Warning! SPOILERS to The 355
The 355 draws from a legendary female spy from the American Revolution known as Agent 355, but how does her story relate to the film? Directed by X menSimon Kinberg, The 355 has debuted in theaters and follows the mission of US CIA officer Mace Brown. Her mandate involves picking up a microchip capable of arming any kind of technology, from missile silos to cell phones. With the chip on the black market and buyers waiting to get their fingers in it, the race is underway to get it back from former Colombian DNI agent Luis Rojas (Édgar Ramirez) before it’s too late.
Mace’s mission also sees her team up with a group of other female spies, including Khadijah (Lupita N’yogo), Marie Schmidt (Diane Kruger) and Graciela (Penelope Cruz). Chinese agent Lin Mi Sheng (Fan Bing-bing) also joins the group, while Makes co-agent Nick Fowler (Sebastian Stan) ends up becoming a wild card in the story. As one would expect from a spy-action thriller film, The 355 has many twists and turns, double crosses and a big cat-and-mouse game with secret agents maneuvering each other.
Despite not being a historical piece, The 355s title has its roots in colonial times in the United States in the form of its title. Although the film does not function as an adaptation in itself, it has more of a spiritual connection to its namesake through the spy activities of its female protagonists. Here’s an overview of who Agent 355 was and how she influenced the story The 355.
Everything the 355 movie reveals about Agent 355
Despite its title, The 355 does not take a deep dive into the history of Agent 355. The film’s major reference to Agent 355 comes in that Mace takes over the designation 355, while its team of five female spies perform similar operations in a modern context. In addition, Agent 355 is referred to in the final scene when Chastains (Molly’s game) the vengeful spy Mace and her staff pick up the chip from Nick Fowler. Mace refers to the legend of Agent 355 when Nick comes to the realization that he has been poisoned, which shows that she compares the mission she and her allies have undertaken to that of Agent 355.
Overall, The 355 is not so great at tying the story of the Agent 355 legend into the history of the film. However, it seems that Kinberg is creating a thematic link between the film’s five heroines and the Agent 355 legend in his and Teresa Rebeck’s screenplay. Agent 355 was also part of a spy ring known as the Culper Ring, and The 355s cast of spy figures also forms a loose parallel as a similar intelligence organization. This organization proved to be a great asset to the colonial revolutionaries during the American Revolution and was involved in several well-known intelligence operations. In particular, one also involved the man whose name has become synonymous with the word “traitor.“
The Real Agent 355 & Culper Ring explained
While Agent 355’s identity is unknown, she is said to be a spy during the American Revolution and was a player in the Culper ring. This was a spy ring organized by George Washington and Benjamin Tallmadge, with Robert Townsend and Abraham Woodhall acting as its leaders. Tallmadge, Woodhall and Townsend also adopted the pseudonyms John Bolton, Samuel Culper Sr., respectively. and Samuel Culper Jr. to Culper Ring’s operations, all three reported to Washington. The primary function of the Culper Ring was as an intelligence arm that provided information on the activities of the British Army. The culper ring was also instrumental in providing information on numerous attacks and behind-the-scenes activities by British forces during the War of Independence.
Among Culper Ring’s operations was to provide information that warned George Washington that the Tyrons Raid was in fact a Trojan horse operation aimed at weakening the American forces of General Henry Clinton. Perhaps most famously, the Culper Ring revealed Benedict Arnold’s plot to surrender an American base to the British. The Culper Ring also included some female spies, such as Sarah Townsend, and the unidentified Agent 355, who is said to be a major player in several Culper Ring spy operations. As for who she could have been, there has never been any hard evidence of who the identity of the female spy actually was. However, a number of theories for this purpose exist to this day.
Theories about Agent 355’s true identity
A proposed candidate for Agent 355’s identity is Anna Strong, known for warning the Culper Ring about the whereabouts of one of their spies, Caleb Brewster. Other proposed options for Agent 355’s identity have included the aforementioned Sarah Townsend along with Elizabeth Burgin. Robert Townsend’s own ordinary wife has also been theorized as a possibility, while another proposal has also been proposed.
Specifically, a hypothesis is that there was never an actual Agent 355 in itself. On the contrary, an unidentified woman may have simply given bits of intelligence to the Culper Ring without actually being a member. Under this proposal, the 355 number was not a 007-style agent code name for a female member of the Culper Ring. In any case, whoever Agent 355 may have been, or whether there was a proper Agent 355 at all, a quite legend arose about the services she provided to the Culper ring from her activities. Because of the veiled nature of who Agent 355 was, virtually any theory about who she could have been, or the possibility that she was simply an unrelated woman who provided useful intelligence, is as possible.
The world will almost certainly never know the true identity of Agent 355, with centuries of theories and many possibilities offered. At the same time, the mystery of Agent 355 is part of what makes her story so fascinating. The 355 takes the story of Agent 355 and runs with it in the 21st century and tells a story of spies who save the world from the shadows. With the film that connects them through their shared spy skills and actions to protect their countries and the world in a secret way.
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