Agent Carter

Agent Carter One Shot (2013)

Written by Eric Pearson, Jack Kirby, and Stan Lee
Directed by Louis D’Esposito

This one-shot direct-to-video feature from Marvel Studios is situated between the end of Captain America and the Agent Carter series. It actually opens with the ending of Captain America where Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) listens as Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) disappears into the ocean and ice.

One year later, Peggy still works for the SSR in New York City. She’s frustrated at being stuck behind a desk and not being assigned to fieldwork. It’s a case of the war being over and women are expected to return to being housewives and secretaries. That’s not Peggy’s style, however.

When “the boys” go out for a drink, Peggy intercepts a communique about where the mysterious Zodiac has been seen. Peggy takes it upon herself to go after him. She’s more capable than the men she encounters perceives and manages to take them by surprise in many ways.

Even though she completed the mission, her boss dismisses her as being kept working there out of pity. Howard Stark (Dominick Cooper) calls and tells him she will run S.H.I.E.L.D. with him, putting her boss, Agent Flynn (Bradley Whitford) in his place.

For anyone who doesn’t know history and how women were counted on for the war effort during World War II, then dismissed when the men came home, Peggy Carter’s story is typical of the era. She’s called “sweetie” and “darling” by her boss, who doesn’t think there’s a place for her after the war. Howard Stark makes it evident how much he respects Peggy. This is despite him being a womanizer in general. It’s a good lead-in to the series, Agent Carter, particularly the second season.

Peggy manages to complete the mission without any superpowers or help from anyone who may have them. She uses mostly her wits and the men’s gullibility by pretending to be a “wilting violet.” She is anything but. However, that is the fault of the people who underestimate her, and she has nothing to apologize for. She is using their own biases against them. There’s action when she lulls the bad guys into a false sense of security the attacks and disables them.

There is a credits scene where Howard Stark is lounging about at his mansion with Dum Dum Dugan (Neal McDonough) staring at girls in bikinis. Why would he be wearing his wartime bolar? I would think he would have replaced it with something different after the war. Still, it’s a bit of fun and a nod to the fans who loved Dugan’s character.

Short it is at just fifteen minutes, but there’s a lot crammed in there. Definitely check it out if you were a fan of Steve and Peggy’s story in Captain America.

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