I took a chance with you, Agent Carter, and now America’s golden boy and a lot of other good men are dead. ‘Cause you had a crush.
If anyone asks me what’s the most moving scene in the entire MCU for me, this is it. This is it, without question. Because it’s so brief and matter-of-factly, that even myself didn’t really comprehend it the first time around — the utter gravity and courage that Peggy would have to possess, in order to stand her ground and accept the consequences of her decision to help Steve in the first place.
If Steve had indeed failed in his mission, she would have borne it alone. Howard was responsible too, but only Peggy would be taking the fall for it. Only Peggy would be incriminated and blamed for Steve’s death and all the mess that came with it. She would have been court-martialed, dishonorably discharged, her good standing in the military destroyed forever. But still she risks everything, everything that she has because of her faith in Steve, that when she tells him that he’s meant for more, those aren’t just thin air and pretty words.
And what’s the most often quoted line of the Cap fandom? The dignity of a choice. These are the words that will echo long, long after everything is over. Steve grieves for Bucky, but it’s Peggy who honors him. And in the aftermath of CATWS, nothing is more imperative than Bucky being allowed to find his own way again, to allow him to do right by himself as he chooses to. To just let him know that you won’t be alone. And all that any one of them can really do is our best, and sometimes the best we can do is to start over.
There’s a very Tolkienesque quality to Peggy’s quiet heroism and knightliness, in all the ways she perceives the world and how it anchors and guides the people around her.
It’s the beating heart of this tale.