I love television, there are so many great ways to convey a story, and it allows you to become truly immersed in the lives of your favorite characters. But, in a day I will refer to as Black Thursday, May 12th, I experienced the pain that television can bring, when my favorite show, Agent Carter was cancelled with so much potential lost and so many questions unanswered.
Peggy Carter was a SHIELD and SRR agent who lived a full happy life and died at aged 95, a war hero, a mother, wife, grandmother, aunt. But since her funeral in Captain America: Civil War, her obituary being shown in Agents of SHIELD and the cancellation of Agent Carter, I feel as if I have watched my favorite character die three times in a week.
The cancellation of Agent Carter did not come at a complete surprise,even though the critical acclaim for the show was high, the ratings were low. But just like Gatsby watching that green light at the end of the dock, I wished and wished that ABC might throw us a bone, and give the series at least one more season to tie up the loose ends. But alas, luck was not on our side as they cancelled the show.
But what makes the fans of Agent Carter so passionate is an array of reasons, from the excellent characterization of the titled character, to the beautiful and nostalgic 1940’s setting, the very real way it dealt with the misogyny of the era, the wide-variety of supporting characters, and then it’s the place it has in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – especially in the founding of SHIELD.
The superhero universe has gotten a lot of flack over the past couple of years over the way that they treat their female characters, from treating them like damsels in distress, or as only useful as love interests, to the still lack of female led films (lets hope Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel can change that) and Agent Carter was a beacon of hope wherein it represents a hero who was formerly just a love interest and became a complex and multifaceted character on her own. Soon after we received other great female-led superhero television series like Supergirl and Jessica Jones, in a way television series like these have inspired a new generation of comic book fans, young girls and women who want to see characters that they relate to and can aspire towards.
Even myself, a woman in her twenties, I feel like a connected with this show on a different level. I remember watching Peggy Carter and being totally mystified by this character, as a comic book fan I’ve been introduced to many great female characters, but to see this completely human (as in non-powered) woman who was not afraid to be vulnerable or strong, who stood up for what she believed in, who constantly pushed boundaries, felt like a luxury. When I’m feeling particularly low, I don my Peggy Carter hat and coat , put on an Agent Carter-inspired playlist and I’m ready to tackle anything.
The end of Agent Carter leaves us with a lot of loose ends and lost opportunities, these are the plot points and questions that I will be mourning alongside Peggy:
- Who Shot JT: The Season 2 finale ended with Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) getting shot over a file that he had about Peggy, or more specifically about the war crimes of M. Carter. Hayley Atwell mentioned lately that M. Carter does not refer to Peggy, and the identity would have been tied up in Season 3.
- Howard, Maria, Tony and Jarvis: Even though Dominic Cooper’s Howard Stark is charming as a single philanderer, it would have been lovely to see him meet the love of his life – Maria. Even get a chance to see young Tony and his bond with Jarvis, and why he named his AI system after him.
- Whatever happened to Dottie Underwood? Dottie, the Black Widow of the series, disappeared soon after an altercation with Whitney Frost in Agent Carter season two. While I wouldn’t be opposed to a Dottie spinoff, I do wonder what happened to her after she left Hollywood. Also who started up the Black Widow program again? What a round circle it would we flashed forward into the future and saw Dottie training up a young Natasha.
- Peggy and Angie: One of the greatest tragedies of Season 2 was that there was not of much of Angie, Peggy’s New York-bound BFF, and even though she only featured in a short dream sequence, there was hope that we would get to see side by side with Peggy, being badasses together in Season 3, but alas we won’t get the chance to see this amazing female friendship pan out.
- Is Sousa Peggy’s husband? There were two very big questions going into Agent Carter that most of the audience had, one being the creation of SHIELD, and the other being the identity of Peggy’s husband that was teased in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The last episode of Agent Carter saw Peggy embark on a romantic relationship with Daniel Sousa, her colleague at the SSR, but we did not receive confirmation that Daniel was the lucky man that ended up marrying her. Did Daniel join SHIELD with her? Did they have a happy marriage? Was he the one that Captain America saved during World War II? Still so many unanswered questions.
- Who are Sharon’s parents? Talking about Peggy’s family, in Captain America: Civil War, we (along with Steve) discover that Sharon is Peggy’s niece. This is curious because in as far as we know Peggy only had one sibling – Michael – who died during the war. If Sharon had been a child of Michael, born before or during the war she would be well into her 70’s right now. We can assume that Sharon is a niece on Peggy’s side of the family because her surname is also Carter. So did Peggy have another sibling? Did Michael not die during the war?
- The founding of SHIELD – One of the things that fans have been waiting in anticipation for is when Peggy finally ditches the misogyny of the SSR and joins up with her pal Howard Stark to start SHIELD. What were the triggers? Who was the first HYDRA sleeper agent? There is so much SHIELD lore that still needs to be uncovered.
Fans have created a petition, urging Netflix to pick up the series for the third season. Netflix already produces other Marvel series such as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. They are hoping to reach 150 000 signatures before sending it to Netflix.
But even if this is the end, and we are left with so many unanswered questions, I’m glad that we got a chance to have Peggy Carter as a staple on our screens for two years, I’m glad that we got to know her, that we could learn from her and that she gave countless women and girls a positive role model to look up to.
Thank you to Marvel, ABC, the showrunners – Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas – and Hayley Atwell and the rest of the cast for giving us this amazing show.