Agent Carter is going Hollywood.
When the ABC drama returns for its second season, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) will be westward bound thanks to the SSR. Who will be joining her on the journey? In addition to James D’Arcy and Enver Gjokaj returning, EW has learned that Chad Michael Murray has officially signed his deal to return for season 2! Below, executive producers Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas share what’s in store:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Is there anything you can tease about what brings Agent Carter to Hollywood?
MICHELE FAZEKAS: She [still] works for The Strategic Scientific Reserve. So there’s a case that goes beyond what normal LAPD or normal local police would be able to handle that it falls under their purview.
What do you think the setting of Los Angeles brings to the story?
TARA BUTTERS: Obviously glamour. You’re dealing with Old Hollywood, but also, it’s weirdly the kind of place where [there’s] a burgeoning scientific community—you had JPL back then and the nuclear testing in the desert. So it’s a great place for us, location-wise, so you can see so many different parts of glamour and grit.
FAZEKAS: What I love about LA that is different than New York is you have the spectacular wealth and glamour and beauty right next to the grit and crime, often right up against each other. So I love telling those stories. I love ugly things happening in beautiful places. We’re very much being inspired by noir films. We keep talking about LA Confidential and Chinatown and those great stories where you find out one thing—you’re investigating one seemingly isolated crime, and it unveils a huge web of conspiracy and awfulness. So we’re getting inspired by that.
Who else is returning for the new season?
BUTTERS: Well, you’ll see Agent Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) and Agent Thompson (Chad Michael Murray).
FAZEKAS: Thompson is still working at SSR.
BUTTERS: You’ll see Jarvis (James D’Arcy).
FAZEKAS: Jarvis comes back!
BUTTERS: Nice thing is, Jarvis is in Los Angeles.
FAZEKAS: Without getting into too much, we have a nice, organic way to include Jarvis. That was a challenge. He’s not an agent. The case from the first season was over, so the biggest question for us this season was: We love Peggy and Jarvis together, that’s a really important relationship, how do we keep them together? And LA has provided us a really nice, organic way to do so.
Is Jarvis still looking out for Peggy under Howard’s (Dominic Cooper) orders?
FAZEKAS: It’s a little different this time. She’s not working for Howard in this regard. The nice thing about Peggy this season is that she’s not having to hide her agenda from the SSR guys. So that’s why that was a challenge. We still want Jarvis in there, so this was a very cool way to include him. He’s helping her out, just in a different way… One of the things we can say is Jarvis hates Los Angeles. He hates California, he hates palm trees. He does not stop wearing a wool suit. I just really like that he thinks palm trees are stupid. Like, why is that a tree?
And does Peggy have much the opposite reaction?
FAZEKAS: I think she might be surprised. It certainly challenges her, and she meets people who challenge her maybe rather serious nature. And it uncovers something in her that maybe she didn’t even realize herself.
Will she get mistaken for being a movie star at least once?
FAZEKAS: We talked about that! Or it’s like, somebody comes in and is like, “Oh, are you an actress?” Like, “No, I’m not an actress!” Like, she takes it as an insult.
If the first season was about her facing the challenges of sexism and being a woman in the workplace, is she a little bit more respected now given when she did in the finale?
BUTTERS: We don’t want to hit the same story beats. She is respected amongst her peers, and she is working an SSR case through the course of the second season. She will have other challenges in this season regarding sexism.
FAZEKAS: The nice thing is, we’re introducing other characters. It’s not like it’s 1947 and all of a sudden sexism doesn’t exist in the world anymore. But we feel like, as far as Peggy’s story, she’s earned the respect of her colleagues, but it still informs on other stories we’re telling, and other characters, it’s just a different way. I think it would be silly to be like, “And now everything’s great! Nobody feels sexist about anything!”
Who’s going to be the new boss at the SSR since Dooley (Shea Whigham) died?
FAZEKAS: We can say that Thompson has taken over SSR New York, but he’s also not the head of the whole agency. And keep in mind, the SSR was somewhat based on the OSS, and we know this because when [Christopher] Markus and [Stephen] McFeely wrote Captain America, that was their inspiration. The OSS was somewhat disbanded after the war, because it was created because of World War II. So now that the war is over, things are changing. And in real history, the OSS sort of became the CIA and some of its other functions went under other departments. There’s a little bit of change going on within SSR and so Thompson has a boss that’s going to be saying, “Look, things are changing, and you need to look out for yourself.”
Is Howard back to being on top, or are there some people that still don’t trust him?
FAZEKAS: I think that story’s told.
BUTTERS: That’s all been resolved in the first season.
But will he still play a role in the second season?
FAZEKAS: We can’t confirm whether or not he’s going to actually be showing up in the second season, but even if he’s not in the show, because Jarvis is—
BUTTERS: He’s in our world.
FAZEKAS: Yeah, he’s in the world that we’re talking about.
Is there anything you can tease about the new threats in season 2?
FAZEKAS: People who are fans of the Marvel comic book universe will recognize our villain. And there’s more than one villain. But we’re certainly taking inspiration from the comic book universe, so anybody who knows that will be rewarded.
You guys did tease the Winter Soldier Program in the finale. Is that something you’ll address next season, or was that solely contained to the tag of season 1?
BUTTERS: At this point, we’re telling a new story.
Are we going to be seeing more of Angie (Lyndsy Fonseca) in the new season?
FAZEKAS: We don’t know yet, actually.
Since Dottie escaped, is there hope to see more of Bridget Regan next season?
FAZEKAS: I think all we can say was we loved her. But we can’t say much beyond that, but we loved her as much as everybody else did.
Now that Peggy has let go of Steve (Chris Evans), are you open to the idea of her finding love?
BUTTERS: I definitely feel like you will see Peggy exploring many different parts of her relationships in Los Angeles.
FAZEKAS: It would be complicated for her. It’s not going to be, like, “Oh, I’m going to go out on a date!”
Marvel’s Agent Carter will return midseason on ABC.
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