Saturday, January 23, 2016

Agent Carter: The Lady in the Lake/A View in the Dark

Agent Peggy Carter () is back, relocated to sunny L.A., and after the first two episodes, already operating at break-neck speed. After the first two minutes she was operating a break-neck speed, actually. Hang on to your bright red hats!

Ten more episodes! Here we go!

I'll start out with a petty complaint so I can get it out of the way: I like the location change to L.A. just fine, but why does it require everything to be quite so glaring? What with the white spots of sunlight during the day (I get it -- it's sunny there) and the rings of lens flares off the lights at night, my eyes were aching pretty fast. Hey, I said it was petty. Moving on...

After the promising possible beginning of romance for him and Peggy, Agent Daniel Sousa () has moved to L.A. to start an SSR branch there. He catches a mysterious case where a body is found in a frozen lake -- on one of the hottest days of the year. Understaffed with green agents, he calls Thompson () now the Chief of the NY branch requesting assistance. Thompson sends Peggy, even though she just managed to track down and catch Evil Dottie () and is sure she is the only person capable of getting information from her. But orders are orders, so she goes. Luckily Jarvis () is there to drive her around and give her a residence and just like that, the band is back together.

In season 1, he was head over heels for her; now, she's head over heels for him. What gives?

For what it's worth, I've been over that whole shtick -- where a potential couple on a TV show must go through endless, unnecessary drama just to drag out their story -- for a long, long time now. So long, in fact, that it almost doesn't bother me anymore (notice I said almost), so while I wish Carter and Sousa would just get together (or not) already, I'll still be involved in the drama where he now has a serious girlfriend (Sarah Bolger) and inexplicably never pursued Peggy past asking her for a drink that one time. I will, because I'm a sucker. All I can hope is that I'll enjoy it.

As far as new additions go, I'm not convinced that as Dr. Wilkes won't be showing back up, but I'll leave that for when it happens, if it happens. Besides, there's Mrs. Jarvis to talk about! Ana () is chipper and quirky, and somewhat lacking in real chemistry with her hubby so far, but we'll see how things go. Right now, she's more the much-needed friend, and less-needed-but-fun stylist for Peggy which works well.

The dynamic duo returns!

Jarvis himself seems to have increased in silliness, which is totally unnecessary from my viewpoint, but it's early days yet, and hopefully he has some good development coming and won't just be the one-dimensional sidekick. I expected that to be his function in the first season, and now that he's already proved to be so much more, if would be a terrible let-down to take steps backwards. He and Peggy's signature dynamic is alive and kicking at least. You can really tell that the cast is having fun -- but does their fun translate directly to ours?

These first two episodes certainly were fun and enjoyable, but it's the second season, and we, the audience have come to expect things. The writers seem to be trying to pander to our collective "taste" by amplifying things we've already approved of. Mostly the fun, lighthearted, breezy, snappiness of it all, which is something I loved about the show too, but too much of a good thing can still equal a bad thing, and I missed the deeper, quieter side. It feels like Agent Carter and co. are rushing to have as much lighthearted fun as they possibly can before the season's over, and I'm doing my best just to keep up. It isn't at the point where it's actually bad, and it's possible that it has a lot to do with the first two episodes being paired together, but please, can we have some slower, more meaningful, honest moments soon? I hope it's not too much to ask.

With two more episodes to fill than the first season had, you'd think they'd have time for a breather.

One thing that is undoubtedly still in top form is our swanky heroine, Peggy. Hayley Atwell obviously knows this character inside and out, and is always on top of the way she should be, giving us a solid and thoughtful performance along with all the fun and humor and action. And I'm very glad that Sousa has moved up in the world -- running his own branch, and becoming the undisputed third main character, after the last season of sitting at a desk and being who-knows-what-number. Will he get more to worry about and chew on than his love triangle with the girlfriend and Peggy? If they know anything, he'd better.

So this wound up being more or less a checklist of all the things I hope and expect to see out of the next eight episodes. And I'll keep hoping, but at this point all I can really do is sit back and enjoy the adventure. Here's to it being a worthy one!


  1. Good review. I hope they do the second season right. The first one was so fun. And the writers probably made the first episodes fast to hook the watchers, and people who had never seen Ajent Carter.
    Jarvis is my favorite character.

    1. Thanks! Me too. Even if it isn't as good as season 1 I'm sure it'll still be fun. That's true, so hopefully they'll settle down now.
      He was mine too in the first season, but now Sousa is starting to rival. :D

  2. Still back on season one. But I've no doubt I'm going to love this season as well - and a location change sounds fun! Glad you enjoyed the start of season two, Sarah; hope it becomes even more awesome. :)

    1. Yeah, so far it's not quite as good as season one, but season one was so good that it would be hard to match. Definitely still fun! I hope you enjoy as well! :)