Ah parting is such sweet disappointment. Or sorrow, not sure which, but disappointment is definitely what I’m going with for the Season Finale of this Marvel ‘tie-in’ show that aired between, and acted as a filler during, the mid season break of Marvel’s ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ The Season– or rather Series finale, given that the show was only 8 episodes long with no word of being renewed or having plans for a second season, ended on a note that was quite a letdown. More than that, looking back at the series as a whole, provides a new perspective on a show that seemed like it was going to be something great, but ended up being quite pedestrian. Before continuing with my Season wrap-up of ‘Agent Carter’, feel free to take a look at my thoughts and expectations from the series before it aired over here.
‘Agent Carter’ had some great set ups through out it’s Season; mysterious war-time massacres, a possible conspiracy theory, mute henchmen and sleeper Russian agents being commanded by mind controlling doctors, secret organizations, technology ripped from the pages of classic science fiction… all lead up to a larger plot of personal revenge. Yep. The entire story, and everything leading up to the final episode, has all been orchestrated by evil Russian doctor Ivchenko, simply to satisfy a personal vendetta against Stark himself.
Now let’s keep in mind that my disappointment could be simply due to my high expectations for the show going in. As can be read here, I had high hopes for ‘Agent Carter’ to connect to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe in some way or another. Also given that Marvel doesn’t really create anything without a larger plan in mind, I expected this series to be in some way, do exactly what prequels are meant to do, which is to enhance or give any better understanding of the current slate of films, nor does it provide any historical insight into the origin stories of characters currently in ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.LD.’ which were shown to connect with Carter’s time line during the 1st half of Season 2.
The mini series of ‘Agent Carter’ was ultimately a completely self contained series featuring a character from the MCU, and showcasing an adventure of hers, involving the father of Iron Man, Howard Stark and their exploits in taking down a bad guy with a vendetta against him. The show had its moments of humor and great action, along with some episodes of intense storytelling. ‘The Iron Ceiling’ has to be my most favorite episode of the series, which featured Neil McDonough’s Dum Dum Dugan and his Howling Commandos, and saw a return of Carter to her ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ days. Despite those elements, that episode was written very well, contained a lot of set ups, plot points and back story that advanced the story more than any other episode. Looking back on the series as a whole, I feel a lot of time was wasted with James D’Arcy’s Edwin Jarvis character acting as comic relief. He played the typical meek British butler who acted as the damsel in distress to Carter’s capable female action hero. The formula would’ve been less cliché if we saw Jarvis develop in something more, but he remained meek through and through.
We also saw a lot of screen time wasted establishing and re-establishing Howard Stark as a womanizer, something which had almost been done to death with the first Iron Man movie as well, and those elements were almost recycled for the portrayal of Howard Stark in ‘Agent Carter’. While Bridget Regan was great as Dottie, I feel she was under-utilized and her possible connection to being from a training program similar to what Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow may have gone through, was underplayed way too much. That’s a plot point I feel would’ve given Johansson’s character a great possible back story, maybe even to be utilized in that solo movie that she’s never going to get.
‘Agent Carter’ was a show that almost set up false expectations of certain elements that were revealed to be not what they was initially teased. The pilot episode featured glowing bombs and henchmen who spoke through a voice box, while the reveal of the main story arc was a personal revenge story that had nothing to do with anything. When the series was conceptualized, there was also rumblings of how the show would pick up on the tease from ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ and deal with how Agent Carter and others founded S.H.I.E.L.D., while the show didn’t touch upon those aspects either. On it’s own ‘Agent Carter’ was a decent enough story that would have been great as being about a completely different character, but being set in the MCU, the content of the series seems lesser than it is in direct comparison to the superhuman elements of that world.
Be sure to let us know what you thought about ‘Agent Carter’ in the comments below!