REVIEW: "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" Ep 4&5
Sorry for the delay folks, but the family and I were lucky enough to visit WDW last week and we just so happened to be away during the premieres of the last 2 episodes…I actually watched both on the plane ride home this past Friday! I honestly cannot believe that we only have 1 episode left, I feel like there is so much more to this story and I really hope that the recent rumblings of this being one of the Marvel Disney+ originals that might have multiple seasons are true! (“I can do this all day!”) Even in such a short amount of time, I’m still being held captivated by the show, both for just trying to figure out the main action plotline of who the Power Broker is and what he (she?) wants, as well as, the background storylines of both Sam and Bucky!
Episode 4 kept delivering on some pretty big scenes ranging from humor and glee to shock and dare I say, hatred?! The episode continues to focus on Sam and Bucky working with Zemo to hunt down the Flag Smashers and prevent the super solider serum from being put in more arms. We continue to get a little more back story on Karli and her groups goals, which help to make the viewer sympathize with the “villain” (still not buying it) a little more. Sam and Bucky, cross paths with Walker and Battlestar once again and seem to be forced to work together as they are following the same lead on the Flag Smashers location. Sam convinces Walker to let him try and talk to Karli rather than just ambushing her (Walker’s plan) and it seems to be working, until Walker loses it (making us hate him even more) and rushes in to attack completely ruining any progress Sam had made. In the ensuing fight scene/chase a number of important things go down. First, Zemo locates Karli and is able to shoot her causing her to drop the serum vials and allowing Zemo to start smashing them, but before he’s able to get the last one Walker shows up and knocks him out before pocketing the last surviving vial for himself. Karli is able to get away and our heroes (and Zemo) return to their “base” Zemo’s apartment. It’s here that another problem emerges as the Dora Milaje (led by Ayo) return to take Zemo back to Wakanda for killing their king. While Ayo and Bucky argue over Zemo, everyone’s “favorite” Capt. America, John Walker shows up and we get one of the most satisfying scenes in the entire MCU…Walker getting his butt absolutely handed to him by Ayo and him basically crying afterward “they weren’t even super soldiers.” No they weren’t and you got destroyed! Amid all the gleeful cheers of this fight scene, Zemo makes his escape pulling an “El Chapo” by escaping through a drain in the bathroom and now it seems Bucky and Sam have just one more thing to deal with.
Walker once again tries to convince our heroes to work with him, and they once again refuse seeing them continue their own separate chase of Karli and the Flag Smashers, although this won’t last long as they will soon be reunited when they once again meet with Karli (after she semi-threatens Sam’s sister – although I think it was more of a scare tactic than an actual threat). Sam and Bucky are ready for a fight, but seem contempt trying to once again try to talk with Karli. However, once Walker shows up that goes out the window and another fight breaks out ending with the death of Battlestar! This throws Walker into and even deeper madness and ends with him brutally murdering a Flag Smasher in front of numerous civilians by bashing his head in with the shield! The image of “Captain America” in uniform standing over a corpse holding a bloody shield was truly haunting and the final nail in the coffin for any chance at redemption for Walker in my eyes. This chaos once again allows Karli to escape and the episode ends on a bit of a cliffhanger.
Episode 5 picks up with Walker apparently running away from the crime scene (and it is a crime scene) to a warehouse where Sam and Bucky catch up to him and try to convince him to turn himself in and relinquish the shield. Of course this doesn’t go over well and the 3 break into a pretty animalistic fight scene where it is now blatantly obvious Walker has taken the super soldier serum as he is able to put up a good fight, but in the end is not able to defeat the two heroes working together (specifically Bucky) who breaks Walker’s arm and takes the shield. For a second I thought he would take it for himself, but instead he drops it near a grounded Falcon (who had his wings ripped off by Walker). This was a pivotal scene for me as it shows Bucky confirming Steve’s choice in giving Sam the shield even though Bucky had previously threatened to take the shield since Sam gave it up. With Walker “dealt with” and Karli seemingly in the wind, Bucky and Sam’s mission is on hold as the two separate.
Walker meanwhile, is put before a Congressional hearing where he is spared being criminally charged (due to his service to the nation in the past) but is stripped of the Captain America mantle. He again does not respond well to this and it’s obvious he’s only going to go deeper into his delusion. We get a pretty cool cameo at this point when Walker and his wife are interrupted mid-conversation by Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine orVal (played by Julie Louis-Dreyfus) who seems interested in having Walker work for her. We don’t get much more from her on this and it’ll be interesting to see what role her character will play, but if you are a Marvel comics fan, you may know Val by another name “Madame Hydra”… yeah, THAT Hydra!
The episode “seems” to give us some closure on what will happen with Zemo as Bucky hands him over to the Dora Milaje, but you never really know with Zemo and I am expecting this is not the last we will see of him in the MCU. Sam on the other hand, is back in the US once again visiting Isaiah in an attempt to give him the shield Sam believes he deserves and to convince him to come out of hiding. The two share an intense conversation over his past, the role of Captain America, and most importantly the influence of race in our society, ending with an impactful line as Isaiah tells Sam, “They will never let a black man be Captain America. And even if they did, no self-respecting black man would ever want to be.” This leads to Sam returning home to his sister and nephews seemingly content in trying to fix up the family boat to try and sell it with the help of the neighborhood, while trying to figure out what he needs to do. At first, it seemed like Sam and Bucky would not reunite for a while, but surprisingly (and luckily) Bucky arrives and begins to help Sam. We get a quick yet fun montage of the two working together on the boat and then training throwing the shield round and talking which seems to end with the two being closer than before. (I have to put in the quick scene we get of Sharon Carter on the phone with Batroc offering him “another” job?! Is she the Power Broker?)!
The episode “ends” with two very different men getting ready for what seems to be the same hero and a quick glimpse of where Karli has been since escaping. Sam goes into a training montage very reminiscent of “Rocky” as he runs, does pushups, flips, and throws the shield looking to prepare to perhaps take on the mantle that comes with the shield? We find Karli sitting on a bench talking to a fellow Flag Smasher when Batroc arrives with a case of weapons. She still says she’s fighting for a noble cause, but it seems like she may be losing her way a little and is preparing for an attack in NY as an international delegation is debating what to do with the increased number of refugees in the world after the reversal of the Blip. Episode 5 officially ends with us inside a meeting of these delegates as a Flag Smasher infiltrator hits the lights in the meeting room and then seeing Sam open the mystery case he received earlier. Could this be his Captain America uniform, or just a new pair of wings?
Now, for any of you who actually took the time to read this, you are most likely a MCU fan and no stranger to Marvel’s famous mid-credit and after credit scenes. Many of us eagerly waited for Wandavision to produce an after-credits scene and we had to wait until the seventh episode to finally get one. Falcon and the Winter Soldier has followed suit as it is not until this (the second to last episode) that we have finally gotten one and it is where we see the “other” man getting ready. John Walker can be seen hammering away and the sounds of metal on metal can be heard. The camera pans back to reveal he is constructing his own Captain America shield with his own touch, his Medal of Honors imbedded into the shield. Could we be getting U.S Agent? With only one more episode of Falcon and the Winter Soldier left, we still have so many unanswered questions and I am still on the edge of my seat!
Thanks for reading and we’d love to hear what you have to say. Drop a comment to continue the conversation and let us know what you think about the show so far and your theories! See Ya Real Soon.