Last night the second episode of “Marvel’s Agent Carter” aired right after the first. I decided to tackle each episode separately to more closely examine what happened. It certainly was an exciting night of television, and it was also pretty good as well. All that, and Ant-Man too! Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “Bridge and Tunnel,” the second episode of “Agent Carter.”
On the Radio
I think I could write a thousand words on just the opening lines of “Bridge and Tunnel,” and how happy they made me. It’s almost as though the showrunners of “Agent Carter,” Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, both from the underrated and fantastic “Reaper,” just want to make all of us fangirls and fanboys deliriously happy. One thing is for sure, the folks behind this show have watched the hell out of Captain America: The First Avenger.
“And now it’s time for ‘The Captain America Adventure Program,’ brought to you by Roxxon Motor Oil.” Beautiful, just beautiful. It’s the radio show playing while Peggy looks for an apartment at the automat, and is a fairly decent representation of how those types of shows were done. There’s lots of meta references here, Cap punching Hitler, being played by a nerdy guy with a deep voice, and of course Cap’s girlfriend being named Betty Carver. Great stuff.
In under a minute, writer Eric Pearson not only lays out what has gone before, sets up what is to come, and gives us considerable characterization to boot. There is a reason however that he is so good at economizing time. His previous credits include writing three of Marvel’s One Shot short films, including the one also called “Agent Carter” that inspired this TV series. More please, and why isn’t this guy writing for Marvel Comics?
While rooming with waitress Angie at the automat would have been the easy route, Peggy at first agrees to stay in one of Stark’s suites and heroically and proactively save her friend from ending up like Colleen in the last episode. I like Angie, and so does Peggy, but I would hate to lose such a charming character. Besides, I like how she calls Peggy ‘English.’ Hopefully things work out better this time.
Inside Daisy Clover
One of the wonderful things about watching Marvel films and TV shows is picking up the Easter eggs, the little clues, the bits and pieces from the larger Marvel Comics Universe that are dropped in to titillate, excite, and fire the imagination. Stuff like the radio show I talked about above, or when “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” referenced Zodiac or Man-Thing. It gets cooler however when it’s not even something from the comics.
Last episode the baddies made off with some of Stark’s dangerous implosives in a milk truck. Yeah, a milk truck, like a typewriter, an automat, and Bell Tel, this show loves its period props. The milk truck belonged to Daisy Clover Dairy Farm. Being a film buff I recognized the name immediately from Natalie Wood’s 1965 film Inside Daisy Clover, a Faustian melodrama that was a box office failure but broke barriers dealing with homosexuality on the screen. I laughed out loud when to find the bombs, Peggy had to go ‘inside Daisy Clover.’
One of the best parts of the much-missed “Reaper” was Ray Wise, a favorite around Biff Bam Pop! because of his “Twin Peaks” connection, and his portrayal of The Devil. Honestly I can’t think of a more fitting role for Wise in the Marvel TV Universe than the insidious Hugh Jones, CEO of Roxxon Oil. Playing a character who in the comics enslaved the Squadron Supreme and tried to destroy the Avengers seems right up Ray Wise’s alley.
And then there’s Leet Brannis, psychopathic killer taking orders from radio controlled typewriter connected to Leviathan. I like the race through the clues going on in “Bridge and Tunnel.” Carter, Dooley, and Brannis are all on the same trail, hunting the same prey, yet perceiving the goals, motivations, and those behind the scenes completely differently. The parallels with the radio show are done well too. Clever writing, again thanks to Eric Pearson.
To be sure, Black Widow was the first to appear in costume on-screen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Pepper Potts might make a try since Iron Man 3, and of course the Scarlet Witch is coming this summer in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but I might say that Agent Carter is Marvel’s newest and best super-heroine. Her heart to heart with Jarvis at the end clinches it.
She wants to save the world, she does the right thing, hell, she even has a secret identity. Peggy Carter is a super-heroine, and I want to see more of her. This show easily easily fills the hero-less void while “The Flash” is on hiatus. I want more Carter, I want more Souza, more Angie, and definitely more butt kicking action. “Agent Carter” rocks.
Next: Time and Tide
And if you want to see the Ant-Man trailer, along with my thoughts on it, click here. See you next week.