To my beloved Peggy Carter,
It has been a week since the bigwigs over at ABC decided to cancel Agent Carter and it still doesn’t feel real.
I vividly remember where I was the moment I heard the news. I was sitting at a table in a bar in the Palmer House (which you would’ve loved, by the way), accompanied by Hypable friends, when one of them leaned over to tell me about the cancellation. I sat there in shock for a moment and allowed the news to sink in.
Once it did, I couldn’t stop crying. I felt (and still feel) like a close family member died. I had to lean against a wall in fear of collapsing. While I knew an Agent Carter cancellation would affect me, I didn’t realize just how much.
But I should have.
From the moment I saw you on screen, I knew that you were someone special. Someone to keep an eye on and to strive to be like. Though your role in Captain America: The First Avenger was, first and foremost, Steve Roger’s love interest, you transcended that within seconds of your first on-screen appearance. It wasn’t just your mean right hook that caught my attention, but your unwavering confidence and attitude. You were unlike any character I’d ever seen.
And yet, for all of your complexities and nuances that came across in The First Avenger and even your kick-ass post-Iron Man 3 One-Shot, it wasn’t until the pilot episode of Agent Carter that I started to really love you.
Agent Carter premiered at a time where I was feeling pretty terrible about myself. I just felt worthless, undervalued, and exhausted almost all the time. I couldn’t even make it through a whole day without crying. The show honestly couldn’t have premiered at a better time.
From the moment the Captain America: The First Avenger montage started to the end of the second episode, I found myself crying tears of joy rather than sadness. Watching you on screen made me happier than I could have ever imagined. Not only that, but I could relate a little bit with what you were going through and found solace and encouragement in your strength. The pilot episode of Agent Carter felt like a giant warm hug that I never wanted to end. That hug was just what I needed.
After the show’s premiere, I found that I just couldn’t stop thinking about you and striving to be more like you. I began facing adversity with my head up and persevered through tough challenges that I would’ve previously shied away from. You were my motivation. My role model. And when you uttered the words “I know my value,” you bet that I had just discovered my new personal mantra. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times that little phrase has helped me.
By the end of season one, I had become a better, more confident version of myself. Because I didn’t want to risk losing that during the show’s off-season, I threw myself into all things Peggy Carter. I rewatched everything you had ever been in, bought the beautiful Marvel’s Agent Carter: Season One Declassified book, and even got a C2E2 photo op with Hayley Atwell just so that I could meet the woman who embodies your spirit (and tell her how wonderful she is).
But the best way I found to celebrate you and remind myself of who I want to be is to make your Project Rebirth outfit my cosplay for the year. Every time I put on my uniform (complete with a WWII-era Ike jacket and SSR lapel pins), I feel a surge of confidence, strength, and poise. I strive to be my best self so that I can be worthy of wearing your likeness. Most of all, though, I just want everyone to know just how much you mean to me.
I’ve never before felt for a fictional character the way I feel about you. I get tears in my eyes just thinking about you and how wonderful you make me feel. In fact, there are tears welling up in my eyes right now as I write you this letter. Your presence in my life has been a comforting and encouraging one. Though we’re decades (and universes) apart, few have had such a large impact on me as you have.
You taught me that I decide my value, not the people around me. That my thoughts and feelings matter, even when others ignore them or deem them insignificant. You even taught me how to have a pretty chic sense of style and that I can, in fact, rock red lipstick.
But most importantly, you taught me to just keep fighting and do the best that I can. Life can be hard. Now that I’ve entered the “real world,” I see it and experience it on a daily basis. But even when circumstances seem impossible or insurmountable, I’ve learned to take your lead and fight my way through. To “compromise where [I] can. Where [I] can’t, don’t.” It was your fighting spirit that first drew me to you, and so it’s that spirit that I want to cultivate within myself to honor your memory.
And so, I won’t stop fighting to bring you back. I refuse to accept that you’re gone because you’re too important to so many of us. Even though you died twice in a single week, I’m still holding out hope and campaigning as best as I can with numerous other admirers for your return. Your death and the cancellation of Agent Carter has brought us all even closer together, so there’s no telling what we’ll be able to accomplish.
While you may no longer be with us (in more ways than one), your confident and compassionate spirit will always exist within the hearts of the people who love you and admire you. Thank you for giving so many of us the courage and confidence we needed to love and believe in ourselves. You have changed us all for the better and for that, we’ll never forget or stop loving you.
The world will be a little less bright without you around, Margaret Elizabeth Carter. But if I’ve learned anything from you, it’s that now is not the end.
Until we meet again,