Agent Carter: Now Is Not the End/Tunnel and Bridge (EPISODE REVIEWS)

I’ve been excited for this series for a long time, having been announced over a year ago. Marvel’s success allows them to move forward (or backward) in so many directions on and off the big screen. Perhaps capitalizing on the idea that people seriously love the franchise as a whole and not just its Iron Mans or Captain Americas, this Agent Carter miniseries was brought to life, introducing us to a side of the MCU we hardly ever expected to visualize outside of flashbacks.

But now that Agent Carter is here and on our television screens, how does it hold against all its hype? I’m rather impassive to it. It certainly entertained me, but I definitely didn’t need to watch it. And this is after watching not one, but two episodes, seeing as ABC released both the first and second episodes back to back. Why did they do this? Frankly, the second episode was vastly better than the first.

Hayley Atwell’s character Agent Carter is well known to us from her wonderful portrayal in Captain America: The First Avenger, and flashbacks in subsequent Marvel releases (most notably Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), so her reinvention reintroduction fell fairly flat in the first episode. But by the second episode we got into the swing of how she goes about her espionage lifestyle, and it is fun to watch.

For those of you who enjoyed the way the 1940s were portrayed in the first Captain America film, this is definitely a show for you. For everyone else it won’t really look or feel authentic. The sets are just a bit too perfect, the quips a bit too dated, and the situations campy for the sake of making it seem unrealistically out of time.

It looks like the Stark name has been defiled time and again for the same reason. They like to build weapons of mass destruction that get into the hands of the wrong guys. Happened with Tony in the Iron Man franchise. Now we see it happening with Howard in Agent Carter. And this is a good way to take the story for the miniseries, a good entry point for Miss Carter to beat people up as she goes.

I think the best part of the show for me is Jarvis, her driver/sidekick. For fans of the MCU, you’ll remember that Jarvis is the name of the A.I. unit Tony Stark uses to voice his house and suits. Although that was voiced by Paul Bettany, James D’Arcy does a fantastic job putting a face to the voice for this series – being that this real life Jarvis is the inspiration for the virtual character.

Something that brought a smile to my face nearly every time was the way they incorporated Captain America back into the series. Some genius came up with the idea of paralleling Peggy Carter’s adventures with the overly campy Captain America radio drama, in which he saves the damsel in distress constantly, and they use the sound of slapping and punching slabs of meat to mark every time he hits an enemy. Very 40s. Very American.

It’s not necessary to watch this series to enjoy the rest of Marvel’s universe to its fullest, which is smart – because there’s just so much of it. But it is a pleasant glimpse into an uncharted period, and for that I’ll continue with it. The show itself holds plenty of promise, Jarvis and Agent Carter are a fantastic duo, and it’s a good time. Just nothing groundbreaking.

17 thoughts on “Agent Carter: Now Is Not the End/Tunnel and Bridge (EPISODE REVIEWS)

  1. I finally got a chance to start this series! So far I really like the plot points they’ve introduced, and the 1940s setting feels really authentic. And I love Jarvis! He’s my favorite so far.

    However, I felt like they overdid the whole “woman struggling to be taken seriously in a male-dominated world” theme. Sure, it would be historically accurate for Agent Carter to struggle with being taken seriously by some of her colleagues, but it got to the point where I felt like I was being hit over the head with it. It’s as if they think all men back then were pigs or bullies.

    Do you think there’s a chance they’ll make that theme more subtle as the plot takes hold? It was just such a major buzz kill for me, I couldn’t see myself really getting excited about the show if this is how it’s going to be the whole time.


      1. Does the depiction of the struggle become more accurate later? As the show stands at the end of Episode 2, I feel like they’re sending a false message of what women were actually struggling with. The disdain most of the male characters feel towards Carter is palpable. I agree that when women first entered the workplace, they encountered sincere prejudice and contempt from some men, but most often women struggled with being ignored. Men felt uncomfortable trying to figure out how to work with women, so they’d pass them over.

        I could totally get into it if the show was more focused on her fight to be included, rather than a fight against their universal contempt for her. But the current policy of all but two guys openly treating her like dirt isn’t realistic, even for the ’40s.


  2. I haven’t watched these yet… I feel like I will like them, but I also feel like people who have been hating on AoS for most of season 1 last year will find the same reasons to hate this show. I think a lot of people expect a different show than the one Marvel is bringing to them… and it isn’t because Marvel has sold the show as something it isn’t… but people keep being disappointed that Iron Man and Cap and other characters haven’t shown up… even though that was never promised. I might like Carter more, I suspect, because of it being a 1940s period piece and I wished we would have gotten another Cap movie set in that era before the time jump to the present.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed this. I won’t say it was perfect but I do think it was a strong debut? Absolutely! Do I think everyone will appreciate the noir 1940’s feel? No but I do like it. I also liked she was more of a true 1940’s figure. I hope it doesn’t change. I enjoyed the fact she was put in a historically accurate but unfortunate marginalized position after the war. I, like you, enjoyed the juxtaposition of radio show with the action. I have high hopes. I loved the nod to Jarvis. He and her injured colleague, The Russian kid from The Dollhouse, are “the enlightened men.” She’s not very…equal..with them. I’m interested to see how that plays out…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. As an occasional marvel/dc movie viewer (I watch when they’re on the tv & buy the occasional dvd after watching on the telly but not as religiously as Doctor Who, so I have left a lot of the tv mini-series stuff go by, Agents of Shield for example, too many duds like that forgettable series of the dinosaur world (one of spielbergs?) I’d have done the same for this if it wasn’t for Miss Atwell who features highly on my list of actors who actually CAN act and look good. Looking forward to it hitting terrestrial tv in Blighty in the distant future.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. She was in an episode of “Black Mirror” last year. Heart-breaking story but excellent nevertheless. If you haven’t seen them I recommend them. Dark near future/sci-fi edge stories. Many not for the faint-hearted but very good and often feature up an coming stars of the future. A bit how I’d have liked Torchwood should have turned out

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Just wanted to jump in and say she was excellent in that episode of Black Mirror. Geekritique, if you have Netflix you can find Black Mirror there. I really enjoyed it. Well enjoyed is the wrong word, but it is eye opening. It’s kind of like a modern Twilight Zone show, but darker.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I have to admit that I thought they’d pick up where the short from a couple of years ago had left off that established her as founder and head of SHIELD.
    Still, I don’t mind the different approach to show us what happened before that and how she had to deal with those idiots in her office to finally get what she deserved. It’s interesting and I’m already curious how they will make the big reveal that it was her who had done all the work.

    Besides having Jarvis as a person and not just a voice is pretty interesting to say the least. Though the phone call at the end of episode one makes you wonder if all this is staged for Peggy’s sake…

    Anyway, I found myself enjoying the episodes and demanding more at the end of the them. Sure not everything is great and some things are too staged (like you said), but all in all, I think it was a good start. If Agent’s of SHIELD taught us anything than that there are a lot of possibilities for improvement throughout a season, so I’m still curious/excited for what’s to come in this series. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s