Believe the hype — it’s real, it’s wonderful, and it’s the best cinematic experience in recent years with some of the most captivating performances that have ever graced our screens. Black Panther is a masterpiece; it’s an undeniable brilliance, but I’m not here to write a film review, there’s plenty of those already. I’m here to talk about the relationships that I can’t stop thinking about, and how the film emphasized the importance of unity and communication. And the story of the Black Panther, the emphasis on T’Challa as a man, a King — an Avenger is only beginning. A beginning that’s brought to us by the relationships that shape and mold human beings making Black Panther the first Marvel film that’s achieved balance masterfully. There’s a reason this film is so celebrated, and it’s because in giving us an action packed adventure, it gave us a profoundly moving story about the human psyche and the revolutionary heart that’s found in the connections we make. In making T’Challa the King that he is, the film explores the different relationships between people in a way none like it have before.
In the words of director Ryan Coogler: “Storytelling is the tool that human beings have to trigger empathy. Cinema is a form of storytelling that’s so immersive that it’s not like any other medium.”
25 Inimitable Men 20/25
Edwin Jarvis (Agent Carter)
#SideKickGOALS. I mean, go ahead, I dare you to tell me someone that’s better — I’ll be waiting. And listen, while we’re normally all for listening to the opinion of others with the belief that no opinion is wrong, when it comes to this question, in the world of television, if it isn’t Edwin Jarvis, the answer is wrong. Sorry not sorry, we don’t make the rules. /End Rant. Agent Carter was the gift that gave us inimitable characters for two beautiful seasons before it was tragically robbed of a permanent home on television. (And no, I will never in my life be more bitter about a cancellation than this.) And in the midst of those exceptional two seasons, we not only got to know Peggy Carter, but we were given the chance to get to know the Stark’s infamous butler Edwin Jarvis. In our short but profound journey with the greatest sidekick in the world, we were able to understand without a single doubt why Tony Stark decided to keep him alive for all these years. See, here’s the thing, Tony Stark and I don’t agree on much, but at least we agree on the fact that Edwin Jarvis is the absolute best. In all seriousness though, friends — in Jarvis we met someone incomparably brave, unceasingly kind, and indescribably wise. We met a figure who’s truly indescribable and whose presence is an undeniable gift in the lives of many.
25 Inimitable Men 18/25
Daniel Sousa (Agent Carter)
He has the kindest eyes to exist, and probably smells like Mahogany Teakwood mixed with gentleness, courage, and unyielding compassion. Agent Carter’s Daniel Sousa is the character none of us imagined to fall so hard for, but through every episode, he proved that he’s in fact remarkably inimitable. There are a number of fantastic characters that go through far more darkness than they deserve to, and some of them allow it to consume while others rise from it. Characters who are torn down and ridiculed but instead of letting the words govern their actions, they use them as fuel to become better, stronger, and kinder. Irish band The Script have a song that’s essentially written for Daniel Sousa and Peggy Carter — you cannot convince me otherwise. “Superheroes.”
“Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. And trust your instincts … good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful. That’s not just with somebody you want to marry, but it’s with the friends that you choose. It’s with the people you surround yourselves with.”
— Michelle Obama
There’s an unusual idea has been making its way around that’s set on the belief that love in the media is weakness. And perhaps, in the real world though I’ve been fortunate enough never to witness this. You’d think Once Upon A Time’s late Cora Mills is in position of their hearts or something. But there’s no theory or idea that’s more laughable, and I say that with the utmost respect. There are a number of opinions that differ from mine that I could respect, turn the other cheek, and agree to disagree on, but when said idea is damaging and leads to young women believing that strength is coldness and isolation, I draw the line. There’s great bravery in honesty and it takes more courage to be vulnerable than it does to build a wall. It takes more courage to understand and explore our feelings than it does to shut them off. It takes strength to fall into the great unknown with a partner that we’re willing to share our entire lives with. Strength is understanding the difference between right and wrong. Strength is understanding our value and trusting our instincts in every obstacle we face. And when someone is right for us, they don’t take those things away from us, they don’t dim them or lock them away, they welcome them with open arms and admiration.
25 Nearest and Dearest 13/25
Peggy Carter and Edwin Jarvis (Agent Carter)
Agent Carter was a remarkably special series. And while Peggy Carter’s presence alone was enough to keep viewers constantly engaged, I also found myself completely enamored with the friendships the series explored. Peggy Carter’s an agent unlike any other, but even the toughest souls need someone to lean on. And Peggy knows a few great souls: the ridiculous genius Howard Stark, the kind and loving Daniel Sousa, the incredible ray of sunshine Angie Martinelli, the sweet Ana Jarvis, and the noble Jason Wilkes. Bottom line is, Peggy would never be alone. However, it was her partnership with the one of a kind Edwin Jarvis that continuously managed to resort me into an emotional wreck. From the very beginning, the two understood one another. And because of that very understand, they effortlessly inspired a kind of growth in each other they would’ve otherwise not been able to find.
March 20 – April 3
“Parting Shot” | Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
I feel as though the episode should’ve been titled “Hollywood Beginning” instead.
Episode Summary: “Hollywood Ending” picks up six seconds after “A Little Song and Dance” ends, but the enormous explosion is surprisingly not Jack’s fault. Howard Stark returns and with the help of his (strange) friend Joseph Manfredi, the team manages to beat Whitney in her game. Zero Matter is permanently removed from both Jason and Whitney. Peggy chooses her happy ending. Ana Jarvis returns home. And Jack’s left in a critical state with Peggy’s files in an unknown man’s hand.
Review | Analysis: “Hollywood Ending” did what Agent Carter does best; it reminded its viewers of the importance of unity while keeping a wonderful balance between heart and humor. I have no plans to write about this season finale as though it’s the end because much like Ana Jarvis, optimism runs heavily in my veins. There’s a lot to be appreciated about this particular finale, and it’s mainly due to the fact that through each and every character we met last year, we’ve seen palpable growth (except maybe in Howard, but we all need that one ridiculous friend, right?). And that’s precisely why we need to move forward with the series because there are still countless stories to be told.
The reason Agent Carter is Marvel’s most inexpressibly unique series is because of how well it works around its characters in the 1940s. It’s without a doubt one of the most female dominant series, but it’s also the one that promotes the significance of equality most eloquently. And that not only comes from the fact that each of its characters fit into the storyline, but the writers know how to give us profound moments in the most subtle ways. If this were any other series, the finale would’ve felt anti-climatic, but for Agent Carter, it works. I did however feel as though there wasn’t enough Peggy and that may have actually been the biggest flaw.
However, the most important component the finale dealt with is Peggy Carter’s happiness. And that’s fundamentally what this series has always been about. Yes, Peggy’s an incredibly strong female agent at a time where the men don’t see her fit, but at the end of the day, it comes down to her moral compass and happiness — the importance of choosing for ourselves and moving forward with honor despite what the world attempts to throw in our paths.
“Life of the Party” and “Monsters” | Agent Carter
In the words of Edwin Jarvis: ABORT.
Episode Summary: Chadwick turns Whitney in to the council, but it backfires when she absorbs him and a few other men. Dottie escapes after helping Peggy. Wilkes was taken captive. Daniel’s been beaten then later demoted. Vernon can’t be trusted. Thompson’s still terrible. And the ever so sweet Ana Jarvis has been drastically injured after being shot by Whitney.
Review | Analysis: As all episodes of Agent Carter, tonight’s two hour special was an absolute adventure — a roller coaster of way too many feelings I have no idea how to work through. “Life of the Party” and “Monsters” played with a variety of noted spy drama tropes, but what they’ve done most phenomenally, is given each of the female characters an opportunity to shine. Both episodes also did a great job of exhibiting the fact that despite the fear that resides in us, we’re all far more courageous than we think, and sometimes, a single step is all it takes to showcase that bravery.
Before we get into the episode, I feel it’s important to acknowledge that this series is filled with some of the most talented actors and actresses. They’re not only incredibly fun to watch, but when things need to take an emotional turn, they’re as evocative as can be delivering some of the most incredible performances. Again, why aren’t more people watching this show?
I was certain I’d enjoy Agent Carter because of how much I loved Captain America: The First Avenger and Marvel as a whole, but I never expected it to become a series that’d mean a great deal to me as a woman. When I often recommend a series to someone, I make sure it’s something they’re bound to like; therefore, not every series I watch, no matter how wonderful I believe it to be is something I’d recommend to everyone — except for Agent Carter. Marvel’s Agent Carter is doubtlessly the only series I would encourage everyone to watch, especially women because of the gorgeously evocative way it can resonate with its viewers. We’ve got espionage, badass females, genius performances, heart, humor, history, and outstanding writing. So without further ado, I’ve compiled a list of 10 reasons why I fervently believe those who aren’t watching, should. I could’ve gone for more than 10, but we don’t want to spoil too much now do we?
- Queen Peggy Carter
Peggy Carter is a woman most of us were introduced to in Captain America: The First Avenger, and while we were able to quickly care for her character then, we get to know and understand her in a whole new light on Agent Carter. It pains to admit that when I was young, there weren’t many women to look up to in the media. And if we had a woman like Peggy Carter gracing our screens then, I truly believe we’d love ourselves a bit more. The 1940s wasn’t an easy time for women, and this is a series that inspires us to care so deeply for integrity and fairness in all the right ways. Peggy’s choices effortlessly serve as an inspiration to us all and though we don’t exactly participate in espionage, we’ve all experienced some sort of mistreatment in our lives. Peggy beautifully shines light to significant issues we deal with in our day-to-day lives while brilliantly revolutionizing the fact that we must focus on our own perceptions of ourselves rather than another’s.