Last week ABC canceled Agent Carter. The show was special, for many reasons, but mainly because her character resonated with me, in a way unlike most other TV characters, especially TV comic book characters.
When I first saw the promos, I thought to myself, not only is this a secondary character from the comic books, it’s a period piece. Who was crazy enough to greenlight this project? Well, someone believed and took a chance, and I’m glad they did. Hayley Atwell and James D’Arcy brought a special magic to their roles, and Carter, instead of remaining a niche within a niche, was established on prime time, at least for a short while.
Many others have written about the show and its themes and its depiction of women in post war history. I’m not writing about any of that. I’m writing about how Peggy Carter was like one of us.
She couldn’t leap from building to building after being bitten by a spider. She couldn’t move metal with her mind. Her most exotic power was leveling someone with a punch to the face. But she was a superhero nevertheless.
She was a woman in a man’s world, and they never respected her. But she knew her true value, and demonstrated more character than the others who looked down upon her.
She loved and she lost. And she lost Captain America as she was talking to him, over the radio, when he crashed his plane into the ocean. But she picked herself up and moved on. She mourned his loss, but learned to live a life without him.
She disobeyed the rules, and she disobeyed her superiors. But she always held onto her sense of right and wrong. Whether she succeeded or failed, she was true to herself.
She was brash and foolhardy. She took too many risks for the friends she cared about. But she only did what we would have done, if we could have mustered up the courage she had.
She was an inspiration. And she left us before we were ready to say good bye.