Hayley Atwell is right at home in her portrayal of Peggy Carter. She has fun and manages to deliver the severity of the position that she is in. She’s a strong woman with a lot of pride and honor. She handles the boys well, whether that is putting them in their place, or letting them think they are keeping her in her “place” as she plays them for info. She’s a solid fighter and holds her own. She really is a super agent. Skilled in multiple arenas from spy work to martial arts, Peggy is a force to be reckoned with. Her wits and intelligence as she is able to think quick on her feet proved helpful multiple times in the episodes.
The show seems to revel in allowing Peggy to go undercover, which isn’t a bad thing. Whether she was going undercover as a blonde bombshell, or a pushy inspector, each character feels unique. She truly transforms, but not so much that you lose sight of the goal and it reminds me of Alias in that sense. It will be fun to see the other personas she adopts to meet her ends as the series progresses.
It was made very clear that Howard Stark wouldn’t be a regular especially as he was being pursued for treason. Thus his butler, Mr. Jarvis seems to be taking his place as Peggy’s contact. He has great chemistry with Peggy and that says something considering they spend quite a bit of time together. However, it was made very clear that he’s watching her more closely than he let’s on. This is keeping him close to her, but for what end it isn’t quite clear.
Enver Gjokaj is positively delightful as Sousa. He’s strong and he’s willing to support Peggy. It’s nice to see Peggy having an ally on the inside of that department when everyone is giving her shit. I wouldn’t be surprised if his end game was becoming Peggy’s future (as of yet unnamed) husband. Sousa is fun when you compare him to Chad Michael Murray’s portrayal of Jack Thompson. He’s smarmy and an outright jerk, incapable of respecting Peggy as the fellow agent that she is. Murray has always been good with this sort of character as he did the same with Tristan DuGray in Gilmore Girls.
The story is highly serial, which is something that I really enjoy. We moved from the storyline with the glowing bombs in the first episode, The second episode moves into them finding out about the bomb’s explosion that destroyed a factory. Thus we see Peggy moving forward and the other agents moving forward in their work as well. While the episodes each had their own focus, they are moving continually forward, forgoing the pesky filler episodes that would have been included otherwise. Pace wise the episodes felt more like mini-movies rather than tv episodes which was something that actually made the show a bit more enjoyable.
There is something thrilling about Peggy’s secret work. She’s doing these incredibly things that her colleagues don’t think her capable of despite her record. All the while they are pursuing the traces of her work. Unlike other shows where the main character is a mile away from her pursers, they are hot on her trail and it makes her work and cover ups more important and interesting.
All of this said, there is a bit of dryness that comes with the show that I hate to admit it’s there. Peggy is fascinating, her charm is infectious, but there are bits in this show that make me feel like it’s not quite as flavorful as it could be. While these are merely scattered moments throughout the episode, their presence becomes more noticably because of how great the rest of it is.
What did you think of the premiere?