Agent Carter had its season finale last night (you can find our review of it here) and, as last year, middling ratings for Marvel’s sophomore action-adventure series means a good chance the show won’t be renewed.
This article does not contain spoilers.
Worse news for Agent Carter fans is that it’s been reported that Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter herself) has been cast as the lead in a new ABC pilot called Conviction.
That’s bad news because stars don’t usually headline two shows in a single season. The rigourous demands of a network television show are such that it would be difficult, at best, to do two.
ABC PR folks (they are owned by Disney, who also owns Marvel) were quick to state that if Agent Carter was renewed Atwell could headline both shows.
Is that impossible? Well, no, since ABC owns both shows, if the pilot goes to series and Agent Carter is renewed they have the power to manipulate the schedule to allow it.
Additionally, Agent Carter does not run a full season of 22-24 episodes. It fills in during the winter hiatus of Agents of Shield (another Marvel show) and lasts about eight weeks.
While Atwell’s casting doesn’t mean we’re done with Peggy Carter’s exploits on the small screen, it sure ain’t a good sign.
Here are five reasons we need Season 3:
Hayley Atwell kicks serious butt
[img via comicbook.com]
She ably turned what was once purely a simple love interest (in Captain America: The First Avenger) into a credible, three dimensional hero.
Atwell’s Carter is confident, but not cocky, and is well able to stand up for herself in a world dominated by men. Her development from stifled “receptionist” (“Carter, get the phones!” in Season 1) to butt-kicking master spy has been both fun and gratifying to watch.
She has charisma to spare and carries the show effortlessly.
More female superheroes is better
I wrote recently about why DC’s Supergirl was important here and Agent Carter is important for a lot of the same reasons.
Young girls need strong, female role-models on TV that are worried about more than the what the traditional TV tropes say they should be worried about.
In their comics, Marvel has done an excellent job of introducing more headlining female and diverse characters, (a female Thor and a Muslim Ms. Marvel to name just two) and they should be applauded for that.
For now, their TV universe is the same, with strong female leads in both Agents of Shield and Agent Carter.
Carter is a great show because at the beginning we’re shown a character who has the skills and experience to be exceptional, but because of her gender isn’t given a chance.
She reveals her quality by overcoming obstacles with her wits, and her fists if necessary.
She takes no prisoners, and doesn’t take no for an answer just because she’s a woman.
We need more of that on TV.
[img via fempop.com]
Hayley Atwell and James D’Arcy, who plays Howard Stark’s butler Jarvis, have amazing on-screen relationship.
Carter’s action-oriented persona is completely at odds with Jarvis’ reserved, ‘be neither seen nor heard’ demeanour. Their interplay is one of the things that make them great.
But the best part? They aren’t intended to be love interests.
They each stand on their own.
While that may change in the future, for now there’s no hint of “will they/won’t they” like on shows that had leads of both genders, such as The X-Files.
Sex won’t complicate their relationship (or the show, which happens all too often) and that’s great.
It’s okay for superheroes to have love interests but it shouldn’t be at the forefront and it looks like, smartly, Agent Carter will avoid this hazard.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Both Agents of Shield and Agent Carter have done a good job of integrating elements from their plots. A strange artifact is found to be from the Strategic Scientific Reserve’s archives in AoS? It’s referenced in Agent Carter.
Part of what makes the MCU so magical is that it feels like a shared world.
And it’s because Carter happens in the past that it’s so valuable to the MCU; history lends credibility.
They can “discover” plot threads in the past that have already been covered in the future, making it seem like a living, breathing, universe more than any contemporary show can.
If for no other reason, Agent Carter should continue to give the MCU this rich depth.
Hiatus’ are bad
Filling them with great shows like Agent Carter is good.
The way we watched TV has changed. We aren’t content to have our story interrupted by reruns, so networks front load and backload their seasons with new episodes.
What this means is that you get 11 new episodes in a row in the fall and 11 new episodes in the spring. But in between? Reruns.
It creates a monumental gap in new content, which is where a series like Agent Carter comes in. It can fill that hole and keep viewers engaged in the timeslot for a much shorter duration than a traditional 22 episode season.
With all the entertainment options available such as Netflix, Hulu, and others that are churning out new content constantly throughout the year, keeping viewers’ eyes on your timeslot is great.
Both for the fans and the network.
She’s saved the world, let’s return the favour
[img via 411mania.com]
These are only a few reasons why we need Season 3; there are more.
A lot more.
I just hope the network sees the value in Agent Carter that I do and brings it back next year.
Peggy Carter is the superhero we need right now and I hope she gets to continue the good fight.
If you love the show, use the #SaveCarter hashtag on social media to remind Marvel they have something special in Agent Carter.