Hold onto your knickers! We are getting a glimpse of the Russian Black Widow program! Here’s where Russia’s best girls are turned into killing machines. We watch a certain star pupil as she eats, learns English by watching cartoons and practices fight skills.
With deadly results. Dottie it turns out was the winner of the Russian hunger games in her day.
Cut to current day, a little girl chat between Dottie and Peggy over what to go see in New York! Dottie offers to share her bread with Peggy, who is wise even when she doesn’t know it and politely refuses. Peggy advises about being with the people instead of the tourists and Dottie is all about knocking over Peggy’s purse to get her keys.
As Peggy walks to work, Jarvis is trying to be persuasive. And a little apologetic. Peggy wants none of it saying she’ll find a way to convince the guys at work of her usefulness.
Speaking of work at the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR)– it’s a madhouse! The fancy typewriter-con (typo-phone?) has been spitting out coded messages. Thompson can’t translate it with his gun or fist and neither can the actual translator. Peggy walks in like a boss and looks at it. It’s in Russian she says, the translator had the code right but started with the wrong language. That time in WWII in Russia is helpful! Leviathan is named and Chief Dooley knows about that. The message turns out to be a set of instructions with coordinates for a money exchange with Stark’s name attached.
Let the arguments begin! The argument being who gets to go on the mission. Thompson, for sure, doesn’t want to babysit a girl. Dooley says, ‘sorry he can’t send a girl and be the first boss to get one killed or worse yet have the girl blamed for his guys getting killed’. Peggy swears up and down about being the right person for the job and finally strikes a deal. What if she gets the Howling Commandos to meet them and help? Dooley happily concedes that would be most useful.
The boys argue some more and Peggy gets on the horn and two minutes later they have a rendezvous. And are off to be suited up. In the boys locker room. Thompson comes up to Peggy in the hall and suggest the girls bath room in the lobby by the ad agency. Aside from the feminist hackles raised there, how smart is it to change into military gear next to a bunch of civvies? Nuts to sexism boys! Peggy vetoes this and stomps in the gents locker room and finds a quiet space. The boys in there, next aisle over, are discussing the merits of Peggy’s ride along and Peggy is admiring the new body armor which seems to have titanium in it. Somehow we suspect the ‘made by’ tag would read Stark Industries.
Sousa comes in to deliver some intel and Thompson sends him to Peggy’s aisle. As a prank. Where a mole is uncovered! Actually it’s two moles. And really they’re scars from where she was shot but Sousa recognizes them. From somewhere. Where was that?
On the plane Peggy looks forward to the jumps and pegs Thompson for a newbie to parachutes. He Carters up and jumps. Down on the ground..
Passwords are sort of exchanged and the Howling Commandos come out into the open to greet Peggy and friends. Dugan recommends an alternate route to the currently Russian occupied Poland and offers a truck instead of a long walk.
In the truck, Peggy hands over some bourbon to Dugan who waxes fondly about American booze. And Captain America. Feels all around. They settle in for a long truck ride.
Back stateside, Sousa is taking a looksy into Peggy’s file and confirms the two shoulder marks. The boss goes off to have a drink with a reporter who covered the war.
At the bar the reporter tells Dooley about the Battle of Finnall. He reports there were a lot of dead bodies, Russians in particular, with no clear idea of how they died. No one wanna takes credit. He says Stark was there as was a recently-deceased general General. And they got into a fist fight! Stark was used to mop the floor. The next week that General resigned and Stark walks from his nice government contract. And now is public enemy numero uno. It seems not all the Stark story points of view are in focus…
Back at the office Sousa is lining up the shoulder marks with the photo of Blondie from the nightclub…
Campfire bonding! The Boy Scouts are always prepared! With beans and bottles! Some war stories are traded, Thompson explains he got his Navy Cross by shooting some Japanese troops trying to infiltrate his camp (while he snoozed on night watch). Now he’s an honorary commando! Or he gets to drink outta the bottle anyway.
The next morning they are up and at ’em! They’ve arrived at the rendezvous and are staring at a large Russian building debating how to get in. The Howling Commandos take the lead and they split into two groups of four.
Inside the building is spooky! Chills are running up knickers! They happen into the classroom we saw English being taught by cartoon. Someone runs the projector and Peggy susses out Russian subliminal messages of ‘kill’ in the frames! They move into a sleeping room with small kid sized cots and handcuffs dangling from the headboards. Peggy is pondering the purpose of the place when they spot a crying girl. Dugan goes to makes friends and she gets stabby. Then she takes his gun and shoots another commando and runs off. Uh-oh.
Back home, Dooley tries to chat with Jarvis who wants an apology. And Jarvis gets a conciliatory offer of ‘maybe we don’t know all the sides to the story, if Stark wants to spill, ring me up.’
Dottie starts sticking her nose where it don’t belong! In Peggy’s apartment! We hold our breathe as she looks for hidden compartments and evidence. She finds it! We are relieved that it’s only the false drawer hiding the photos from the science lab filled with StarkTech. She takes one, then in a Norman Bates kind of way, plays Peggy in front of the mirror. Foreboding! She resets Peggy’s string-lock alarm and leaves.
Back in Russia- Dugan is a-ok. His vest saved him. Kid commando wasn’t so lucky. They pull his dog tags and keep exploring through the building. They finally hit the jackpot. Well sort of. They come across two Russians in a cell. One’s a mad scientist, the other is his doctor/keeper. They’ve been taken and tasked with building some Stark machine from some stolen blueprints. They laugh when asked if Stark is there. The prisoners’ explain their families are being held as incentive to finish their work. They seem quite happy to escape.
Of course that could go better. The Russians have finally cottoned on to their presence and sent troops to stop them. The killer girl is there too. The mad scientist tries to hold the Americans hostage and work an exchange. His doctor shoots him instead. How’s that Hippocratic?!
Thompson is frozen in fear. Dugan had gone off to ‘make an exit’ and round up the truck and as the firefight is looking bleak, he pulls through!
Peggy is that last on the truck saying, ‘I hate you all’ to their proclamations of not bad for a girl!
The team lost a couple of guys, including an SSR agent. And the mad scientist. But the doctor seems happy to go for asylum in New York. He is reluctant to give up the bottle of courage as we watch the commandos go off in search of their next mission. Wishing for bourbon!
On the plane, Peggy and Thompson have a chat about how everyone freezes and the point is to get going anyway. Thompson admits the Japanese were surrendering when he shot them. He buried their white flag. Peggy tells him that’s human nature.
Back at the office lots of hearty congrats are given! Peggy is offered a drink with the fellas, breaking the glass and iron ceiling. Sousa stays at his desk to sulk and brood about his new found information.
Dr. Ivchenko is lead off to his new life in New York and we are left to ponder that and the fact that Dottie still likes to sleep with the handcuffs on…
Added to Dossier
Peggy is a great team leader! Oh sure we knew that, but she has a Fury like ability to get people motivated. It’s the Can-Do spirit!
Even Cap says “Do what Peggy says”.
Jarvis is still a stickler for his schedule.
If that’s how they do in the Black Widow program, we gots some feels for Natasha.
Be wary of little girls in Russian compounds with creepy beds and classrooms.
Dottie’s got stuff to do! Tourist stuff! Spy stuff! Creepy stuff!
Also, don’t share bread with Dottie!