Look, I don’t mean to yell, but HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING AGENT CARTER? The first season’s finale premieres tonight—but without your eyeballs, there’s a chance it may be the only season finale. This spectacular show is in danger of going away forever due to its small-ish (but passionate) number of viewers, never mind that it’s got a tight, intricate plot that really feels like part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, never mind that it’s got fabulous costuming, set against the gorgeous backdrop of 1940s New York, never mind that it’s one of the strongest (if not THE strongest) lady-led shows on TV.
Here’s how you can help: you can watch most episodes of the show on ABC.com or on Hulu+. This is what two-week free trials were made for, yo!
Not convinced? Here’s why, in just eight episodes, we’re absolutely in love with Agent Carter.
5. It’s the Black Widow prequel we’re never going to get. Agent Carter contains all of the crazy Red Room Russian spy shenanigans we could hope for, and it delivers in the form of a devastatingly clever young woman (hint: not Peggy). This woman’s been trained from a young age to blend in seamlessly with American society, to be sugar on top and ruthless everywhere else. It’s brilliant, and her deception nearly brings everything crashing down over and over again.
4. Peggy’s brutal fighting style.
Much has been said about Black Widow’s graceful, almost ballet-like moves when she’s taking down baddies. Peggy Carter, though? This woman is brutal. All the way back in Captain America: The First Avenger, she punches a dude in the face just seconds after we meet her. In Agent Carter, this sometimes-sloppy, entirely effective trend continues, and we absolutely adore the ferocity of it. In one of her first fighting scenes, she takes out a guy with a freaking stapler to the face, then ten minutes later, hurls a dude out of a window. And don’t forget about this scene, where she fights Buzz from Home Alone with some seriously-debilitating punches, all while the hilariously inaccurate Captain America radio program plays on Buzz’s radio.
3. The well-roundedness of everyone on the show.
Peggy may fight with all the brutality of the Hulk, but she’s not a cold killing machine. She’s allowed to cry, she’s allowed to be vulnerable; she has as many clever ideas as she makes mistakes—and she’s not the only one. Even the numbnut agents we started out hating eventually unfold into well-rounded characters with interesting backstories that absolutely inform who they are and the decisions they make. We’d need an entirely separate article to talk about how wonderful Jarvis is, how delightful it is that between he and his wife, he seems to take on roles traditionally viewed as feminine and is never once shamed for it. Jarvis, you guys.
2. Peggy uses femininity as power.
Peggy’s aforementioned numbnut male coworkers ignore her war record of courage and commendable experience because she’s a lady, which is all kinds of infuriating. But Peggy, while she occasionally quips back, retaliates in ways they don’t even notice: by doing exactly the kind of feminine things they would never think to question. She uses her period as an excuse to ditch the office and get Real Work done. She serves coffee to slip into a meeting and overhear an important conversation. She hears a bad guy has a thing for blondes, so she dons a wig and sweet-talks her way past security, because what kind of a threat could a blonde in an evening gown really pose? Seeing other characters constantly thwarted because they take Peggy for granted is immensely satisfying.
1. Peggy Carter, obvs.
Peggy was already one of the best parts of Captain America. Here, on her own, she’s mesmerizing to watch. You want her on your side in a fight, and you want her on your side as a best friend (with Angie, ideally). It’s clear she still aches for Steve Rogers, but that longing never defines her. While she’s brutal with her fists, she’s clever and resourceful, and she’s allowed to have strong emotions and fears. She messes up time and time again, but never gives up, and she leans on her friends when she can’t bear it alone. If it sounds like we’re gushing, it’s because we ARE. Peggy Carter is a gift, and we need more of her in our lives.
It’s not just important for we as viewers to have this kind of interesting character to look up to. It’s pivotal for convincing dudebro executives that strong women with character deserve space at the front and center of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Are you watching the finale of Agent Carter tonight?