This week in television kicked off with another strong episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine that focused on developing the dynamic between Jake and Holt, which is always a winning combination of characters to focus on. On Monday, Castle wrapped up its latest two-parter with a stunning psychological thriller. Tuesday featured a pair of penultimate episodes, as Agent Carter sped toward this season’s finish line with a literal bang and Parks and Recreation focused on its supporting characters in the last two episodes before its series finale. Also on Tuesday, The Mindy Project brought Mindy back to New York and brought her and Danny’s little secret out into the open within the practice. Finally, Wednesday gave us another compelling hour of Suits, an episode of Nashville that made me cry more than once, and a stunning examination of honesty and innocence on The Americans.
This was another week of standout episodes and moments on television—from Nathan Fillion’s amazing work on Castle to Deacon’s tears while watching Maddie play the guitar on Nashville. However, one moment stood out above all the others, making me want to stand up and cheer as it unfolded—and that was Peggy’s astute examination of how the men around her view her on Agent Carter.
Agent Carter has never shied away from directly addressing the sexism women faced in Peggy’s time and still face today, but this was perhaps its most scathing takedown of sexist attitudes yet. The men around Peggy—even the ones who seemed to genuinely respect her, like Sousa—couldn’t see beyond their own preconceptions about women to even attempt to understand Peggy as a person and not just as a stereotype. Men have tried and often still try to write women’s stories for them, forcing women into narratives of their choosing instead of accepting that women can be complex human beings with unique stories and motivations that don’t always revolve around men. To the men around her, Peggy needed to be a character in their stories rather than the main character in her own—she was the lost soul taken in, the damsel in distress, or the romantic interest. And when she didn’t fit those narratives, they crafted new ones to paint her as a supporting character in Howard Stark’s story. But Peggy was having none of that, and the depth of her righteous anger over their lack of respect resonated so strongly with me, and you could feel it resonating so strongly with Hayley Atwell as she delivered each powerful line.
If you haven’t watched this scene yet—and even if you haven’t watched Agent Carter yet—I strongly encourage you to watch this video and appreciate this moment and this show for its proudly feminist viewpoint.
What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?