Well friends, we put off talking about the end of Agent Carter for as long as we could. (That’s a lie; we’re actually a week late because I moved across the country and didn’t have Internet.) But now, here we are, and here Peggy is, and there Howard goes, in “Valediction,” the eight and last episode of Agent Carter season one.

Alex and I talk narrative pacing, Peggy’s relationships, and how the show commits — or fails to commit — to its portrayal of Peggy’s postwar (and post-Captain America) role. How does the show frame Peggy? And by contrast, how do audiences see her? How much of Peggy Carter is what the show gives us, and how much is what fans interpret (and in a sense create) for her? This led us to a fascinating tangent about queer subtext, authorial intent, and fanfiction.

But in the end, though “Valediction” contains some of my favorite scenes in the show, as a TV episode and as a finale it had a number of significant issues.

Does that stop us from loving Peggy Carter? NOPE! It won’t even stop us from making more podcasts. How, you might ask? Well, our next episode will be about Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in which Peggy has a significant cameo and an even more significant role. And come May, we’ll do another episode on Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, in which Hayley Atwell will reprise her role as the modern-day ex-Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. After that, who knows? Hopefully we’ll be back for an Agent Carter season two! Maybe Peggy Carter will appear in more flashbacks in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Then there’s Operation S.I.N., the Marvel comic featuring the Marvel-616 versions of Peggy Carter and Howard Stark (she’s blond; he’s pretty much the same).

So we’ll end this post with the title of Agent Carter’s first episode: “Now is Not the End.”

  • Erin Kane

    A bit disappointed with this episode unfortunately. You guys give far to much credit to the show runners for supposedly intentionally putting queer content in the show. As far as I’m concerned if anyone gets credit it’s the actors like Atwell who have shown previously that they are open minded and thoughtful people, who put the chemistry and possibility of queerness in the show INDEPENDENT of what the script gives them to work with.

    Do you seriously want to take bets the the writing and script will ever give us Peggy in a non-subtext queer romantic situation? Korrasami is amazing but it alone hasn’t changed the world yet. Do you really think everyone is so accepting now? My life regularly consists of running into straight people who never see queer subtext and wouldn’t know it if I stamped it on a shovel and smacked them in the face. People who insist two women leads falling in love is impossible and I’m stupid and delusional to see it or want it. How many times have I got the “Why can’t women just be friends?!” bullshit. Straight people eat a feast and throw me a bone every once in awhile and then tell me to be happy I’m finally equal to all them spoiled entitled brats.

    You laughing off my concerns and thoughts as “everything’s fine” and “the show is doing so much queer stuff”, when it’s NOT, made me sad. I’m ganged up on by straight people even on supposedly inclusive sites like themarysue. I wrote what I wrote to help you see things from my perspective and you seemingly didn’t try to and didn’t really address any of it. But I’m not the one with the podcast, so great. That’s where we’ll leave that I guess.

    None of this means I don’t still love and appreciate this site and look very much forward to future podcasts on other shows.

    • Hi Erin,
      I’m very sorry our podcast came off as dismissive. That was absolutely not our intent. We also didn’t mean to say that Agent Carter is “doing so much queer stuff” or that everything’s fine on the LGBTQ representation front, either in this show or in general. Far from it. I still very, very much want to see more explicitly queer characters in stories, and even Legend of Korra arguably didn’t give us that. The struggle is still real. We were just trying to discuss the subtext in Agent Carter, and talk about whether queer subtext was the creators’ intent (which Alex argued was likely). And then we talked about how intentional queer subtext is a change–a tiny one, but still a progressive change–from previous TV. It doesn’t mean all queer representation issues are now solved. Agent Carter still has a lot of issues, its racial representation and LGBTQ representation among them.

      That was our intent, but intent doesn’t excuse results, so again, I apologize that you felt upset. I hope you continue to read Fempop and give your perspective on media and the commentary about it!
      -Jill

    • Jillian Scharr

      Hi Erin,
      I’m very sorry our podcast came off as dismissive. That was absolutely not our intent. We also didn’t mean to say that Agent Carter is “doing so much queer stuff” or that everything’s fine on the LGBTQ representation front, either in this show or in general. Far from it. I still very, very much want to see more explicitly queer characters in stories, and even Legend of Korra arguably didn’t give us that. The struggle is still real. We were just trying to discuss the subtext in Agent Carter, and talk about whether queer subtext was the creators’ intent (which Alex argued was likely). And then we talked about how intentional queer subtext is a change–a tiny one, but still a progressive change–from previous TV. It doesn’t mean all queer representation issues are now solved. Agent Carter still has a lot of issues, its racial representation and LGBTQ representation among them.

      That was our intent, but intent doesn’t excuse results, so again, I apologize that you felt upset. I hope you continue to read Fempop and give your perspective on media and the commentary about it!
      -Jill