Wednesday, February 25, 2015


With the season one finale of AGENT CARTER having finally aired last night, a ton of new interviews have been hitting the internet today. In order to try and make it easier to catch-up on interviews you may have missed, I've decided to make one mega post.

If you are NOT caught up with AGENT CARTER, you should really, really, really stop reading this post. Right now. I don't want to spoil anything for you, and you're not going to want that final scene spoiled, trust me.

Last night's season one finale of AGENT CARTER was fantastic. It was well-written, wonderfully acted, and a wonderful bit of closure for Peggy's story if we don't get a second season. The most exciting part of the episode, however, was the surprise cameo at the very end of the show - one that connects the show to both CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. Dr. Arnim Zola, played by Toby Jones, appeared in the final scene of AGENT CARTER season one!

Here is what the CAPTAIN AMERICA movie writers had to say about the cameo and what it means!

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did the idea to have Toby Jones appear in the finale first come together?
We’ve wanted Toby Jones to appear since we pitched this show. We did not know exactly where it would happen or where he was on his timeline, but we always wanted to show you how Hydra started it’s [reach within S.H.I.E.L.D.]
CHRISTOPHER MARKUS: People having seen [Captain America:] Winter Soldier know what happens to S.H.I.E.L.D., so we didn’t want to deal with that as a plot point because it’s a given, but just to give them a delicious little taste of the story that they know happen. Also, it has become clear weirdly that there are four characters who span the entire marvel Cinematic Universe: Steve, Bucky (Sebastian Stan), Peggy and Zola. We wanted to see Toby’s body again.
MCFEELY: We just saw his head last time.
Was this also your way of saying this is leading to the Winter Soldier program since Dr. Faustus works in mind control?
Yes, I think it is safe to say there is a connection.
MARKUS: It’s a bit of a convoluted timeline in that in the first Captain America, Zola was captured in the same mission where Bucky fell off the train. Theoretically, a division of Hydra—possibly a Russian division of Hydra—went and got the body while Zola was in custody. Zola had already done something to Bucky, and experimented on him that made him beyond human, which allowed him to survive the fall and make him worth doing the research on. They kept him in stasis until Zola was able to have a little bit of freedom from the American government, at which point he maybe brought his new friend Johann Fennhoff to handle the mind control part of the Winter Soldier project.
MCFEELY: That’s how we see it. I’m not positive that is gospel at the moment, but that’s how we sleep at night.
Why was this an important moment to get to since it really links so many other big moments together?
The idea that we can link all these movies because we’re the ones writing them allows us to plant stuff that other people might not plant because maybe they don’t care or might not see the connections. Because we have no lives and this is what we do now, it allows us to make important things that people might not find important. Zola wasn’t always going to be in Winter Soldier, but we needed a good way to have this exposition dump in the middle of the movie. We love Toby Jones and thought that would be a great idea. When we got the chance to do the television show, we wanted Toby Jones in that too.
MARKUS: It’s a weird balance of this primal pleasure in the way everything interconnects, but you have to balance that with making the world too small, like only five people are responsible for everything that ever happened. Because this is the Captain America section of the Marvel Universe, it felt valid and more fun.
MCFEELY: It was [showrunners] Tara Butters and Michelle Fazekas who decided to put him in jail. We said, “Let’s have him!” and they figured out where to put him.
Were there other alternate endings you considered when it came to Zola and Faustus?
The debate is when he went from prisoner to collaborator. In 1946, he was probably still a prisoner, but there was some debate of what side of the bars he’s on.
MCFEELY: Was there a version where he’s wearing a little I.D. badge that says he’s working for the Americans now?
MARKUS: But that made the U.S. government too stupid. [Laughs]
MCFEELY: One could argue that they ought to at least be in adjoining cells, but there are certain practicalities to shooting.
If there is a second season, would you delve into the Winter Soldier program  or is that something you want to keep for the movie side of things?
It’s a little TBD on that. Because of what we know about Winter Soldier and that Hydra was working all along with S.H.I.E.L.D., it necessitates Peggy having a lot less information than the audience has, so I’m not sure how long we could keep that up—where every time Toby Jones smiles at her, we know something and she doesn’t. We don’t know exactly what Season 2 is yet, or if there is one, so I don’t have a great answer on how we would use him, if at all.
Does this open up the possibility of seeing Dr. Faustus in the future?
He’s easier, yeah.
MARKUS: Anybody who doesn’t die can come back, and even some people who do die can come back, as the movies have shown. It just depends on where we want to go with the possibility of another season. There’s something very appealing about not picking up two days after the first one ended, but taking a jump. We know Peggy lived well into Winter Soldier, so we have that much time to deal with. I don’t think we’d jump to 1980 when she’s 70 years old, but we can move in time, so it’s hard to say who comes back and who doesn’t.
MCFEELY: Let’s be generous to ourselves. Maybe ABC wants to do this again, but do they want to do it for 8, 10, 13 episodes? That will determine what stories we tell.
Is there anything in the first season that you didn’t get to do that you really wanted to?
When we were figuring out the show and the backstory of the show, we had a really nice story about who Peggy is and where she came from. We just didn’t have any time. I would love to tell that story.
MCFEELY: That’s one of our strongest ideas for the second season: What makes Peggy, Peggy? We like what Peggy is, but if you ask some hard questions, you might wonder: but why is she that way? We have some thoughts on that.
So her pre-Captain America days?
Yeah, but that doesn’t mean we need to tell [it in] flashbacks.
MCFEELY: It just means that problems from before she even joined the SSR might come back and revisit themselves, allowing you to explore her past.
MARKUS: What—other than tremendous ability and self-confidence—motivates a woman in 1940 to put up with this much resistance and danger? Why that path? Because it’s not an easy one. There are stories to be told.
MCFEELY: Other than that, it’s been a nice combination of most of the things we pitched fell into place. We knew we were going to get Faustus, things were going to go wrong with his plan, he’d have to readjust and get brought into the SSR in a tricky way. He was going to be in Russia and get brought in behind the walls. We always knew Peggy was going to pour Steve’s blood out. That was a big moment for us. We didn’t know where it was going to happen. Tara and Michele pretty cinematically put it on the Brooklyn Bridge. We always thought the idea that Peggy could be the custodian of Steve and have one final chance to say goodbye to him, thus—in many ways—creating the biggest problem of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is that everybody wants to replicate Steve’s [abilities]. That’s how you got the Hulk and things like that. We liked the idea that it was on Peggy Carter doing the right thing.
What came with the decision not to delve into the husband storyline since it was such a big hint dropped during Winter Soldier? And do you have a sense of who it is?
We have potential senses. You lob it off too early and suddenly you’ve got a couple show.
MCFEELY: This was the season where she says goodbye to Steve. I’m proud of the fact that Captain America hovers over this show, but hopefully in an organic way, and we’re not shoving him in there all the time. But we knew by the end that she should say goodbye to him. In a second season, she could be freer to have those conversations about a life after him.
MARKUS: Also, you’re doing a show about this incredibly independent woman and you’re always talking about the man she left behind. It becomes a little contradictory. We know her husband was in the war and he was saved by Captain America. He could be a baker. [Laughs]
MCFEELY: Being saved by Cap could be very tangential.
Should the series not be renewed, would you consider doing another One-Shot?
If it doesn’t get picked up, I mean you never know. It would have to be a really perfect 12 minutes.
What do you want audiences to take away from this season?
I think a lot of people were surprised by how good it was. It’s clear that Marvel really was invested in her. I hope it’s clear that we and the writing staff were invested in her. I think it’s really clear that Hayley is a very good actress who knows this character backwards and forwards. Whether it comes back or not, I think people will look back on this fondly and say this was well worth it and they got to learn a lot more about a character who holds a resonance throughout the MCU.

Source: Entertainment Weekly!

Marvel also had a chance to talk with Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, the AGENT CARTER showrunners, about the finale. (They also wrote it!) Butters and Fazekas also talk about the Zola cameo, but they also talked about Agent Thompson and giving him a better sense of humanity. In the closing moments of the season, we saw Arnim Zola from the Captain America films make an appearance in the same jail cell as Fennhoff. I was wondering if you could just talk a little bit more about how that came about and what you thought that sort of added to the story.

Michele Fazekas: By my recollection, when we were pitching the story to Jeph Loeb, Kevin Feige, and Louis D’Esposito, there was some worry about if that’s going to bump too much into other Marvel properties. But then Marvel came back with, “Well, why don’t you do it this way?” We gave him, essentially, the power of suggestion--hypnosis. That’s why he’s got his ring, which is like a version of swinging a pocket watch in front of somebody’s face.

They said, “Oh, we can tie it into the Winter Soldier program,” and this is essentially the beginnings of the Winter Soldier program and what happened to Bucky. Of course we went crazy for that. Somebody added on, “Oh, wouldn’t it be funny to get Toby Jones to do a scene.” “Yeah, that’d be great. That’ll never happen.” As we get closer to production with a script, we’re like, “Well, I guess we can write this scene. We’ll never get him.” But then he’s available, and he’s interested, and then we’re talking on the phone with him, and then he’s on a plane. He came and shot the scene, one scene. I would have bet money against it, but it was nice to tie-in the features and the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe more. I also liked that we mimicked the features with the scene after the credits.

Tara Butters: Yeah. I know S.H.I.E.L.D. does a lot of those tag-scenes. We’d never done one with Carter, but it felt appropriate with this story. Speaking of ties into the MCU, there was something surprising to me about that last scene with Peggy on the Brooklyn Bridge saying goodbye to Steve, when she decided to dump the blood into the river. What do you think was going through her mind in that moment?

Michele Fazekas: Well, what else would she do with it? She can’t keep it because if somebody gets their hands on it, forget it.

Tara Butters: I also think that, to me, it’s a more personal thing of, yes, the scientists are all saying that this could hold the answer to all the mysteries of mankind--

Michele Fazekas: But to her it’s like you’re using him. You might as well be experimenting on his body, which they already did.

Tara Butters: Yeah, but the idea was that there was only one Captain America. Also, it truly matches what’s already been established in the MCU, that the U.S. government has spent years trying to recreate him and you end up with Hulk.

Michele Fazekas: And now we’re going to have Captain America fish in the East River. [laughs] Is that the next Marvel One-Shot? Captain Fish?

Michele Fazekas: Captain America Fish. I think she had to destroy it, and there’s something symbolic about doing it on the Brooklyn bridge. He’s from Brooklyn, and her final act was protecting him. Of course. One last thing that I wanted to touch on was Thompson’s decision at the end to take sole credit for the mission and leave Peggy out of it. Was there much back and forth on whether or not he would give Peggy more credit, or did you know that in the end this was the most true to Thompson’s character and who he was?

Michele Fazekas: I actually remember this very vividly from when we had a mini-camp, early on before even our writers started, with [Christopher] Markus and [Stephen] McFeely thinking about Thompson’s journey over these eight episodes. He had that real moment of truth with Peggy in episode five, where he tells her really what happened in Japan. And even in last week’s episode, he’s almost the one that’s the most hurt by Peggy’s betrayal, when he thinks she’s betrayed him. He’s like, “But that doesn’t make sense with what you did in Russia.” So he’s actually struggling with this the most.

But we talked about that moment with Thompson where it’s a moment in your life where what you do here is going to define the rest of your life, and you can either do the right thing or the self-serving thing. And he chooses the path that is self-serving, which is almost worse than anything he’s done in the past because he’s actively choosing, “I’m going to do this thing that I know is bad and I’m doing it anyway.”

Tara Butters: I just think it made him more human. That’s the thing, as much as it may not necessarily be the most heroic moment for him, it does make him more of a real person.

Michele Fazekas: Yep.
Source: Marvel.

Also, cast and crew members from the show have been posting a bunch of behind the scenes photos that are worth checking out:

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