‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ – An Interview With a S.H.I.E.L.D. Accountant
['Captain America: The Winter Soldier' SPOILERS ahead.]
In ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier,’ it’s revealed that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been secretly run by the Hydra, an evil organization hell-bent on world domination.
The consequences are far and wide with this reveal. Not only will it undoubtedly change what is depicted on ABC’s ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,’ the effects will trickle down into every single facet of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s organization – which employs countless workers – even all of the way down to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s less high profile departments.
In an exclusive interview, we spoke to Mitch Claytonbaugh, an associate in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s accounting department, who explains what this all means for him and his team.
How are you reacting to the news?
Well, it is tax season, so this announcement could not have come at a worse time for our department.
Will there be repercussions?
Well, I’m sure we’re getting audited now.
Where were you when you found out?
I was here, in my cubicle, like I always am. A bunch of men came storming by with machine guns, which I didn’t think too much of because that seems to happen a lot around here. After a while, you get used to it.
Did they make an announcement?
Yes, they called a team meeting in the break room. We were told that S.H.I.E.L.D. is now under new management and they promised that the rollout would be fairly stress-free for our department. They bought Krispy Kreme for us.
Have you met Captain America?
Once. His taxes were a mess.
Well, he hadn’t filed a return in about 70 years, which creates a huge headache for us. I told them that this was more of a problem between Captain America and the Internal Revenue Department, but they said, “Mitch, we want you to handle this.” So, I did.
What was it like working with Captain America on his taxes?
He seems nice.
Did you ever notice anything peculiar while analyzing S.H.I.E.L.D.’s finances?
Look, I’m a numbers guy. But, in retrospect, the $500 billion write-off for work-related helicarriers equipped with “zap beam” technology does raise a red flag. Anyway, hindsight is always 20/20 [laughs].
Are there any perks to working at S.H.I.E.L.D.?
Our department gets access to the rec room. I can't lift anything, but we can go in there.
What’s the current status of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s accounting department?
Well, for now we are on indefinite leave with pay. Thankfully, before we got the notice, I filed for an extension on the April 15 deadline. That was a close call. You’d think they’d make a movie about me, right [laughs].
What have you been doing with your free time?
I’ve been watching a lot of daytime television. A rerun of ‘The King of Queens’ is always good for a laugh. Just today I watched the episode where Doug decides to buy a new type of cologne.
Would you be willing to go back to work for Hydra?
Hey, even an organization built on the premise of world domination needs to have their taxes done.
Don’t you worry that Hydra might not be as concerned with filing their taxes on time?
Well, then they are in store for some pretty stiff penalties. If they think Captain America is causing them trouble, you just wait until the IRS gets a look at those books [laughs].
Are you going to Alexander Pierce’s funeral?
It’s mandatory. But, he was always kind of a dick. I won’t miss him.
Have you met Arnim Zola?
He’s a computer now.
Oh, yeah, he spoke at our team meeting. He seemed to have some really good ideas. But we all now have to learn DOS because of him.
Ethics-wise, do you have any reservations about working for Hydra?
Absolutely not. Again, I’m a numbers guy. The type of decisions that you’re talking about are about a hundred paygrades above me. Plus, the media is blowing all of this Hydra nonsense out of proportion.
What about The Winter Soldier? How did the media blow that out of proportion?
Oh, puh-leeze. If you cause one really bad traffic jam, the lamestream media is all over you as a villain. When you get to know him, he’s nice. And his W-2 forms are always in order.
I want to thank you for your time, Mitch. Do you have anything else to add?
Yes. Hail Hydra.
Mike Ryan is the senior editor of ScreenCrush. You can contact him directly on Twitter.