Picking up after the conclusion of Captain America, Agent Carter finds Peggy unhappily pushing pencils for the SSR, Strategic Scientific Reserve (aka, pre-S.H.I.E.L.D S.H.I.E.L.D) and facing the challenges of being a powerful and intelligent woman in the 1940s. Carter, clearly in a position far below her skill set, does her best to stifle her sharp-tongued personality which was enjoyable and on display during Captain America.
Each phone call to SSR prompts each of the agents to grab his case and prepare to be sent out on a mission by their supervisor, Agent Flynn, played perfectly annoyingly by Bradley Whitford ( Eric from Billy Madison or, for further reference, Rog from Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise). The first phone call of the short, which sets up the Zodiac as the MacGuffin, sees Carter, the only woman in the office, overlooked for what we can tell is the 100th time in favor of a group of Flynn's cronies. Later that evening Flynn and the boys leave Carter at the nest while they go out for drinks, setting the stage for Carter to hit the field...alone. Another phone call comes in requesting 3-5 agents respond to pursue the Zodiac and with Carter alone in the office, she takes the call.
From here we see exactly what we want to see at this point: Carter given a chance to shine. Through her strategic thinking and some hardcore butt-whooping, Carter does just that, cutting through the stooges and getting to the "Zodiac." FYI, the comic iteration of the Zodiac is not what we see here: no guy named Scorpio and no key to another dimension. What we do get is actually never defined and may yet have a purpose in the future of the MCU. Needless to say the titular character completes a successful mission and, via a nifty cameo that keeps a neat part of the MCU involved, finds herself promoted by a humbled Flynn, setting the stage for further tales of Peggy Carter. Don't click it off as soon as the credits roll, however, as the mid-credits scene that Marvel has made its staple seems to have spilled over to these One Shots.
This One Shot has a different feel than the previous 3 and while it adds to the canon it truly feels as if there is more story to be told about the adventures of Peggy Carter. I'm certainly intrigued about "Zodiac" and what implications it may have for the future of the MCU and if they made an Agent Carter One Shot sequel, I'd be first in line to scrounge it off the internet. Would an Agent Carter movie play to the big crowds? Meh...hard to say because this is under 10 minutes, but it is an enjoyable 10. This One Shot opens the door to future installments, which have been discussed frequently by those in charge of the MCU and certainly does a nice job of changing the genre, as has been discussed as a goal. The credits feel a bit Bond, which is intentional and awesome. This is one to enjoy and I don't think we've seen the end of the younger Peggy Carter in the MCU. At least I hope not!
The Agent Carter One Shot will be a part of Marvel'sIron Man 3 (Three-Disc Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy), available on digital download September 3 and in stores September 24.
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