The Red Room Academy was a Soviet-Russian facility for the Red Room program that created Black Widows. Originally posing as a boarding school located in Belarus, it was relocated to a mobile aerial platform in the 2000s following the Budapest Operation.
Training Child Assassins
Every morning, one of her instructors entered the room and opened the handcuffs that tied each girl to her bed. One of those mornings, Underwood shared a piece of bread she managed to hide with one of her friends, Anya.
The girls were taken to a room modeled after a typical American classroom, where the girls were indoctrinated and brainwashed through films they were forced to watch and learn by heart. The films, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs served a double purpose, as they showed the behavior a woman should show to not raise any suspicions, and also, through subliminal messages embedded in the movies, they brainwashed the girls.
One day, Underwood and Anya had to fight each other as part of their training under the watch of her instructor. Though it looked like an even match at first, Underwood managed to overpower Anya and grabbed her by the neck. With a gesture, her instructor ordered Underwood to kill her friend, and she subsequently broke her neck.
Li unintentionally activated a projector, and while Dugan told him to shut it off, Carter realized there was something hidden in the images. Carter started to slowly examine the projected movie frame by frame, and found subliminal messages embedded in it, with the words "Instill Fear" written in Russian. Li then heard a child crying, and wondered what was a little kid doing in that place. Carter grabbed her weapon, and told them to be careful, feeling it could be a trap.
The team entered a room filled with children's beds, and Carter realized the facility was a boarding school. Juniper wondered why there were handcuffs on each bed, and Dugan simply answered it was Russia, before noticing a little girl crying in a corner of the room.
Dugan approached the girl, Eva, and told her they were there to help and they would not hurt her. Eva stopped crying and slowly touched Dugan's bowler hat, nodding when he asked her if she liked the hat. Dugan asked Carter the reason they were called "bowler hats", and Eva seized the opportunity to quickly stab Dugan, take his gun and shoot at Juniper.
Carter managed to disarm Eva, but she was too fast and was able to escape, while Juniper died on the ground. Dugan, who managed to survive despite being stabbed, grabbed a hand grenade and attempted to throw it through the hole that Eva used to escape, but Carter stopped him from killing a little girl. Carter asked Dugan if he was all right, and explained that his Bulletproof Vest took the brunt of the stabbing, saving his life.
The second team, composed of Jack Thompson, Happy Sam Sawyer, Pinky Pinkerton and Rick Ramirez arrived to the room, and Thompson asked what had happened. Carter revealed that Leviathan would have almost certainly been alerted of their presence, so they needed to move quickly.
Dugan took Juniper's dog tags, and breathed heavily until he managed to overcome the death of his friend for the time being. Dugan told Carter they needed an exit on the back of the facility, who acknowledged that they needed to find the ones who were trying to frame Howard Stark.
Carter ordered Dugan, Pinkerton and Ramirez to find a back way out of the facility, and the rest to come with her to further investigate the bottom levels.
Prisoners of Leviathan
Thompson approached a prison cell where two prisoners were being kept, and one of them, with a heavy Russian accent, realized that they were not Leviathan. Peggy Carter told him they were the "good guys", and asked them why Leviathan was holding them as prisoners.
Doctor Ivchenko explained that Leviathan acquired a set of blueprints in the black market, and they wanted his cellmate, Nikola, to build it for them, as Nikola was an engineer and Ivchenko was his psychiatrist. Ivchenko explained that Nikola was burdened with a gift that allowed him to see things in multiple dimensions. He exemplified the gift saying that Nikola was able to see the biology and phytochemistry when looking at a simple field of grass.
Ivchenko explained that in order to keep Nikola's gift from overwhelming him, he required discipline and stability, and since Leviathan took his family, and Nikola's stability with them, he provided Nikola with the discipline he needs.
Carter asked about the weapon Leviathan wanted them to construct, and Nikola explained that it was a Photonic Amplifier. He asked Carter if she knew that light was composed of both particles and waves, something she already knew, so Nikola explained that Howard Stark had found a way of altering the behavior of the waves, showing them the blueprints with the symbol of Stark Industries.
Carter asked if Stark was there in the facility, and Nikola got angry, saying that Leviathan stole the blueprints, if Stark was there, they would not need him and he could be in Kiev with his wife. Ivchenko calmed Nikola, and asked Carter if they had entered the facility hoping to find Stark. Ivchenko also revealed he had heard no mention of Stark himself from Leviathan.
Sawyer shouted that Leviathan soldiers were coming, and Nikola begged Carter to liberate them. She told Nikola and Ivchenko to get away from the door, and she shot to its lock, breaking it and liberating the two prisoners.
Peggy Carter, Jack Thompson, Happy Sam Sawyer, and Mike Li retreated to the Boiler Room with the two prisoners they had recently liberated, Nikola and Doctor Ivchenko, to defend themselves from a squad of Leviathan soldiers that were attacking them.
Carter contacted Dum Dum Dugan to tell him they were trapped in the boiler room and needed an exit. The soldiers continued to attack them, and while the agents managed to kill some of them, they were clearly outnumbered. Carter asked Nikola and Ivchenko to show them the way out of the facility in case they knew it.
Eva appeared from inside a pipe and killed Li with a shot to the head, and while Sawyer retaliated, Eva managed to shoot him in the leg, escaping from the gunfire.
Nikola, claiming he knew what to do, took Sawyer as his hostage, and told the soldiers to hold their fire, as if they let Ivchenko and himself escape, he would handle the Americans. Carter tried to persuade Nikola, saying they would not be leverage and would die before being captured.
Thompson was paralyzed by fear and unable to move, and Ivchenko tried to calm Nikola down while grabbing a weapon. Nikola was tired of being a prisoner and did not want to hear Ivchenko, so Carter threatened to kill him in case he killed Sawyer. Before he could react, Ivchenko killed Nikola, apologizing in tears for having to do it.
A large number of soldiers arrived, so Carter contacted Dugan again to make him hurry with the exit. Sawyer ran out of ammunition, and as Carter told Thompson to take Li's ammunition, she realized that Thompson was paralyzed in fear. Carter handed Sawyer her gun to let him continue shooting, and she tried to make Thompson react, to no avail.
Dugan blasted a hole in the wall and entered the room with Pinky Pinkerton and Rick Ramirez, shouting his war cry, "Wah-hoo," though Carter told him to stop "wah-hooing" and help them. Pinkerton and Ramirez started shooting at the soldiers, and Carter ordered everybody to get out.
Thompson was still paralyzed by fear, so Carter went to his position and made him regain his senses while Dugan covered her. Dugan told Carter to leave, but she insisted on being the last one on leaving the facility. Dugan asked her what would Captain America say if he left Carter behind, and she answered that he would tell him to do as Carter said.
Dugan left and Carter shot a final wave of bullets to buy some time for her to escape. She ran to the truck that was waiting outside, covered by Pinkerton and Dugan, and she managed to jump it and avoid the enemy fire. Ivchenko, surprised by her performance, told Carter that it had not been bad for a girl, and she jokingly answered that she hated them all.
Resurgence of the Widows
To be added
- In the comics, the USSR had a "Black Widow Ops" in which young female orphans, are brainwashed, and trained in combat and espionage at the covert "Red Room" facility. Natasha Romanoff was one of these women.
- Agent Carter showrunners Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas stated in an interview that the Russian Assassin Program is the precursor to the Black Widow Program.