Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Agent Carter 1.07 Review: Trust is Truth

For all those that have yet to watch last night’s episode of Marvel’s Agent Carter, entitled ‘SNAFU’, now would be the time to do so before proceeding ahead. This is not a spoiler free review. I repeat, there will be spoilers ahead. Read ahead at your own discretion.
Speaking as – or at least writing as – someone that doesn’t quite favour the forties and basically anything set in that decade, this series has really grown on me. The first few episodes were somewhat weak, as Peggy really only attempts to get Howard Stark’s stolen weapons back in order to clear his name, I’ve really found that the last two or three episodes have really helped to make me see this series as a contender – and not just something that has temporarily taken the place of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. These characters have really grown into people, rather than one-dimensional character traits. Chad Michael Murray’s character Thompson has evolved from a chauvinistic man that didn’t believe a woman could be his equal, into a man struggling with guilt that doesn’t quite know how to deal with it. Likewise, James D’Arcy’s Edwin Jarvis has slowly shifted into a man who cares about not only defending Howard Stark, but also an honest friend of Peggy Carter, so much so that he would forge a confession from his aforementioned employer. Real people feeling real things and acting in ways real people would in dire circumstances.
Getting back specifically to this week’s episode, I have to express how much I enjoyed the opening sequence. Hayley Atwell has continued to exceed expectations as Peggy Carter, particularly in playing the only character that felt developed from the beginning – although perhaps that was because she was stepping into a character she’d already been able to get to know. The opening scene between Carter, Thompson, Sousa, and Dooley was quite wonderful. I loved the intricacies of it; Enver Gjokaj reactive skills when Carter figuratively slapped him when she told Sousa he’d held her on a pedestal, or Thompson basically begging her to confess so he wouldn’t have to effectively torture it out of her, and of course Atwell’s performance throughout. This was possibly the strongest opening this series has had to date, and it honestly makes me wish the ratings were stronger than they are.
This show started off, at least for me, as a filler until Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returned, but now I’m hoping to get more out of this than just that. Perhaps even something along the same lines next year if both are given another season. That way this show could help bridge the gap between the S.S.R. and the beginning of S.H.I.E.L.D. There could even be a couple of Easter eggs for how Hydra are able to worm their way into the new order. Honestly, there could be a litany of creative ideas to keep this series running in brief eight – ten episode runs. But maybe that’s just my opinion.
All of the intricacies of this series are beginning to work really well, just as the series winds down its first season. The acting quality has grown incredibly, the snappy dialogue isn’t as cheesy as it started off, and the colouring scheme is just so brilliant the forties are beginning to grow on me. I really loved that Thompson was right in not trusting Dr. Ivchenko, and how good Dottie has been deceptively. The only thing I really had issues with this week – and the same goes for last week – is how ridiculous the whole hypnotizing angle was. I get that it served the story, but I don’t really feel that it was organic to what was going on. Sure, a lot of ridiculous things are possible in this world, but it just doesn’t sit right how easy it was for the doctor. Maybe it just wasn’t acted or laid out as well as it could’ve been.
Alas, I leave you with two final comments. One is that I greatly hope – once again – for a second season in order to see more of these phenomenal characters, including Lyndsy Fonseca’s Angie Martinelli, who was sadly not in this week’s episode. The other is that, while there was a lot of great dialogue this week, I can only include so much in my favourite lines, so unfortunately the whole table-mirror bit was not included, nor is the bit where Peggy expresses how she is overlooked or that she wanted to protect Steve. But make no mistake, if I wanted to pause this episode fifty different times, they would be included.
My rating: 7.5 out of 10.

Best Lines:
“I’ve got a dozen guys in there wish they could play the game half as good as you.” – Dooley says to Carter.
“To you, I’m a stray kitten left on your doorstep to be protected. The secretary turned damsel in distress. The girl on the pedestal transformed into some daft whore.” – Carter explains to Dooley, Thompson, and Sousa, respectively.
“For the record, I find you repulsive.” – Dooley tells Mr. Jarvis.
“Have you ever been hanged, Mr. Jarvis?” – Carter asks. “I can’t say that I have; no.” – Mr. Jarvis responds. “It is quite unpleasant.” – Carter states.
“Well, as long as you saw it too.” – Thompson responds to Mr. Jarvis’s attempts to corroborate Carter’s statement.