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'Agent Carter' Stays on Message as Spotlight Falls on Adversaries

By Craig Wack | TV | February 17, 2016 | Comments ()

By Craig Wack | TV | February 17, 2016 |


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As Agent Carter marches through what appears to be its final episodes, the show known for its strong female protagonist used a doubleheader of episodes to highlight its strong female antagonists.

Last season, the series was unsubtle with its feminist message, with Peggy battling misogyny in her own office as well as the forces of evil. This season, the current is unchanged, but the writers are showing more than they are telling.

This has given Peggy’s character room to operate outside the Old Boys Club in an effort to take down the Evil Boys Club. This week it also opened up the opportunity for Agent Carter villains past and present to step front and center with Peggy off the active duty roster following a run-in with a length of rebar.

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It started with the gleeful return of Bridget Regan’s Dottie Underwood. Dottie had been cooling her heels in an unregistered federal lockup before Peggy donned a disguise and accent and sprung her nemesis to work for the side of the right (think Loki or the Suicide Squad).

Decked out in a fancy dress and a death collar (from Tiffany’s because Peggy is classy like that), Dottie is paired with Jarvis (or as she calls him, Jeeves) to covertly steal a blood sample from Whitney Frost for science purposes.

It’s not until after Dottie is eventually captured that her real strength shines through. Sadistic tools, threatening stories, and even truth serum aren’t enough to crack this graduate of the Black Widow Finishing School. It’s not until Frost works her Zero Matter magic that Dottie finally knuckles under and spills what she knows about Wilkes and what Peggy is up to.

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During the two episodes, Frost shed the powerlessness she felt her entire life and pushed back hard. She was still willing to play by the rules at first, but after the Arena Club’s star chamber was less than supportive (and tried to capture her), Frost ran out of fucks to give, absorbed most of the council - including her wannabe Senator husband - and took over the operation herself.

Frost’s new icy outlook didn’t end with Dottie’s interrogation. In order to aid her getaway from kidnapping Wilkes, Frost matter-of-factly shot Ana Jarvis in the gut before speeding off.

This show has never been shy with the commentary. It’s done its part to address issues of race and to shatter the glass ceiling. There’s not a damsel on this show and with Peggy on the mend, Dottie on the loose, and Whitney off the chain, the last handful of episodes this season shouldn’t be any different.

For those who aren’t looking for deep social context in their Tuesday night viewing, Agent Carter had you covered because this almost happened.

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Then this DID happen.

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When the chips fell, Peggy was there for her platonic soulmate.

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For discussion of this and other comic book TV shows please join Craig Wack and Pajiba commenter Tatiana Torres for the Agents of GEEK podcast updated every Friday and now on iTunes.


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