Agent Carter: Crush the Patriarchy, Save the World


Rachel Stanley, Reporter

In today’s world of entertainment, it seems women are limited to a few roles in the realm of superheroes. There is the socially awkward technician, the love interest, the damsel in distress, and the reporter/lawyer who constantly sticks her nose in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Arrow, I’m looking at you.

However, Marvel’s Agent Carter has finally put a woman in the role of the hero, and let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than watching actress Hayley Atwell drop a man to the floor with a stapler in about five seconds.

And get this: the man is the clueless sidekick for once.

The show follows Peggy Carter – British SSR agent and Captain Roger’s love interest from Captain America: The First Avenger – as she struggles to find her place as a woman in the workplace post-WWII. Once a valued and decorated member of the military, she has been reduced to nothing more than the unofficial secretary who takes the lunch orders for her sexist coworkers.

However, this tedious work turns around when Carter is approached by suspected traitor and old friend Howard Stark – another character from Captain America played by Dominic Cooper. Tasked with clearing Howard’s name after several of his stolen weapons of mass destruction end up on the black market, Peggy finds herself dragging Stark’s butler Jarvis (James D’Arcy) around 1940’s New York, dodging her coworkers and defeating bad guys as she goes. It is a fun, high-quality, retro-styled series, but that’s not what makes Agent Carter so great.

Ladies, for once we have a female character who is able to dispatch entire rooms of armed men on her own, save the world and still remain feminine. She takes people out with briefcases, staplers, chairs, tables – basically using any heavy object to whale on a guy until he’s out cold. Then she proceeds to flirt her way in and out of situations, utilize her intelligence to solve cases faster than her male counterparts and, my personal favorite, use her non-existent period to disgust her boss into letting her ‘go home and rest.’

Instead, she uses her ‘sick day’ to save the city while the men are still sitting in the office scratching their heads.

And while this show does have some problems – primarily with the complete lack of POC characters – Agent Carter is a step in the right direction. Infused with comedy and action in equal measures, Carter tackles the reality of what it’s like to be a woman in a man’s world while providing us with a spectacular role model for how to crush the patriarchy.

It truly is a pity this show will be so short-lived – it deserves more than the mere eight episodes ABC and Marvel are giving it.