Marvel’s Agent Carter
So we’ve seen Agent Carter’s first season in its entirety, and if you’ve been reading our write ups for the last couple of months, you know what our main complaints have been for the series so far and these issues continued, including the reintroduction of Cap-heavy references, with the finale. I won’t go into detail about these over-the-top allusions, but the Cap references do illustrate the Marvel TV world’s major shortcoming. Nothing gets ventured so nothing’s gained by watching.
Sure, these shows are eye-candy. If you want to see more of “Hotwell” on-screen, you can’t go wrong with Agent Carter, and I loved an actual Jarvis—he was the Avengers butler in the comics and not just Tony’s—because James D’Arcy gave us a great sidekick for Peggy, but the show didn’t reveal anything we didn’t already know. So what was the point of telling the story?
We got some minor reveals in this show, but any major ones occurred in Marvel’s cinematic universe and we saw ripple effects from the movies in Agent Carter. What more would you expect from Agent Carter? Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD can’t advance their own storyline without the movies stepping in and Agent Carter has the added handicap of being a prequel.
Prequels are usually a bad idea—just ask most Star Wars fans—but Agent Carter did garner plenty of viewers and it looks like it might get renewed. I can get on board with a second season…perhaps.
I loved the inclusion of not one but two strong female characters, but they need to let Peggy be Peggy. Marvel also needs more strong females. I just wished Agent Carter could have more of an impact on the greater Marvel universe. Maybe a second season will impact the universe, but I doubt it.
Verdict: Agent Carter’s rough around the edges but those edges might get smoothed out next season—if there is a next season—but Marvel’s TV track-record suggests that they won’t.
Arrow headed into their brief hiatus with an episode that tried to do an awful lot. Thea’s development continued, and I think it has been long overdue, however there seems to be something manic about the pacing.
Ollie’s insistence on rescuing Malcolm felt initially believable, but actually chasing the league to Nanda Parbat stretched things too far. I enjoyed that Diggle was given a chance to be an active participant here, and we were successfully reminded of the fact that he can handle himself, but the premise felt flimsy. At what point does Oliver just embrace the concept of a plan-B?
Again, we saw Laurel cry, and almost cry. I was sick of it in season 1, and now I’m just praying she learns a third trick.
Seeing Roy open up to Thea about his traumatic experience under the influence of mirikuru was a nice touch, and it fleshed out their relationship which as mostly been on hold.
The big reveal with Ra’s was the thing that bugged me most. It’s not that it doesn’t fit, it’s that it’s another element lifted from Batman. All things considered, it’s just another reminder of the glaring absence in an otherwise solid TV universe DC is building.
This week’s episode “Nanda Parbat” continued Arrow’s trend of fast forwarding past character development and getting to a showdown of some sort. There hasn’t been much of a build up for anything this season and I wonder why the Arrow would stick out his neck for Merlyn. I don’t buy that it’s completely for Thea, and I only half believe Ollie when he said he lost his confidence.
Ollie has lost his mojo, but it’s mostly his ability to lie and garner support. He can’t convince anyone of anything—not even Laurel. The pod person herself caught Ollie in a lie. The show didn’t put a fine point on Ollie’s lack of subterfuge. That could be because Team Arrow wanted to add a hidden layer of subtext, but I’m not convinced Arrow has the requisite subtly for that kind of subtext. If they do, good on them, but at any rate “Nanda Parbat” did manage to juggle a lot of mistrust between Ollie and his supporting cast, and this mistrust blended well with the sheer number of people who know Arrow’s secret identity.
Who doesn’t know Ollie’s the Arrow? I know. Diggle’s baby, but even the Diggle baby’s been in the Arrow Cave. Still, the mass of people who know Arrow’s secret identity worked because Diggle was the only one willing to help Ollie. Arrow’s support system is not what it used to be, so that makes the offer Ollie received from Ra’s all the more tempting.
I do agree that Ra’s wanting someone to following in his footsteps reeks of Batman, and I’ll add that The Atom’s inclusion in this episode felt odd. He didn’t mesh with the rest of the story and he’s supposed to make a Flash crossover first thing after this two-week hiatus, which makes me question his link with Arrow. Perhaps he’ll get his own series next year. That would be fun. We may not have Batman or Superman, but we’ll have the guy who once played Superman playing a guy that can shrink.
A lot of stuff happened in this episode. Some of it worked and some didn’t work as well, but there are things to look forward to after the short break.