Peggy heads to Hollywood, and is probably really sick of evil secret societies by now.
The Agent Carter panel at the San Diego Comic Con on Friday brought us some information on where the show’s second season will be heading. We’ll be treated to 10 episodes this time, and it seems like there will be a change of pace as well as a new setting. Set in 1947, around six months after the season one finale, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) will be heading to Hollywood to investigate a murder. Showrunner Michelle Fazakas claimed they will be tapping into the “Film noir grit of Los Angeles” during this period, noting that 1947 is the year of the infamous Black Dahlia murder. Jarvis (James D’Arcy) will already be in LA, assisting Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) – who has started a movie studio “as a hobby”. Of course he has. Also, Jarvis’ wife will finally be introduced, while Peggy has “put Steve’s memory to rest and has a couple of new opportunities”. While Enver Gjokaj has been confirmed as returning to the show, there is no word yet on Chad Michael Murray or Lyndsy Fonseca yet.
During the panel, Hayley Atwell was asked what her favourite line of the series was, and stated that it’s the line often quoted to her by fans – “I know my value. No one else’s opinion really matters”. This is what makes the return of the show more exciting than any other Marvel TV project to me, not only is it an exploration of a different period of the MCU, but it explores gender dynamics in a way that other Marvel properties haven’t. Atwell explained that the show has shown us the nuances of her character, “she was dynamic and resourceful, fun and sexy and vulnerable”. Peggy is a character that is inspiring to men and women alike, one that is defined by her weaknesses as well as her strengths. The actress also addressed the progression of her character after the events of season one, where she began to move on from the loss of Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger -she’ll be “keeping him alive through the work that she was doing and the memory of him”. This looks to be feeding into what has already been revealed to us in Captain America: The Winter Soldier – that Peggy will create S.H.I.E.L.D. along with fellow founders Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) and Howard Stark.
Additionally, while doing press the showrunners added some intriguing details to their earlier description of this storyline:
“The antagonists, I would say, exist in the Marvel comics, a version of them. And there’s even a group called the Secret Empire. And I can also tell you, and this is somewhat of a spoiler, there’s a thing called Darkforce that comes from the comic book universe, which also created Blackout on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and it comes out of the Doctor Strange universe as well. That’s going to show up, causing problems for people.”
If I engage the comic book nerd side of my brain, I can tell you guys a little about these name-drops. The Secret Empire is a little obscure, but it was an organisation that began as an off-shoot of HYDRA before coming into their own in later storylines. While there were some interesting storylines about them infiltrating the U.S. government in the 70s (multiple times too, the comic version of S.H.I.E.L.D. has some serious problems with security), they’ve more or less faded away, most recently struggling for control over the Kingpin’s criminal empire. I’m not sure if the show needs another secret society after Peggy dealt with both HYDRA and Leviathan, but hey – if we’re lucky we’ll get some more scenes with Toby Jones’ Arnim Zola. Man what a fun villain.
Darkforce has less of a clear link to the show, since it is something explicitly more supernatural. It comes from another dimension made of negative energy, similar to the Negative Zone that I assume FOX owns along with their Fantastic Four package. Darkforce is utilised by Cloak, of the duo Cloak & Dagger, who traps his enemies in this dimension to subdue them, and uses it to teleport himself and others too. This could be them setting up Cloak & Dagger to be introduced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as bring in some dimension-hopping supernatural elements to audiences before Doctor Strange hits theatres next year. Personally all this sounds great to me. Agent Carter was a great mini-series, but was often brought down by the maguffin-of-the-week structure that came with that storyline. If they deliver on a murder mystery revealing a larger conspiracy at play, that’s right up my alley. And it’s also starting to sound more and more like a PG-13 True Detective. Though I’m expecting a lot less drunken nihilism from ABC.
Agent Carter season 2 doesn’t have an official release date yet, but it’s likely they will repeat what they did last season and place the show during the midseason hiatus of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. That gives us a few months of Marvel action to see us through until Captain America: Civil War is released in April 2016.
What do you guys make of this?