THE PAIRING: Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans)
THE EPISODES: “Pilot” and “Bridge and Tunnell” – Aired January 6, 2015
THE MOMENT: Peggy and Steve never get to share that dance! In post-war, Agent Carter remembers Captain America.
This week’s moment may seem a strange choice, as the moment in question actually happens to mostly come from a film that came out a few years ago. Yet, with the premiere of Agent Carter this week, I was reminded of just how great the romance (albeit brief) between Peggy and Steve actually was. In the world of epic romances, this is one that can easily be brushed aside because nothing ever really happens between the two. But sometimes there’s nothing more romantic than two people who “almost” come together, yet ultimately are unable to. And while this story does take place in a fantastical superhero world, losing a soldier one loves in war is far too common.
THE ROMANTIC MOMENT
Throughout the first two episodes of Agent Carter (the new spinoff of Captain America), Peggy finds quiet moments to remember Steve and his sacrifice that saved everyone. The pilot in fact actually begins with her memory.
The show then goes into a really stylish montage of what’s going on “now” and what happened “then” including moments Peggy shared with Steve.
Later on in the episode, Peggy goes through a box that includes an old photo of Steve. She looks at it longingly as her memories turn to the rest of their fated conversation.
“We’re gonna need a raincheck on that dance,” Steve says knowing it will never happen.
“A week next Saturday at the Stork Club,” Peggy responds.
“You got it.”
“Eight o’clock on the dot. Don’t you dare be late! Just be there,” Peggy pleads with a sliver of hope that maybe he will get out of all this alive.
“We’ll have the band play something slow. I’d hate to step on your –“
And then all goes quiet.
“Steve?” She cries out. “Steve?”
Then the moment returns to present day as she continues to look at an old photo of Steve that was taken before his transformation, showing the audience that she loved him for who he really was.
So while Peggy and Steve never get to have their dance, they did know what they meant to each other without really needing to say it. That moment, that goodbye, became something more for Peggy. After the war, as a woman she’s no longer taken very seriously and almost becomes a glorified secretary. She doesn’t date. And as pointed out by her roommate, there’s a fine line between being a spinster and an independent woman…So with her almost complete disinterest in men and dating, it quickly becomes clear that Peggy hasn’t in fact moved on from Steve at all. But then, how can any guy really live up to Captain America? I’d say that’s a pretty hard act to follow.
Time literally pulled these two apart, only to be reunited when Peggy is an old woman. How heartbreaking for both of them that their time was cut short. Is there anything more tragic than “what if?”
So while a memory may be a strange choice for a romantic moment, I believe a memory can in fact be extremely romantic, and as we all probably know, can intensify over time. That seems to be the case with Peggy Carter. True love that’s lost can be hard to let go of.
That said, the series is going to explore the as of now unnamed man who becomes Peggy’s husband. We know he was saved by Captain America in the war and that she has a couple kids with him. But beyond that, we don’t know very much. Could it be Daniel, the only co-worker who treats her with respect? Could it be Jarvis and his wife is really just a robot of his creation? Or is it someone we haven’t met yet? As much as I want Steve to be able to travel back in time and show up at that club ready to dance with Peggy (can you imagine the surprise and joy on her face), that fantasy will likely never happen. So, I’m looking forward to seeing Peggy find true love and happiness once again, even if she’ll always have the promise of that dance in her memory.
Were you happy to see some archive footage of Captain America? How long do you think Peggy should mourn him before she moves on? We know she gets married, so who do you think will be the guy that turns out to be her husband?
Photo Credit: ABC/Marvel
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