5 Ways Agent Carter Matches Up to Indiana Jones (And 5 Ways It’s Better)

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In honor of the Agent Carter Season 2 finale, let’s see how Peggy matches up to the legendary Indiana Jones. Can this modern action series stand up to a classic?



Probably the easiest similarity to spot about these two is the genre. Indiana Jones and Agent Carter both center around a typical action-adventure concept: keep the powerful object out of the wrong hands. They also pack in quite a lot of exciting, well-executed action fare: car chases, explosions, air fights, gun fights, fist fights, the whole shebang, without going too much for the gore factor, which makes them such crowd pleasers.

Brains and Brawn

Indy and Peggy are both action stars, so of course they know how to give a beat down. They may not have gracefully lethal moves like a lot of modern action fare, but they know how to throw their weight (and others’  weight) around, and use anything at their disposal. At the same time, however, they are both noted for their intelligence, which is crucial in the field. Indy has a doctorate after all, and can figure out a historically-based clue without much trouble. And Peggy, even before getting trained as a spy, was a skilled code breaker for the Allies.  They’re also adept at disguising themselves while on a mission, which takes good thinking on the fly (Though Indy’s Scottish accent could use some work).


Double Lives

It could be said that Indy and Peggy are so good at disguises because they basically disguise themselves in everyday life. Both are multifaceted characters in that their world sees one side of them, while the audience and trusted team members see another side.

After witnessing the man navigate dangerous booby traps in an ancient temple to steal a golden idol, Indy’s civilian identity of Dr. Henry Jones Jr., a boring (but attractive), bespectacled professor at Princeton, is intended to come as a surprise to the audience. But the moment he dons the fedora, leather jacket, and whip, he’s a completely different person.

Peggy, as introduced in Captain America: The First Avenger, is a tough-as-nails SSR agent who shines in the heat of battle during World War II. So upon picking up the series in New York after the war is over, it is disheartening to see her pretend to the world to be a telephone operator, and reduced to secretary within the SSR itself because she is a woman.

Watching both characters play with these double lives is a part of what makes them memorable, and makes those characters who see them as they really are all the more valuable.

Period Pieces

Part of the intrigue of Indiana Jones and Agent Carter is that they are set in a specific time frame. The original three Indiana Jones films take place in the years leading up to World War II, while Agent Carter takes place soon after the war. Not only does it give both a similar aesthetic in terms of costumes and tech which appeals to the nostalgia factor, but also allows them to deal with the worldwide effects of this huge event in world history, whether by preventing threats or dealing with the aftermath.


I love a good one-liner, and Indiana Jones and Agent Carter both have tons of them! Personal favorites:


  • Indiana Jones: “Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?” (Raiders)
  • Indiana: Do we need a monkey?
    Marion: I’m surprised at you. Talking that way about our baby. He’s got your looks, too.
    Indiana: And your brains.
  • Henry Jones: [accidentally shoots their own plane with the machine gun]
    Indiana Jones: Dad, are we hit?”
    Henry Jones: “More or less. Son, I’m sorry… They got us.” (Last Crusade)
  • Peggy Carter: [Cuffed to the table in the interrogation room] Mr. Jarvis, how would you feel if we smashed that mirror with this table?
    Edwin Jarvis: I would feel splendid about it.
  • Daniel: This is a bad plan.
    Jarvis: It’s a horrible plan.
    Peggy: It’s a solid plan.
  • Peggy: How are you now?
    Sousa: I still want to kill Thompson, but no more than usual.
  • Mr Jones: I didn’t know our government had such good taste in secretaries. What’s your name darling?
    Peggy: [deadpan] Agent.

Strong Nuanced Characters (and Hey, Look, There Are Women!)

Agent Carter, as a TV series, already allows more room for character depth than Indiana Jones. Not that Indiana Jones doesn’t have some great character development – just compare Indy in Raiders to Indy in Last Crusade, plus all the father-son stuff in the latter.

But even accounting for length of time, the characters of Agent Carter are just so striking, breaking boundaries on many levels. Of course, a big selling point for this series is the women. I’ll be addressing Peggy herself later, but let’s look at some f the other women in this series:

  • Dottie Underwood, who seems like a sweet girl, but is not as guileless as she appears.
  • Ana Jarvis, a Hungarian Jew living in America who totally gets the need for a gun holster under one’s skirt
  • Rose, who may wear glasses and floral patterns, but can bring the heat just as well as Peggy
  • Whitney Frost – delicate starlet? Not so much. When her facade cracks, it cracks horrifically, and makes for a truly fascinating antagonist.

While Indiana had some strong female costars, Agent Carter deserves extra props for the strong female representation. But the male characters get some great diversity and development too:

  • Daniel Sousa, a handicapped vet who starts the series as just a nice guy, but proves his keen intellect and ability to lead, an equal with Peggy in the field. His injury does not define him, but it causes him to find creative solutions and value those he trusts.
  •  Jack Thompson may seem like just another misogynist jerk. To a degree, he is. But it is so, so hard to figure out whose side he’s on or what he ‘s going to do next. And thankfully, he is never set up as love interest to Peggy
  • Jason Wilkes was an ordinary physicist (albeit one used to being looked down upon), until put in a unique position that endangered his life. This conflict gives him a chance to really show his smarts, but also pushes him to the point of desperation, causing him to make choices that make him neither villain nor victim.

Actually managed to pull off Sci-Fi in a cool and intelligent way

Remember when Indiana Jones attempted to tackle sci-fi elements?

Did you want to remember?

After three films focusing on supernatural elements, Indy 4 tried to pay homage to 50s sci-fi with a story of crystal skulls and aliens. And honestly, I think it could have worked. But the film didn’t quite manage to pull off the concept convincingly. Agent Carter, on the other hand, deals with sci-fi level crazy on weekly basis. Of course, maybe it’s the lack of aliens, maybe it’s the already established connection with the pseudo science of the Marvelverse. But let me put it this way:

When Indy handled a nuclear test, it went for the expected: Indy hides in a refrigerator and survives (despite that the fridge probably should have been flattened). It is then quickly forgotten as Indy goes on his way.

But when Agent Carter handled a nuclear test in Season 2, it went for the unexpected: instead of exploding mushroom-cloud style, the bomb implodes and produces an alien substance dubbed zero matter, capable of swallowing anything in its wake. This substance becomes the heart of the rest of the season, and the implications of it are almost more devastating than a nuclear bomb! Hard to beat that.

Related to the above, Peggy, having come from Captain America: The First Avenger along with Howard Stark (Iron Man’s father), has ties to the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe. It thus gets to play with some cool comic book elements. Again, it’s not as if Indiana Jones wasn’t known for things beyond the norm, and some would say the deeper connection to mythology made the Indy films more epic. But there’s a particular reason people love Marvel movies, and Agent Carter captures quite a bit of it. What other show set in the 1940s gets to play with stuff like miniature implosion bombs, emotion manipulating gas, and zero matter without blinking an eye? It also gets to hint at future developments in the Marvelverse, but since it takes place before the majority of those events, you don’t have to see every single Marvel movie to understand what’s going on, and the show can go on its own tangents, to a certain extent.
All the Feels

While Indiana Jones had some great emotional moments (particularly, for me, between father and son in Last Crusade), for the most part these were fast-paced, action-packed films with little time to get really emotional. Plus, nobody wanted to shatter the idea of Indiana Jones being a super tough guy by having him get too moved by emotions, and it works for Indy.
But Agent Carter is more comfortable with emotionally devastating its audience by giving the characters some truly gut-wrenching scenes. It isn’t that Peggy or her colleagues are any more apt to show emotion than Indy. But they are allowed to go to some deep, dark places emotionally —  when these characters are honest, or angry, or sad, they are brutally so.
Peggy Herself

Just… I mean … look at her!

I’m not saying Margaret Carter is better than Dr. Henry Jones Jr. as a character. I love them both, and Indy is such an icon.

But Peggy is a force in her own right, and the show deserves to be viewed for that alone.

She is tough, yet she is gentle. She is brave and knows her value. She is kind and sticks up for others. She knows how to manipulate emotion within the field, but has trouble dealing with her own in real life. She has high standards, but for no one more than herself. And she kicks serious butt. In heels! She’s a complex lady with flaws and fortitude , and she deserves to have her greatness witnesses more!

Peggy deserves to be as iconic as Indiana. Let’s give her a shot at doing so and rally for another season!


How I Met Ron Weasley – Analyzing Ron’s First Appearance in Sorcerer’s Stone

Today on Kate’s Curiosities, we’re going to talk about one of my favorite Harry Potter characters: Ickle Ronniekins… er, I mean, Ron Weasley.

(I said Ron! How did he know?)

(Sorry, kidding)

Specifically, we’re going to talk about his characterization in the first two chapters he shows up in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. And there will be merriment and lots of literary nostalgia goodness.

But first, a Public Service Announcement:

The Magic of Reading

If you click the picture above, you’ll see that I have created a list of 23 books and series, from Early Readers to Young Adult, that I think capture the magic of reading and the joys of being bookish for all ages, either through their plots or through their equally bookish characters. Hermione, of course, had to be included on that list, but you’ll find many other lovely books, classic and contemporary, that you’ll want to check out if you haven’t already. Then, share it on your blog, your Facebook, your Twitter, your Tumblr. Share it with your bookish friends, and your friends who have bookish kids, and so on.

A lot of care and thought went into putting this together, and I’d appreciate some support in this endeavor. Plus I think you, my audience, will appreciate the literary goodness. There are even quotes from each entry about books and reading, for added goodness 🙂 Here’s the link if the picture doesn’t work: https://read.rifflebooks.com/list/170475

Okay, I’m done with the self-promoting. Now onto Ron!

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A Letter to Snow White: Personal Reflection on a Childhood Favorite

Author’s note: So, this isn’t a typical post for me. But it’s been one of those weeks where I’ve been thinking a lot about something, and the thoughts get so jumbled up in my head that I need to write about it to resolve it. I hope you get something out of this personal reflection of mine, and promise next week I’ll get back to my more typical posts. Thanks!


Dear Snow White,

I wish I could say you weren’t my favorite as a kid. That I was way more into Belle or Jasmine or Mulan.

But, let’s be honest – I had your doll, I had your dwarves, I dressed up as you for Halloween three times. You were my girl.

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Agent Peggy Carter & Sarah Jane Smith: So Awesome They Got Their Own Show (Pt. 2)


Last week, we started exploring the similarities between Marvel’s Peggy Carter and Doctor Who‘s Sarah Jane Smith, in terms of their roles as supporting and leading ladies.

This week, I’d like to continue this exploration by going into what makes these characters tick. What is it that we love about these characters so much? I confess, it is hard to put into words (and even harder to find evidence in video or gif form). But finally, I think these words best sum it up: 


Maria, there are two types of people in the world. Those who panic, and then there’s us. – Sarah Jane Smith, “Invasion of the Bane.”

 And then there’s Peggy Carter and Sarah Jane Smith. Bold and intrepid, they face danger unflinchingly, doing what must be done to save others. Where others may panic, they stay calm and figure a way of the situation. This, ultimately, is what makes them valuable both as supporting characters and as leads.

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Agent Peggy Carter & Sarah Jane Smith: So Awesome They Got Their Own Show (Pt. 1)


So yes – I, like many others last week, have jumped on the Agent Carter bandwagon. Captain America: The First Avenger, I’m not ashamed to admit, is my favorite film of the current Marvel Cinematic Universe (though Avengers and the first Iron Man are very close seconds). But, much as I love Steve Rogers (and I do, I really do), his leading lady Peggy Carter is a big part of why I loved that film.Though I don’t like that Peggy is the only substantive female role in the film, I can overlook that due to the depth of the role she is given.

Agent Peggy Carter is a direct, no nonsense, unflinching woman in a man’s job, who constantly proves she is just as, if not more, capable. Rising from her mere love interest status in the comics, Peggy’s character stood out so much to fans and to creators that she has not only appeared in a number of Marvel companion works, but is now the center of her own mini-spinoff.

Which is so awesome! She is so far the only female character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to have her perspective as the central narrative**. Steve Rogers might be Peggy’s inspiration and the story’s jumping-off point, but Agent Carter truly is Peggy’s story.

Y’know who’s another awesome female character who went from a supporting role to starring in her own series?

Sarah Jane Smith is acknowledged by much of the Doctor Who fandom to be the most iconic and beloved of the Doctor’s companions (friends who travel with him through time and space, for all you non-Whovians out there). A strong-willed feminist journalist, she appeared on the long-running series from 1973-1976, and was intended to break from the typical female companion of the time, who often screamed at the sight of danger. Though she still acted as the Watson to the Doctor’s Sherlock, she was confident and courageous, and often held her own in bad situations. After leaving the show, she reappeared in an anniversary episode or two, but not much that furthered her story…

…That is until 2006, when the character was brought back for an episode of the rebooted Doctor Who (as the showrunner had been a fan of her character as a child). Viewers appreciated her reappearance so much that she was soon given a spinoff series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, which was aimed towards a slightly younger audience.

In her spinoff, Sarah Jane becomes the leader of a group of children, using brains instead of brawn to deal with alien threats. Is it childish? A little. There are less developed stories, some gross-out jokes, hammy aliens. But Sarah Jane kept it grounded, always making the stories believable, and causing a new generation of children to fall in love with her. 

Just what is special about these two ladies that caused them to break out from supporting roles to lead their own stories? Perhaps in seeing what they have in common, we can pinpoint that touch of star quality. Though their stories are rather different, we can see a number of parallels in their personalities, initial roles, and later development. Here is part one of our exploration into these two characters.

(SPOILERS for both Captain America films, Agent Carter 1×01-1×02, Doctor Who, and Sarah Jane Adventures)

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Character Comparison: Prince Hans & George Wickham (LBD). Or: Why I Won’t Excuse Hans.


Trigger warning: Discussion of emotional abuse.

Okay, so I know I covered Frozen last week. But this is something I’ve actually been thinking about for a year, and recent events in colleges nationwide, including my own alma mater, have spurred me to think about this, so bear with me.

One year before Frozen premiered, I started watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a modern vlog adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The show was a pioneer by engaging with its audience through social media platforms, and added new layers to the story through videos created by other characters. But the biggest, most talked about change the show made was in the handling of the relationship between Lydia Bennet and George Wickham through Lydia’s vlogs, The Lydia Bennet.

(Spoilers ahead!)

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Character Comparison: Princess Anna & Princess Tutu (Ahiru)


(Note: I apologize for the late posting. Certain things came up, and this took longer than I expected. Hope you enjoy!)

It’s been almost a year since Disney’s Frozen came out in the US, and it has since taken the world by storm!

Sure, we get to the point when we think, “If I hear ‘Let It Go’ or ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman’ one more time, I might just kill someone.”

But we have to admit it’s a well-crafted Disney film worthy of admiration. The characters are easy to fall in love with (or, in the case of Hans, fall in hate with), and often subvert our expectations of what we expect characters in a fairytale to do.

Another animated fairytale in which characters subvert expectations is the Japanese anime series Princess Tutu (which I swear is a lot better than the name suggests). I see quite a few parallels between the main characters, but in particular I find the female protagonists, Princess Anna and Ahiru (also known as Princess Tutu), very similar, both in temperament and in the values they represent. I think these similarities reveal a lot about the values of each story. 

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Character Comparisons: Ursula & Audrey II


Ursula the Sea Witch and the Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors were both villains featured on my “31 Days of Villains” Pinterest board that I completed throughout the month of October. Posting these two back-to-back got me thinking about certain similarities they shared.

First, a little history. In 1982, Little Shop of Horrors, a musical based on a 1960 B-movie, premiered Off-Off-Broadway, later transferring Off-Broadway for an award-winning and successful 5-year run (which my parents and grandparents actually saw, for the record).

The musical, for those who don’t know, concerned hapless florist Seymour Krelbourne who, upon finding a “strange and interesting plant,” finds his luck changing as the plant, named “Audrey II” after the lovely co-worker he has a crush on, gains fame for its peculiarity. The catch: It can only grow by feeding on blood. As the plant gets bigger (and starts talking), Seymour finds he can no longer feed it on his own, and is prompted by the plant to start killing people to keep it, and his fortunes, alive.

The plant is eventually revealed to have plans to spread, feast on blood, and take over the world. And, based on the ending of the original show, it does! *

Seven years later, Disney released The Little Mermaid, a film which jet-launched the company out of its animation slump and into the Disney Renaissance, which later lead to the establishment of the Disney Princess line. It won an Oscar for “Under the Sea,” the first of Disney wins in the Best Original Song category throughout the ’90s. (I think we all know the plot well enough that I don’t have to reiterate it here).

A trash-talking show about a bloodthirsty plant, and a quintessential, squeaky-clean Disney Princess film. What could these musicals possibly have in common?

Well, for one, their music teams.

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Which Witch is Most Wicked? The Recent Backstories of the Wicked Witch of the West

Ten years ago, I trekked into Manhattan with my family to see Wicked. Though Kristen Chenoweth had already left the show by that point, I still got to see Idina and much of the original cast perform in this magnificent show. To this day, despite all the musicals I’ve seen and performed in the meantime, Wicked is still my favorite musical.

And I still find the show’s interpretation of the title character fascinating. As someone who was so terrified of Margaret Hamilton’s interpretation as a child that she ran out of the room screaming (I don’t think I actually got through the whole of The Wizard of Oz until I was 6 or 7 for this reason), for a show to get me to love the iconic witch is pretty impressive.

Also in the ten years since there has been a sudden infusion of Wicked Witch fascination in the culture. Of course, ever since The Wizard of Oz began showing annually on television, the story has never been far from our collective consciousness, but with Disney’s big budget interpretation in Oz the Great and Powerful, and Once Upon a Time‘s dedication to the character in its last half-season, one must wonder – which backstory of the past 10 years is the most compelling? Which one can we easily see being true of the cackling green-skinned witch from 1939?

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