The Agent Carter episode “The Iron Ceiling,” was a joyride of a Cold War spy story. Let’s fire up the spy typewriter to decode the legal issues.

The SSR Does Law Enforcement

Agent Carter declared to Jarvis, “I am a Federal Agent.”

This statement was very important, because it demonstrated that the SSR is conducting law enforcement in the United States. While we have not seen the SSR’s post-war charter from Congress, this statement supports what we have seen so far in the series: SSR Agents responding to cases beyond the scope of the FBI.


Who Was Agent Dooley Talking To?

Chief Dooley claimed the Vice President of the United States was calling him and demanding answers on Howard Stark. One very big problem with this part of the story: the United States did NOT have a Vice President in 1946.

Harry Truman assumed the Presidency upon President Franklin Roosevelt’s death in April 1945. At that time, there was no mechanism to install a new Vice President. As such, pursuant to the Presidential Succession Act of 1886, Secretary of State James F. Byrnes would become the President, in the event of President Harry Truman’s demise. Upon President Truman’s re-election in 1948, Alben W. Barkley would become Truman’s only Vice President on Inauguration Day 1949.

The United States would have to endure the loss of President Kennedy before the 25th Amendment was ratified, allowing a President to nominate someone to hold the office of Vice President in the event of a vacancy, which then requires a majority vote in Congress to confirm that individual.


The Soviet Charm School

Agent Carter, the SSR, and the Howling Commandos, led an incursion into the Soviet Union in their pursuant of Leviathan.

The SSR found the equivalent of a spy school for little girls. It was very reminiscent of Nelson DeMille’s book “The Charm School,” where US POW’s from Vietnam were used to train Soviet spies to be Americans. The school had the same theme, except instead of using US POW’s, the girls were forced to watch and repeat Snow White.

This should serve as a warning about women who speak like Snow White.

No one likes the idea of going to boarding school, but this place would violate so many child protection laws it is not funny. You cannot 1) handcuff children to beds or 2) teach the children to snap a classmate’s neck. Definitely sent the message, “In Mother Russia, Boarding School Boards You.”


The operation in the Soviet Union was not exactly “legal.” Sending the US military into a foreign country would be an act of war. This kind of mission would royally tick off Joseph Stalin. However, given this is a spy story, this sort of “black op” mission that risks starting a war in order to avoid starting a war is truly the stuff of Cold War spy stories.

Which brings us to a graduate of the Soviet Charm School for Black Widows: Is Dottie “Fatal Attraction” Crazy? Is Dottie a rogue spy? Is Dottie working for Levithan? How did she get rid of that dude’s body under her bed?