Stark goes into Walker’s bar. The music is Santa Claus Is Back In Town by Dwight Yoakam. It’s taken from the album Christmas Country, released in 1987.
He bumps into Ellen Brandt, played by Stephanie Szostak.
There is an Ellen Brandt in the comics, but she bares almost no similarity to the character here. In the comics, Brandt is the wife of The Man-Thing.
Szostak had appeared in films such as The Devil Wears Prada and We Bought A Zoo.
Stark then meets Mrs Davis. She’s played by Dale Dickey.
Brandt attacks Stark, then the locals.
Then Savin arrives.
Stark defeats Brandt, but Savin destroys a water tower.
Be good if someone called the Avengers right now.
Stark calls Savin ‘Westworld‘, after the 1973 science fiction film. He’s referring to Yule Brenner’s role in that film, who Savin looks like.
Stark blasts Savin, who goes down.
There was a deleted thread about a bully that was removed.
Stark leaves in an Audi A8, but Savin recovers.
At a TV station, another message from The Mandarin comes through.
We get our first good look and Vice President Rodriguez.
Then we see President Miller on Air Force One.
The Mandarin has Thomas Richards. He’s played by Tom Virtue. (Which is kind of a better name).
Richards works for Roxxon Oil Corporation. It’s from the comics, and just a generally evil multinational company. We have seen Roxxon logos in various places in the MCU, in sponsor logos and signs.
The President makes the call. But the Mandarin kills Richards anyway.
Stark discovers AIM is behind it all.
He calls Rhodes, who is shooting up a cave in Pakistan. It’s like a studio set.
Rhode’s login in WarMachine68. 1968 was the year he was born.
We then cut to the Miss Chattanooga Christmas Pageant. It’s actually held at the Kenan Memorial Auditorium, 437 North Main Street in Kenansville.
The MC of the show, named David, is played by comedian Bobby Tisdale.
Herb Alpert’s version of Jingle Bells plays in the background.
Miss Elk Ridge, next to her, is played by Yvonne Zima.
Stan Lee‘s cameo as one of the judges.
Stark is found by Gary the cameraman. He’s played by Adam Pally.
Stark reckons Gary’s tattoo looks like Happy Days‘ actor Scott Baio.
There was a lot more Gary that was cut.
In the van, there’s another Sun Oracle logo.
Stark watches footage of Chad Davis. He’s played by James Rackley.
Maya discusses the real Wernher von Braun with Pepper. He was indeed a German scientist who defected to the American side. The quote she attributes to him, “the rocket worked perfectly, except for landing on the wrong planet“, is also true.
Killian arrives and attacks Pepper. Turns out Maya was not telling the truth.
Iron Patriot/War Machine continues to track the Mandarin. Turns out to be a sweat shop.
The agent there attacks Iron Patriot. She is played by Rebecca Mader. She’s probably best known for being a series regular on Lost.
Stark drives whilst on the phone with Harley. He works with JARVIS to download AIM files. Stark drives off the road after another panic attack.
Stark goes shopping. He’s goes to Steven’s Ace Hardware on 1831 Dawson St Wilmington, NC.
Then at Killian’s in Florida. Stark attacks several guards.
The drugged out girl is played by Gwendalyn Barker.
Stark finds the Mandarin. Or does he? Turns out he’s not the Mandarin at all. He’s Trevor Slattery.
This whole Mandarin/Trevor Slattery switch was pretty controversial for some fans. It is doubly strange as not only was he nothing like the powerful adversary from the comics, he had also been built up over a couple of films.
There was more to this scene that was cut.
Savin appears and knocks out Stark.
He wakes, and he’s captured by Maya. This location is unknown and likely a set.