SPOILERS AHEAD! YE BE WARNED!
Agent Carter Season 1 takes place after Captain America: The First Avenger’s events occur. Captain America crashed the ship and is missing and the war is over. Now Peggy Carter has to return to her life as an agent for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (S.S.R.) in New York. We witness the struggles women had to put up with after the war was over. As the GI’s come home, Rosie Riveter and her like are sent back to the kitchens as the returning men take over their jobs. The S.S.R. is no different. Peggy gets stuck filing papers and getting coffee while the Men do the real work.
Peggy is eventually contacted by the wanted Howard Stark. He has been framed for supplying deadly weapons to the highest bidder. He begs Peggy to clear his name and get his deadly inventions back. He gives her use of his butler, who seems to me to be more than just a butler, Edwin Jarvis. Along the way they discover an organization called Leviathan (which looks to me to be the Black Widow program) that is responsible for framing Howard and is using his deadly inventions for their own purposes.
What they really wanted was to get their hands on a piece of Stark technology that would release a vapor altering the mind so it would attack all in sight (sort of like the plot for Kingsman Secret Service that came out in 2014 with Colin Firth). It was once tested on a group of Russian military men and no one was left alive. The scene was gruesome with bodies pulled apart and eyes gouged out. They released the gas in a movie theater and the results were the same. They threatened to do so for the whole of New York.
Peggy and her team eventually track the bad guys down and stops them. The man leading this mission of evil is Johann Fennhoff, a survivor/witness to the Russian massacre. He kidnaps Howard Stark and uses him via hypnosis to fly the gas to Manhattan. Jarvis follows Stark in a plane, ready to shoot him down if he gets too close to the mainland. Carter is able to talk him down, while flashing back to having to talk to her love, Captain America, just before he crashed. Stark was able to return home safely. This incident causes Peggy to finally get over the loss of Captain America and she dumps the last vial of his blood into the East River (ew). Fennhoff is imprisoned and his new cell mate is none other than Arnim Zola (fun, how ever will this go wrong?). Agent Carter is scheduled for a second season to air in 2016. The star Hayley Atwell says the second season will be 10 episodes, 2 more than the first season.
The series started out promising, with a feel much like the old detective movies that were popular at the time. That was fun until we hit more of the sexism inherent with the era. Having Jarvis sit there and tell Peggy she had to give the credit to the men in her office, because they would use it to “tear her down” was stupid. It killed the whole show for me. In the movies Peggy Carter was outgoing and very much so a take charge sort of gal who would not put up with any of their nonsense. Now in the show she is weepy and gets the lunch order without much of a complaint. In the first episode she breaks down crying over some girl that got killed she only knew for 6 months. She didn’t cry that much when Captain America died! Now she is wailing over some girl she met 6 months ago?! Come on!
The men she works with at the S.S.R. (who know her war record, but still don’t think she is good enough) will only start to give her the time of day after episode 5 “The Iron Ceiling” when the Howling Commandos show up and say (repeatedly) how she fought alongside them and was amazing. I sear, every other sentence some member of the Howling Commandos had to comment about how great Peggy was and how she was a real soldier, blah, blah, blah. The S.S.R. men start to give her respect by the end of the mission. Of course, the S.S.R. men turn on her once they believe her to be working for the enemy (in like the next episode!).
I really hope they bring back the ball-busting Peggy Carter from the movies and not the weepy, submissive Peggy they showed us in Season 1. I loved the cast and the plot was fun. I just hated they neutered Peggy. She got watered down like Captain Janeway from Voyager got watered down. All because she was pretty. Pretty people can be stern and leaders. I hope they do better with Season 2.