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"In a city filled with temptation, debauchery, and mischief, the Griffith Hotel is a haven for proper young ladies."
Miriam Fry[src]

The Griffith Hotel is a boarding house for women in New York City.

History

Harry Houdini's Escape Act

In 1925, Harry Houdini performed one of his sensational escape acts at the Griffith Hotel, where he escaped from handcuffs, straight jackets and steamer trunks.

The tenants watched fascinated as Houdini performed his acts one after another, but despite everything, Houdini had to adhere to the strict code of conduct of the hotel, and was not allowed to ascend the stairs above the first floor.[1]

Interview at the Griffith Hotel

"Assuming I'm accepted, I've never rented a flat that required an interview."
Peggy Carter[src]

Inspired by Edwin Jarvis' words, Peggy Carter accepted Angie Martinelli's offer to move to her building, and the two women went together for Carter's interview with Miriam Fry, the landlady of the Griffith Hotel.

Martinelli greeted many of her neighbors, and then reassured how happy she was that Carter changed her mind and accepted her offer, though Carter was surprised that renting an apartment required an interview. According to Martinelli, the interview was just a formality, and she was sure that Carter would obtain the room.

Fry examined Carter's references, considering them to be "impeccable", especially the ones from Senator Palmer. Carter explained that Palmer was a dear friend of her father. Fry asked about Carter's limp, due to an injury she sustained the night before, but attributed it to a cobblestone in the West Village.

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Angie Martinelli coaching the interview

Carter's casual reference to the area was met with coldness, as Fry assured she never traveled below 23rd street, making Martinelli, who was coaching Carter's interview from behind Fry, change her gesture as a warning. Fry then asked Carter about her intentions to continue working for the New York Bell Company, though Carter, maintaining her cover, assured that she would quit her job as soon as she married.

Seemingly pleased with her answer, Fry explained the rules of the Hotel, that included attire, behavior, curfew, and especially the banning of men above the first floor, without any exception. Carter answered that she understood the rules "perfectly".[2]

Unwanted Visitor

Inside her new apartment at the Griffith Hotel, Peggy Carter consulted a code-breaking book disguised as The Complete Works of William Shakespeare in order to investigate the meaning of the symbol that Leet Brannis drew during his last moments.

MeetJimmy-TT

Carter heard a noise, as a man was climbing up the wall of the Hotel, so she quickly grabbed her gun and pointed it at the man as he appeared at her window. The man, who introduced himself as Jimmy, was looking for his girlfriend, Molly Bowden, who lived in the next apartment.

Jimmy had mistaken Carter's window for his girlfriend's, and as he asked Carter if he could enter her apartment to go to Bowden's through the hallway instead of through the wall, Carter closed the window. Jimmy wished Carter a nice night, and went to the apartment rented by his girlfriend, spending the night with her.[1]

Breakfast at the Griffith

BreakfastAtTheGriffith-TT

Peggy Carter and Angie Martinelli went to have breakfast in the dining room of the hotel, where fellow tenant Carol complained about having powdered eggs for breakfast again. Martinelli joked with Carter saying that it was better than The Blitz, a joke that Carter followed agreeing with her, but detailing that just barely.

Molly Bowden greeted her neighbors after spending the night with her boyfriend Jimmy at his apartment, despite it being strictly forbidden by the rules of the hotel. Carter, who knew that Jimmy had visited her, asked Bowden about her night. Martinelli was surprised to hear that, and Bowden excused her behavior saying that Jimmy was very persuasive.

Carol asked Carter if she had a boyfriend, but she explained that she was just married to the work. Martinelli seized the opportunity to inquire about Edwin Jarvis, having noticed their usual meetings at the L&L Automat, but Carter described him as a colleague.

Landlady Miriam Fry, noticing that Carter was about to leave, asked her to sit as she would like to speak to all the women that lived at the hotel. Fry started relating how Harry Houdini performed one of his escape acts in 1925 at the hotel, fascinating the women that watched show, but even Houdini had to adhere to the strict code of conduct of the hotel, and was not allowed to ascend the stairs above the first floor.

Fry reminded the women of the rule of not allowing men above the first floor, and told Bowden to go to her room and pack her belongings. Bowden tried to apologized, but Fry desired that her last evening at the Griffith had been splendid. Fry wanted to make Bowden an example for the rest of tenants, explaining that like Fort Knox or Alcatraz, the building was impenetrable.

That comment gave Carter an idea about her investigation with the technology that had been stolen from Howard Stark.[1]

New Tenant

Peggy Carter prepared herself at her apartment to investigate the sewers underneath Howard Stark's Mansion, but was interrupted by Angie Martinelli, who wanted to talk to Carter about their day. Martinelli entered Carter's apartment, and though Carter tried to apologize, she entered and started to talk about how tired she was after her 8-hour shift, and the little tips she earned.

Carter, who had been scolded at her job, said that the 50 cents Martinelli earned would have been an improvement over her situation, and Martinelli offered to share a bottle of Schnapps and a rhubarb pie with her.

Since Carter was trying to sneak out the Griffith Hotel, she refused Martinelli's offer saying that she was about to go to bed, but, being relatively early in the evening, Martinelli prompted Carter to talk about her own day. Carter refused again, and opened the door to let Martinelli leave the apartment. Martinelli was very upset for the rejection, and sarcastically apologized for disturbing Carter.

NewGriffithTenant-TT

In the hallway, Carter and Martinelli came across Miriam Fry, who was accompanying the newest resident at the Griffith Hotel, Dottie Underwood, and introduced her to the two tenants.

Underwood was excited with the ambiance of the hotel, and despite Martinelli's cold greeting due to her disappointment inside the room, Carter quickly assured that they were pleased to meet Underwood. Underwood recognized Carter's accent, and was excited to meet someone from England for the very first time.

Fry explained that Underwood had traveled from her native Iowa to New York City in order to pursue a ballet career, something Fry appreciated due to the discipline it required, as opposed to the typical carefreeness and irresponsibility of regular dancers.

Still upset, Martinelli went to her apartment; though Underwood apologized for the apparent interruption, Martinelli said that there was not much more conversation left between her and Carter. On the other hand, Carter wished Underwood a very happy stay at the Griffith, leaving Fry and Underwood in order to prepare herself for her mission with Edwin Jarvis.[1]

Howard Stark's Hidden Stay

Dumbwaiter Trick

Peggy Carter managed to take Howard Stark into the Griffith Hotel through the laundry room in the basement, and told him to enter the dumbwaiter. Stark complained due to his hate of small spaces, and was concerned what would happen if the chain did not endure his weight.

Carter joked that she would never reveal that his body was in the bottom of a dumbwaiter shaft, and warned him that if Miriam Fry found them, they would be more comfortable in any place, including the electric chair.

Fry2

As Carter closed the dumbwaiter, Fry arrived and surprised Carter, telling her that she was the woman Fry was most worried about of all the establishment. Carter considered it to be a discouraging sentiment, and Fry explained that her schedule appeared to be more of a woman frequenting taxi dance halls than those of a telephone operator.

Carter lied saying she was just doing her laundry, though Fry said that she had caught many intruders inside the dumbwaiter, making Carter acknowledge that that many women owed her virtue to Fry. Fry was always suspicious, explaining how Alice Shaw once tried to enter her room with a man, disguising him in a girdle and making him pose as her sister.

Being suspicious of Carter, Fry volunteered to accompany her to her room, walking together to the third floor. Along the way, Fry continued to explain how she had managed to catch women trying to sneak men inside the hotel. Fry, trying to explain her goal in helping women "govern their impulses", asked Carter if she was familiar with Sigmund Freud's concepts of the id and the ego, and Carter maintained her cover asking if they were children's characters.

Carter was about to enter her room when Fry reminded her about her laundry. The two women went on to check the dumbwaiter, but they only found Stark's bad. Fry was surprised, as she was expecting to see a man inside, and left Carter alone, reminding her the time it was.

Carter went on to check the dumbwaiter again, thinking Stark was still hiding inside, but she heard one of her neighbors giggling inside her room. Carter angrily knocked on the door, and Lorraine appeared to say Carter had just awakened her.

Lorraine 2

Lorraine

Stark appeared at Lorraine's door, half undressed and with a lipstick mark on his face, explaining to Lorraine that Carter was just his cousin, and introduced both women to each other. Lorraine noted that Carter's cousin looked a lot like Howard Stark, but Carter told her her cousin was shorter, to which Stark pointed that he was better-looking.

Stark and Carter entered her apartment, and while he served some coffee, he casually told her how he would have sausages, eggs and a couple of Bloody Marys, only for Carter to remind him that there was no room service at the Griffith. Carter prompted him to reveal the reason of his return and when he was planning to leave while she got dressed.

Stark explained that he was going to leave the country again and travel to Rio de Janeiro in three days, but he needed to know how many of his inventions had the Strategic Scientific Reserve recovered, and therefore determine how many were still on the black market.

Instead of asking Edwin Jarvis to mediate between them, Stark explained he came to give her a Camera Pen, photographing themselves with it. Carter was shocked that Stark risked everything to give her just that item, and took the pen to change her clothes inside the bathroom.

Stark told that it took him quite some time to figure out how to miniaturize the lens, and reminded her there was no need to change her clothes with the door closed, as they were just friends.[3]

Retrieving an Artifact

Peggy Carter returned to the Griffith Hotel in order to show Howard Stark the images of his inventions she managed to take. Carter was unable to find Stark inside his room, and realized that he was in another tenant's room.

Carter shouted in the hallway and Stark opened the door of Helen's room. Stark introduced both women to each other, saying that Carter was his cousin, and entered Carter's room again, with a visibly disgusted Carter.

They entered the bathroom to use it as a dark room to develop the pictures she took with the Camera Pen. Carter realized the first pictures portrayed a woman, and Stark took the film, claiming the first photographs were not suitable for Carter's eyes.

Angie4.1

Carter and Stark were interrupted by Angie Martinelli, who had come to pick Carter up for dinner. Stark acknowledged that Martinelli's voice was beautiful, but Carter warned him to stay away from her friend.

Carter shouted that she was not feeling good, but Stark prompted her to go and spend some time outside of her duties, as he was actually worrying about her. Stark volunteered to check the photos himself, and asked Carter to bring him something to eat.

Carter descended to the dining room and started to steal food for Stark, trying to conceal it as best as she could. However, Martinelli watched her stealing and started to take some for herself, advising Carter she could keep the rolls for an extra day if she put them on the windowsill.

Martinelli explained that it was very common to steal food from the dining room, for example Carol once stole a whole chicken, hiding it in a special pocket under her sweater that her mother knit for her, and Gloria had a compartment in her pocketbook. Dottie Underwood checked Gloria's pocketbook and was surprised by its content, asking her to make her one compartment to hold pickles.

Carter left the dining hall, explaining she was going to eat in her room and read the last five pages of the new Agatha Christie novel.

Inside the room, Stark checked that all of his inventions had been recovered by the Strategic Scientific Reserve, but he needed that Carter stole one of them from them. Stark explained that one of the particular inventions that cause large-scale destruction was still active.

Stark explained how he created the Blitzkrieg Button in order to conceal the city of London from German bombings during World War II, instantly creating a city-wide blackout once the device is activated. However, it worked destroying the electrical grids, so it would leave the area without electric energy for years.

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Stark asked Carter to retrieve the item and deliver it to him so that he could disable the device, as it would take the tri-state area back to the Dark Ages if the device was activated in New York City. Stark gave Carter a fake device to swap it for the real one, as if she tried to explain what was its purpose, the government would try to use it. Stark asked her, as a personal favor, not to let him become the man who shut down New York.

Carter left the building to return to her office, with Edwin Jarvis waiting for her outside the building. Unbeknownst to them, Otto Mink had been following Jarvis to get revenge for being crossed when he smuggled Stark back to the country, and now he knew how Carter looked, and where she lived.[3]

Broken Trust

Peggy Carter returned to the Griffith Hotel with the artifact that Howard Stark asked her to steal from her office, and quickly entered her room to confront Stark about the artifact. She knew that Stark had lied to her about the item, as she found a vial of blood.

Shaken, Carter asked Stark about the content of the vial, and she diverted his attempts to hold back the truth, asking four times the same question. Stark realized she was angry, though she claimed that it was just curiosity, and wanted to hear the truth from Stark's lips.

Stark finally confessed the vial held a sample of Steve Rogers' blood, and Carter punched him in the face.

Otto Mink, having followed Carter to the Griffith, entered the lobby with a bouquet of flowers, posing as a suitor and wanting to see Carter and kill her for crossing him when he smuggled Stark into the country.

Mink approached Miriam Fry, saying that he brought the flowers for Carter and wanted to deliver them himself. Fry, applying the rules of the Griffith, refused to let him pass, and told him instead to left the flowers at the reception desk. Fry asked Mink if he was a delivery man or Carter's suitor, to which Mink replied that he loved her, hoping that would make Fry allow him to see Carter.

Fry wrote a note with Carter's room to deliver the flowers, and asked Mink his name and profession. Mink, who saw Carter's room number in the note, left the hotel to infiltrate it in another way, and Fry was not surprised that such a man was Carter's suitor.

In her room, Carter confronted Stark for having used her and lying to her. Stark said he was just wanting to protect her, as Rogers meant so much for both of them, and while Carter continued to throw his lies into his face, he realized he was wrong when he lied to her.

Stark explained he had the habit of lying to everyone, given he needed to do it since his youth to overcome his humble origins as the son of a fruit seller and a seamstress, to climb over a ceiling that stopped people based on their social class, religion or sex. Stark explained that lying was his natural instinct, but he was truly sorry for having lied to Carter.

Carter asked why he had Rogers' blood, and Stark said that he obtained it as he was one of the lead scientists on Project Rebirth, while other 11 vials went to the government. Stark asked if the Strategic Scientific Reserve knew about the vial, as the government had almost used their entire supply of blood, and they would not give back Stark's sample even if his name was cleared.

Carter was not sure that Stark deserved to have the blood, but he was sure it could contain the key to vaccines and medications, so despite Rogers' sacrifice to save them, he could still save millions of people. Carter thought Stark's only motivation for that was the money he would make with it, considering he was a greedy, selfish and superficial man.

Carter reminded him how Rogers dedicated both his mind and body, and even his life to both the Strategic Scientific Reserve and the United States, but not to Stark's money. And she had made the same pledge that Rogers did, but she did not followed once she started to covertly work for Stark. Now, being reminded of what she aspired to be, Carter told Stark that, for her, he was as guilty of stealing his inventions as anyone else believed.

Carter left the room and ordered him to be gone upon her return. Stark wondered where would he go, given that he would get arrested, but she was less than concerned, as she told him to figure it out as the genius he was.[3]

Next Door Killer

Otto Mink managed to infiltrate the Griffith Hotel through a ventilation shaft, and went to ambush Peggy Carter at her room. Before he could enter, Dottie Underwood came out of her room and was surprised to see a man in the hallway, asked him if she was lost.

Mink ordered her to return to her room, but Underwood asked him if she was looking for Carter. Mink then threatened her at gunpoint, and Underwood recognized the weapon as an Automatic Pistol.

DottieSnapsOttosNeck-TBB

Underwood changed her tone and claimed she wanted the weapon, and quickly attacked Mink, who had no chance to defend himself. Underwood effortlessly broke Mink's neck, and took the weapon for herself, hiding the corpse under her bed.[3]

Secrets at the Griffith

At night, Peggy Carter returned to her room in the Griffith Hotel and turned the radio on at a high volume. She grabbed a hammer and opened a hole in the wall, in order to hide the vial containing Steve Rogers' blood behind the bricks.

Meanwhile, Dottie Underwood admired the Automatic Pistol she obtained from Otto Mink, while his corpse laid under her bed. Angie Martinelli knocked Underwood's door and asked her if she was coming to dinner, and Underwood answered she would meet her downstairs.[3]

Dottie Underwood's Morning Routine

Dottie Underwood woke up in her bedroom inside the Griffith Hotel, having dreamed about her childhood at the Red Room Academy in Russia, and began her daily routine of physical exercise.

Underwood went to her neighbor's Angie Martinelli's apartment to talk to her, but Martinelli explained she would not go to work that day.[4]

Searching a Room

Dottie Underwood entered Peggy Carter's room in the Griffith Hotel and realized Carter had placed a string in her lock to know if someone entered the room while she was outside.

Underwood began to search for hidden things in the usual places, like under her bed, her books and her armchair. She finally found a false bottom in her chest of drawers, where Carter had hidden a box that contained the photos of Howard Stark's inventions confiscated by the Strategic Scientific Reserve.

Dottie7

Underwood took one of the photos and left the box in its place, but she then realized that Carter had a photo of Steve Rogers in her boudoir. Underwood sat in front of Carter's mirror, began to imitate her voice and accent, and took her Sweet Dreams Lipstick to smell it.

Underwood left the room, placing the string in the lock to avoid raising Carter's suspicions, and returned to her room.[4]

Childhood Routine

Dottie Underwood prepared herself to go to bed in her room at the Griffith Hotel. Before doing, she took a pair of handcuffs to tie herself to the bed, just like they did on her during her childhood at the Red Room Academy.[4]

Infiltrating the Griffith Hotel

Peggy Carter managed to infiltrate into the Griffith Hotel, heading to her room in order to retrieve the vial of Steve Rogers' blood from her room. Meanwhile, a group of agents from the Strategic Scientific Reserve headed by Jack Thompson and Daniel Sousa entered the hotel, demanding Miriam Fry to reveal Carter's room.

Fry refused, saying she would not reveal information about a girl to anyone who asked, but Thompson took her documents and saw that Carter's room was 3E. The agents headed to Carter's room, and Fry complained saying that men were not allowed above the lobby. Fry even demanded to know their badge numbers and the name of their supervisor, but the agents ignored her.

Carter managed to take the vial from the hole she used to conceal it, but she could not escape as she heard the agents in the hallway, so she was forced to escape through the window. Thompson, Sousa and the rest of the agents found the room empty, so Sousa ordered to take everything to the office.

Fry was shocked to see the hole that Carter had carved in the wall, complaining that she knew that Carter was troublesome since she saw her, given that all the girls from the telephone company were all the same.

Sousa was sure that Carter was at the Griffith, unaware that she was just outside the window. Carter walked through the cornice and headed to Angie Martinelli's room. Martinelli opened the window having heard a noise outside, but Thompson knocked on her door, identifying himself as a federal agent and saying they had questions for her.

Carter told Martinelli that they were there to arrest her, so she closed the window and headed to the door to open. Sousa quickly entered the room, thinking that Carter could be hiding in the room, and Martinelli even mocked them for not looking like federal agents. Fry told Martinelli to take the agents seriously, as Carter was not who she appeared to be.

Thompson began to interrogate Martinelli, saying that according to Fry she was Carter's friend, but she dismissed it saying they were just friendly. Sousa asked her about Carter's job, answering they only talked about usual stuff, especially her complains about her male co-workers.

Martinelli covered for Carter in every question, saying that she strictly followed the rules of the Griffith, especially the curfew at 10:00 or the strict order not to let men pass the lobby, gaining Fry's approval for her answer. Sousa asked Martinelli when was the last time she saw her, and she began to improvise, making Thompson and Sousa feel uneasy when she began to cry, saying that Carter was going to be out to care for her sick grandmother, something that reminded her about her own grandmother.

Carter, who was hearing from outside the window, was surprised to see her friend applying her acting skills with the agents, who felt uneasy for watching a woman cry, and making Sousa and Thompson leave the room in discomfort. Fry complained about the agents behavior, having make a girl cry, but Thompson, tired of her complains, ordered one of his agents to take Fry to her office for her own safety. Sousa ordered the rest of the agents to search for Carter in the entire building, swearing they would find her if she was there.

14 (1) FULL

Martinelli let Carter enter her room, who complimented her skills. In return, Martinelli revealed that she had been sure that Carter did not work at the phone company.[5]

Arrest of Peggy Carter

Angie Martinelli contacted her brother to ask him to deliver a car for Peggy Carter, and she returned to her room to tell Carter the good news. Carter thanked her friend, who informed that he was going to continue pursuing her acting career given the talented performance she did in front of the Strategic Scientific Reserve agents.

Martinelli also complimented Carter's acting skills, who embraced her friend as a symbol of gratitude, and Martinelli asked her to explain what had happened someday. Carter told her that someday she would, and they asked each other to take care of themselves.

Carter left the room and came across Dottie Underwood in the hallway. Underwood acted as she was relieved to see Carter, as men were looking for her. Carter tried to get rid of Underwood, saying that she was about to leave and she would not join them for dinner given she had made other arrangements.

Dottie3

Underwood embraced Carter and wished her to have a great night, kissing her on the lips. Carter started to feel dizzy, and realized that Underwood was wearing her Sweet Dreams Lipstick. Before losing consciousness, Carter checked Underwood's wrists, realizing she had the scars indicating she slept handcuffed to her bed and was a member of Leviathan.

Underwood was about to kill Carter with a knife, but Agents Jack Thompson and Daniel Sousa arrived, unaware that they had just saved Carter's life. Sousa ordered Underwood to stand back for her own safety, and she acted as if Carter had fainted in the hallway, saying that she had just found her like that.

Sousa checked Carter and realized she was totally unconscious, so he asked Thompson to help him move Carter. Thompson, not wanting to take any risk, handcuffed Carter despite she was unconscious. Underwood offered to call an ambulance, but they dismissed it, saying they would take care of her.

Sousa grabbed Carter's pocketbook, and they took Carter into custody, who was watched with surprise by her neighbors and with disapproval by Miriam Fry. Underwood joined the rest of the women as they watched Carter being taken into a car, standing beside Martinelli, who was worried about her friend.[5]

Dottie Underwood's Departure

Angie Martinelli went to Dottie Underwood's room to take her to the lobby, where Miriam Fry wanted to talk to every girl about what happened to Peggy Carter. Martinelli's calls were unanswered, so she entered the room, finding it empty, as Underwood had left it right after Carter was taken into custody.[5]

Apartments

Rules of the Griffith Hotel

Rule
Attire should be demure and elegant.
Curfew is 10:00.
No drinking.
No men above the first floor.
No exceptions.

Appearances

Appearances for Griffith Hotel

Behind the Scenes

  • The Griffith Hotel is inspired by the Barbizon Hotel for women that was located in New York City.[6]
  • The set for the Griffith Hotel was re-used in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode Who You Really Are as a hospital.
  • The set for the Griffith Hotel appeared in Joss Whedon's Angel in the episode Carpe Noctem
  • The set for the Griffith Hotel is the Mary Andrews Clark Memorial Residence, located at 306 S. Loma Drive, in Los Angeles. The residence was built in 1913 by William Andrews Clark, a philanthropist, to provide safe, inexpensive housing to girls who had to work (which was not common in that era). It served as a YWCA, but unlike most, it was a more elegant residence that housed 200 girls. For approximately $20 a week, the residents had a nice room, free meals, laundry, and maid service. They did have to adhere to the home's strict rules of behavior, which included no men allowed upstairs (a rule that was also present in Agent Carter).[7]

References

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