By DYLAN GOWAN.
On Wednesday Agent Carter is back, this time premiering on TVNZ OnDemand. Agent Carter was one of my favourite shows to debut last year and is waaay better than its Marvel TV cousin Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
For those of you out of the loop, Agent Carter follows on from the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and sees Agent Peggy Carter working as the only female operative for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) the precursor to S.H.I.E.L.D. Think Mad Men and The Avengers mashed into one glorious combination.
It is my true hope that you will log in to TVNZ OD every Wednesday to watch both Agent Carter and iZombie (which continues its second stellar season) and be entertained beyond your wildest dreams.
So, in anticipation of Agent Carter’s seconds season debut, I thought it would be good to look back on what happened in season one and what we have to look forward to in season two. Obviously this goes without saying but, SPOILERS AHEAD. You’ve been warned.
In the first season, having not long lost Steve Rogers (Captain America), Peggy was back to work at the SSR, where the on-the-run Howard Stark was being investigated for selling weapons to enemies of the US. Of course, Stark proclaimed his innocence and sought Peggy’s help to clear his name, to which she agreed.
Over the course of the season, it turned out that a soviet organisation called Leviathan were behind the stolen weapons and were planning to release a gas that led people to violently attack and kill each other on New York city in retribution for the use of the gas by the US during WWII (without the permission of Stark).
Oh deary me.
In an attempt to draw out Leviathan members Johann Fennhoff and Dottie Underwood, Stark was used as bait. But the plan went awry and Fennhoff successfully hypnotised Stark into flying the plane loaded with the gas over New York city.
At this point, things looked pretty bad.
But, as in most good stories, Fennhoff was apprehended and Peggy kicked some serious Dottie butt and managed to get through to Stark and convince him not to release the gas.
YAAAY! Unfortunately, Dottie (although her real name is probably something more Russian sounding, although maybe Dottie was a popular name in Soviet Russia?) got away. Booo!
And that was basically season one. Of course there was heaps of other stuff that went on, but that was the gist.
So, now that your memory has been refreshed we can move on to the upcoming second season. And it looks glorious.
Set in 1947, six months to a year since the events of the first season, Peggy has moved to LA to deal with the threats that nuclear weapons pose in the wake of World War 2.
Hollywood in the 1940’s was a hub for movie stars and talented scientists, making it the perfect place to set the second season.
Peggy arrives in LA after a homicide occurs that goes beyond the scope of the LAPD. It looks likely that this homicide will have something to do with Darkforce, a negative energy in the Marvel universe that is drawn from a dimension near our own.
Peggy will be investigating a company called Isodyne Energy, who are in the business of making nuclear weapons. Isodyne have been regularly testing atomic bombs in the desert, but one of these tests went unexpectedly and led to the discovery of Darkforce, which they call Zero Matter.
Showrunner Michele Fazekas, in an interview with CBR, likes the versatility of Darkforce and the flexibility it offers story wise – as well as for allowing the show to tie-in with S.H.E.I.L.D and the upcoming film Doctor Strange.
“The cool thing about what we learned as we researched Darkforce over the course of Marvel comic book history is, it affects people in different ways. It’s created a bunch of superheroes, it’s created a bunch of villains, and it has all these different properties. It could be a liquid, it could be a gas, it could be a solid, it could give you powers, it could kill you. It has a lot of different applications, which was cool for us. We were able to select what we liked and sort of make our own rules as to what it does, how it operates, and who it affects in our world,” she said.
We’ll also be introduced to some new characters, Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett) and Ana Jarvis (Lotte Verbeek).
You may know Whitney Frost as Iron Man villain, Madame Masque. But in Agent Carter she’s going to be a bit different. Frost will be a sort of Hedy Lamarr – a beautiful actress and scientific savant. Frost is married to the owner of Isodyne, but she is the brains behind the outfit.
“The only way Whitney Frost felt she could exert power in the world was through her husband, because she had been told her whole life, “Nobody cares how smart you are, they care about how pretty you are.” You see the makings of a villain, but she doesn’t start off evil…We have the time to understand, how do these two women who are — she and Peggy are both smart and beautiful, and they ended up in very different places in their lives,” said Fazekas to CBR.
And yes the inclusion of Ana Jarvis, Edwin Jarvis’s wife, means we’re not leaving Stark and Jarvis behind in New York.
Stark has moved to LA to be close to the scientific community and to start his own studio, and Jarvis is coming with him – eager to work with Carter once again.
After all, Agent Carter just wouldn’t be the same without Jarvis.
Sousa and Thompson are back as well, with Sousa now heading up the SSR in LA and Thompson in New York, where things look to be getting a shake-up.
New additions to the cast also include Reggie Austin as Jason Wilkes, a scientist at Isodyne (who may or may not end up making himself permanently invisible); Kurtwood Smith as Vernon Masters, Veteran of the War Department; and Ken Marino as Joseph Manfredi/Blackwing, leader of the Maggia Crime Syndicate (and possible controller of bats).
Agent Carter’s second season is shaping up to be a good one, the ten episode second season kicks off with a double episode premiere January 20 on TVNZ OnDemand.