When hands linger, it’s always every viewer’s dream, right? There are very few swoon-worthy scenes quite like when two people the audience is rooting for finally hold hands. And that’s certainly the case with Agent Carter’s Daniel Sousa and Peggy Carter in “Life of the Party.” This isn’t the first time they hold hands; it happens casually at first. It happens without a second thought because it is done to help a friend, but where the desires start to scream, we see the changes in their physicality.
The longing for more—the longing that goes beyond what they can even process at the moment.
It starts with Daniel trying to help Peggy because her wound is terrorizing her, and it concludes with Peggy trying to offer comfort when she learns that Violet broke up with him. But deep down, it’s a testament to the desires between them. It’s always been. It starts with lingering hands and leads to an almost kiss.
It’s a scene where the cinematography screams at the audience to pay close attention, and those are the kind of scenes that always deserve a scene breakdown from us. The solid background emphasizing their hands and clothes deliberately wants the audience to focus on this closely. Directors want us to understand that there is a clear distinction between the way they’re holding each other in this moment, and the ways in which it will be seen with other characters later in the episode. It’s a scene that screams in its quiet intimacy, and that is why it matters so much.
It’s subtle, but it demands excavation. Though quiet but it’s louder than their words could have ever been. In our initial review of the episode, we had said:
“The expanse of sentiments humans are able to convey without words is perhaps one of the most enthralling facts about us. And in “Life of the Party” the series gorgeously revealed the magic that’s found in a touch—the effort to not only comfort, but to express something more profound simply by joining hands.
Thereafter, because it’s easier to feel adoration than it is to speak it, Enver Gjokaj and Hayley Atwell communicate volumes through their expressions. As though Daniel and Peggy are physically and emotionally realizing just how much really lies between them. And it is that exact realization, which gracefully leads to an almost kiss.
This is such a crucial moment for their characters because it comes at a time where it’s not only entirely unexpected, but they’re both a little lost in the tenderness of the other’s physical touch and yearning expressions. They’re both a little lost in what they’ve found with each other.
What’s so interesting about Daniel and Peggy is that while it’s always been clear that there is something between them, the seemingly effortless progression into a solid partnership is playing a vital role in drawing them towards one another here. It starts at a stakeout, on the job, and it’s deliciously tropey. It is easy to be together.
It’s easy for Peggy to let her walls down with him and to be honest. It’s easy to give in to the magnetic pull that’s taken ahold of both their hearts.”Agent Carter 2×06 “Life of the Party” Recap
When Peggy initially places her hand on Daniel’s, it is her way of genuinely apologizing for “mucking up his life,” and after he sincerely forgives her (not that there was ever a reason to), it becomes clear that Violet was right. There is something between them. He is in love with her—he’s always been. She does have strong feelings for him. Feelings she herself can’t even put into words, but their hands could move in perfect unison because all this between them feels right.
Sometimes people are simply drawn to each other and no distance or time could change that. When they’re back in the same room, their hands might always linger a little longer, a little closer, a little further. When chemistry is that strong, when the pull is that deeply rooted, bodies and the eyes speak thousands of words before the people could even catch up and utter them aloud.
That is what’s happening in this moment. Neither of them understands what is going on between them, but it’s strong. It’s always been. The mixture of respect and kindness has time and time again strengthened their bond beautifully.