“Valediction” will always be one of our favorite episodes of Agent Carter–the events of Avengers:Endgame aside, it still holds up as one of the most beautiful moments of closure and vulnerability. It is one of the scenes I’ll always look back on with great fondness and admiration. It’s a scene that always deserves to be singled out.
Surely everyone’s caught the importance of the Brooklyn Bridge-–the symbolic art of Peggy Carter bringing Steve Rogers home. When it comes to describing the insignias of rivers, in this scene especially, treasuring is the only word that comes close–there are endless promises hidden beyond the depths of crystal water. With “The Way You Look Tonight” playing in the background and Peggy whispering “bye, my darling” fans of the duo can experience a sense of serenity with her. Letting go of someone who was deeply beloved is without a doubt the most difficult task anyone can partially complete–and yes, only partially because it’s the one thing that cannot be done entirely. Somewhere in time and perhaps in the depths of the East River, some elemental parts of their being could move on together. The symbolic meaning of rivers is one of the more ambiguous ones in the world of literature, but this scene represents the reflective intimacy in a quiet moment of closure where stillness equates to eternity–where Steve Rogers’ prominence is treasured most delicately and honorably.
The beauty in this scene lies in the everlasting presence of true love–the detail, in which Peggy Carter chooses to set Steve Rogers free in a place that’s truly immaculate. A place where science, money, malevolent eyes, and impure hands cannot get ahold of what’s left of him. To the world, he may have been a soldier, the legendary Captain America, but to Peggy Carter, he was just Steve Rogers–the kid from Brooklyn who’d captivated her heart through interminable kindness and pure adoration. To quote INXS’ breathtaking lyrics –“he’s on God’s top ten where heaven never ends.”
Once again, it’s essential to commend Hayley Atwell because while I was moved to tears during her conversation with Howard, she broke me in this final scene. The poignancy Atwell exhibits in this entire moment is unlike anything I’ve seen before–brilliantly evocative and profoundly moving leaving me and undoubtedly every other viewer awestruck.