In just seven days, things will finally start to get back to normal for Marvel fans. For the past few weeks, there has been no new content out on TV, Netflix, or in theaters. That will all change when season 2 of Agent Carter returns.
This season will bring new challenges, new foes, and new friends all to a brand new city for Peggy. It’s safe to say her life is changing in a big way. During the first season of the show, she dealt with Leviathan and Dottie but the former is all in the past. Showrunners Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas spoke to Comic Book Resources about Dottie and the end of the first season.
Butters: You’ll definitely see Dottie. Zola was a fun tie-in, basically saying, “Oh, this technology that Fennhoff developed was used in the Winter Soldier program.” We mention the whole Leviathan thing, but we wrapped up that story.
The appearance of Zola was a very cool connection for the show to make, and made it possible that he could return again. With them moving on from Leviathan and Hydra, they are turning the focus to Whitney Frost aka Madame Masque (Wynn Everett). As for how she will be portrayed, they are telling a unique story.
Fazekas: Even though we’re not really telling the, “Oh, my God! Everybody’s so sexist!” story, we still deal with that story in that 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. She starts off manipulative and not the nicest person you’ve ever met, but she’s not a bad guy when you first meet her. 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, and [we’ll explore], how did it happen?
They are also bringing Ana Jarvis into the picture this season, who is someone who will help out both Peggy and Jarvis different areas of their lives.
Fazekas: We’d always intended on meeting Ana, but it didn’t really fit into the story we were telling in the first season. We wanted to be really specific about who the woman is that Jarvis is just madly in love with — which is why I think Jarvis and Peggy can have the relationship they have, where there’s no weirdness or sexual tension, because you never question if he loves his wife. They can have this very close relationship and love each other, but there’s no, “will they or won’t they?” So when we were thinking about, “Well, who would he marry?” we really wanted her to be unexpected.
It makes sense in that, Jarvis likes Peggy Carter, so of course the woman he’s in love with would not be a quiet, prim and proper lady. She would be someone different, someone who challenges him, someone who excites him. We also wanted to be very clear that Peggy and Ana really like each other, and that there’s no jealousy from Ana. Ana and Jarvis are so comfortable in their relationship, they’re not going to be jealous of other people coming in and out of their lives.
Aside from the two bigger female additions to the cast, season 2 will also feature a return of Lesley Boone as Rose.
Fazekas: We also bumped up Rose, who’s played by Lesley Boone. She’s the one in the pilot who said, “Love the hat,” to Peggy. She worked the phones. We had an opportunity to bring her out to L.A., too. She’s come out with Sousa and is another person for Peggy to talk to, who knows her secrets and knows a lot about what’s going on. Rose has a fun ride. I really love what we’ve done with her for the second season.
One of the great things about season 1 was how well the relationship between Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy) played out. Their chemistry was perfect, on and off screen, and the fact that we get more in season 2 should make us all happy. Fazekas says that it was challenge but one that ended with a “nice arc” for Jarvis.
Fazekas: Jarvis has a nice arc over the course of the season. He really got a taste for adventure with Peggy in the first season, so, when she comes back into his life, he’s so happy because he’s so bored with being Howard Stark’s butler and setting up Howard’s Beverly Hills estate. He’s begging her, “Please let me come out and help you.”
It’s interesting — to sort of back away from it for a second — we really believe that the Peggy/Jarvis relationship is the center relationship of the show, and it’s a challenge as a writer because, he’s not in the SSR, he’s a butler. How do you tell stories with those two in a way that doesn’t feel like you’re jamming them together because you want them in scenes together? The great thing about moving the story to L.A. is, it’s a really organic way to include Stark and include Jarvis. We said, “Howard has moved to L.A. because there’s a scientific community. Howard’s going to move his operations, do some contract work for the government, and also open up a movie studio in his spare time. Jarvis is out here for that setting up stage.” And then, if he’s the one who’s saying, “I want to come out and help you,” then OK, great, now we’re on.
But what that starts is a really interesting story for him, which is, how much did he really understand about what Peggy does? For him, it’s like a fun diversion, even though he’s in danger and even though his life is threatened. For Peggy, it’s her job, and it’s exacted a real cost. She lost her roommate in the pilot, she lost Steve in the movie. She sees it as a really different thing, and we will see in Jarvis’ story how he grows to understand that and where he comes out in the end. It will have a cost for him, and it will have an impact on his relationship with Peggy because at a certain point, she has the right to say, “This is not a frivolous thing. This is my job, and there’s a real consequence to it.” It provided a lot of great drama and conflict. There’s a place for Jarvis to go. He actually, I would argue, has probably more of an arc in this season than he did last season.
No matter how great the side characters are, the success of this show will hinge on how great Peggy’s story is. This season, Peggy is looking for love, and possibly evil within the SSR.
Butters: Peggy is really interesting. She put a lot of things emotionally to bed in the first season; she let go of Captain America, she found her place in the world at the SSR. In the second season, we meet a different Peggy, in a lot of ways. She’s more open to looking at her life and figuring out, does she want a relationship? She feels comfortable in her work environment, except for what she’s starting to realize is her own idealism, in some ways, hindering her from being able to see that there is corruption within the SSR. That’s one of the things on the professional side that she has to learn to deal with — she can’t look at everything through the same lens that she used to.
Through the experiences she has in the second season, she starts to, I don’t want to say be a more cynical Peggy, but I think she starts to have to recognize that not everybody has her ideals. In order to get to the core of what’s going on, she has to recognize there are people out there who are out for themselves and don’t care what’s right or wrong. She has to go outside her own comfort zone.
That last quote has some very nice parallels with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In both cases, Steve and Peggy are both moving on from their losses, investigating the companies they work for, and show how their morals are widely different than most of the other people they encounter. Season 1 of Agent Carter, similar to The First Avenger, was a very good building block. If Season 2 of Agent Carter can mirror the success of The Winter Soldier, we could have something really special in our future.
Season 2 of Agent Carter premieres one week from today with a two hour premiere at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.
Source: Comic Book Resources.