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Film / Agent Carter

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Agent Carter, also known as Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter, is a 2013 Short Film and the fourth of Marvel One-Shots, set in Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's included on the Iron Man 3 Blu-ray, and was followed by Agent Carter, a weekly TV series that debuted on ABC in 2015. This short film takes place after the TV series' Season 1.

A year after Steve Rogers' disappearance, Peggy Carter works a menial job at the New York office for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (S.S.R.). But after yet another day of being put down by her coworkers and sexist boss John Flynn, Peggy receives word of an urgent mission to close in on a mysterious target named "Zodiac". Putting herself back into the field, Peggy dusts off her old skills, beats up bad guys, and alerts the ear of her old friend Howard Stark, who invites her to help him run a new organization called S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Hayley Atwell reprises her role as Peggy. Supporting cast includes Bradley Whitford as Agent Flynn, Dominic Cooper reprising his role as Howard Stark, and Neal McDonough also returning as Dum-Dum Dugan in The Stinger. The short film is directed by Louis D'Esposito, with a screenplay by Eric Pearson.


Tropes

  • Action Girl: Peggy's no Captain America but she does excellently on a mission intended for 3-5 agents all by herself.
  • Actor Allusion: Apparently Bradley Whitford's characters have a history of putting overqualified women in a secretarial position.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Peggy Carter.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Peggy's masterful performance in the Zodiac mission leads to her being invited to co-run S.H.I.E.L.D. with Howard Stark.
  • Backdoor Pilot: Although not produced as such, response to the short was so strong that, coupled with the success of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., ABC eventually ordered an Agent Carter series as a spinoff to the short and as a prequel/spinoff for AoS.
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  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: As the office closes up for the night, Agent Flynn tells Peggy that he and the others are going to go out for a drink. For a moment it sounds as though he's going to invite her to come along with them, but then it turns out he's actually asking for her to proofread his reports.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Peggy seems to have inherited some from Steve.
    Guard: You're not from around here, are you?
    Peggy: No, I live in Brooklyn, actually. (starts kicking the tar out of both goons)
  • The Cameo: Iron Man 3 director Shane Black as the mission debriefer on the phone, as well as Dominic Cooper reprising his role as Howard Stark at the end and Neal McDonough as Dum-Dum Dugan in The Stinger.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: It's the '40s, so respect for women isn't exactly common, especially not at Peggy's workplace.
  • Desk Jockey: What Peggy was reduced to after the events of The First Avenger.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Because planning for the Agent Carter TV show wasn't beyond the concept stage yet, the one-shot little resembles it. The SSR office is smaller and headed by Flynn, not Dooley. None of Peggy's coworkers are there, nor supporting cast such as Jarvis. The mysterious Leviathan organization goes unmentioned; in its place is the equally mysterious Zodiac. It only thematically resembles the Agent Carter series, e.g. "Peggy Carter deals with sexism, beats up bad guys, and is awesome."
  • Greater Scopevillain: "Zodiac" never appears, though they're responsible for the shipment of serum.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: A pre-headphones variant, but still the same idea; the desk guard of the Zodiac hideout doesn't overhear Peggy beating the snot out of two other flunkies because he's got the radio turned up.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Peggy. Agent Flynn even accuses their superiors of letting her still work for them because of this.
  • How We Got Here: The short has been hinted to be the eventual finale of the Agent Carter series, so in a way it leads up to this.
  • Improvised Weapon: Peggy uses her suitcase to beat up Zodiac's agents.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Peggy defeats seven mooks with her bare hands (and her briefcase) while dressed in a fashionable 1940s professional skirt, high heels, and jacket. She even stops to check her makeup in the middle of battle!
  • MacGuffin: The briefcase full of serum.
  • Mean Boss / Jerkass: Agent Flynn, who's kept Peggy from going on missions in the three months that she's been there.
  • Military Maverick: Peggy decides to go after the mission even when she wasn't assigned to do so.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: Agent Flynn tells Peggy that the only reason she has a job is because everyone feels sorry for Captain America's bereft girlfriend. Considering Peggy was a badass long before Steve's procedure...
  • Origin Story: The very beginning of an origin story for S.H.I.E.L.D., which Peggy is invited to help form along with Philips, Stark, and presumably the Howling Commandos.
  • Protagonist Title: Just like the series.
  • The Stinger:
    • Howard Stark and Dum-Dum Dugan are sitting next to each other as Dugan looks confusedly towards two women wearing bikinis, which Stark has to explain to him about as he's never heard of them before.
      • Makes sense; bikinis had only just come out in 1946, and wouldn't become popular until their adoption by celebrities.
    • A second one also occurs at the very end in text.
    Steve Rogers will return in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
  • Time Skip: The one-shot begins by showing Peggy and Steve's last conversation in Captain America: The First Avenger, then fast-forwards one year later to Peggy's current job.
  • The Un-Reveal: The organization Peggy works for is hot on the tail of "Zodiac," an enigmatic person or persons (possibly both) that has eluded even their best groups of agents. As Peggy closes in on their operation, she seems to have cornered them - however, upon following information on Zodiac's location she finds only a mysterious serum that is not elaborated on in the short itself.

Alternative Title(s): Peggy Carter

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