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The future is rarely ever set in stone when it comes to TV, so getting attached to series that aren’t ratings juggernauts and don’t yet have a renewal order is a risky business. Midseason shows’ futures are often especially uncertain, and one that definitely deserves another season is ABC’s Agent Carter.
Agent Carter premiered in January of 2015, airing on Tuesdays to fill a Marvel block while Agents of S.H.I..E.L.D. was on hiatus. What not all of us may have expected was that Carter would turn out to be a fantastic little show in its own right, starring Peggy Carter of Captain America fame as she worked to set up S.H.I.E.L.D. in the 1940s. Her adventures in Season 2 proved that Peggy had what it takes to lead an ongoing series. With the future of Agent Carter currently up in the air, the time is now to reflect on all the reasons why the show needs to return for Season 3. So, join me in crossing my fingers for a third season and take a look at nine reasons why it has to happen.
Hayley Atwell RocksHayley Atwell originated the role of Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger as Steve Rogers’ wartime love interest. While Peggy was more than competent in fighting the forces of Hydra, her primary role in the narrative was in providing half of the requisite romance. She was definitely written better than Jane of the Thor movies, but she never would have been so unforgettable as to warrant her own series if not for Hayley Atwell. She tackles every aspect of the kick-ass Peggy Carter with enthusiasm. She phones nothing in, and she brings her all in everything from actions sequences to emotional epiphanies to pithy one-liners. The entire cast of Agent Carter has been excellent, but Atwell carries the show, and she’s always worth watching as Peggy.
Seeing What Happens After The CliffhangerThe Season 2 finale ended on a doozy of a cliffhanger, and it would just be cruel if we never get any resolution. Just when it seemed like the good guys would all be getting a happily-ever-after and tying off all the loose ends, a mysterious figure showed up to attempt to assassinate one of Peggy’s allies and steal the redacted file of what we’d been led to believe were fabricated war crimes to discredit her. Given that somebody was apparently willing to kill a notable agent of the S.S.R. to get his or her hands on that file, we can assume that Peggy got up to some darker deeds than we might have expected of her after Captain America. The plot took one final epic twist in Season 2, and Agent Carter owes us a Season 3 to do some untwisting.
Getting To See Life After Jack ThompsonSeason 3 could certainly be especially enjoyable if that S.S.R. agent is in fact dead. Jack Thompson been a thorn in Peggy’s side since the very beginning of Agent Carter, and his occasional sympathetic moment and good deed haven’t been enough to totally redeem him for his treatment of her. Most of the other male agents were merely sexist and dismissive of Peggy; Thompson could be downright mean and chauvinistic. Chad Michael Murray brought a perfect degree of sliminess to Thompson, but he wasn’t so perfect that we need to see much more of him. Season 3 could pay tribute to Thompson’s moments of heroism by sending Peggy and Co. on a quest to solve the mystery of his murder, and we wouldn't have to watch him spoil any of the fun. Win-win for a dead Thompson.
There's Still Story To Be ToldEven without the cliffhanger of Season 2 and the delightfulness of Thompson possibly being dead, Agent Carter still has so much potential story left to be told. Peggy's history both before the war and during the war have plenty of material to drive another season, Jarvis and Anna have to decide how to live their lives now that kids are not an option, Howard and Jason have scientific frontiers to travel, and Sousa will have a new status quo with alpha female Peggy to explore. Besides, Bernard Stark the flamingo never got any closure to his story. What kind of justice would there be in the world of Marvel TV if Bernard Stark was never seen again?
Resolving The Romance AspectPeggy’s main purpose on Agent Carter has never been to find love, but the question of who Peggy married after Steve’s "death" has lingered over the Agent Carter mythology thanks to Hayley Atwell’s aged cameo in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. If Agent Carter was to be Peggy’s origin story, her romance had to be part of it. Now that the Jason/Peggy/Sousa love triangle has been resolved and Peggy seems pretty set on a future with Sousa, a third season could focus on other plots than Peggy’s romance. The love story box has been checked off; Peggy can progress to other personal plots. The “Who?” of the Agent Carter romance has been answered, and that bodes very well for story progress in a potential Season 3.
Peggy’s Job Isn’t DoneCaptain America: The Winter Soldier and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have both established that Peggy Carter played a major role in building the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division out of the Strategic Scientific Reserve. Peggy had already made plenty of forward movement toward becoming a respected leader among her peers, but she’s still very much an agent of the S.S.R. rather than a founder of S.H.I.E.L.D. Given that the founding, function, and fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. have been major plots of Marvel film and television, Marvel fans definitely deserve to see Peggy actively laying the foundation. At the very least, we should learn for ourselves whether or not Peggy really just wanted the initials to spell "S.H.I.E.L.D." when she picked the name.
We Need More Of The Vintage SettingVisually speaking, Agent Carter is just plain gorgeous. Peggy’s style as she switches between the acceptable daywear for women of the 40s, formalwear for her missions outside of regular business hours, and pants whenever the time comes for her to kick ass and take names are never boring, and Hayley Atwell wears them well. The men in their suits and hats help sell the trip back in time, and the contrast between the outdated technology of real life and the impossible science of Marvel manages to be both nostalgic and exciting. Each season has been an aesthetic adventure, and it would be great to see how the landscape of Agent Carter changes as the 1940s change into the 1950s.
Marvel Needs A Show That's As Bright And Fun As Agent CarterBy January of 2017, Marvel fans are probably going to need something bright and fun. The foreseeable future on screens large and small alike is looking pretty grim. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. hasn’t exactly been a barrel of laughs in Season 3, and all signs point toward a major death heading into Season 4. Daredevil is probably not going to be any jollier in its second season on Netflix than it was in its first, and the rest of the streaming series don’t look to be comedies either.
Then, of course, there’s Captain America: Civil War, which is going to divide the Avengers and break the hearts of viewers everywhere with the fates of a few of the biggest characters. Watching Peggy and Co. build S.H.I.E.L.D. could be a nice break from the doom and gloom of Marvel over the rest of 2016.
The Story Will Still Be Self-ContainedSeasons of Agent Carter just aren’t that long. Season 1 ran for eight episodes, and Season 2 ran for ten. Surely ABC and Marvel could shell out the money for another brief run of episodes for a Season 3. Agent Carter is the perfect way for Marvel to stay on fans’ radar during breaks between major releases, and it’s usually self-contained enough that new viewers can pop in for a new season even if they haven’t seen the previous run of episodes. Hayley Atwell has been cast in a pilot for another series, but she’ll be sticking around on ABC. Agent Carter with a short run is a treat each winter that is more than worthy of a place on the ABC lineup. Hopefully, we’ll get news sooner rather than later that another eight or ten episodes are in the works for a Season 3.
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