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S02.E04: Smoke & Mirrors 2016.02.02

So, Daniel's service in Europe isn't a retcon? I really thought they established that both he and Agent TheChad serviced in the Pacific Theater.

I think it was that older agent who Dottie killed that Sousa was going to notify the girlfriend while Chief Wiggam went to the wife was a Navy CPO.
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I'm glad Marvel is calling out men telling women to smile more. I hate it when it's said to me. 

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Scowling little Agnes is my favorite.

 

Peggy's evolution from mini-badass to conventional lady is all too typical.  Little girls are awesome, and then they get all the fun socialized out of them.  However, Peggy wasn't entirely conventional -- not very many women wound up at Bletchley, after all.  She still had some gumption in her, she was just better at presenting an acceptable facade.  The real shocker for me was what a dud Fred was.

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Loved the parallel origin stories for Peggy and Whitney Frost.

 

So does Peggy have another brother and if not, who how is Sharon Carter related to her?

 

I laughed when the guy was still not knocked out and tranqued Jarvis!

Edited by VCRTracking.
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Agnes seemed to really enjoy killing Hunt. Physically, he kind of reminded me of "Uncle Bud". Some sort of physique and bruiser attitude. I wonder if killing Hunt was cathartic for her - making amends for all the horrible men in her life (what are the odds on Cal being turned into black goo and becoming a crack on her face before the end of the season?).

 

I got some seriously bad vibes from "Uncle Bud". I think he was interested in more than just a smile from Agnes and if he didn't get it, it was only because Agnes was able to keep him at arm's length. That was particularly driven home when her Mom said that "Uncle Bud" was cheating with a girl Agnes's age and then she yelled at Agnes for not being nicer to "Uncle Bud" (what are you trying to say, Mom?).

 

I think the "talent scout" also expected some quid quo pro for helping her to be a star.

 

Agnes would have had a really tough time getting into University and using her skills at that time, but there were some women who did it (For instance, Amazing Grace Hopper was a pioneer in computing science starting in 1944 and would go on to create the first compilers (and become a Rear Admiral). There is a story of her dismantling all the clocks in the house when she was 7 that might have served as an inspiration for Agnes messing around with the radio. And of course, Hedy Lamar who is the most obviously the inspiration for Agnes). I imagine the fact that it was the depression and her mother had no money also played a part.

Edited by kili.
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This show is so amazing, I can't stand it. 

 

I love Whitney Frost as the villain. There's so many layers to her and although I want her stopped and she's evil, I also feel for her and her situation. She was a female genius born during a time when males dominated those fields and she wouldn't even have a chance. 

 

 

If Sousa was at Bastonge, I'm going to pretend he was part of the 101st Airborne. Cause they were badasses and I love Band of Brothers.

Ditto! My grandfather was in the 101st during the war, so I hold a special place for those guys.

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Wait a damn minute...if Peggy's brother was killed in action, then who the hell was Sharon Carter's father?! It didn't say whether Michael had a family. Did I miss something?

 

This is pure speculation but I don't know why I have this feeling that he won't turn out to be dead and probably will come back into play this season. It is just that the actor Max Brown would seem to be better than a small part of one episode. Overall a great episode. I enjoy Witney Frost as the "bad guy" and I also enjoy that it is sort of based on a real person. Very interesting slice of history used in a modern fantasy.

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If Sousa was at Bastonge, I'm going to pretend he was part of the 101st Airborne. Cause they were badasses and I love Band of Brothers.

 

Ditto! My grandfather was in the 101st during the war, so I hold a special place for those guys.

 

I'll always remember Guarnere and Toye getting their legs blown off in the snow and Compton played by Neil McDounough(who plays "Dum Dum" Dugan in the MCU) taking off his helmet and having a breakdown after seeing it.

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Speaking of her brother, if he died how did we get Sharon Carter? Unless Peggy has another younger brother? Or Michael had kids. 

I recognised Max Brown from the later seasons of "MI-5", he was one of the "new" agents.  He also showed up in "The Tudors" as a Seymour.  I think.  He seems to be a minor name British TV actor, and seems like a waste if they only used him for five minutes.  But then again, the "24 Live Another Day" miniseries cast the scintillating Miranda Raison (Jo from "MI-5") as a secretary.  I kept waiting for her to be revealed as a spy, but nope, the entire time she was on the show, she was trotting behind her boss, doing secretary things, and in some episodes, she didn't even get to speak.

 

I think the character can still die and it doesn't mean there is no Sharon Carter.  Anything in the MCU can be handwaved, and doesn't have to be just like it is in the comics.  In the MCU, Hawkeye lives on a farm in Iowa and has this family that nobody knows about, and as far as we know, he has never met Bobbi Morse.  We have met Sharon Carter in the MCU, I take it she is supposed to be a grandniece of Peggy's?  Michael could easily have impregnated a girlfriend that we don't know about before he left for the war.  Or some Frenchwoman will show up on the Carters' doorstep with a baby.

 

I am enjoying Whitney Frost as a villain.  I am less liking Chadwick and the traitorous old man, who I think looks like a wrinkled plum. his head is so round and shrivelled.

 

How old are Peggy and Whitney supposed to be?  Peggy was seen trying on a wedding dress in 1940, and she was probably about 25, so right now in 1945 she is 30, which is how old I think she appears to be.  In 1918 it looked like Whitney was about 8?  So she'd be 35 now, which is about the right age for the movie director to say in the last episode that she was getting too old.

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When we next see Peggy, she is wearing grey, not black.

Yes, but. In wartime England, clothing was rationed. Unless there was some black clothing in the attic, or garments that could be reworked to fit Peggy, you wore what you had.  A black armband for example.

And even that was pushing it, as the common method for notifying families during WWII was a telegram, not an official visit.
On the other hand, he was an officer and the Carter family is very well-off.
If you tell a girl to smile, you're responsible for all the people she kills when she gets superpowers.

We need a way to leave multiple likes.

This needs to be a meme.

but I bet there are other examples of single moms within the era that didn't prostitute themselves in order to be comfortable. 
Oklahoma in the 20’s was the Dust Bowl /Grapes of Wrath. A single mother would have a hard time finding work. Uncle Bud gave her a house to live in, in exchange for visiting privileges.

For all the differences in the various Marvel works, they do tend to have similar themes. 
I’ve heard that complaint about Jane Austen, Ernest  Hemingway, Leo Tolstoy… ;>)

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For all the differences in the various Marvel works, they do tend to have similar themes.

I’ve heard that complaint about Jane Austen, Ernest  Hemingway, Leo Tolstoy… ;>)

Oh, that was not a complaint at all! I am all about Marvel telling guys who tell women to smile for them where they can kindly shove it. I like that the Marvel properties have similar themes and ideas. It ties them all together, and makes them feel more connected, even though they take place in different time periods, places, and even galaxies, and vary wildly in tone at times. Nor would I ever dare diss Austen, Hemingway, or Tolstoy :)  

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Between this and Jessica Jones, Marvel seems to be on some kind of mission to take down all men who tell women to smile for them. For all the differences in the various Marvel works, they do tend to have similar themes. 

I'm stunned to realize that both JJ and AC come from the same source.  I loathed and despised JJ, but love AC to pieces.  

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How old are Peggy and Whitney supposed to be?  Peggy was seen trying on a wedding dress in 1940, and she was probably about 25, so right now in 1945 she is 30, which is how old I think she appears to be.  In 1918 it looked like Whitney was about 8?  So she'd be 35 now, which is about the right age for the movie director to say in the last episode that she was getting too old.

 

Peggy was born April 9, 1919 according to this file from The Avengers.

 

Was there a date on the first Whitney flashback and I missed it? I know the second one was 1928 and she was "discovered" in 1934. I guessed the first one was 1920 and she was born around 1913 or so.

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Peggy was born April 9, 1919 according to this file from The Avengers.

 

Was there a date on the first Whitney flashback and I missed it? I know the second one was 1928 and she was "discovered" in 1934. I guessed the first one was 1920 and she was born around 1913 or so.

 

Hmmm so since I think this series is set in 1945 (I think), that means Peggy is only 26?  She looks a bit older.

 

I was pretty sure the date of the first flashback was 1918, unless my eyes deceived me.  I figured she was about 8.  Ten years later she is 18 and rejected by the University of Oklahoma.

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Hmmm so since I think this series is set in 1945 (I think), that means Peggy is only 26? She looks a bit older.

I was pretty sure the date of the first flashback was 1918, unless my eyes deceived me. I figured she was about 8. Ten years later she is 18 and rejected by the University of Oklahoma.

The series started in 1946 we are in 1947 now. I thought the Whitney with the radio scene card said 1920.
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This season is set in 1947. The mentions of the Hollywood Blacklist date it. Peggy is currently 28.

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I agree with those who are thinking that Carter's brother is not KIA and very possibly MIA. It gives Carter even more of a reason to decide to join the SOE, to have the opportunity to try to find and rescue her brother from the NAZIs/HYDRA. Makes even more sense than if the brother was just KIA.

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IIRC, the bugs were made by Stark so, yeah, they'd be more advanced than anything you'd get off the shelf.

Being told to smile is certainly annoying but being a man I don't get to blame misandry for it.

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Naturally, it helps the writers when the show is set in a universe where Stark Industries develops solid state components years ahead of reality, and there are a few Gods to call on to help make anything you want to happen, happen.  All of which combines to make these comic book shows mostly crap.  

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Naturally, it helps the writers when the show is set in a universe where Stark Industries develops solid state components years ahead of reality, and there are a few Gods to call on to help make anything you want to happen, happen.  All of which combines to make these comic book shows mostly crap.  

We just need a baseline to work from. All the sudden we have in 1947 tech that would have been impressive in 1984 with just the explanation that Stark did it remains a weakness for the franchise. I mean if the SSR has something seeing that it is a temporary wartime agency which Agent "Red" Masters is saying is all but dead means the FBI the OSS going into the CIA and the rest would have it

Edited by Raja.
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It's a little thing, but I like the continuity that nothing Howard designs works as intended.  Hence the common cold cure that causes the cold.

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So how did we get to niece Sharon Carter? There has to be another sibling we didn't meet.

 

It hasn't been established in the MCU yet what the relationship between Peggy and Sharon (if any) is, to the best of my knowledge.

 

(Also, I think that niece seems unlikely, even if it was retconned that way in the comics. More likely grand-niece or a distant cousin. If there isn't another male Carter sibling, she could be a cousin or and if Michael had no wife or stateside children, perhaps he had an affair while stationed overseas?)

Edited by Cthulhudrew.
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This season is set in 1947. The mentions of the Hollywood Blacklist date it. Peggy is currently 28.

I actually found that a little odd. '47 is the right time frame for the Hollywood 10, but that places this series in late '47 (October - December), since the Ten were in September. But that seems a bit out of synch with the first episode that seemed (IIRC) to be showcasing some kind of heat wave in California. It does stay pretty warm out here but that seems a bit of a stretch.

 

(Of course, as I just typed that, I decided to try and Google some historical data on the LA weather, and it appears from a cursory search that there were some 80 degree days in November and December of that year, so what do I know? I just live here. :p )

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I know and the other night as I was watching J.Lo strip to prove she wasn't bugged with a brick taped to her back wondering if she was caught in some kind of time loop. In this, Agent Carter case I never know where to set the appropriate tech level while watchin as they are swinging back and forth as they are with racial relations issues in the US of 1947

 

Pretty much. They've done a semi-decent job of showing some of the hurdles women faced because The Patriarchy, but have this weird bozo time-travel world with regards to race relations. Every time Carter and Wilkes make googly eyes at each other and no one bats an eye is laughable. 

 

Being ordered to smile was pretty much an every day occurrence the entirety of my adolescence, so this episode underestimated the sleaze factor to me. It would be totally ahistorical, but I was dying for Frost to respond at least once by holding her mouth in a smile using her middle fingers, Abi and Illana style.

 

I love how Frost made sure she could reliably control her powers before staging a coup for command within her marriage. Of course, since her husband's an idiot, he'll probably try to knock her down to steal black matter to inject himself with. It's confusing to me that the council would have even bothered to include him, as it's pretty obvious the brains of the operation were elsewhere, and it appears they made no effort to work with Whitney behind her husband's back.

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I actually found that a little odd. '47 is the right time frame for the Hollywood 10, but that places this series in late '47 (October - December), since the Ten were in September. But that seems a bit out of synch with the first episode that seemed (IIRC) to be showcasing some kind of heat wave in California. It does stay pretty warm out here but that seems a bit of a stretch.

 

The date on the newspaper in episode 2x03 was July 16, 1947.

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It was the biggest battle in American history. Thinking about it now I can wish he was in my regiment the 37th Tank, which spearheaded the relief force. I was surprised at Mr Hunt throwing out that you guys in Europe fought the civilized war (at least on the western front not the one between the Soviets and Nazis) while I was a prisoner of the Japanese. Seeing as they were both probably Army, since Hunt was in the Philippines, I wonder how much post war ribbing went on between the veterans from different war theatres. Was it like the gentle intersevice rivalries today?

 

I find it a bit ridiculous to call the Nazi's civilized. The Nazis were downright creative when it came to torture.. Its kinda like saying Stalin was gentle compared to Mao.  Although it does show what a self involved asshole the guy was.

 

Still not sure if the show is actually showing the racial politics of the time period. Realistically someone (Howard or Sousa or even Thompson) would probably be pulling Peggy aside and saying she needs to reconsider what shes doing. Not even out of malice or racism but of concern for Peggy and even Wilkes.  Even people who were open minded in that era about race would probably have concerns about a friend dating a black man. You tended to pay a high price for a relationship like that in those days. It was dangerous if not physically in that state then personally and even professionally.  People tended to feel crossing line like that made you foolish or even untrustworthy.  In some states Wilkes could have been lynched for simply flirting with Peggy.  It would be more realistic for someone to remind Peggy of that.

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I find it a bit ridiculous to call the Nazi's civilized. The Nazis were downright creative when it came to torture.. Its kinda like saying Stalin was gentle compared to Mao.  Although it does show what a self involved asshole the guy was.

 

The Japanese during WWII tended to be crueler to enemy soldiers who surrendered because of their adherence to the Bushido code or rather a perverted interpretation of it practiced by the Japanese military at the time.

Edited by VCRTracking.
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  Lol at Peggy injecting him with a cold virus.  She's too smart for words.

 

Isn't making someone think they are going to die still considered torture, though? I was uncomfortable with that.

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It's confusing to me that the council would have even bothered to include him, as it's pretty obvious the brains of the operation were elsewhere, and it appears they made no effort to work with Whitney behind her husband's back.

 

I think that is exactly why they are working with Cal. He's the perfect puppet. The council doesn't need somebody who is smart and capable. They need a guy who will do exactly what they want him to do. They picked a reasonably successful businessman they could manipulate and engineered a situation where he will become a senator - a man they can control from Washington. I'm sure they've also done their homework so that they have some handy blackmail material lest he decide to be his own man one day. Cal is a malleable idiot. It's probably why Agnes married him. 

 

They probably realize that Agnes is the smart one (her name is on all the patents, so it is hardly a secret). Plus, even they might have trouble getting an actress into the senate back in 1947.

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They probably realize that Agnes is the smart one (her name is on all the patents, so it is hardly a secret). Plus, even they might have trouble getting an actress into the senate back in 1947.

 

Oh, you'd be surprised. Meet former showgirl and premature second wife Clare Boothe Luce. Granted, she didn't get into the Senate until '56 (spoiler tagged for size).

 

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Edited by Julia.
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I find it a bit ridiculous to call the Nazi's civilized. The Nazis were downright creative when it came to torture.. Its kinda like saying Stalin was gentle compared to Mao.  Although it does show what a self involved asshole the guy was.

 

 

 

The Japanese during WWII tended to be crueler to enemy soldiers who surrendered because of their adherence to the Bushido code or rather a perverted interpretation of it practiced by the Japanese military at the time.

In relation to the Japanese where one in three POWs starved to death the Germans followed the Geneva Convention in their war against Britain and the USA. . In Japan a prisoners treatment depended entirely upon the attitudes of the camp commander as there was no Inspectors General looking over his shoulder. You can see the differences on film from The Great Escape or Stalag 17  the German treatment of POWs versus The Bridge On The River Kwai or Unbroken and the Japanese treatment. I am sure if the SS Gestapo caught a Special Operations Executive spy like Agent Carter  then the full weight of Nazi atrocities would have been used on her

 

During the war on the western front of Europe you would see combat medics wear high visibility large red crosses on a white background because the red cross and Geneva Convention were honored while those medics and corpsmen in combat against the Japanese did not and sometimes even carried a weapon because the non combatant red cross made them a high priority target for Japanese snipers.

 

Bastogne as part of the larger Battle of The Bulge was a unique case in that the Waffen SS spearhead following norms of the front against the Soviets which many were veterans of executed surrendered units. However that was more than just a larger scale than what was a normal occurrence with front line troops. As we saw one of the Band of Brothers summery execute prisoners after Normandy and later Major Winters had to take steps like giving the guard a single bullet to insure that never happened again. Or in Saving Private Ryan the Rangers and paratroopers attacking the town blew away Germans with their hands raised in surrender during their final assault. There in the Bulge the units were surrendered and instead of safe guarding them and moving them back to the rear they were machine gunned by the Waffen SS much like German military police did to Jews in Poland before the SS opened the death camps. 

Edited by Raja.
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 I am sure if the SS Gestapo caught a Special Operations Executive spy like Agent Carter  then the full weight of Nazi atrocities would have been used on her

Given what we know happened to the real capture female SOE operatives, Peggy would have ended up in the Ravensbruck concentration camp and most likely executed by guillotine. It is a little known fact that the Third Reich used the guillotine more than the French did during the Reign of Terror. It was a favored method for disposing of spies.

Edited by anna0852.
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The Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS were two distinctly different animals.  The former, as professional soldiers, could usually be expected to follow the terms of the Geneva conventions.  The latter, as murdering, sadistic butchers, generally couldn't be.

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-2 points for not calling out Whitney's awful mother as being played by the wonderful Samaire Armstrong from the OC and Entourage.

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Isn't making someone think they are going to die still considered torture, though? I was uncomfortable with that.

Me too, actually. The comedy kidnap & torture section was not that entertaining to me though I did appreciate all the character stuff in this episode.

In The First Avenger, Peggy goes to visit Steve in his mixed race training unit. Then he goes on to lead the Howling Commandos, which has integrated members Gabe Jones and Jim Morita. And we had echoes of that in the Russian episode last season. The MCU has never been concerned with making their universe as racist as the actual 1940s. Which is fine for me, honestly.

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I suspect Carter's brother is alive but you're going to be running into Winter Soldier territory if he turns out to be working for Hydra.  Making he's secretly working for the British equivalent of the SSR?  Though that's again running into Captain America territory (long-dead soldier returns).

Edited by benteen.
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I tend to go with Superhero shows being in a different universe than our own. Mostly because we don't have super heroes, super powers or aliens in our world. While there are some similarities, I can go with they had slightly better tech earlier than we did and maybe some historical events happened slightly earlier leading to them having super powers and aliens. 

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The date on the newspaper in episode 2x03 was July 16, 1947.

 

Ah, missed that. Guess the MCU's timeline has the Hollywood Ten getting called before Congress much, much earlier than in the real world.

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Me too, actually. The comedy kidnap & torture section was not that entertaining to me though I did appreciate all the character stuff in this episode.

In The First Avenger, Peggy goes to visit Steve in his mixed race training unit. Then he goes on to lead the Howling Commandos, which has integrated members Gabe Jones and Jim Morita. And we had echoes of that in the Russian episode last season. The MCU has never been concerned with making their universe as racist as the actual 1940s. Which is fine for me, honestly.

The Howling Commandos themselves are less problematic historically By the end of the war some Black troops were added to general service Infantry companies as a test used by President Truman to integrate the Armed Forces later and being in Italy the Japanese American Go for Broke Regimental Combat Team was normally attached to the Colored 92 Inf Div and not the Texans they were in the biopic movie about them. It was the war bond tours, the integrated Army camp in Italy and on Agent Carter, Dr Wilkes openingly flirteing with Peggy and living in an intergrated neighborhood, the club in New York with Bubbles about tyo have sex wih an undercover Peggy and the 2016 racial make up of SSR Agents in Europe, New York and now the aborted by "Red" Masters raid in Los Angeles where the ball was dropped by Marvel

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The Howling Commandos themselves are less problematic historically By the end of the war some Black troops were added to general service Infantry companies as a test used by President Truman to integrate the Armed Forces later and being in Italy the Japanese American Go for Broke Regimental Combat Team was normally attached to the Colored 92 Inf Div and not the Texans they were in the biopic movie about them.

My understanding of this from my rudimentary research is that we're still not talking about actual mixed and integrated small units the way we see with the Commandos until after the war? The black troops were part of the same companies but were still functionally separate until Truman officially desegrated it all in 1948. Though allowing them in combat at all was huge progress to be sure.

Peggy and Wilkes kissing in the street is pretty ridiculous, it's true. But at the same time I don't actually crave more racism on my tv. I'm okay to believe that Howard and Jarvis and Daniel are that progressive as individual progressives have existed in every era. Though you would still imagine she might have to listen to some concern trolling. But these three men already know Peggy doesn't care what strangers think of her, lol.

Edited by innocuouspuff.
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-2 points for not calling out Whitney's awful mother as being played by the wonderful Samaire Armstrong from the OC and Entourage.

I called her the Dirty Sexy Money girl. I know she wasn't on there long but I was a fan of the twins.

I don't think Peggy and Wilkes will come to anything but I think the actors have amazing chemistry.

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We just need a baseline to work from. All the sudden we have in 1947 tech that would have been impressive in 1984 with just the explanation that Stark did it remains a weakness for the franchise. I mean if the SSR has something seeing that it is a temporary wartime agency which Agent "Red" Masters is saying is all but dead means the FBI the OSS going into the CIA and the rest would have it

Well, this show is ultimately based on comic books and this sort of thing even has its own trope. Remember, Dick Tracy's wristwatch radio communicator debuted in 1946.

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I could happily watch this show with no sound and just enjoy the wardrobes. But then I'd miss Jarvis' comments.

I'm glad Marvel is calling out men telling women to smile more. I hate it when it's said to me.

If you tell a girl to smile, you're responsible for all the people she kills when she gets superpowers.

We need a way to leave multiple likes.

There are whole campaigns about it these days:https://www.google.com/search?q=don%27t+tell+me+to+smile&rlz=1C9BKJA_enUS642US642&oq=don%27t+tell+me+to+smile&aqs=chrome..69i57.8525j0j4&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8&hl=en-US#imgrc=_

When I was young I used to feel guilty for resenting be told to smile.

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Being ordered to smile was pretty much an every day occurrence the entirety of my adolescence, so this episode underestimated the sleaze factor to me. It would be totally ahistorical, but I was dying for Frost to respond at least once by holding her mouth in a smile using her middle fingers, Abi and Illana style.

As unlikely as that would be, I would have loved that too. A+ Broad City reference!

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The Japanese during WWII tended to be crueler to enemy soldiers who surrendered because of their adherence to the Bushido code or rather a perverted interpretation of it practiced by the Japanese military at the time.

 

I know that that why I made the comparison between Stalin and Mao. Since Mao is arguably the worse of the two but that doesn't mean Stalin was a nice guy. Just like because Sousa served in Europe doesn't mean he had it easy. Besides the Nazi's did torture prisoners as was shown in the first Captain America movie. That's when they weren't sending Jewish POWs straight to the death camps. In any case my point was that the guys comments were exactly the type "no one has ever suffered as I have" type of thinking you'd expect from an alcoholic like whathisface.

 

Peggy and Wilkes kissing in the street is pretty ridiculous, it's true. But at the same time I don't actually crave more racism on my tv. I'm okay to believe that Howard and Jarvis and Daniel are that progressive as individual progressives have existed in every era. Though you would still imagine she might have to listen to some concern trolling. But these three men already know Peggy doesn't care what strangers think of her, lol.

 

I just feel like the show is trying to have its cake and eat it too. It wants get credit for having a black character but it wants to avoid anything that makes a white audience uncomfortable. Only bad people and uneducated louts were racist the good guys were all progressive that way no one has to confront the idea that racism is more complex than that. Or that the "Greatest Generation" had some serious flaws.  Papering over the racism of the forties is appropriation at best. The writers are taking the story of a black man (especially since there were black physicist during the era some of whom worked on the Manhattan project)  and using to their own ends. If they are not doing it truthfully what right do they have to tell that story? Especially on a show that is so strongly feminist it feels doubly disappointing. I just feel like if the show couldn't handle this type of story it shouldn't have bothered doing it at all.

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I just feel like the show is trying to have its cake and eat it too. It wants get credit for having a black character but it wants to avoid anything that makes a white audience uncomfortable. Only bad people and uneducated louts were racist the good guys were all progressive that way no one has to confront the idea that racism is more complex than that. Or that the "Greatest Generation" had some serious flaws.  Papering over the racism of the forties is appropriation at best. The writers are taking the story of a black man (especially since there were black physicist during the era some of whom worked on the Manhattan project)  and using to their own ends. If they are not doing it truthfully what right do they have to tell that story? Especially on a show that is so strongly feminist it feels doubly disappointing. I just feel like if the show couldn't handle this type of story it shouldn't have bothered doing it at all.

 

But isn't that what we've been criticisning other shows for? Not bothering? Because they'd rather not try at all instead of failing? A comment like that makes me understand why some show runners despair of POCs in their shows. Last season Agent Carter was criticised for not including people of color. They did in this season and now they're getting slammed for that too.

 

Do I think that Agent Carter could do better? Could be more realistic regarding the era? Absolutely. But who would you want to be the benevolent racist? Jarvis? Howard? Sousa? It'll have to be either of those three, because the rest of the cast are either villains or doesn't matter. Jarvis and Howard are both fan favorites and the audience would never accept them as casual racists. Sousa? First of all he's still in play as Peggy's love interest, so he must be a good man. Furthermore it wouldn't make much sense character wise, since he himself - like Peggy - suffers from prejudice and therefore ought to be sympathetic.

 

So I think the show is doing as best it can. We're seeing the beginning of an interracial romance, where race for once isn't a part of the conflict. I  like that. Even if it's unrealistic.

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But isn't that what we've been criticisning other shows for? Not bothering? Because they'd rather not try at all instead of failing? A comment like that makes me understand why some show runners despair of POCs in their shows. Last season Agent Carter was criticised for not including people of color. They did in this season and now they're getting slammed for that too.

 

Do I think that Agent Carter could do better? Could be more realistic regarding the era? Absolutely. But who would you want to be the benevolent racist? Jarvis? Howard? Sousa? It'll have to be either of those three, because the rest of the cast are either villains or doesn't matter. Jarvis and Howard are both fan favorites and the audience would never accept them as casual racists. Sousa? First of all he's still in play as Peggy's love interest, so he must be a good man. Furthermore it wouldn't make much sense character wise, since he himself - like Peggy - suffers from prejudice and therefore ought to be sympathetic.

 

So I think the show is doing as best it can. We're seeing the beginning of an interracial romance, where race for once isn't a part of the conflict. I  like that. Even if it's unrealistic.

 

Honestly I don't think there a point at shoehorning in a black man and then trying to ignore the racial aspect of the character. Minorities should just shut up and be grateful to be invited to the party and never mind how we are treated once we're there? Fuck that. Acting like racism didn't happen just perpetuates the idea that it wasn't so bad back then and minorities  are just making a big deal over nothing. So yes I am being critical of this storyline because if we all just shut up and take it nothing ever changes.

 

Also its not just that TPTB are ignoring the inter-racial aspects of the relationship it why they are doing it. So yes not wanting to have the audience see the characters in a bad light is actually just a lame excuse.  Flaws can make characters more interesting and layered they don't have to detract from the character as a whole unless your  a lousy writer. Also Howard eventually became an asshole according to Tony so it could actually count as foreshadowing in his case.

 

Also the writers didn't have to make Wilkes a love interest. Its actually a very common Marvel pattern to only think of minority characters in relation to the lead rather than as people of their own (ie Luis or Falcon or War Machine) They could have gone a different direction entirely and had another character be the token minority. They could have had a black person working in the SSR office as support staff who wants to be an agent but is overlooked much the same way Peggy was. There were many possibilities for a minority character without being unrealistic.

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Last season Agent Carter was criticised for not including people of color. They did in this season and now they're getting slammed for that too.

This. I would totally agree with the "Agent Carter shouldn't take on racism if it's not going to be handled in a historically appropriate way" criticism if the show hadn't taken a lot of flack for not dealing with racism last season. But that was one of the biggest complaints about the show from certain corners of the audience, and so the focus on race this season seems clearly to be a reaction to those criticisms. And now the criticism has shifted because race isn't being handled in a way a lot of those critics wanted it to be handled. So I'm torn...on the one hand, I do agree that it's socially irresponsible to gloss over the ugly realities of the time period (even if, as others have said, the MCU seems to have been somewhat more enlightened earlier than our world). On the other, at this point, it's hard not to feel like some people simply want the show to be something it's not. They want the show to be a fundamentally different show from what it is. And I'm not sure that's a fair yardstick by which to measure the show, either.

 

Honestly, I think a big part of the problem is that the writers got scared off by the negative reaction to the preachy vibe the show sometimes had in S1 regarding gender. In response they've toned the gender stuff down a lot this season; I wouldn't be surprised if they thought--or were told--that they had to soften any race content as well.

 

Also Howard eventually became an asshole according to Tony so it could actually count as foreshadowing in his case.

Not gonna lie, I trust maybe 5% of what Tony says about Howard.

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This show, and the whole Marvel universe for that matter, is not trying to depict real life. It is pretty much the opposite of realistic and that's ok. Anyone who lived through the post-war era or was paying attention in school knows that. The vast majority of viewers are not looking to this show for a history lesson on post-war society. Part of the appeal of fantasy shows is that they depict alternate realities and can play with "what if" scenarios that don't or didn't exist in the real world..

 

If the show depicted the post-war era realistically we wouldn't have a show because Peggy Carter as we know her would not exist. The whole idea of a British woman being the ace operative of an American law enforcement agency is outlandish and would not have happened. Whitney Frost as a genius super-villian would also not exist. Both women being in their respective positions in the real world of 1947 would have had about as much chance of happening as Ada Lovelace being taken seriously in her lifetime.

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