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Film / Item 47

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Item 47 is a 2012 short film, directed by Louis D'Esposito and written by Eric Pearson.

Set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Item 47 is the third installment of the Marvel One-Shots series, and was included in the home video release of The Avengers.

Taking place shortly after the events of that film, Benny (Jesse Bradford) and Claire (Lizzy Caplan) are a down-on-their-luck couple who recover a gun with alien Chitauri tech, and decide to capitalize on their discovery... by using it to rob banks with.

Naturally, this concerns S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernández) and Blake (Titus Welliver), who do not hesitate to get involved and relieve the couple of the weapon.

Item 47 is notable for being longer than any other Marvel One-Shot to date, and it was partly used as a proof-of-concept for a hypothetical Marvel television series that later became Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (much like how Agent Carter led to a TV series), where Welliver Hernández would later reprise their roles of Agent Blake and Agent Sitwell as guest stars.

Item 47 contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Ascended Fridge Horror: The short is about the implications of leaving a technologically advanced alien army lying dead in New York.
  • Backdoor Pilot: Item 47 partly helped in the development of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
  • Batman Gambit: Sitwell moves into the hotel room next to Benny and Claire's and plays loud music in an attempt to make them come to him complaining about the noise. Benny falls for the bait, but during the struggle, he kicks over the stereo, shutting it off, and starts yelling for Claire to help him.
  • Continuity Nod: Agent Blake accidentally calls Agent Sitwell "Coulson" due to a force of habit. Sitwell then comments that they all miss him since his death.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check / Boxed Crook: If the guy can get a piece of Chitauri hardware working, why not recruit him?
  • Deadly Euphemism: Blake's order to Sitwell that he should "neutralize" the couple. Ultimately subverted, though—see the Screw the Rules, I Make Them! entry.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Agents Blake and Sitwell.
  • False Reassurance:
    Claire: We can't go to jail!
    Sitwell: Who said anything about jail? [Benny and Claire breath a sign of relief.] I was sent here to retrieve the weapon, [whips out a knife] and to neutralize you.
    • Subverted because he instead hires them to SHIELD. The knife was to cut their bonds.
  • Foreshadowing: The kind of situation described under Ascended Fridge Horror is exactly what Spider-Man: Homecoming would later be about, as not just Chitauri tech, but the Dark Elves, Ultron and Stark's other battles across the world have been piling up advanced, dangerous tech for just anybody to pick and go on a crime spree with.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Sitwell is ordered to kill the civilian couple, simply because they saw (and obtained) something they shouldn't. That said, given the revelations in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America: The Winter Soldier that Sitwell and other SHIELD operatives are in fact working for HYDRA, whether this trope actually applies here is uncertain.
  • Heel–Face Turn: At the end Benny and Claire end up joining SHIELD. Benny is assigned to the R&D 'think-tank' to reverse engineer the Chitauri tech and Claire is Agent Blake's new assistant.
  • Hidden Depths: Agent Sitwell, who is later found out to be a Hydra operative, uses Loophole Abuse to save the lives of Benny and Claire when ordered to "neutralize" them.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: The news that the couple finally has enough money to do whatever they want now is enough news for the two to get playful... except that extremely loud music starts blaring through the walls.
  • Meaningful Name / Shout-Out: The couple who steal the Chitauri gun and rob banks with it are named Benny and Claire. Sound familiar?
  • Outlaw Couple: Benny and Claire use the Chitauri gun to perform bank robberies.
  • Pet the Dog: The surveillance footage of Benny and Claire's bank robberies clearly show them pausing to comfort bystanders, thus indicating they are not (entirely) bad people.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Averted. Blueprints of newer and newer reverse-engineered versions of the Chitauri weapon are shown over the credits, eventually ending with a wholly Earth-made gun with SHIELD branding mounted to the top of a Hummer. So we'll see more energy weapons in future SHIELD appearances, yes?
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Sitwell is given the order by Blake to capture the Chitauri gun and neutralise the couple. He of course collects the gun but neutralises the two by giving them jobs at SHIELD when he finds out Benny made the gun work.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Blake and Sitwell have a brief one at the start when Sitwell says he's been investigating the robberies while Blake has been collecting the footage of it.
  • The Stinger: In which Claire is seen briefly rolling around in her chair at her office in SHIELD bored.
  • Super Weapon, Average Joe
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Sitwell seemed to be one of Coulson after his "death" on The Avengers. It even gets noted when Agent Blake accidentally calls him Coulson.
  • The Unreveal: It isn't shown how Benny was able to make the Chitauri gun work. Making it also an Informed Ability.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: Subverted. Blake tries to pull this off, but is stymied by the fact that his new assistant can't make coffee.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Though Item 47 sets up further adventures for Benny and Claire, neither character shows up again in the MCU afterward. Blake, however, does later reappear in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..