It’s been a while since we last talked about The Falcon And The Winter Soldier around here, but episode 4 was just too much, and we have so much to say! It’s clear by now that Marvel is not holding back with their Disney+ shows. We saw Wanda’s (Elizabeth Olsen) grieving process in WandaVision; they’ve shown us Bucky (Sebastian Stan) getting therapy and Sam (Anthony Mackie) calling out racism just in the first episode of The Falcon And The Winter Soldier! And we love to see it! It looks like the further we go into these shows, the more we’ll see of these topics many shows would hold back from. So, please sit back and enjoy our rant about our latest obsession show.
**Here’s your pretty little spoiler warning for the first four episodes of The Falcon And The Winter Soldier because we don’t want you to miss out on the magic of experiencing this show spoiler-free**
A Quick Recap
During the past four episodes of The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, we got to see Sam and Bucky readjusting to the post-Blip world. And then because nothing stays peaceful for these guys for long, they find themselves dealing with the Flag Smashers situation and trying not to punch John Walker (Wyatt Russell) in the face every time they see him (we don’t know which one is harder). Oh, and the chaotic duo broke Baron Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl) out of prison to help them find the Flag Smashers.
We also met Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) again after she went on the run because of the events of Captain America: Civil War, currently living in Madripoor and acting very differently from how she was in her first appearances. She’s acting weird, and we need to know why. Finally, this last episode gave us insight into the Flag Smashers’ side of the story and Walker’s descent into madness (which will be insane if it follows anything from the comics).
Sam Wilson Deserves The World (And The Title of Captain America)
First of all, if you don’t think Sam Wilson deserves ‘Captain America’ title after the fourth episode, you’re wrong. You’re just completely wrong. This man is the only one actually willing to talk to Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) and understand her reasons for doing what she’s doing. He doesn’t just assume she’s evil like John Walker does. If that’s not something that would make Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) proud, we don’t know what is.
And while on the subject, this is why Steve chose Sam as his successor: he knows Sam is a good man who would always choose the right thing, even if people tell him to go the opposite direction. Steve clearly remembers Dr. Erskine’s words from Captain America: The First Avenger: Steve was chosen to take the serum not because he’s a perfect soldier but also a good man. Steve first meets Sam as a counselor, not a soldier, not in active duty, but helping people overcome trauma. The moment he sees Sam with those people in Captain America: The Winter Soldier is when he decides he can trust him.
Sam was the most sympathetic character this whole episode, being the only one Karli talked to before Walker and Hoskins jumped in and ruined the Falcon’s attempt to reason with her. This led to Karli calling Sam’s sister, Sarah (Adepero Oduye), to set up a meeting with Sam. He agrees immediately because he’ll do anything for his family’s safety, and now we’re over here biting our nails, waiting for what comes next. Two big hopes we have, though, are that he’ll officially become Captain America before the end of the show and that he’ll get to talk to Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly) again (yes, we know it’s unlikely, but let us dream!).
Seriously, Give Bucky A Break
This man broke us with that flashback to Wakanda, okay? And Ayo (Florence Kasumba) being the one with him in that scene makes her going after him for breaking Zemo out an even more powerful event. However, it also made the scene where she disarms him (literally) all the more painful. That moment meant even in Wakanda, and people didn’t wholly trust Bucky, the mechanism that allowed Ayo to take his new arm off him was news to him. His face when he realizes that was one of pure pain and betrayal.
But enough with the sadness. Can we talk about how Zemo pretty much confirmed no one should ever call Bucky Barnes a bad guy? Zemo monologues about how anyone who wants to become a super-soldier is inherently hungry for power, except Steve Rogers, who never abused his powers (if even the man who hates superhumans says this, who are we to disagree?). He says the serum never corrupted Steve (not that there was anything there to corrupt there). But here’s the thing, the serum never corrupted Bucky either. Hydra did. But like himself, Bucky is one of the best men in the MCU (even if he doesn’t see it).
Finally, let’s talk about what we want to see for Bucky in the next two episodes. One: what about Yori (Ken Takemoto)? These two need to talk! We saw them together for one episode, and that wasn’t enough! Two: Ayo and Bucky have to speak after their last encounter. She’s mad about Zemo, and he’s angry about the arm, and they both need to fix things after everything else is over. Three: give this poor soldier a break! That’s all he wants.
The Dora Milaje Are Perfect
We have all loved the Dora Milaje since their first appearance in the MCU. A group of badass female warriors who can (and will) beat anyone in a fight? Sign us up! And it’s so good to see Ayo again after Black Panther, showing that the group’s work isn’t limited to Wakandan territory. As said in the show, “the Dora Milaje have jurisdiction wherever the Dora Milaje find themselves to be.” Most iconic line in the episode! And Ayo saying that to John Walker right before the scene below happens is just incredible! Our conclusion after this is that the Dora Milaje should get their own show/movie.
The Dora Milaje should be back for the next two episodes (yay!), as they’re still after Zemo for being responsible for King T’Chaka’s death in 2016. And we’re also guessing there will be a crucial conversation between Ayo and Bucky after their last interaction in episode 4.
What’s In Zemo’s Future?
Zemo is the definition of mystery (and a great dancer, but we’re not here to talk about that). No one knows what he’s thinking or what his next move will be. And now that he’s escaped from every single person who wants him arrested, where does he go? Another question is: why did he tell those kids not to trust Sam and Bucky and then did nothing with that? What else is he planning? Maybe he’ll hide in that facility the kids live in and expect them not to tell anyone he’s there?
By the looks of it, the show is setting Zemo up to be one of the big Marvel villains in the future. Not Thanos-level villain, more like Loki-level, flawed, but not the Avengers’ most significant challenge. And do not get us started on how awesome that will be. In a world where the number of super-powered people is only increasing, having a villain whose main belief is that superpowers are destructive will be nothing short of a great arc.
The Flag Smashers’ Side Of The Story
Finally! Finally, we get some more details on why the Flag Smashers do what they do. And the best part is: it’s understandable. Yes, they’re choosing a very questionable path, but we get where they’re coming from. They’re fighting for the people thrown out of their new homes after everyone who was gone with the snap came back. This links back to something Rhodey said in episode 1, that the world was a mess after people came back. And that mess affected everyone, and getting to see some consequences of that really helps to understand their point.
Their fight is so understandable even Sam seems like he’s starting to see things from their perspective. He may disagree with Karli’s methods, but he does see what’s going through her head. And our instincts say that’s precisely what they need to go for a less violent approach, someone who will listen. And once again, Sam is that person. With Nico’s death, we have to wait and see what the group’s next move will be.
Why John Walker Is The Way He Is
If we may, we’d like to refer to Dr. Erskine’s conversation with Steve in First Avenger one more time to explain what’s going on with Walker and why Erskine was right all along. First, he says that men who knew power all their lives can lose respect for that power when given too much of it. Second, he says he didn’t want a perfect soldier to take the serum but a good man (as stated previously). Both “rules” were (unsurprisingly) entirely ignored by the US government when they chose John Walker as their “replacement Cap.” The man was a soldier with a perfect record, with a medal of honor on top to prove it. But was he good?
He’s always been the muscular, powerful guy. The perfect soldier, even. But when put in the spot of the “American symbol,” he starts abusing his power. The most significant difference between him and Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson is: he has never had to prove anything. In his mind, the shield and the uniform give him authority. But the authority comes after proving he deserves it. Steve Rogers was honorable and brave long before he ever took the serum. Sam Wilson proved from day one that he would do anything for people he cares about. They’re far from perfect, but their commitment to doing the right thing is what makes them deserving of the shield. Walker doesn’t have anything to make him worthy of it.
The “New Cap” Snapped. Big time
Those factors (plus the Dora Milaje defeating him in a fight) make him believe what he’s missing is the super-soldier serum. So he takes the one vial Zemo didn’t smash. Without Hoskins there to act as his conscience, he most likely took it off-screen. And now he’s facing the consequences, starting with the angry outburst that caused him to kill Nico, a member of the Flag Smashers, caused most likely by the serum enhancing his vengeful side. And, to make this even more emotional, Nico is the one who mentioned being a fan of Captain America as a kid. This scene is significant for two reasons.
Number 1: every person in that street recorded the murder with their cell phones. This could go one of two ways: either the government will take the shield away from Walker, or they’ll cover up the murder by saying “he did what he had to do” or something along those lines. But one thing is for sure: most of Walker’s support from the public is out the window after this. Maybe not all of it, but most of it.
Number 2: He completely ruined what the shield of Captain America stands for. A shield is a defense mechanism. Walker used it as a weapon when he killed Nico. Captain America’s shield was never stained with blood, making Walker holding the bloody shield the final shot of the episode was one of the best choices. Even the framing here means something. It’s a low-angle shot (with a camera placed below the actor pointing upwards), commonly used to show characters who gained power (and, in many cases, become dangerous because of it).
What’s The Deal With Sharon Carter?
She’s suspicious, alright? This woman does not sound like the Sharon we knew before Civil War. Yeah, sure, being on the run with no backup can do that to a person. But it still doesn’t fully explain her weird behavior near Sam and Bucky. The internet has been speculating that she may be working for the famous Power Broker, and that’s how she affords to live the way she does. But at this point, it’s one possibility among many. She could be the Power Broker (unlikely as that is). Or she could be a Skrull, and that’s why she’s acting a little off. Or the explanation could be even crazier and will take everyone by surprise. Who knows? We indeed don’t.
Hopefully, the next two episodes will have at least a few moments to explain what’s going on with her. Even a flashback to how she came to Madripoor would help (and be an extraordinary moment). Another big question we’d like answered about her is: who is she working for?
We Can’t Wait For The End, Bittersweet As It May Be
The last two episodes of The Falcon And The Winter Soldier are almost here, and there are so many questions we want answers to. And loose ends we’d like to see tied. For example, where is Zemo going to end up? Will Bucky and Yori ever talk about his son? How many more great lines will we get from Sam and Bucky (we’re still not over “looking strong, John”)? How are Sam and Bucky going to get the shield back? (Please let it be by beating Walker in a fight!) When is Sam going to become Captain America? Is Joaquin Torres (Danny Ramirez) coming back? And what is up with the Global Repatriation Council? There’s just something strangely disturbing about that commercial in episode 3.
We’re all learning to manage our expectations after being trolled by Paul Bettany regarding the finale of WandaVision. That being said, The Falcon And The Winter Soldier is making this hard for everyone. Every week more things happen, and we have to wonder, are we getting an answer in the show or further down the line? It could go either way with Marvel, but we’ll be there for it no matter what.
What do you think of The Falcon And The Winter Soldier so far? Do you have any guesses about the plot? Or a theory on how this will tie into the rest of Phase 4? Tell us in the comments, or tweet us @TheHoneyPOP!
Want more things to watch? Come here!
Featured Image Source: Disney+/Marvel Studios