When the announcement that Agent Carter is getting renewed for a second season (with two more episodes than the first), I freaked out. This show is amazing. If you haven't seen it yet, drop whatever you're doing and watching it now, because there are serious spoilers ahead. I'll wait. Ok, now that's sorted, I know this series isn't perfect, and I really hope that the showrunners will take season two as an opportunity to make their good story even better. Here's what I'm hoping for in season two...
Gabe Jones and Jim Morita
Season one featured the Howling Commandos, and that was bt far ine of my favorite episodes. Seeing how comfortable Peggy was with the Howlies, interacting with them on the same level, really highlighted her struggle in the SSR and showed that while the sexist treatment she was subjected to was not an anomoly, it did not have to be the norm. The cameraderie between her and the soldiers that followed Captain America through some of the most brutal parts of World War II was so comforting. I especially want to see more of Jim and Gabe. Not only are their characters really interesting to me, but their presence would help to alleviate the overhwelming whiteness of the rest of the cast.
Last season, Dottie Underwood was an antagonist in disguise. She introduced herself as an aspiring dancer, when she was actually a Russin spy, trained from an early age to be a ruthless killer. Her presence was a cool Easter Egg for longtime fans: the training program we saw flashbacks of is what will eventually become the Red Room, where Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow was trained. While the story arc of the season was complete, the showrunners left a lot of space for the story to continue. Dottie is still alive and at large. What will her next mission be? Is there potential for a redemption arc, if she breaks through the conditioning she underwent as a child? Either way, her villain status was one of the more compelling elements of last season, and it could easily be taken a step further.
The Winter Soldier
Speaking of Russian assasins, any hint of Bucky Barnes would be really nice to see in season two. Doctor Fenhoff was last seen locked in a cell with Arnim Zola, apparently planning an alliance. At some point, the two must escape (or get recruited by the United States government for Project Paperclip) because very soon Zola will be working on his ultimate creation: The Winter Soldier. At some point Zola will also infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D., the clandestine agency run by Peggy herself. How on earth was he able to slip in under her nose? Wouldn't it be heartbreaking for Peggy to storm a Hydra base, only to find it abandoned, with a cryo chamber and mind-wipe machine left behind? To miss them by seconds, and with them the chance to rescue Bucky, the only person who knew the man behind Captain America's shield? I made myself sad.
More gals being pals
Even if you're not a Cartinelli shipper (spoiler alert I totally am) you know that the female relationships on Agent Carter are hugely important to the spirit of the show. Often when we get badass female action hero, the narrative distances her from other wo en. The phrase "man up", "I had twelve brothers", and "I'm not like other girls" can jump into the ocean any day now. Peggy likes and respects women, and she balances pragmatic outfits with a distinctly feminine aesthetic. Peggy also uses her lipstick as a weapon, diffuses a bomb with her perfume bottle, and weaponizes things like staplers and stoves- the tools of traditionally 'feminine' work. The message is that women are plenty tough, and they don't need to act "male" to be that way. Things that are traditionally coded as 'feminine' are not disposed of or rejected. The next season could take this theme even further, developing Peggy's relationship with Angie or even introducing new women. It would be great to see a woman of color sharing the screen with Peggy, since women of color get even fewer opportunities to embrace femininity this way.