Agent Carter Life Lesson of the Week: The Edge of Mystery/A Little Song and Dance

Agent Carter s2

You must own the choices you make.

This week’s Agent Carter double feature will most likely be remembered as “The One With the Musical Number.” There’s no denying that the show took a bit of a risk by starting the aptly-titled “A Little Song and Dance” with an extended dream/dance sequence, but the gamble paid off. It showcased the incredible talents of its cast (including the Dancing with the Stars cast they brought in for backup) and the downright ridiculous amount of chemistry between Hayley Atwell and Enver Gjokaj (who can dance with me anytime, if we’re being honest). It allowed us to see the always wonderful Angie again. It provided a brief moment of escapist joy in the middle of a very tense two hours of television. And—perhaps most importantly—it used an entertaining plot device to highlight the central theme for this pair of episodes: choice.

The entire musical number was staged as Peggy’s subconscious way of working through the romantic entanglement she’s found herself in this season. Peggy has a choice to make: Jason, Daniel, or none of the above. She has to choose soon, and only she can make that choice. And it’s so important for her to make the right choice, because—as this episode reminded us—we must live with the choices we make and the repercussions of those choices.

And when it comes to Peggy’s love life, there’s an added complication with her ability to choose the right person: Most of the people she chooses to care for wind up hurt or dead. I feel like this dream sequence reinforced who Peggy is more closely drawn to (Let me mention again that Atwell and Gjokaj were basically burning up the screen together in that dance scene, looking every bit the pair of lovers in a 1940s musical romance.), but Peggy is still wrestling with her fear that her destiny is to keep losing everyone she loves. If you’ll permit me the Hamilton reference, I always come back to this lyric when I think about Peggy Carter:

And if there’s a reason I’m still alive when everyone who loves me has died, I’m willing to wait for it.

I think Peggy deals with an incredible amount of survivor’s guilt; I think she’s still waiting to find the reason why she’s been spared even though so many people she’s cared about were not. And that idea came up again in what was probably this pair of episodes’ second most memorable scene: Peggy’s fight with Jarvis in the desert.

These episodes started with a moment of beautiful tenderness between Peggy and her closest friend, but that gentle touch didn’t last long. While there’s a level of comfort that only the closest friends can provide for each other (which we saw with Peggy offering to get Jarvis’s things so he could freshen up), there’s also a level of pain only the closest friends can inflict. And Jarvis went for the jugular with Peggy when he told her that everyone around her seems to die. That’s a very specific vulnerability Peggy has only shared with a small group of people, and he used that to hurt her as intensely as he could. While he was desperate and scared, this was a pair of episodes about choice, and he made the choice to use his words to inflict maximum emotional damage.

With those words—and Jarvis’s betrayal of her moments of vulnerability—fresh in her mind, Peggy then made the choice to unleash her anger instead of hiding behind a stiff upper lip. I loved that we saw her take a beat before delivering a completely composed verbal smack-down, highlighting the fact that she was making a conscious choice to make Jarvis feel guilty and small. Her words carried weight: Jarvis had always referred to their missions as “adventures,” and Peggy finally told him that these aren’t larks for her. They’re her life. Peggy is no stranger to pain and loss, but she’s never blamed anyone but herself for the losses she’s suffered. And she reminded Jarvis that he’s always had a choice when it came to getting involved in her missions—just like he made the choice to shoot Whitney Frost point-blank. Peggy knows what it means to live with the choices you make in the field, and she didn’t want Jarvis to kill Whitney because she knows that’s a choice that changes a person.

Ultimately, Jarvis revealed to Peggy that Ana was no longer able to have children. Peggy made the choice in that moment to forgive Jarvis and to let all that had been said between them fade away—and Jarvis clearly did the same. That scene was filled with such powerful emotional beats, and Atwell and James D’Arcy knocked it out of the park in the way only two actors who truly trust each other could do.

After coming to a new place of understanding, Peggy helped Jarvis see that he had a choice: He could continue his quest for vengeance, or he could be by his wife’s side (and be brave enough to choose to tell her truth about her inability to have a baby). And that was an easy choice for him to make. The depth of feeling D’Arcy poured into this pair of episodes was incredible. I was emotionally wrecked after his scene at Ana’s bedside, making her promises so beautifully specific that they added brilliant depth and warmth to a marriage we’ve only seen onscreen a few times. It was a powerful example of the way Agent Carter has grown this season to allow us to care about so many characters beyond just Peggy.

Because Ana Jarvis is better than all of us, she knew that—even though her husband would always choose her over everything—there was another woman who needed him more. She made the selfless choice to tell Edwin to leave her and go to Peggy’s side, even though we know now how nervous Ana is every time Edwin goes on a mission. Kudos to the writers and to Lotte Verbeek for creating such a marvelous character in Ana Jarvis, a woman who has been given more admirable traits in a tiny amount of screen time than many female characters are given in full seasons of TV shows.

Speaking of amazing female characters, how great is Whitney Frost? Every week, I find myself more and more captivated by this character. This week, I was fascinated by the interactions between her and Jason. I loved the moment when she talked to him about controlling Zero Matter instead of letting it control him. Both Whitney and Jason are people who have spent much of their lives being defined by things they couldn’t control (her gender, his race). So Whitney’s speech about choosing to use Zero Matter instead of fighting against it resonated on a deeper level as symbolic of choosing to see the parts of yourself you might want to change as a gateway to unique power instead. But in Whitney’s case, she wants to use that unique power to hurt a lot of people, which takes away most of the positive social implications of her message.

Whitney may be a supervillain, but she owns the choices she’s made on that path. And when Joseph Manfredi encouraged her to show off the Zero Matter markings on her face, it felt like the moment she finally chose to embrace all of who she’s become. This is how I like my villains: unapologetic and open about their dark choices. Whitney isn’t pretending to be someone she’s not anymore; she owns who she is and what she wants. And while who she is and what she wants aren’t things anyone should be aspiring to, she is a great example of what it means to take ownership of your true self and the choices you make.

On the other side of the spectrum we have Vernon Masters, who’s made a habit of trading in lies, deceit, and dealings in the shadows. It was interesting to watch Jack Thompson finally see through him in this episode—with Peggy’s help, of course. Jack is better than Vernon Masters. He’s not perfect, but he still has a functional moral compass (even though he often tries to ignore it). And he knew he couldn’t make the choice to use lies about Peggy to bring her down. He couldn’t live with himself if he did that. Instead, Jack began engaging in a series of double and triple crosses that he knew would benefit him in the end, even if it meant killing others (including Vernon Masters) in the process. While the duplicity near the second episode’s conclusion became difficult to follow, I think the confusion I felt underscored a point about the problems that arise when dealing with people who aren’t honest about the choices they make.

A character who was nothing but honest about the choices he made in this pair of episodes was Jason. Jason was a desperate man, tormented by the Zero Matter in his body and the noises in his head, and—as we saw with Jarvis—desperation can bring out dark and dangerous sides of a person. Jason’s desperation led him to turn a gun on Peggy, using Daniel’s love for her to get him to reveal the location of the uranium rods. While Peggy tried to explain away Jason’s actions as the influence of Zero Matter, he openly admitted to her that he was in his right mind when he made the choice to threaten her life. He didn’t make excuses for his actions; he owned up to what he did. And he also owned his ultimate decision to sacrifice himself in an effort to take down Whitney Frost (or at least that’s what it looked like he was doing at the end of the episode) rather than putting Peggy and everyone else in danger by letting her rescue him.

Jason made his choice, and it was heartbreaking to watch Peggy struggle with that choice. She’d already watched one man she loved choose to sacrifice himself, and now she had to watch another man she’d grown to care for make the same choice—to leave her behind and die for the greater good. I understood why Peggy didn’t want to accept Jason’s choice at first; she’d just begun to move on from Steve’s death and didn’t want to lose another person. And I also understood why she turned her gun on Jack in the episode’s closing moments; she was desperate and emotional, and this pair of episodes was all about the consequences of choices made with the heart and not the head.

Daniel articulated that theme earlier when he told Peggy she would have to be dispassionate in her dealings with Jason after he turned the gun on her. Daniel saw Jason’s actions for what they were—desperate choices made by a man who wanted to fix his body however he could—even though Peggy still wanted to blame Zero Matter. But Peggy called Daniel out, reminding him that he isn’t above thinking with his heart before his head, especially when it comes to her.

I loved that Daniel completely owned his choice after Peggy essentially scolded him for not letting Jason shoot her. You could tell that he didn’t regret it at all, and he would have risked nuclear arms being put in the wrong hands 100 times to keep Peggy alive. It might not have been the safest choice, but it was the only choice Daniel knew he could live with. Because, as he told Peggy earlier about Manfredi, “He’s a man in love.”

And Daniel knew Peggy would have made the same choice he did; she couldn’t deny it. The charged silence that followed Daniel asking Peggy if she could choose to let him die was powerful, especially knowing Peggy’s state of mind concerning her belief that everyone she cares about gets hurt or killed.

And that thought brings us back to the musical number that opened the episode. Peggy doesn’t appear to have to choose between two men anymore; Jason seemingly exploding into a cloud of Zero Matter probably eliminated him from the contest for Peggy’s affections. However, Peggy still has a choice: Let herself love again or close herself off to it out of fear.

Peggy and Daniel started this pair of episodes with a lovely bit of interaction that showed us what it might look like if Peggy made the choice to accept his love and let herself love him, too. When she told him about Ana Jarvis’s shooting (with that beautifully vulnerable crack in her voice) and gently touched the bandage over his eyebrow, it felt like I was watching a married pair of agents offer each other comfort after missions gone wrong. And that moment symbolized what I want Peggy to choose for herself more than anything else: partnership. I want her to choose to believe someone will be there for her and will let her be there for them, that someone will fight alongside her instead of leaving her to fight alone, and that she can have love that doesn’t leave. I appreciate a female character who chooses to remain romantically unattached for her own reasons, but I don’t want Peggy to choose that path just because she’s afraid to lose someone again. (And we do know that she eventually does choose to get married.)

No matter what Peggy chooses, as the song Angie sang in her dream said, it’s up to her. And I know she will own that choice just as she’s owned all her choices to this point.

If you want to do everything you can to keep this wonderful show alive as decisions are made about its fate, I strongly suggest you visit http://abc.go.com/feedback and tell them how much you love Agent Carter and want to see it return for a third season. Also, please keep using “#AgentCarter” on social media to express your love for the show and your desire to see it renewed. Let’s use our collective fangirl powers for good to do everything we can to ensure that Peggy gets to keep teaching us valuable life lessons for another season!

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18 thoughts on “Agent Carter Life Lesson of the Week: The Edge of Mystery/A Little Song and Dance

  1. What a great review Katie. I loved the focus on choice this week. All I’ve been hoping for out of this love triangle is that Peggy actively makes a choice and doesn’t settle for Daniel because Jason dies or turns evil. Luckily, it looks like Peggy’s subconscious knows who to choose so even though it looks like Jason is dead, we all know who she was going to choose. And you’re right, she still has to make the choice to open herself up to love.

    That musical number though! I feel like I could write an essay on the costume choices alone! We’ve got Peggy dancing in a red dress, a callback to First Avenger when she first actively sought out Steve in a bar and told him she was “waiting for the right partner”. Her subconscious put her in a dress of the same color, showing that she is ready for love again. We’ve got Jason Wilkes in his suit from their dance/date/meeting, the version of Jason that she could easily fall for and that she wants to get back. Then there’s Daniel, full of callbacks to their romantic moments: the vest he was wearing most notably when he asked her out, chucking his crutch before making his move, the almost kiss. But unlike Jason, Daniel isn’t dressed in his normal style. It’s his vest but he looks more like a certain iconic dancer. Peggy has been waiting for the right partner and her subconscious is telling her that Sousa is it; he’s GENE KELLY.

    Seriously, Sousa gets the song, a chemistry-laden dance, the form-fitting clothes, the almost kiss. It’s clear where Peggy is leaning and now we just have to pray the writers were kind enough to give us Peggysous fans closure instead of a cliffhanger since, realistically, season 3 is a pipe dream.

    But I also loved what you said about Jarvis’ choices. That realization was a long time coming for Jarvis. Even seeing Peggy greviously injured wasn’t enough to convince Jarvis that these aren’t adventures, that these missions have consequences that can’t always be resolved. He needed to own what his choices had done, but I hope he doesn’t blame himself to much. He may have chosen to assist Peggy that night but Whitney didn’t have to shoot Ana. She made that choice in cold blood and she is where the blame lies.

    • I have to echo what Tempest said—bravo on your analysis of the dream sequence! My brain couldn’t think any deeper than DANIEL SOUSA IS SINGING AND DANCING OH MY GOD, so I’m thankful one of us could keep herself together enough to write something articulate about that moment. And as someone who loves costume analysis, I adored your breakdown of everyone’s outfits. I especially loved what you said about Peggy in a red dress, being ready to dance again—to love again.

      I also totally agree with needing some kind of closure to the Peggy/Daniel arc this season. I feel like there’s no way they can end it on a cliffhanger knowing what we all know about being lucky enough to get even this season, so here’s hoping we get something fitting of the episode’s title (“Hollywood Ending”)!

  2. Lovely job, sweetie. So many great points. (Honestly, why does WordPress not have “nod in agreement” and “Amen, sister” buttons?)

    I think you’ve discussed most of my favorite elements of these episodes. I think that opening scene with Jarvis is a touchstone for judging someone’s humanity — if that doesn’t move you, you have no soul. D’Arcy is just knocking it out of the park in these episodes. I love Jarvis’s smooshy love for his wife.

    And then we have Manfredi’s smooshy love for Whitney Frost. (I will admit that some of my Manfredi love may be residual Veronica Mars Vinnie Van Lowe love.) Ok, yes, he’s a gangster, but the man accepts her for who she is and gets her to accept herself as well. He’s also ok with her being smarter than he is. (Please do not judge my moral compass on the fact that I like the gangster because he’s supportive of his super-villain girlfriend.) I keep having to remind myself that she’s the villain, and there’s probably no scenario where they run off and open an Italian restaurant together.

    Peggy and Jarvis. That desert scene was gutting. Watching Jarvis lash out at Peggy, wounding her as only a close friend can . . . watching Peggy respond, coldly and methodically . . . and then that moment when Jarvis realized he’d stepped over the line . . .when Peggy realized the burden Jarvis carried about Ana’s health . . . and how quickly they both snapped back into supporting each other. It was just amazing. This is friendship.

    And Rose — wonderful, supportive (but can still keep Dr. Samberly in line) Rose. If I can’t be Peggy Carter or Ana Jarvis when I grow up, I will gladly be Rose.

    That dream sequence was made of awesome-sauce. (Nooooooo, Peggy, don’t wake up. DO NOT WAKE UP.) That scene and last week’s pantomime scene with Jarvis are my go-to happy places right now. Kudos to the writers for bringing the fun while moving character development forward. Is it wrong that I’d like a season of Peggy in coma so we could have weekly dream sequences?

    Moments of Shallow
    — Right. Like I have to explain. I’ll start drooling on the computer thinking about Sousa.
    — Must add the Jarvis love. He looked appropriately dashing in that dance sequence.

    • I think my favorite thing about your comments (at least until next time when I find a new favorite thing) is that you always make me feel better about my love for things like Manfredi’s love for Whitney Frost, because that scene with him telling her not to hide the mark on her face made me feel all shipper-y (Yes, I did just make that an adjective…). You also always make me feel better about my inability to be articulate about Daniel Sousa in most cases because I’m too busy swooning. 😉

      I’m also 100% with you on using that Jarvis scene to test a person’s humanity. If you don’t cry at that scene—or the scene with him promising Ana the Bernese Mountain Dog (If there is any justice in the world, we’ll get a Season Three and we’ll get to see them with that dog.)—you must be a robot.

  3. First off, thanks for that ABC link! I had no idea you could contact them about a specific show, and the first thing I did was shoot them a message about how much I enjoy the complex females on this show, and I am hoping to see more of their story.

    So, another 2hr block, but I didnt pass out watching this one!

    The highlight for me was the fight between Peggy and Jarvis in the desert. It was painful, but oh so real. It really highlighted how close these two have become that they were able to say those things to each other, and how much they respect each other that they moved on from it. I have noticed as an adult there are very few times in our lives where we are called out when we are acting inappropriately. We tell ourselves, oh, so-and-so, is grieving, they didnt mean it, I just have to let it go. But I do believe that in some cases, empathy and fear of conflict does keep us from saying things that need to be said. And most of the time, its hard for criticism to be meaningful when it comes from someone too close, like a partner or family member, because instead of listening, you are comfortable enough to lash back out and hold grudges. Or when it comes from a stranger, because they dont know you, why would you listen to them? But when criticism comes from a close friend or authority figure that you respect, it automatically stops you in your tracks and you listen. Jarvis needed to hear those things, and I am glad that Peggy said them, and that Jarvis was mature enough to listen and accept the truth in her statements. There was still empathy, understanding, and forgiveness there, even after harsh truths were dropped, which just proves that both Peggy and Jarvis deep down are good people, but they are human and make mistakes just like the rest of us.

    I dont want Peggy to go back to New York.

    • I am sooo with you on how amazing that desert scene was. So few shows do platonic relationships — or even friendships — well, and this one just keeps knocking it out of the park.

      And Happy Birthday (belated)!

    • I’m so happy that sharing that link is allowing more people to get in touch with ABC about keeping this show around. It might not make a difference, but I knew I had to do whatever I could to show my support for a show that means so much to me and my fellow fangirls.

      I loved your breakdown of the Peggy/Jarvis fight. It took incredible maturity for Jarvis to listen to what Peggy said and accept it, and it also took incredible maturity for Peggy to drop her anger the moment he told her about Ana not being able to have children. This is the kind of platonic male/female friendship we need more of in the media, and I’m so glad this show has made it such a central part of the story.

      And like you, the only way I’ll accept Peggy going back to NYC is if literally everyone (from both Mr. and Mrs. Jarvis to Rose and—of course—Daniel) goes back with her. Otherwise, this finale cannot end with her heading back alone. (I may have also read a large number of fics devoted to the idea of her telling Daniel she’s staying in LA, so now that’s all that’s in my head.)

  4. Great insight into this week’s episodes! As always, I enjoy reading them.

    I was rather taken back when reading a post on tumblr this week about how awful S2 of Agent Carter is and how poor the female representation is. I expect they are yet another disappointed shipper/entitled fan. But it is interesting to read well written criticism, even when I disagree. There beef boiled down to Peggy having no female friend this season. And the blogger noted that in several episodes, the only women Peggy talks to are villains. They chose to see Rose as a colleague and discounted Ana Jarvis because there were so few onscreen scenes between them. I guess it’s a glass half full vs. glass half empty problem.

    I watch this show and see a strong female lead who knows her value. One who also has flaws and who has shown growth during the run of this show. A male/female partnership with not even a hint of sexual attraction, repressed or otherwise in Two Sarcastic Brits. In Ana, a wife so wise and secure about her relationship that she isn’t jealous of Peggy or her friendship with Edwin. I felt like the scenes we did get with Ana and Peggy suggested that they interact at home when we don’t see them. Likewise, Agent Carter knows more about Rose Roberts than we the audience did. But she worked with her for a year or more. This is a limited series. I’ll take and enjoy what I can get. I love that a couple of the villains are women. I especially liked that they fleshed out Whitney Frost’s backstory and double life when we met her so that it makes her choices and growth feel organic too. Bridget Regan’s Dottie is such a delight onscreen and interacting with the other actors that I can overlook the terrible plot holes and devices. I guess, I just enjoy the good to fabulous about Agent Carter so much and understand that ultimately, it’s not my story. It’s Marvel’s. Rather than be an entitled fan complaining about “disrespecting” a f/f shipper fanbase, or about the lack of diversity in a show set in 1940’s America, I’ll just squee over here about the overall excellence compared with the rest of network TV’s offerings.

    • I’m with you here. Agent Carter has its faults but then it has so many good and positive aspects that I’m willing to overlook the faults. I’m almost tired to hear people complain about the love triangle. As Katie, the author has stated, the theme of this season 2 is Peggy trusting people more and letting them help her and be with her. That’s a main trait in her personal growth this season, and it will become important once she founds SHIELD where she won’t be an employer anymore.
      Said that, we have to remember that in S2 Peggy didn’t move permanently to LA, she is just there for a few weeks (the timeline of the show do drives me nuts sometimes) to get a single job done. This is why I’m ok with Angie not being there. Yes she is an aspiring actress, but if she wanted to try it in LA, then she would have moved there. I like to think that she is either still waitressing or she has a steady job on Broadway that she likes or doesn’t want to leave. I like Angie a lot, and contrary to her tumblr fanbase, I think she was meant to be the her friend and nothing more. And she has been damn good at it. People can ship what they want, but I don’t think abc was queerbaiting the fandom, at least not here. (Now that you mention tumblr, the entitlement of people there is one of the main reasons I deleted my account a few days ago(
      Again, as she is in LA temprarily I understand why there isn’t female friendship interactions, she is there for work, and we don’t see much of her outside of work life anyway. Still you can see how lovely it’s her relationship with Rose, they don’t see anymore but they trust and respect each other even more. Same goes for Ana, we have a wife who is not jealous (gosh what a nasty clichè it would have been) but she understands the friendship between Peggy and Jarvis. She is the one who sees first that Peggy needs Jarvis, because she hasn’t nobody else.
      Oh and about Jason, I feel like people are enraged because he is only part of a love triangle, and then are enraged because he apparently isn’t winning in the love triangle. Please make up your mind! Because I can see he is more than that. I have to say, I didn’t really ship him with Peggy, because I do find him a bit dull and the “romance” was very rushed. I can’t see past the mutual attraction, but I recognize that they certainly had a common ground in feeling they have to run faster and better because they are a woman and a black man. What I loved about his SL is that he found himself in an enormous and difficult situation and he is struggling to understand what to do with it. He also takes responsability for his actions, as often stated. I truly hope he doesn’t die, and in whatever tangible or intangible form he will be, he gets to keep doing what he was good at. Perhaps at Shields?

    • I could not agree with more with your belief that this show isn’t perfect but it’s so much better than almost any other show I’ve seen on television when it comes to creating a plethora of interesting female characters (including AWESOME female villains) and the single best main female character on television right now.

      I think people who are going to complain are going to complain no matter what. Is it upsetting when something you ship isn’t canon? Of course. But does that mean that the show disrespected you? No. It just means that Agent Carter has a certain story to tell in a limited number of episodes—with no guarantee of another season. And this season’s story was clearly about Peggy learning to trust the people who would become her team (who I’m imaging become the founding members of SHIELD with her, but I could be wrong). I like Angie a lot, but, to be honest, I love Ana Jarvis even more. So I actually don’t miss Angie all that much (which is something I probably shouldn’t say too loudly, but it’s true).

      For every person who’s complaining about this season, there are so many more (at least in the circles I’m in) who cannot praise this season highly enough. And I love this season even more than the first because it’s expanding the story beyond Peggy while still keeping her as the main focal point and as the inspirational heroine we fell in love with. It feels more balanced this season while still allowing Peggy to be the driving force in the story, which I love. If people don’t see it that way, that’s their prerogative, but I will fight like hell to keep this show around because it improved from good to great this season, and I can only imagine how much better it can still get.

      • I think everyone will appreciate this. It comes from John Rogers’ blog. (He created Leverage and currently runs The Librarians on TNT. If you like heist films, Mission Impossible (more the series, than the movies) check out Leverage. It’s on Netflix.) When possible, he posts behind-the-scenes breakdowns of the show and takes questions/comments. He does have a few caveats about the blog, including . . .

        “4.) Us writers, you fan. I love your input, your questions, your theories, even your disdain when it’s amusing. But end of day, my scrappy writers and I are the ones who have to fill 50 pages of empty paper every week which are simultaneously amusing and shootable on a brutally tight budget and schedule and makes three levels of executives happy. Basically, know that I dig that you watch the show, we should be pals, but that particular line is not crossed. Our choices are our choices and we earned the right to make them, even if you don’t like them.” (Full post here.)

        I wish everyone who posts/tweets/tumblrs about a show would consider this. (Yes, I realize I’m preaching to the choir here.) Makes me grateful for NGN.

  5. So, good news, I read this again, and I’m still fully consumed with all the feels and an emotional wreck. That said, I’m going to try to get all my feelings out “eloquently” because this review is so brilliant I don’t know how to words. LOL. Anyway, what I just cannot get over is how you wrote such an impeccable review with all the emotions you were drowning it? This is so perfectly put that I honestly don’t know where to even begin with. You are so right about Peggy having survivor’s guilt, and every single time I think of The Winter Soldier, I get that much more sadder because she literally outlives everyone. Jarvis is dead. The Starks are dead. Her husband may be dead. Everyone from her past is gone. And she comes right back to square one with no memories. And it’s that exact guilt which scares her so much but I love the way you described her response to Daniel.

    “And Daniel knew Peggy would have made the same choice he did; she couldn’t deny it. The charged silence that followed Daniel asking Peggy if she could choose to let him die was powerful, especially knowing Peggy’s state of mind concerning her belief that everyone she cares about gets hurt or killed.”

    Of course she’d choose to do the same thing. Also, that paragraph is so simple, yet so evocative and it’s what I really love about Peggy and Daniel — their encounters are so simple. The moments they share, there’s so much beauty found in just the way they look to one another. And I love what you said about wanting a partnership for Peggy because you know I agree so much about that. It’s EVERYTHING. And their partnership is just so effortless and watching them do anything really feels like we’re watching a married couple.

    But mostly, I need to talk about what an extraordinary job you did with the Jarvis x Peggy portion of the review. I personally had such a difficult time with that but you NAILED IT! And I’ve never read a truer phrase than this: “While there’s a level of comfort that only the closest friends can provide for each other (which we saw with Peggy offering to get Jarvis’s things so he could freshen up), there’s also a level of pain only the closest friends can inflict.” It’s the scariest thought, but it’s also that one thing that’s slightly comforting. And it takes me back to Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants when I first learned that it’s easy to hurt the ones we love most because we know they’ll always love us. And that can only be found with the closest of friends because deep down, despite how much anger and frustration there is, we know where the person’s heart truly is.

    Basically, this review is one of the most perfectly written thing and I cannot stop geeking out over it. Have I mentioned how ridiculously happy I am you’ve chosen to write for it!? Prayer circle we get season 3 so we can be blessed with more of your writing. Holy wow this is super long. I’m so sorry about that. I get super carried away with this show.

    • First of all, NEVER apologize for long comments. I never get tired of reading your writing, and I cannot thank you enough for saying such nice things—and for encouraging me to write about this show in the first place when I wasn’t 100% sure.

      But what you do need to apologize for is KILLING ME with feelings by bringing up Peggy in Winter Soldier. As you said, she’s outlived everyone at that point. But what’s fascinating is that she discovers she didn’t outlive the one person who’s “death” made her most afraid to lose those she loves. It all comes back to Steve. At first, he’s the one who dies, making her afraid to lose others. And then, he’s the one who comes back after she’s lost seemingly everyone else.

      I have a lot of feelings about this, and now I’m going to go cry in a corner forever.

  6. So… I’m a little late to the party (and working my way backwards through the reviews to boot), but I just wanted to say I really enjoy reading your thoughts on these episodes. This season has been packed with all kinds of good stuff, and I like seeing what different people get out it.
    I really liked your thoughts on Peggy and Jarvis’ fight, how this is the kind of argument that only two close friends can have – to know exactly which buttons to push in order to hurt each other, but to also know that deep down they care and always will, which means they never actually go too far. And they immediately apologize when they realize they’ve hurt each other. The fact that Hayley and James are that close in real life probably helps sell it too.
    I could go on and on about the musical number, but I think everything that could be said about it has already been said at this point, so I’ll just say it was equal parts hilarious, awesome, and deeply symbolic. And daaaaang does Enver have mad dancing – and singing – skills!
    Stopping before I start drooling all over my keyboard…

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