“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.
There’s no feeling quite as indescribable as finding a fictional character to care deeply for. A character who we perhaps see ourselves in or a character who’s just so well written, it’s difficult to turn the other cheek. There are a number of fantastic TV characters — whether heroes or villains or somewhere in between, they’re so well written, they become a part of us. They become someone we cherish, someone we want the best for. They become someone we’re constantly in awe of. And 2016 has truly been one of the best years in the world of television. It’s been a strong, undeniably powerful year for complex, incredible characters.
And whatever you do, in order to get the best of Year-End reviews, you need to check out the beautiful work Nerdy Girl Notes and TV Examined are doing as well.
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.
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.
Does anyone else feel as though they’ve just gotten off a wild roller coaster?
Episode Summary: There was a lot of double crossing and way too many plans to keep up with, but the best news is, Ana Jarvis is alive. Peggy and Jarvis argue over everything that’s occurred making their friendship even stronger than before. Dr. Samberly and Rose return to help our heroes. Jason Wilkes is strong with the force, but Whitney Frost isn’t. Angie Martinelli (Lyndsy Fonseca) returns in a dream sequence to help Peggy with her difficult decisions. And in the end, it appears as though Zero Matter has completely consumed Wilkes.
Review | Analysis: “The Edge of Mystery” and “A Little Song and Dance” were superlative episodes continuing to remind viewers of the fact that Agent Carter is a series that knows how to keep a proper balance between an ongoing plot and character development. It’s also the series that tackles prominent issues in a way that allows us to understand things we may not have otherwise on much profound levels. It’s about learning to lean on other people with each and every character contributing something exceptionally unique. And if these two episodes were to teach us to anything, it is that we must learn how to take responsibility for our actions. The choices we make determine the kind of person we are, but above all, it’s how we react to the consequences of our choices.
“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?
Oh, look we’ve been impaled.
Episode Summary: In order to stop Whitney Frost from getting to the atomic bomb first, the squad grew with Rose Roberts and Dr. Samberly. Daniel proposed. Peggy got hurt. Jarvis defused the bomb. Dr. Wilkes disappeared (sort of.) Everything’s fine. We’re fine.
Review | Analysis: Tonight’s episode was a roller coaster of emotions, but it did a remarkable job of showcasing the importance of teamwork. And reiterating a similar theme from last week’s episode, “The Atomic Bomb” reminded viewers of the importance of encouraging others and believing in them. If there’s one thing I love about episodes that involve undercover espionage, it’s the fact that there’s never a time where they’re not hysterical. Who doesn’t love a good ol fake marriage, playing with wires, plus surprising action sequences? Essentially, it’s incredibly admirable how The Atomic Bomb gave each and every character an opportunity to shine. And episodes like this, no matter how dark they get, end up being a lot of fun.
Cue the most perfectly ridiculous slow motion squad walk ever.
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.
Who doesn’t love good backstories and flashbacks?!
Episode Summary: Peggy and Jarvis kidnap Rufus. Peggy and Daniel interrogate Rufus. Peggy, Daniel, Jarvis, and Jason listen in on a conversation between Rufus, Whitney, and Chadwick. And then Whitney absorbs Rufus but our darling heroes have no clue what happened. In flashbacks we learned that instead of encouraging her to use her mind to go far, Whitney’s mother discouraged her and blamed her for unsuccessful relationships. We also learn that prior to joining the S.S.R., Peggy was engaged to be married, but after her brother’s death, she followed her dreams of adventure and heroism.
Review | Analysis: Agent Carter is a series that has a lot to say and it does so with such effortless grace, it makes it incredibly easy to be inspired by it. While we women certainly relate more, the fact that there are men that have actually watched the series and understood things they may not have in such depth is remarkable. While last week taught us the importance of trusting our instincts, this week we were reminded of the fact that we need to go where our hearts desire and follow the dreams we’ve wanted our entire lives. Most of us know what we want to be when we grow up, sure it changes every once in a while, but for the most part, that one dream that’s been in our hearts our entire lives is what I personally believe is the one we should all follow. No one can accomplish anything alone, thereby, another vital theme presented in Agent Carter is that it’s important to surround ourselves with those who encourage and truly know us inside out.
Agent Carter isn’t just a series about women kicking ass and fighting for the recognition they deserve, it’s a series about remaining true to ourselves in a world where people are trying desperately to mold us into their ideal desires.