Well, in the form of the solo TV show ‘Marvel’s Agent Carter’, I’m sad to say probably not. However, I wouldn’t write off all chances of seeing Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter ever again.
‘Conviction’ abruptly ended with very little objection after only 13 episodes, so it makes cancelling ‘Agent Carter’, a show that was at least if not more successful in terms of average viewer ratings (and definitely more in the case of positive reaction from critics and viewers), seem like a waste. There was the ubiquitous talk of Netflix ‘picking it up’, which didn’t happen, with a few reasons being given and Hayley Atwell being otherwise employed clearly factoring heavily in that decision. So, does her no longer being lead on a network show reinvigorate the rumour mill and breathe a little life back into those hopes?
The best suggestion I have at the moment is that ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ (which I’ll now probably just call ‘S.H.I.E.L.D’ as it’s easier to type though still a hassle with all those periods) could incorporate more history into the upcoming season and cover a little of her back story. This seems the most likely use of the character and all that hinted yet untapped material. With the way the latest season developed, dividing the run with distinct and defined story arcs, another season that does something similar while working S.H.I.E.L.D. history and flashbacks into one-third or half of a season could be fantastic, keeping it well contained and concise, just as the two seasons of ‘Agent Carter’ did.
With S.H.I.E.L.D. set to return for a fifth season, the renewal comes with the news that the show has apparently had the budget cut significantly. This is often a sign that the network wants to kill it off (ostensibly humanely) but tactically reducing quality and viewer numbers to minimise outrage when the axe falls. Personally, I don’t see that as the death knell it seems to be, there’s definitely scope for opportunity.
More spying and less high-flying would continue the progress made by the show in adding depth to characters. There are more than a couple of… well, couples, whose relationships could do with some form of resolution either for better or worse and it seems like the next season will likely bring some of those to fruition. One of the last episodes I saw was brilliant in the way one character, in particular, has been given monumental issues he will have to attempt to deal with, none of which will need special effects or even fancy props to depict and develop.
‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ is almost certainly going to cut the roster back to barebones a little, tightening the bonds within the key group and realigning themselves with the core values of the Strategic Homeland Intervention and Enforcement Logistics Division. They could stand to lose Robbie Reyes with all the (already tricky to make look good on a budget) flames needed to fully represent his darker side. Working in a little of an already-established and well-loved character in the MCU would by no means work against this development, in fact, I think it would support it greatly. Incorporating a storyline that starts in the early days of the organisation and has some modern ramifications could really put the focus on the story more than visuals, linking back to the central organisation, and Peggy doesn’t need special effects to be awesome.
Maybe I’m just being hopeful but I would like to see two things happen, 1) filling in some of the gaps left in Peggy Carter’s story, and 2) ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’ continuing to improve as it possibly nears an end. I am sure that these two goals would be achieved by working them together and I just hope someone working on the show has realised it too.