offered his support, he'd probably be bored with a more 'proper' woman.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 22nd, 2016 01:55 am (UTC)
No, in hindsight Ana's characterization makes all the sense in the world. I somehow just didn't twig it until it all unfolded before my eyes.
The Writer They Call Tay: MCU: Howard and Jarvisawanderingbard on January 21st, 2016 12:22 am (UTC)
I'm sorry you're not feeling well! I hope you feel better soon. *hugs* Um...long comment ahoy.

I really liked Ana, mostly because I was so relieved they did the typical Agent Carter route of not following the norm, which would have been to give Jarvis a 'shrewish', unsupportive wife, who he's trying to escape from with adventures with Peggy. And they had her and Peggy be friends, which was good, because, once again, they could have gone with Ana being jealous of Jarvis' admiration for her. For selfish reasons, I'm happy that A) she still fits the Ana I wrote to some degree (more outgoing, my Ana was more shy), and B) her daemon still fits, because I can see Hesper cheerfully flapping around Ana like a little social butterfly, and teasing Haddie. She and Jarvis have a very Martin Crieff/Theresa of Liechtenstein vibe to them that I like.

But yes, we need Angie back so much. I hope Peggy is at least going to call home for chats, or Angie will need to come out to help with her acting skills. As much as I'm happy Peggy has Ana to be her 'supportive lady friend' this season, I want Angie.

And I'm super pleased with Wilkes, for the reasons you mentioned. In the same way they did for Sousa's disability, I like that his race is a factor, but not his whole character, and they didn't hit us over the head with "RACISM!!!1!' like they could have.

Although, did Wilkes apply to Stark Industries as part of his 16 companies? Because as much as Howard is an awful human, I can't see him denying a talented man work just because he's black. I know it was probably just a contextual line, but my first thought was literally 'what about Stark Industries?'

Also, we know now that Jarvis went himself to get Ana (I bet his stealing the plane was ridiculously politely done), but if they only knew each other for a few weeks, that once again leaves me with a timeline issue. He says he met her before the War, but he didn't come to work for Howard until 1941. If he got her out in 1937, what was he doing for the four years in between? Or did he only know her for a few weeks, and Ana meant he came back for her later on when he knew she was in trouble? Because I could see that being the case.

OF COURSE HOWARD WOULD WANT A FLAMINGO. Also, him putting a mirror on the inside roof of his leisure car is the most character-appropriate thing I've ever heard.

Both these details delighted me. Howard Stark would totally wake up one morning and decide he was going to have a flamingo. Also the whole scene, and actually during the whole show, Attwell and D'arcy's comedic timing were spot on. I liked that Jarvis managed to get one over on her during their sparring, because they could have played it for laughs of Jarvis being completely incompetent. I also really enjoyed Jarvis' lament about LA's conditions. I can picture him and Haddie discussing it, like:

Haddie: The weather is very nice here.
Jarvis: Yes.
Haddie: It hasn't rained in some days.
Jarvis: Yes, I know.
Haddie: You can see the sky. It's blue.
Jarvis: Yes, it's very blue.
Haddie: I don't like it.
Jarvis: No, it's quite suspicious.

And I once had a fic idea of the cliche of Jarvis and Peggy having to pretend to be married for an investigation, and Peggy needing a wedding ring, and Jarvis pulling out a box of them Howard keeps in the car for such occasions ("what size are you? Silver or gold?"), and I wasn't sure if that was plausible but now I think Howard probably has a button that you can press to deploy wedding rings on command.

So, basically, 'yay' very much so.




Edited at 2016-01-21 04:11 am (UTC)
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 24th, 2016 08:11 pm (UTC)
But yes, we need Angie back so much. I hope Peggy is at least going to call home for chats, or Angie will need to come out to help with her acting skills. As much as I'm happy Peggy has Ana to be her 'supportive lady friend' this season, I want Angie.

It seems like Angie will be back for one episode in what sounds like a dream sequence of some kind. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I have a lot of faith in the writers but I feel they're missing out by not having Angie be in Hollywood with Peggy.

Although, did Wilkes apply to Stark Industries as part of his 16 companies? Because as much as Howard is an awful human, I can't see him denying a talented man work just because he's black. I know it was probably just a contextual line, but my first thought was literally 'what about Stark Industries?'

My guess was that he did apply but since I'm assuming Howard doesn't personally hire people at certain job levels, someone else who would have been Wilkes supervisor didn't take him on.

The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on January 24th, 2016 10:39 pm (UTC)
It seems like Angie will be back for one episode in what sounds like a dream sequence of some kind. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I have a lot of faith in the writers but I feel they're missing out by not having Angie be in Hollywood with Peggy.

Hmm, that doesn't sound great, but that would at least show they haven't forgotten she existed. Was it a case of the actress not being available?

Maybe we can just pretend Angie is really busy being on Broadway in her new hit show.

My guess was that he did apply but since I'm assuming Howard doesn't personally hire people at certain job levels, someone else who would have been Wilkes supervisor didn't take him on.

That did occur to me, too. Someone has to be in charge while he's off making movies and buying flamingos. It was just one of those moments where I went 'hey!'.

I hope you aren't too buried in the snow! I've been thinking about you.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 24th, 2016 10:45 pm (UTC)
Was it a case of the actress not being available?

Granted, I haven't done too much research but it doesn't look like she has something coming up that would feasibly stop her from shooting Agent Carter. So I don't know. I can't tell if they're giving more time to Rose and Ana because they can't have Angie or vice versa.

I hope you aren't too buried in the snow! I've been thinking about you.

It wasn't that bad where I am. I managed to trek out today to look in on a friend's cat while she's away. NYC seemed quite at the ready with their snow plowing so it was more about not accidentally getting caught in a crossfire with kids having snowball fights on the street.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on January 24th, 2016 10:59 pm (UTC)
I can't tell if they're giving more time to Rose and Ana because they can't have Angie or vice versa.

I have to admit, I like seeing Rose in a more prominent role, and I'm happy to have Peggy have some female support out there, even if Angie couldn't make it.

NYC seemed quite at the ready with their snow plowing so it was more about not accidentally getting caught in a crossfire with kids having snowball fights on the street.

That's good! Our first big snowfall here this year didn't get snow plows out until the night, so you're better off than us! Not to downplay the seriousness of bad weather, or anything, but this sort of weather always makes me want to write fics with characters trapped inside due to snow. I came across the 'Lindsay' Snowstorm of '69 (?) when doing research once, and all I could think of was Howard building a snowplow in the basement so he could get out and go to work.

Maria: Who are you going to work with when you get there? Everyone else is trapped, too.
Howard: Not when I make six of these and send them out to clear the streets!



Edited at 2016-01-24 11:02 pm (UTC)
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 24th, 2016 11:15 pm (UTC)
I'm happy to have Peggy have some female support out there, even if Angie couldn't make it.

I'm glad that the show in general is giving us more female characters overall. And everyone has their own personality which is also great.

Maria: Who are you going to work with when you get there? Everyone else is trapped, too.
Howard: Not when I make six of these and send them out to clear the streets!


I can see Howard getting ready to plow through but doing last minute adjustments while Dejeni stealthily builds a snowrobot.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on January 25th, 2016 12:06 am (UTC)
And everyone has their own personality which is also great.

This is really important, too. You can have interesting female characters without requiring them to be able to kick ass. There are many ways to be strong.

I can see Howard getting ready to plow through but doing last minute adjustments while Dejeni stealthily builds a snowrobot.

Ha! And Maria standing there, telling Howard to come back inside while Tomor is quietly helping shape the snowrobot. With disapproval, of course.

Haddie: Perhaps you should tell Mr. Stark to come in? Perhaps you should ask Mrs. Stark to ask Mr. Stark to come in?
Dejeni: The head's wrong.
Tomor: It is not, it's perfectly proportioned.
Dejeni: Who's the CEO around here? This would never fly in production.
Tomor: *otter pounce*
Haddie: Perhaps I should tell Jarvis to ask Mrs. Stark to ask Mr. Stark to--oh, never mind. *flops in the snow*



Edited at 2016-01-25 12:06 am (UTC)
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 25th, 2016 01:14 am (UTC)
There are many ways to be strong.

Yes, I'm all for this. We need more shows that highlight this.

Dejeni: The head's wrong.
Tomor: It is not, it's perfectly proportioned.
Dejeni: Who's the CEO around here? This would never fly in production.
Tomor: *otter pounce*


Hee! I love the image of the two of them rolling around in the snow, eventually just destroying the snowrobot during the tussle.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on January 25th, 2016 03:22 am (UTC)
This seems relevant.

Now that we've met Ana, I have a feeling Jarvis would be standing there, looking at the chaos in a helpless state, and then be hit in the back of the head by a snowball, and find Ana and Hesper giggling behind him.


formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 25th, 2016 03:34 am (UTC)
This seems relevant.

You always find the perfect photos.

and then be hit in the back of the head by a snowball, and find Ana and Hesper giggling behind him.

HEEE!!

So, as I watched Jessica Jones and Daredevil, I was so convinced that at any moment, my daemon-creating bone would get tickled. And nothing. I think both shows are too dark for such things. Even Hannibal provided some daemon-creating atmosphere!
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on January 25th, 2016 03:53 am (UTC)
You always find the perfect photos.

It's a gift. One of my many useless ones.

So, as I watched Jessica Jones and Daredevil, I was so convinced that at any moment, my daemon-creating bone would get tickled. And nothing.

I find some things just aren't as easy to daemonize, and I don't know why. It's nothing to do with a fantasy element, because I've done non-fantastical daemons (such as the sudden, unexpected Nero Wolfe kick I went on for, like, three days). But sometimes I look at shows or fandoms I like, and wonder about daemons, and go 'meh'. I think for some things, the daemons would take something away instead of add it. I even find that in some stories, where daemons just don't work for the story I'm trying to tell because it changes the rhythm of it.
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formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 26th, 2016 05:36 pm (UTC)
Steve: What was his name?
JJ: .Kyle.
Steve: Is that true?
JJ: ...No.


Hee! I'm sure Kyle the Hippo eventually got realized as a figure in one of JJ's books.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on January 26th, 2016 06:25 pm (UTC)
He can join Admiral Fish the elephant, and the sea turtles in the tattoos I gave Tess, which JJ named because he was really upset she hadn't. I imagine it's something like our animal tea parties, only all the animals learn about manners and getting along.

Oh, and Ernie the astronaut bee, of course. I'm sure he's there, too.

Edited at 2016-01-26 06:26 pm (UTC)