San Diego Comic-Con is less than a week away, and the Marvel Television panel scheduled for Friday will provide details on the upcoming seasons of both Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, as well as a possible look at the next entry in the Netflix series, Jessica Jones, which is set to wrap filming any day now. But based on a few hints revealed by the showrunners and series star Hayley Atwell, we may already have a sense of what’s to come for fan favorite Peggy Carter. As an imaginary dots piece, this contains its fair share of speculation, but as always we’re backing up our theories with hard evidence, so turn away now if you want season two to be a complete mystery.
In promoting the UK debut of Agent Carter, Atwell dropped a few hints as to what to expect for season two in an interview with Den of Geek. While most outlets have focused on her confirming Dominic Cooper‘s return as Howard Stark, the most interesting tidbit, in our opinion, is that the new season will take place a year after the end of the season finale, jumping ahead to 1947. This is particularly interesting given the continuity of Agent Carter that was established in the one-shot, which took place, like the first season, in 1946. Prior to the series debut, co-showrunner Michele Fazekas was asked by io9 how the one-shot fit with the series. At the time, Fazekas explained:
“The way we look at it, the end of the one shot is she gets called from Howard Stark saying, “Hey I want you to go run SHIELD.” So in our mind that’s sort of the last thing that would ever happen in the Agent Carter series. You will never see her going off to run SHIELD in this show. That will be the last thing that happens at the very end of the series.”
But unless they are re-writing the one-shot out of continuity all together, this now seems unlikely. Instead, it appears that season two may well show the origins of S.H.I.E.L.D. At a guess, I’d say season two opens with an abridged version of the one-shot – in a similar manner to how season one opened with scenes from Captain America: First Avenger – that shows her being recruited by Howard to help form S.H.I.E.L.D. The actions of the second season taking place in LA would then be one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s first ever operations.
Peggy helping lead one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s inaugural missions would also jibe with Fazeka’s recent comment that “The nice thing about Peggy this season is she’s not having to hide her agenda from the SSR,” suggesting she has a greater degree of autonomy than in the first season. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw her leading a team, recruiting Jarvis, Angie, Sousa and Thompson to work for her.
Connecting back to the original one-shot also suggests at the identity of the principal villain, who co-showrunner Tara Butters recently revealed would be familiar to comic fans (though she also said there would be multiple villains – unsurprising given the expected return of the Black Widow agent Dottie). In the Agent Carter One-Shot, the SSR is trying to track down the mysterious “Zodiac,” with Carter herself tracking them down and securing a vial containing an unknown but deadly substance, which many fans have speculated to be the Infinity Formula (it’s unclear whether “Zodiac” is the vial or the organization, though by my reading it’s the latter). Comics fans will know Zodiac as the criminal organization – effectively a cartel of super-villains – who have the humble goal of “world economic and political domination.” The best known member and frequent leader of Zodiac was the character known as Scoprio, introduced in Nick Steranko‘s Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.L.E.D. and revealed to be none other than Nick Fury’s own brother.
While it’s very unlikely that Scorpio will have the same identity, he seems like a perfect big bad to pit against the newly formed S.H.I.E.L.D. Not that anyone’s asking, but for me, David Hasslehoff would be perfect – not only does he himself not seemed to have aged, but it’d be a brilliant meta nod to when Hasslehoff played Nick Fury in the TV Movie Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which in turn could connect to my theory that John Ridley‘s mysterious Marvel TV show is in fact a 70s set prequel for Nick! But that has pure tin foil hat speculation).
Atwell dropped a few more hints in her interview with Den of Geek, stating that we’ll be getting a new female character, and that Peggy is likely to finally get some “action” – possibly with a new love interest teased by the season 2 synopsis. (It’s worth remembering that neither Sousa nor Thompson can be her eventual husband, given they both fought only in the Pacific theater and Captain America saved Peggy’s husband in Europe.)
We can also hope that the creators have listened to the powerful social media campaign of #DiversifyAgentCarter, pointing out the overwhelming whiteness of the first season and calling for more characters of color – Jim Morita of the Howling Commandos, who is from Fresno, California would be an obvious choice, but both Gabe Jones (also of the Howling Commandos and likely the grandfather of deceased S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Antoine Tripplet) or even Lian May, mother to Agent Melinda May, who has been established as a long time member of S.H.I.E.L.D., would be existing MCU characters that could be brought into the fold. The campaign also spotlighted the lack of diversity behind the camera as well – shockingly for a show all about women’s empowerment and being able to show that a woman can perform a job just as well as a man, all eight episodes of the first season were directed by men.
Atwell is certainly aware of the desire, saying at Comicpoolza in May that “we talked about diversity in Agent Carter, and that’s gonna be a very important subject of debate for the second season, from my part anyway.” While it’s very unlikely that any directors will be announced on Friday, hopefully the creators can reassure fans that they aware of these issues and are making steps to address it
As for the cast of Season 2, in addition to Cooper reprising his role as Stark, most of the rest of the series regulars have been confirmed as returning or are likely to be so soon (perhaps by comic con). Both James D’Arcy (Edwin Jarvis) and Enver Gjokaj (Agent Daniel Sousa) will be returning as series regulars, with deals currently being negotiated for Chad Michael Murray (Agent Jack Thompson), Bridget Regan (Dottie Underwood) and Lyndsy Fonseca (Angie Martinelli). No Agent Carter guests have been officially confirmed for SDCC, but don’t be surprised if all five of these actors take the stage alongside Atwell in San Diego.
We’re sure to learn more about season two of Agent Carter from the comic con panel. Until then, check out all our Agent Carter coverage here.