And they were rather good.
Couple of things that bother me.
Spoilers for whole first season, obviously.
Sousa: they made a character disabled, made it a central defining part of his character and how others interact with him, and that's... a thing. But then they cast a non-disabled actor. And there is no excuse for that. I don't care how good he is, though he is, he doesn't meet the basic requirements of the role and many people do.
And for goodness sake give him the right length stick. I think they shorten it sometimes for maximum drama. There's scenes where he's nearly keeling over he's at such an angle. I've watched an actor with two prosthetic legs walk more smoothly with a single ordinary walking stick of correct length.
I know TV does this to make sure everyone notices it but it bothers me. This isn't the experience of actual disabled people on screen, this is a caricature meant to provoke a specific reaction.
I mean almost his whole story is people mocking and pitying him and telling him girls will only ever mock and pity him. That's what we need to see? Why?
He does get to be more competent than the bloke everyone treats like he's in charge, but then there's the second problem.
"I know my value."
People more articulate than me have said why that isn't a feminist moment, or suggested it's feminism as written by men. But it bothered me double because he's offering to stand up for her and she brushes it off and misses that it's her turn to stand up for him. What, is so busy being /feminist it misses basic fairness?
"I know my value" isn't the best answer for the organisation neither. I purely can't figure out why she's covering for that guy. He's a mess who freezes and misses important things, doesn't make the right plans ever that we see, and she knows he doesn't deserve his accolades. He's not the right man for the job, she should know it, and yet, she's letting him get the kudos. It's bad for the department, all else aside.
But the else shouldn't be put aside, because hello, she should always have known her value.
Except that's not the story they chose to tell this season. They picked the one about her coming back from war, being uncertain where she fits in now, and returning to self confidence as her big season arc.
... and I deleted three paragraphs about sexism, because small amounts of sexism make me large amounts of annoyed by now. But making the show be about people being sexist to Agent Carter, and her deciding to swallow it at the end? Is not feminist.
So, much as I enjoyed it, those things bothered me.
And some of them are kind of big things.
But stuff I did like: Jarvis. Basically every bit of Jarvis. Loyal butler is a type I've liked before, he reminds me of Ianto with the romantic devotion leading to treason, and the things he'll do in a panic are just interesting.
Howard. Rather reluctantly, because I've seen enough panels of Howard as Tony's father that I have a long accumulation of wanting to hit the man. But MCU Howard has not done any of those things yet, and they've pretty much given him the stuff about Tony that makes great story, the guilt and the attempts to fix it that just wind up worse, and the epic *facepalm* with women. He's reminding me of Tony so hard. And I like Tony.
But there's also Howard and Steve. Because watching that and seeing that love as anything other than romantic? That takes het goggles of a thickness I can't even pretend. Howard compares his feelings and Peggy's, Peggy says they both loved him, there's an equivalence drawn between how they felt about him. If Peggy's love for Steve is meant to be romantic, then Howard's is too. And then I just feel sad for the guy, because how many layers of screwed up? And after everything, every fucked up weapons related thing he's ever been in on, when told to go back and fix the one thing he regrets most, he would go after Steve. I mean personal isn't the same as important so maybe the thing with the biggest numbers would seem better, but Steve to both Howard and Peggy is symbol as well as man. He's an actual good man, and they neither of them feel they can be. They want their moral compass back. So trying to save Steve isn't only personal, it's the feeling that if he could get back that one good thing he ever did, maybe, after that, he'd do better.
They've basically given Howard every part of the stuff I read Steve/Tony for, in a slightly different setting.
Howard calling Steve a good thing he did is kind of screwed up too, but he untangled himself and that was what brought him back to reality. Steve was good before Howard ever did anything, and oh hey, Manhattan, oops. So Howard and Peggy were both hung up on different parts of Steve's memory. And it has been so very little time for them. But they're sorting themselves out, and how to move on without him.
The only thing about it I don't like is I read so much Steve/Tony that Steve/Howard seems kind of tacky. It just makes it weird. But one sided Howard/Steve where it's all Howard is something you can read in to the movie, if so inclined, so, you know, I can see how it works.
Just, 'poor guy' and 'Howard Stark' were not thoughts I expected to put next to each other.
Also though? Het goggles will still work. Love can mean a lot of things. Howard's explanation about why Steve matters to him could be taken as whole and complete in itself, he's the one good thing he made. That would put him level with movie Howard's greatest creation. Which makes it weird on the Steve/Tony front again, but in a different direction.
I've read a bunch of fic that plays that 'big brother he can never live up to' vibe with Tony and Steve. Except Howard is Steve's age, so to me that only ever worked in Tony's head, not as actual Howard feelings.
Now I want to get into Howard's head and write happy things for him.
Except I don't want to get into Howard's head cause it's drunk in there. Like, we know the end of the story, and it is drunk and depressing and depending on how you read what canon may involve hitting his kid. I don't want to know that guy. I don't want to think about this guy becoming that guy. It makes it all complicated.
With Tony the drunk part is in the middle and he got better. With Howard, not.
It's not good to think of.
This guy is a wanker though. I mean, he has a speech about why his first instinct is to lie, which could be about being in the closet or being a jew on top of definitely being about starting out poor, but is still basically an attempt to excuse lying. And there's how he treats women. Identical bracelets? Ouch. ... shiny and expensive ouch, but still. That's not a lack of understanding humans, that's a lack of effort.
So this Howard could be interesting, but some of that is training teaching us to see the interesting guy in the wanker. Hmmm.
There's still the guy who'll put himself in front of a gun to try and fix his own mistakes.
Ugh. Looks like I'll be stuck thinking about Howard Stark then.
Okay, lets get back to unalloyed delights: Angie. Angie is awesome. And I can totally see the femslash potential. Don't think they've started yet because Peggy only proper says goodbye to Steve at the end of the series, but, they're close and it's awesome. Even just as friends they are women supporting each other and that's excellent.
Dottie-Ida I like, but, I'm disatisfied with the portrayal of all those assassin women as basically under the orders of men. Like, power, but not actual agency. Not cool. Comics precedent I'm sure, but, not as cool as it could be. And I know she's there as a compare/contrast, but. Still, she kicks a lot of arse and she gets to be recurring villain girl, yaays.
And Peggy Carter herself is entirely fascinating enough to spend many whole seasons of TV with.
I pretty much just want to draw hearts around her.
Also fast forward to when she's boss of all the things, but still, basically hearts.
I'm especially fond of her fighting style, which seems to be, hit them with whatever heavy thing you have handy, repeatedly, a lot. I like a nice choreographed martial arts sequence, but I just like how solid she is. She's a bruiser and it's lovely.
And then give her a gun and she's even better.
Things I'd like to see in future season: more female SSR agents. Actual conversation with those women on the way in to the office, the ones with the guns under the desk. The idea that Agent Carter is not and never has been the only woman in a man's world. Her calling on some of her worldwide contacts who happen to be women. More women.
More diverse women.
And some actual disabled people. With disabilities. That they actually have.
Some of whom could be women.
But what we've seen so far was pretty good to watch.
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